Caretakers sacrifice decency on Eid—->DAWN (Munawer Azeem)

For the deposed judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and their chief, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, it was an Eidul Azha like none in the lives — locked up inside their houses with their families.

When they came out of their houses on Friday morning to go to Eid prayers, Justices Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Nasirul Mulk, Sardar Raza Khan, Shakirullah Jan and Chaudhry Ejaz found the gates locked, sources close to the judges told Dawn.

Even their children and servants were not allowed to leave for the prayers by the police force which has kept them isolated in the Judicial Colony since November 3, when emergency and a Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) were proclaimed.

Arsalan, the elder son of the deposed chief justice, was manhandled when he insisted on going out for the prayers.

This treatment was meted out to the judges and their families even though security officials had informed them overnight that could offer prayers at Faisal Mosque after a statement by the interior ministry that the judges would be free to move during the three-day Eid holidays, the sources said.

Dozens of lawyers and representatives of civil society who had gathered at the police barricade, set up near Balochistan House, to receive the judges and accompany them to the mosque were infuriated when they did not arrive there.

Anti-riot police present behind the barricade, reinforced by a barbed wire, blocked their way when they tried to proceed to the residences of the besieged judges.

They raised pro-judges and anti-government slogans and decided to offer their Eid prayer at the very site under the gaze of the anti-riot police.

Even Justice (retired) Qazi Mohammad Farooq, the Chief Election Commissioner, was not allowed to visit his brother judges though he lives in the same enclave. Worse, he had to argue with the police to enter the enclave on returning from offering Eid prayers in Rawalpindi.

“How can he conduct free and fair elections when his authority to enter his own house is being challenged by the government and personnel of law enforcement agencies,” commented one among the lawyers at the barricade.

Retired Judge Rana Bhagwandas had to celebrate his religious festival of Diwali in similar circumstances on November 10.

Meanwhile Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, and Justice (retired) Tariq Mehmud active in the lawyers’ movement, who were freed of house arrest for three days to celebrate Eid were arrested at night after the very first day.

Our Attock correspondent adds: The deposed chief justice, meanwhile, conveyed Eid greeting to the lawyers fraternity and civil society activists of Attock, who specially visited his residence in the federal capital on Friday, but were not allowed by the law enforcing agencies to meet him.

A local senior lawyer and member Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Advocate Sheikh Ahsanuddin, said that a special Eid message was conveyed by the deposed CJ to him by telephone on Sunday.

Mr Ahsan quoted the deposed CJ as saying that he and other fellow judges had decided all the cases purely on merit to provide relief to the masses. Justice Iftikhar said that the morale of all the judges, who did not take oath under the PCO, was high and they were not worried about any of their past decisions, Advocate Ahsan said.

Mr Ahsan said that deposed chief justice expressed concern over keeping him away from the lawyers, civil society members and other well wishers on the occasion of Eidul Azha, which was condemnable, unethical and worst violation of basic human rights.

“However, I am thankful to everyone, who arrived from different parts of the country at his residence to share their sympathies with him on Eid day,” Mr Iftikhar said.

He also thanked the people and lawyers for supporting him and other judges against their forced removal and the backing he received during the judicial crisis. However, Justice Iftikhar urged the lawyers and civil society activists to speed up their struggle, Mr Ahsan said.

Sheikh Ahsan said that the deposed CJ was very much worried about the health of former SCBA president Munir A Malik, who fell seriously ill during his detention. He also condemned the re-arrest of SCBA President Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood.

Sh Ahsan said he assured the deposed CJ that like other parts of the country, lawyers of Attock district will continue their protest till his and other judge’s reinstatement.

Online adds: President Pervez Musharraf on Friday offered Eid prayers at Faisal mosque where the congregation included members of caretaker cabinet, former parliamentarians, civil servants and hundreds of people belonging to all walks of life.

The president prayed to Allah Almighty to help the country in meeting the challenges, particularly the threats from extremism and terrorism. He sought Allah’s blessings for bringing unity and solidarity to the nation.

Iftikhar barred from meeting Bhagwandas—>a note on so called emergency lift by the dictator

 

Note: After the so called restoration of the constitution all the non-pco judges are reinstated automatically because the changes made in the constitution by the Dictator Musharraf are not legal as his PCO was.

Go! Dictatorship Go!

 

 

ISLAMABAD: Genuine Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was stopped at the exit gate of his official residence, when he was going to meet two other genuine non-pce  judges in his neighbourhood.Iftikhar, who is under strict house-detention on Sunday, was leaving his home to see-off his neighbours and office fellows, Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Ghulam Rabbani.

Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Ghulam Rabbni on Sunday morning vacated their official abodes and left for their native towns in Sindh. Police and other security officials deployed at Judges’ Enclave after stopping Chaudhry locked-up his residence from outside by putting locks on gates. Iftikhar Ch is house-arrested since Nov 3 when Chief of the Army Staff enforced State of Emergency and issued PCO.

Pakistan’s emergency not yet over—>Asia Times by Beena Sarwar

Pakistan’s emergency not yet over
By Beena Sarwar

KARACHI – President Pervez Musharraf’s lifting of emergency rule over Pakistan and restoration of the constitution is insufficient to put the country on the path to democracy, say civil-rights activists.

For one thing, there is the unprecedented situation created by most of the country’s higher judiciary refusing to take an oath under Musharraf’s Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) of November 3 that imposed the state of emergency. Anti-press laws and restrictions on the electronic media remain. And last, but not least, is Musharraf himself, elected as president for the next five years while still in army uniform, by an outgoing assembly.

The judges who refused to take oath under the PCO may “have ceased to be judges” according to caretaker Law Minister Afzal Haider, but many of them refuse to accept this position. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the majority of judges of the Supreme Court and the four provincial High Courts refused to legitimize a PCO. The stance of these “non-PCO judges” is also unprecedented: they still consider themselves to be the rightful judges.

Ordinary citizens have taken the lead from the “peaceful defiance” of the judges, symbolized by the deposed chief justice of the supreme court, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, who has been under house arrest in his official residence since November 3.

Many lawyers support this position. The day after the imposition of martial law, lawyers in Karachi began sending out cell phone text messages proclaiming that non-PCO chief justice Sabihuddin Ahmed of the Sindh High Court “is our chief justice. All judges continue to hold office. We do not recognize [the new chief justice sworn in that day]”.

Several of the deposed judges are still in their official residences. When Justice M A Shahid Siddiqui of the Lahore High Court on November 30 received a letter from the Lahore High Court Registrar dated November 16, requesting him to vacate his official residence, he issued a notice to the registrar. Terming the letter “an attempt to intimidate and over-awe judges who have not surrendered to the chief of army staff [Musharraf],” he wrote: “I, therefore, as a sitting judge of the Lahore High Court direct the registrar of this court to explain as to why and at whose instance he issued this letter asking me to vacate my official residence. The reply shall be submitted within a month.”

The exchange triggered another chain of events that proved most embarrassing to the government. Students and lawyers began holding vigil outside Siddiqui’s residence. Many stayed outside all night in the chill of the Lahore winter, including the well-known activists and lawyers Asma Jahangir and Hina Jillani, along with a host of other high-profile advocates.

“We will continue to hold vigil outside Justice Siddiqui’s house,” said Hamid Khan, former president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association. Despite threats from police, activists and lawyers rotated shifts around the clock for several days to prevent Siddiqui’s eviction.

The saga ended when Siddiqui, a heart patient, had to be rushed to hospital with chest pains. Late that night, police arrested about a dozen lawyers and students holding vigil outside his residence. They were released from prison after a few days and charges against them withdrawn. Siddiqui is still in the hospital, and his family is still in their official residence.

On December 10 – International Human Rights Day, observed by Pakistani lawyers, civil-society organizations and human-rights groups as a “black day” – deposed Sindh High Court chief justice Sabihuddin Ahmed took the position that he could not comment on the PCO because his comments might be misconstrued as a judicial pronouncement “because I am still the chief justice of the high court”.

Meanwhile, journalists hold that the lifting of emergency rule is meaningless for the media unless the government withdraws the amended Registration of Printing and Publication Ordinance, 2002 and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority that continue to be used against the independent media.

Mazhar Abbas, general secretary of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, noted that the closure of even one or two private television channels (Geo and Royal TV) is a “violation of Article 19 of the constitution, which provides freedom of speech and expression and freedom of the press. If this article has been restored then why have these channels not been allowed to resume transmission?”

“The continued ban on TV anchors, talk shows and live call-ins has restricted TV channels from free coverage of elections,” he said. “It is also a violation of citizens’ rights to speech as provided in the constitution.”

Musharraf pushed through six more amendments in the constitution through executive orders on Friday, a day before lifting the emergency, revoking the PCO and restoring the constitution. His first act after restoring the constitution was to swear in new members of the Supreme Court.

For many in Pakistan, the fact that Musharraf was elected as president “while still in army uniform by an assembly that had completed its term and had no mandate to elect him for another five years”, as one activist put it, de-legitimizes his office.

A Lahore High Court advocate, Asad Jamal, questioned his restoration of the constitution, terming it meaningless, given the over a dozen amendments that Musharraf has pushed through over the past month that provide immunity to himself and his actions. “He has destroyed the character of the constitution,” said Jamal. “He will make sure that there is no need to ratify these amendments in Parliament, unless he is sure of the requisite two-thirds majority.”

But getting Musharraf out of the equation will not dent the military-backed system he represents. “As long as the military continues to run the show, bankrolled and supported by Washington for its own short-term interests in ‘the war on terror’, and as long as Pakistani politicians continue to collude with the system without addressing the real issues of poverty, unemployment and education, Pakistan will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis,” one analyst said, requesting anonymity.

<!– if (!document.phpAds_used) document.phpAds_used = ‘,’; phpAds_random = new String (Math.random()); phpAds_random = phpAds_random.substring(2,11); document.write (“”); //–>

Did we learn from the history? (16 December 1971 Dhaka Fall)

36 years ago we were one nation…….

A nation which was founded on the principles of justice and freedom in the name of a religion which condemns all kind of discrimination (racial,status wise,linguistic etc) , a religion which does not allow any kind of unjust action and which promotes the concept of universal brotherhood.

BUT what we did with the great ideology? with the great state founded in the name of that ideology?

Soon after the independence the discrimination between east and west Pakistanis started, system of justice was made practically a subordinate to the  government, martial laws,feudals got hold in the politics of Pakistan and corridors of power, tension between the centre and the provinces, no proper mechanism of distribution of the executive powers and responsibilities, corruption became a routine, no concept of socio-economic justice and so the result was chaos which resulted in a civil war which was well utilized by India and other powers and so the result was Bangladesh.

Even after 36 years if I see our actions as a nation, it seems that we have not learnt any thing.

Pakistan is on is in a deep judicial crisis thanks to Dictator Musharraf(Who played a drama on 15 December of lifting the emergency but forgot to reinstate the genuine non-PCO Judges), our tribal areas and parts of our frontier province is facing a clash between our own Army and our own people, corrupt religous  and so called moderate politicians are still considered as the only available options when it comes to the state affairs, the majority of our nation is corrupt as a whole with no pride in their national identity and still our great dictator tells us that we are going in the right direction.

May Allah guide us to the right path.

Long Live Pakistan

PEMRA Issues new threats against private channels in Pakistan.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority issues new threats to the private satellite television networks against airing live coverage, including telephone calls, that could result in urging people to go for agitation and violence.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)  called the warning a government attempt to control the free media.

Violation of the new PEMRA directive will result in 3 years of imprisonment and Rs. 100,00000 of fine. 

Analysts doubt change after Pakistan emergency ends—>AFP Report

They say he looks unlikely to ease media curbs or restore ousted judges, meaning the end of the emergency — hotly demanded by the international community before elections next month — will have little practical impact.

“Can a person change the constitution? That issue will persist, no matter whether the emergency is withdrawn or not,” said Hasan Askari, a political analyst and the former head of political science at Punjab University.

He called lifting emergency rule a “public relations exercise” aimed at making the West feel more comfortable about the elections, even though many critics insist the vote will be neither free nor fair.

“The exercise will simply be to show to the West that he has returned to constitutional rule and is moving a step closer to democracy,” Askari said.

“The current controversies will persist and for all operational purposes, the end of emergency will not make any real difference.”

Citing Islamist violence and what he said was an interfering judiciary, Musharraf imposed emergency rule on November 3. The constitution was suspended, and thousands of people were arrested across the country.

The independent-minded head of the Supreme Court was one of many judges given the sack. A new and strict code of conduct effectively barred many media from criticising Musharraf or the armed forces.

Most of those arrested have since been released but some prominent lawyers — including the president of the Supreme Court’s bar association — are still in detention.

Meanwhile Pakistan’s media regulator reaffirmed this week that any live TV broadcasts remain banned. The restriction, which includes phone-in chat shows, is aimed at muzzling the president’s critics, the journalists union says.

Unless the ousted judges are returned and the media curbs lifted, ending the state of emergency will be “meaningless,” said Rasul Baksh Rais, a political scientist at Lahore’s University of Management and Sciences.

“I do not think that the state of oppression is going to disappear,” Rais said, alleging that the president had “disfigured” the constitution with his decrees.

“If the judiciary is not independent, how can one expect them to deliver on fundamental rights? Lifting the emergency without reinstatement of the pre-emergency judiciary would be meaningless.

“Lifting emergency rule will not make much of a difference for the victims of emergency.”

The imposition of emergency rule triggered domestic and international uproar against Musharraf, a key ally in the US “war on terror”.

While he has already been re-elected as president — a vote in October that itself was controversial — the January 8 polls will determine the makeup of the next parliament, which could have a bearing on Musharraf’s plans.

Under the constitution as written, no changes can be made without a two-thirds majority of lawmakers.

Musharraf’s critics say he badly needs that majority to indemnify himself from what they insist were the unlawful changes he decreed.

But Attorney General Malik Qayyum told AFP that the Supreme Court — which has been purged of anti-Musharraf judges — had already validated his extraordinary legal orders.

“The constitution will be restored and emergency rule will come to an end on Saturday,” Qayyum said.

Najim Sethi, a columnist and editor of a leading local English newspaper, the Daily Times, said he believed the courts could still decide to fight back once the emergency order is lifted.

“Media restrictions will no longer be unchallengable,” he said. “Challenges to both Musharraf and the political parties will be entertained by the courts.”

After APDM its time to take decisions for MMA.

I think its time for the genuine opposition parties to keep themselves away from the corrupt political parties.

PML-N and ANP were rightly kicked out of the APDM (All partied democratic alliance) and now MMA (Muttahida Majlis e Amal) should also re-think the way it is going and infact Qazi sahab now finally should say a good bye to Fazal-ur-Rehman(Maulana Diesel as people call him) .

Only genuine and honest people can stand and fight for the cause of justice and freedom.

APDM still not able to take a decision on General Selections 2008—> God Knows when our politicians will be able to use their heads properly.

The press conference by the “leadership” of APDM and the reports by the media shows that the only Musharraf opposition alliance is still not decicive on the issues of dictator’s PCO elections which we call “General Selection”.

According to the reports PML-N and ANP are ready to take part in the elections by having a point of view that they should not leave the battle field open for the Dictator Musharraf’s supported parties and on the other hand Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf(PTI),Jamat e Islame and Mehmood Khan Achakzai are with the lawyers point of view that by taking part in the elections they will provide the legal support for the General(R) and Dictator(Not-R) Musharraf’s illegal actions of November 3 2007 and onwards.

United4Justice:   PML-N and ANP its time to make the right decision, boycott the elections 2008 and show your commitment for the cause of justice.

Lawyers committed for the cause of “Justice” urging the political parties to boycott the polls.

All Pakistan Lawyers’ Representatives Convention: Lawyers urge parties to boycott polls 

Daily Times Report:LAHORE: All Pakistan Lawyers’ Representatives Convention on Saturday decided to boycott the upcoming elections and urged the political parties to join them in this regard to get rid of the “unconstitutional rule”.

In the presence of President Pervez Musharraf, so-called caretaker government and “partial election commission” the polls could not be held fair, free and impartial, the speakers said.

Lawyers’ representatives from all over the country participated in the convention. The speakers urged the political parties, civil society organisations, students and the media to continue their participation in the struggle for the restoration of the constitution and the restoration of the judiciary to its pre-Nov 3 status.

Eleven resolutions were presented before the house, which were unanimously carried. The resolutions included immediate restoration of the deposed judges. The house rejected the emergency rule and PCO and refused to recognise the PCO judges.

The convention demanded release of the detained lawyers including Aitzaz Ahsan, Munir A Malik, Ali Ahmad Kurd, Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood, Baz Muhammad Kakar and Hadi Shakeel Ahmad.

They denounced the PEMRA Ordinance and termed curbs imposed on various private TV channels as “evil intentions”.

The house termed the amendments in the Army Act and legal practitioners and Bar Council Act as “illegal”. It said Pervez Musharraf was not the president of the country and the lawyers’ community would not recognise him as the president.

The house believed that the amendments in the acts were the “pet project” of Attorney General of Pakistan Malik Qayyum and Sharifuddin Pirzada.

They denounced manhandling and forced exile of Justice (r) Wajihuddin from the Punjab. The house denounced the foreign intervention in the country’s internal matters.

In the convention Punjab Bar Council vice chairman announced not to include decision of the PCO judges in the Pakistan Law Journal (PLJ).

Those who spoke on the occasion included Tariq Javed Warraich, Syed Arbab Ahmad, Mirza Aziz Akbar Baig, Hamid Khan, Syed Muhammad Shah, Ahsan Bhoon, Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal, Justice (r) Khalilur Rehman Khan, Azad Kashmir Bar Association president, Balochistan Bar Council secretary and members of Sindh Bar Council and Hyderabad Bar Association.

Opposition Should Boycott the 2008 Elections—>Imran Khan

Imran Khan, immediately after his release on Thursday after his release has urged the opposition parties to boycott the elections of 2008. According to Imran Khan all the APDM parties have agreed on the boycott except Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman.

Imran Khan is on a hunger strike to show unity with the suspended judges and according to him taking part in the elections will legitimise the Dictator’s Action.

He also said that restoration of judiciary is a bigger issue than emergency.

Meanwhile PTI has appealed to the people to observe 24th November as fasting day to show solidarity with the judges who are detained for upholding the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and all the lawyers and people of Pakistan put behind bars for this cause.