reporters following a comprehensive discussion regarding rising inflation, rule of law and political instability in the country.
Achakzai told reporters that the alliance had agreed to form a committee to work out a procedure by which apex and high court judges who were deposed by President Musharraf on November 3, 2007, might be reinstated. He argued that since Musharraf had openly admitted that his actions had been extra-constitutional there could be no legal justification for stalling the restoration any further.
Imran Khan continued by saying that the delay was nothing more than an attempt to protect the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) from being struck down, thus resurrecting criminal cases against government leaders such as Asif Zardari.
The APDM decided to address the ‘judges’ issue following the resignation of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), a member of the ruling coalition, from the cabinet. PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif chose to take the drastic step after failing to secure a solution to the problem during negotiations with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) who hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly. The resignation of key figures such as Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar has created problems for the new government, which is still struggling to cement its position and quell public concern over food inflation and the deteriorating law and order situation.
(SUKKUR, Sindh, April 20 (PPI): Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmed said on Sunday that the nation and country cannot overcome the ongoing crises and socio-economic exploitation of the poor till the independence of judiciary for which the reinstatement of judges would be the first step.
Addressing a JI convention organized by JI Qazi questioned the justification of bloodshed of patriotic Pakistani citizens in Waziristan and Balochistan. JI Secretary General Munawar Hussain said the people had given their verdict by voting against anti-Musharraf forces in the elections and said the new government should fulfill the promises made in the election manifesto.
Press Release for the Seminar: “Do Countries Sell Their Own People?”
A seminar entitled “Do Countries Sell Their Own People: A Discussion on Civil Liberties in the Age of War on Terror” was held on 17 April, 2008, at Embassy Lodges in Islamabad. The event presented the plight of the families of the victims of state-sponsored terrorism. The seminar was organized by Pakistan Professionals Forum, FASTRising and Pakistan Youth Alliance and attracted representation from a broad cross-section of general public including students, professionals, human rights activists and lawyers. Families of more than 60 missing persons were present.
The event started with the screening of the documentary “Missing in Pakistan”. This was followed by a speech from Pakistan Professionals Forum spokesperson. He condemned the government for terrorizing its own people and wondered how Sehba Musharraf should feel if her son, Bilal Musharraf, went missing. K.Asif, a student representative, condemned the intelligence outfits for their role in extra-judicial arrests and vowed completed support to the families of missing persons on behalf of the students of Islamabad. Next, Zafar Jan, the Baloch relative of missing person, claimed that around 12,000 Balochis have been abducted. He lamented the fact the media had no access to Balochistan. Shahid Kamal Khan, ex-president Mailsee Bar Association, said that armed forces have no legal right to intervene on its own in the affairs of the country until unless requested by a civil government. Furthermore, armed forces or intelligence outfits have no right to detain or kill its own people. He vowed to register an FIR for murder against Pervez Musharraf. This was followed by a talk by Mrs. Amina Janjua – the wife of Masood Janjua, missing since May 2005, anchorperson of the organization ‘Defence of Human Rights’ and spokesperson of the families of the missing persons. She related their struggle to win the release of their family members, through street demonstrations as well as their meetings with various politicians. She implored civil society activists, lawyers, professionals to continue supporting the cause of the missing persons. Furthermore, she expressed her gratitude to lawyers in UK and US as well as the chief counsel of missing persons, Shaukat Siddiqui, for their support. The civil society activist, Ghazala Minallah, empathized with the unrelenting pain of the families of the missing persons and deplored the hypocrisy of world powers. She assured the families of her continual support. Sardar Asmatullah, president Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association, reiterated the civil liberties guaranteed to the citizens of Pakistan by its constitution. He condemned Pervez Musharraf for illegally imposing martial law and rendering the Chief Justice non-functional, and demanded the impeachment of the President for subverting the constitution. Hameed Gul, ex-head ISI, condemned the collusion of successive governments in selling their own citizens to world powers. He demanded justice for the students of Jamia Hafsa and highlighted the importance of a strong and independent judiciary to safeguard the rights of citizens. He further demanded that Pervez Musharraf be court-martialed and charged for high-treason. President PTI, Imran Khan, challenged Pervez Musharraf to declare the number of Pakistanis killed in the war on terror and called for his impeachment. later, Justice (R) Wajihuddin pointed out the weakness of courts to curtail extra-judicial detention. He called for investigating the perpetrators of extra-judicial detention. Furthermore, he opined that Pervez Musharaf’s regime is dwindling and that Musharraf’s removal will have critical impact on the results of US election. Finally Qazi Hussain Ahmed, president JI, condemned the acts of Parvez Musharaf and his allies and made dua for the families of missing persons.
Almost more than 500 people from all walks of life were present there to show solidarity with the cause and with the aggrieved families.
Its a real shame for us that even in this modern age of civilization our people have no value infront of our governments who in order to satisfy their foreign friends can even sell their own sons of the soils and give no value for the human rights given to them by the conctitution or the collective sense of humanity and justice.
Speakers demand committee to sort out issue of missing persons(The News)
By Myra Imran
Scenes of intense emotions dominated a seminar titled ‘Do countries sell their own people?’ as relatives of missing persons continued their efforts to retrieve their dear ones.
Screams of mother of Syed Asad Hussain, recently picked up from G-7, echoed during speeches made by prominent political leaders, representatives of civil society and student organisations and the leaders of lawyer’s movement. Among the big names attending the event were Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Justice (r) Wajihuddin, Lieutenant-General (r) Hameed Gul and Sardar Asmat Ullah.
In addition to expressing their solidarity with the aggrieved families, they assured them that time for President Pervez Musharraf to go had arrived. They demanded that a parliamentary committee be made to sort out the issue of missing persons.
A big gathering of people from all walks of life went to show that the peaceful movement started by wives and mothers of missing persons had gained momentum with time, especially now when more and more political leaders have openly joined hands with them.
In her emotional speech, Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of Defence of Human Rights and wife of Masood Janjua who went missing three years ago, said that wives and mothers of missing persons were not brave people but their hearts were broken which had made them fearless. “People want electricity and ‘atta’ but we just want our family members back,” she said.
She thanked her children for standing by her and giving her hope when she was about to give up. “I want to say sorry to them as I promised that I would bring back their father but I have not been able to do so,” she said, her voice choking and tears in her eyes.
She said that it was their right to see and meet their relatives. She said that human right organisations have estimated 5,000 such cases. Zafar Jan from Balochistan said that since March 2005, 12,000 people were reported missing only in Balochistan.
Imran Khan said that the president might remember the exact figure of American soldiers killed after 9/11 but he would have no idea of how many of his people had been killed or gone missing after that attack.
He said that the same government tried its best to capture the killers of Daniel Pearl but for the 40 people killed in Karachi on May 12 it said inquiry was not important.
Criticizing the double standards of US policies, he said that Americans talk against terrorism but their ambassador held talks with Altaf Hussain in England who he claimed was responsible for killing hundreds of innocent people.
Expressing his doubts on the present government, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that the way those leaders were holding talks with American and British envoys shows that they were following the same dictates. “Our problems can only be solved when we become independent of US pressures,” he said.
Qazi said that aid that the government was getting in exchange of young people was spent on the luxury of elite class. “When the elite class becomes ready to spent life like a common Pakistani, half of our issues will be resolved,” he added.
Ghazal Minallah said that such policies were promoting militancy as people were left with no choice for they did not trust the judiciary. “If my children go missing like that and I have no place to go for justice then chances of me becoming a suicide bomber are very likely,” she said, adding that it was an ongoing torture for the families and a matter of shame for the nation for staying silent on the issue.
Justice (r) Wajihuddin said that Pakistan and US had no extradition treaty under which Pakistani people could be given to US government.
He said that even at the time of British rule in subcontinent, declared terrorists had to be presented before magistrate in 24 hours.
Urging people to join the movement, Hameed Gul said that if the movement against oppressors failed this time, things might never change. “We do not want western-styled democracy for it failed to deliver justice and was used as a tool to exploit the rest of the world,” he mentioned.
(DRAFT RESOLUTION by Justice(R) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim for the Restoration of Genuine Judiciary )
THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PAKISTAN
WHEREAS, We the elected representatives of the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan acknowledge and honor the long and arduous struggle for the return to democracy and rule of law by the legal fraternity, civil society and the ordinary citizens of our beloved country.
AND WHEREAS, We pay tribute to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and thousands of brave political activists across the country who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives or suffered imprisonment for the cause of restoration of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. We shall not let their sacrifices go in vain.
AND WHEREAS, this Assembly is mindful that the foundation of democracy cannot survive without a return to the rule of law. We are mindful, that the rule of law cannot survive the rule of the gun unless we have an independent judiciary. And, we are cognizant that we shall never have an independent judiciary if the Judges of the Superior Court’s of this country are imprisoned at the whims of a lone individual.
AND WHEREAS, we as Members of the National Assembly have taken oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” and we shall not waiver from this oath.
AND WHEREAS, Article 209(7) of the Constitution provides in no uncertain terms that “A Judge of the Supreme Court of or of a High Court shall not be removed from office except as provided in this article.” Therefore, as opined unanimously by leading former Chief Justices and Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the actions of 3rd November 2007, seeking to remove and restrain the Chief Justices and Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Provincial High Courts is void ab initio and has no sanctity in law.
WE, THEREFORE, bound by our Constitutional Oath and the mandate given by the people of Pakistan on February 18, 2008 do hereby RESOLVE and call upon the Federal Government to remove all illegal restrictions placed on the Chief Justices and Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the provincial High Courts on and after 3rd November 2007 with immediate effect.
History shall not forgive those, who even now, may seek to obstruct the irreversible path to constitutional rule in our great country.
THEREFORE, WE FURTHER RESOLVE, and call upon the Federal Government to perform its obligation under Article 190 of the Constitution and act in aid of the Chief Justices and the Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Provincial High Courts who were illegally restrained on and after 3rd November 2007 so that they may resume their Judicial functions in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
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