Musharraf’s party urges army to intervene: Another test case of Pakistani civil society

It seems Musharraf’s gang is doing what is expected from them. They are willing to risk the whole country to save former military dictator, General (R) Musharraf. According to media reports, his crony and former DG ISPR General (R) Rashid Qureshi has urged army to intervene for protecting the former Pentagon pet dictator.
If army intervenes then the next Long March and Dharna should be at GHQ where the real evil resides. We support Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary and Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Insha Allah all the efforts and plans of these evil criminal minded satans will fail as Allah is the best of planners not them.

I think APML should be called as Anti-Pakistan Musharraf League instead of All Pakistan Muslim League.

Last straw?: APML urges army to intervene (Express Tribune)

Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/538080/last-straw-apml-urges-army-to-intervene/

ISLAMABAD: Close associates of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf have asked top military leadership to intervene in the issue immediately before tensions between state institutions get worse.

“Top military leadership will come into action [as an ex-general is being denied justice],” Major General (Retd) Rashid Qureshi, a close friend of the former president told The Express Tribune.

The Islamabad High Court on Thursday cancelled Musharraf’s bail application in the judges’ detention case and ordered his arrest. On Friday, the former president was transferred from his Chak Shahzad farmhouse to Islamabad Police Headquarters.

“Enough is enough. Judicial activism will not be tolerated anymore,” General Qureshi said, adding Musharraf will continue to face courts until he gets justice.

“We will fight legally, morally and politically against injustice in Pakistan.” Read more

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PTI Protest Sit-in against Drone Attacks–>23,24 April 2011

We support the Dharna by PTI against Drone attacks beign done by CIA with the support of ISI,Army and Government.

People in Pakistan are requested to join it and those who are not are requested to support it in whatever way they can.

Thousands of Innocent Pakistanis have been killed in these illegal attacks and these attacks are resulting in more and more terrorism and extremism in the country. This war is a fake war only innocent deaths and human rights violations are real and all is being done for the interests of few controlling this world. Pakistan army and government are playing the role of mercenaries on the payroll of their foreign masters and all their condemnation of these attacks is fake.

We also urge the justice and freedom loving people to support the cause of humanity.

March for Change–>Babar Sattar(The News)

Legal eye

Saturday, March 14, 2009
Babar Sattar

The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad. He is a Rhodes scholar and has an LL.M from Harvard Law School

The second long march in support of the rule of law movement has begun. The march is scheduled to culminate in a sit-in on the Constitutional Avenue in Islamabad, and is to continue until the judges deposed on Nov 3 are restituted to their constitutional offices. Has an overwhelming majority of our nation been rallying behind the movement merely to seek the reemployment of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry? Is the rule of law movement now a partisan movement seeking the replacement of the Zardari-led PPP government with one dominated by PML-N? Should the long march be denounced because the apprehension of disorder must override any concern for rule of law? Can democracy thrive under a depraved governance structure that engenders a dichotomy between the twin concepts of law and order – that go hand in hand in all civilized societies – and the excuse of instilling order is actually used to thwart the law?

The long march is not about the person of Iftikhar Chaudhry or Nawaz Sharif. It is a march against the status quo and must succeed in order to usher in the much-needed change in the constitutional structure, political culture and social ethos of this country, without which Pakistan will be unable to sustain a moderate society or prosper as a democratic polity. The defiance of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on March 9, 2007, only ignited fires of resentment against the ruling elite for sustaining a justice system that denies the ordinary citizen access to justice. He might not have had an irreproachable past, but his perseverance and his dogged resolve to fight an illegal and unconstitutional act has given this country an opportunity to rally behind a cause that promises a better collective future for all of us. Likewise, Nawaz Sharif might be culpable for meting out highhanded treatment to the judiciary during his last stint in power. But how does that equate the PML-N with the PPP at this time, when the former is standing on the right side of principle seeking to change a fundamental cause of our misfortunes, while the latter has emerged as the intractable obstacle to such change?

This change being sought by the rule of law movement is imperative for five fundamental reasons. One, the Constitution of Pakistan needs to be reverted to its original sustainable form. General Musharraf vandalized the Constitution for a second time on Nov 3, 2007. On that fateful day the General had bestowed on himself the power to single-handedly inscribe changes into our fundamental law, and in exercise of such self-proclaimed power, disbanded the judicature, set-up a new High Court in Islamabad, validated all his illegal actions and gave himself immunity against charges of treason etc. The new Dogar Court that he constituted ‘validated’ his unconstitutional actions in the Tikka Iqbal Mohammed Khan case. While the general’s illegal acts outraged this nation and triggered a chain of events that led to his regime’s demise, this country continues to function under the presumption that his actions of Nov 3 were legal and the changes introduced by him are a valid part of our Constitution. The Constitution thus needs to be cleansed of the general’s adulterous acts, which cannot happen so long as we continue to live with a Dogar Court complicit in the general’s treacherous scheme.

Two, the constitutional structure of separation of powers and checks and balances needs to be given effect. The fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed to the citizens are never self-implementing. An independent judiciary is the enforcement arm of the Constitution. So long as the judiciary remains subservient to the executive and continues to function as an extension of the ruling elite, one can scribble in all kinds of sensible provisions in the Constitution but they will amount to naught. Without a judiciary that has the ability, resolve and reputation of being a neutral arbiter of justice and conscientiously adjudicates the relationship between the institutions of the state on the one hand and between the citizens and the state on the other in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, rule of law will not amount to anything more than the rule of the powerful. If we allow the Zardari-led PPP to stuff courts with perfidious quacks – as obvious from the recent judicial appointments made with the consent and collusion of the Dogar Court – overtime the gap between the law produced by our courts and demands of justice will become so wide that the notion of rule of law in Pakistan will itself become farcical.

Three, we need a constitutional and legal structure that sustains a level-playing field in the political realm. The leaders of the PPP and the PML-N both have tainted pasts, and this nation has not been vying for a return to the kind of corrupt and ineffectual representative governance that these parties punished the country with in the 1990s. The charter of democracy had brought along the hope that our mainstream parties had learnt from their past mistakes, agreed to let bygones be bygones, compete fairly within the political arena, and move forward with a clean slate. The NRO, however, was the first infraction. The PPP leadership got into bed with Musharraf who wiped clean its past sins through an unscrupulous and shameful edict. This left the Sharif’s out in a lurch, with the swords of Damocles hanging over their heads.

The Zadari-led PPP went back to the dirty political games of the 1990s once it decided to abuse the instrument of the law to cut the Sharifs to size by getting them declared ineligible for public office. If the Sharifs have a blemished past, so does Zardari – and one that is much murkier. Probably all our politicos will be rendered ineligible to hold elected public office if we strictly enforce the qualification requirements for such office enshrined in our Constitution. Our nation has thus been willing to give politicians with tainted past another chance, frankly, for want of options (as there is no short-cut to democracy) but with the hope that they will be willing to reform themselves and their sordid ways. Thus, if democracy is to have a chance in this country, we cannot allow one political party to establish a stranglehold over our skewed legal and judicial structures to entrench itself in power and outlaw the opposition.

Four, we need to reform our democracy and system of governance to ensure that the policies and actions of elected representatives reflect popular public opinion. Khaki saviours still have a controlling role in Pakistan in this day and age because there isn’t much distinction between the style and system of governance that subsists under military dictatorships as opposed to that practiced by civilian autocracies voted in during democratic times. The rule of law movement has sustained itself for two gruelling years and the ideal of constitutionalism that it is struggling for resonates with ordinary people. All opinion polls conducted in Pakistan since Nov 3, 2007, establish that an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis supports the restitution of the Nov 3 judiciary. And yet we have a popularly elected party in government that has willingly inherited the abhorrent policies and tactics of the dictator it replaced and refuses to give effect to the unmistakable will of the nation it claims to represent. If the growing gap between the popular will of the nation and the narrow self-promotional policies of our ruling elite is not bridged, the continuation of civilian autocracy in democratic garb will end up discrediting the desire for democracy itself in this country.

And five, we need to re-instil morality and ethics in public life. Over the last year we have witnessed a free fall in the standards of morality exhibited by holders of public office. To err is human, but to gloat over deliberate wrongdoing and use deceit as a favoured political tactic cannot be acceptable. A representative government that introduces a code of conduct for public life that celebrates and rewards indiscretions, corruption and malice cannot be a harbinger of hope for the future of democracy or rule of law in this country. If we accept Mr Zardari’s broken promises, his refusal to honour binding commitments, and his choice of lackeys smeared in scandal for elevation to revered public offices, it will not be too long before all sensible distinctions between right and wrong in public life get wiped away.

Now we are essentially being told that our perverted ‘ground realities’ have become so entrenched that in order to preserve order and peace in the society we should compromise the principle underlying the rule of law movement instead of changing the ugly reality. This must not happen. If we sacrifice principle on the altar of expediency at this critical juncture, we might not get another opportunity to redeem the soul and spirit of this nation through a peaceful mass movement led by the educated middle class of this country.

Email: sattar@post.harvard.edu

Country-wide protests over judges’ reinstatement–>Keep up the good work!

It’s great to see nation’s commitment is strong as ever for the great cause of justice and the restoration of indpendent judiciary.

Keep up the good work!

Country-wide protests over judges’ reinstatement(The News)
Friday, August 29, 2008

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) and the Peshawar District Bar Association (PDBA) on Thursday blocked the Rahman Baba Square for two hours and staged a sit-in to protest the dilly-dallying tactics of the government in the restoration of the non-functional judges of the superior courts.

The Jamaat-e-Islami, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and civil society organisations, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, also participated in the demonstration.

The protesting lawyers blocked the road for all kinds of vehicular traffic. Situation got tense when the irate lawyers refused to open the road for a military convoy. However, on the intervention of PHCBA President Abdul Lateef Afridi and other senior lawyers, the protesters opened the blockade for the Army vehicles.

Addressing the demonstrators, the PHCBA chief said any minus-one formula for the restoration of non-functional judges was unacceptable to the lawyers community. Legal fraternity would continue its struggle till the restoration of the non-functional judges, he said, adding that the demonstration was staged to remind Zardari of his promises he had made to the nation.

PHCBA Secretary-General Muhammad Isa Khan presented a resolution, censuring the role of the Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek in reappointing the SHC judges. Meanwhile, the District Bar Association, Charsadda, staged a protest, which was led by Waris Khan. Workers of the Jamaat-e-Islami also joined the protest.

The legal fraternity staged a sit-in on the Mardan-Malakand Road to press the government to reinstate the non-functional judges. The lawyers led by District Bar President Alamzeb Khan came out on the road. They also staged a sit-in for an hour.

Also, lawyers boycotted court proceedings and staged a demonstration in Kohat, demanding the restoration of the sacked judges. However, members of the People’s Lawyers Forum did not participate in the strike.

Lawyers of the Dera High Court Bar and the District Bar Association led by High Court Bar President Chaudhry Muhammad Daud and Hashmat Nawaz Sadozai took out a procession for the reinstatement of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges.

Like other parts of the country, lawyers of the Dir Lower Bar Association also staged a protest, demanding restoration of pre-November 3 judiciary. They staged a sit-in at the main Timergara Bazaar and blocked the road for all kinds of traffic for two hours.

Expressing solidarity with the deposed judges, the Swat Bar Association took out a rally. The members of the bar staged a sit-in at the Nishat Chowk. The Abbottabad Bar Association blocked the Karakoram Highway (KKH) at the Abbottabad Fawara Chowk and staged a sit-in that lasted for two hours. The legal fraternity also blocked the Karakoram Highway (KKH). Besides, the Bannu Bar Association staged a sit-in on the Kutchery Road for two hours.

Our correspondent adds from Quetta: Lawyers took out a rally and staged a sit-in in the centre of the provincial metropolis on Thursday to support the restoration of the judiciary. A number of lawyers thronged the Manan Chowk, Jinnah Road. Members and office bearers of the Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) and the Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) took part in the protests. Convener of the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) and Chairman of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai, former president of the National Party Dr Abdul Hayee Baloch, Secretary General of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Habib Jalib Baloch and other politicians also participated.

Our correspondent adds from Hyderabad: A large number of lawyers and political activists staged a sit-in for two hours here on Thursday at the Fatima Jinnah Road outside the Civil Courts building and demanded the reinstatement of the superior court judges.

A rally of the high court lawyers and the district bar association was taken out from the Sessions Court. Activists of the Awami Tehreek (AT), the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party (STPP) and the PML-N joined the protest and raised slogans against the ruling coalition.

Central leader of the AT Rasool Bux Palejo, PML-N leader Afzal Gujjar, STPP leader Hot Khan Gaddi and JI leaders also joined the sit-in. Our correspondent adds from Rawalpindi: Commuters, especially women and schoolchildren, faced numerous difficulties here on Thursday as traffic remained blocked on all major roads due to sit-ins by lawyers.

The traffic on the Jhelum Road near the Soan bus terminal, Kutchery Road, Murree Road, Airport Road and Jhanda Chichi Road remained blocked for two hours. The worst traffic mess was witnessed on the Mall Road, Rawal Road, Adiala Road, Islamabad Highway, Kurri Road, Asghar Mall Road and Saidpur Road due to traffic jams. Motorists and pedestrians were unable to pass through the Kutchery Chowk and Liaquat Bagh Chowk.

28 August, Sit-in to support the cause of judiciary all over Pakistan

Supreme Court Bar Association President, Aitzaz Ahsan has called for Sit-in (Dharna) for the restoration of judiciary on 28th August .

All the people are requested to support this nobel cause and be there (keep your selves updated for the dharna location in your city).

Timings: 12:00 -2:00 pm

Date: 28th August

Cause: To restore independent judiciary of Pakistan

Also he announced that there will be a dharna at constitution avenue, Islamabad.

————————————————————————————————————

(Regional Times)

Lawyers to stage countrywide sit-ins on Aug 28: Aitzaz

ISLAMABAD: National Coordination Council of lawyers Saturday decided to stage countrywide sit-ins on August 28 Thursday; these sit-ins would be two-hour long and would be held at every bar including High Court Bars and district bar association across the country.
Addressing a press conference after the lawyers meeting here, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan announced this decision. He said an executive committee has been constituted to conduct consultations on implementation of the decisions of lawyers coordination council. This committee would have Aitzaz Ahsan as chairman and Sardar Asmatulla as its Secretary General and Hafiz Abdur Rahman as Information Secretary. SCBA president said the representative lawyers including the office-bearers of all the bar councils of country would stage sit-in on September 4 at the Constitution Avenue. Ahsan said every bar of the country would conduct a general body meeting on August 25 (Monday) and will pass condemnation resolution against Pakistan Bar Council and the black flags would again be hoisted on all bar council buildings throughout Pakistan. He said PBC has deviated from the cause of lawyers, adding the lawyers meeting has unanimously passed resolution in condemnation of PBC.—Agencies

Dharna: sounds better than it is–>A very sensible article by Ayesha Ijaz in The News

Dharna: sounds better than it is
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Ayesha Ijaz Khan

The writer is a London-based lawyer.

The lawyers’ long march was a highly successful show of strength and a clear message to those in power that backing down from the promise of the Bhurban Accord will result in dire political consequences. It is slightly unfortunate, although perhaps unavoidable given the large numbers involved and the democratic nature of this movement, that there was much ado about the difference of opinion on how to culminate the protest. With the majority of the senior leadership in favour of dispersing the crowd at the end of the three-day agitation, some from within the legal fraternity were disappointed that there was no call for a dharna, or sit-in, till their demands were met. As a lawyer who, since the inception of this movement, has whole-heartedly supported the demands of the legal fraternity and the courageous stand of its participants in the face of adversity, I would have to say that the decision not to go for dharna was a wise one.

I fully understand and sympathise with the frustrations of the lawyers, in particular the junior lawyers, who have been the backbone of this movement and without whose exceptional valour and willingness to sacrifice and endure hardship it would have been impossible for this movement to gather continued momentum. However, would a dharna have helped or hurt the movement?

It is wishful thinking, and perhaps a little naïve, to think that a few days of dharna would result in immediate restoration of the judiciary and Mr Musharraf’s resignation. No one expected the long march to conclude with a meeting of the demands. However, those of us supporting the movement did wish for a large show of strength. A clear demonstration that public opinion is on our side. In reality, we got more than that.

We did not only get a large sea of people come out in support of our demands, we also managed to change some people’s minds. Those who previously argued with me about the importance of this movement, now acknowledge that they have the ability to mobilise large crowds. More importantly, some who were previously on the fence or non-committal about their support to the restoration of the judiciary, or at least of the opinion that it was not possible “in a place like Pakistan,” are now rethinking their position. Still others have finally acknowledged flat out that this movement stands for principles and that it is worth supporting.

Let’s assume for a minute now that a call for the dharna had been given. The overwhelming majority of the people would have left; a few would have stayed. It is quite likely that authorities would have tried to forcibly evict them, as is often the case with sit-ins. This would have created a law-and-order situation that would have led those who have recently enlisted their support to this cause to turn against it. They would have used those examples to deride the movement and its leadership. The government would have come out and given its side of the agitation and how they had to put an end to it for the sake of rule of law, and thus in the eyes of some at least the movement would have lost its moral high ground.

The fact that three days of mass agitation and the participation of 500,000 people in Islamabad ended without incident is a huge victory! No one can point their fingers at this movement because nothing went wrong! The Western press did not cover the march as they should have, but that is good news. With the exception of the alternative media, they generally like to cover Pakistan when things are going haywire. Of course, The New York Times will run an article on Dr A Q’s nuclear network but remain guarded about the strides made by the lawyers. If, however, things had gone wrong, they would have been there with their cameras and microphones. It would have been yet another story on how Pakistan is uncontrollable and may even have resulted in a statement from Mr Musharraf harping on how he is still required if things are to be kept smooth. Instead, the lawyers and many others who participated should congratulate themselves that he has not got that chance and has instead been besieged into silence.

Those who called for the dharna are nevertheless admirable because they exhibited clear readiness to put country before self, to endure extreme hardship for the sake of what is right. But they must preserve their patriotic strength and not risk burnout at this stage. Sit-ins were a common form of agitation in the American Civil Rights Movement when blacks sat in at white-only establishments in a plea for an end to segregation. Inevitably, they clashed with the authorities, who tried to forcibly evict them. The idea was to evoke enough sympathy for the deprived so that public pressure would result in overturning the discriminatory laws. More recently, the longest sit-in at Harvard University lasted three weeks and the protestors emerged victorious as they had agitated for an increase in the pay of the lowest paid workers at the university to $10.25 per hour.

In both cases, however, it should be noted that those sitting in had a very close personal nexus to the demand. If the demand is broad enough, such that it effects the future of 160 million, then perhaps a sit-in may not even be the most effective mechanism of achieving the goal, as it may not evoke as much sympathy on the part of others as a sit-in needs to in order to be effective.

Sit-ins and hunger strikes are also very common in India, as dharna was used frequently by Mr Gandhi in the Indian Independence Movement. It thus continues to be a key form of agitation in India today and almost inevitably results in clashes with law enforcement authorities there. Thus, the idea that a dharna could have been peaceful is also highly unlikely. India’s longest sit-in, and perhaps the longest the world has seen, continued for over a decade and resulted in no solution. The demand was for the promotion of Indian languages and an end to the elevated status of English in India. It started in 1988 and by 1999 seven students who had suffered because they had not been selected in the civil services only because they could not clear the mandatory English exam still continued to sit-in. The authorities let the seven souls be and civil society brought them food, but their demands were not met.

It is therefore, in my opinion, a good decision that the lawyer community took by deciding against dharna. There are far more effective ways to continue to apply pressure on the powers that be. Pakistanis have already sent a loud and clear message to Mr Zardari: If they can long march in the heat of June, they can certainly do it at any other time of the year. So beware!

The discussion of whether or not a dharna was appropriate was nevertheless important because it is essential to evaluate all options. As the lawyers’ movement enters its second year, it is impossible for it to be monolithic on every little issue. It is crucial only that there is no ideological difference with respect to the restoration of the Nov 2 judiciary without any ifs, ands or buts, and of that there is no risk. Differences on how to achieve that goal, the modus operandi, make for healthy debate and are not cause for concern or disunity in the ranks.

Mr Zardari, however, has far more to fear. With more and more members and workers of the PPP speaking out in support of the lawyers’ demands, he faces isolation, not just in the country but also within his party. Had the Mohtarma been alive, she would have been too politically astute and reached a consensus position far before the long march even took off. Time is running out for Mr Zardari.

The writer can be contacted through her website: http://www.ayeshaijazkhan.com