You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Monday, December 24, 2007

Questions for the Two Rulers of Pakistan and America

By John F. Tierney and Aitzaz Ahsan

( - One of us chairs a House of Representatives
subcommittee tasked with oversight of U.S. foreign policy and one of
us languishes under illegal house arrest after transfer from a
Pakistani jail for the "heinous" and "seditious" crime of
representing, in legal proceedings, the illegally sacked Chief Justice
of Pakistan's Supreme Court, Mr. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

As members of the political opposition in our respective countries and
as lawyers firmly committed to the rule of law, we have a few
questions for our [tyrannical] heads of state:

-- How will you address the increasing anti-Americanism in Pakistan in
light of the growing, and not unjustified, perception among Pakistan's
democratic moderates that the United States is not willing to stand
with the people of Pakistan against an increasingly authoritarian and
anti-democratic government in Islamabad?

-- How will you respond to the inevitable international condemnation
of a parliamentary "election" in which journalists are muzzled;
political parties are prohibited from campaigning; Pakistani military
and intelligence services visibly enforce an atmosphere of
intimidation; and opposition leaders are unlawfully exiled, illegally
jailed or placed under unlawful house arrest?

-- How do you expect to effectively compete against PMLQ-MQM ideology
when U.S. education funding to Pakistan is one-fifteenth its military
support and Pakistani funding for public education remains woefully
inadequate? Thirteen million Pakistani children ages 5 to 9 -- out of
27 million total -- are not enrolled in school at all, leaving them
exposed to extremist PMLQ-MQM mentors.

-- How do you expect to combat the PML-Q and MQM cancer spreading from
Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into the
Northwest Frontier and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan when the
Pakistani military is busy pointing its guns at judges, lawyers,
journalists, political opponents and human rights advocates?

-- How do you expect to muster the political fortitude and legitimacy
to fight extremist MQM and PML-Q forces when you have alienated the
center-left and center-right -- the more progressive components of
Pakistani society?

The people of Pakistan and the people of the United States deserve
honest answers to these vexing questions. They are long overdue.

John F. Tierney (D-MA) is a Member of the U.S. Congress. Barrister-at-
Law Aitzaz Ahsan, Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)
President and an eminent human rights Advocate, has represented Chief
Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as well as two former
prime ministers of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
- [Monday, 17 December 2007]


Letter of PTI Chairman Imran Khan to U.S. Congressman Bruce Braley

Mr. Bruce L. Braley
Member, Congress of the United States
U.S. House of Representatives
1408 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515 USA

Dear Congressman Braley:

( - I refer to your letter of November 20, 2007 to President Bush.

I am writing to express my gratitude for your strong stance on ending the state of Emergency, restoration of Constitution, release of all political prisoners and protection of Opposition leaders in Pakistan. I was deeply touched by your words, especially demanding my release from prison.

As you know, Pervez Musharraf has announced that his government will be holding general elections in Pakistan in January 2008. I would like to bring to your attention factors that will render the elections farcical resulting in a non-representative and ineffective Parliament.

1. Consolidation of Powers in the Office of the President. In the last eight years since taking over the government through a military coup, Musharraf has systematically removed all systems of checks and balances that are essential to the working of a [real civilian] democracy. Specifically, through the [illegal] 17th Amendment in the Constitution, he has also taken over many powers that should be resting with the Prime Minister in our parliamentary form of democratic government. A recent Gallup poll suggests that 82% of Pakistanis want Musharraf to go.

2. Subversion of an Independent Judiciary. The only thing standing in the way of Musharraf and absolute power was an independent judiciary under [Pakistan Supreme Court] Chief Justice Iftikhar [Muhammad] Chaudhry. By illegally declaring Emergency rule (actually Martial Law), Musharraf [unlawfully] removed all the independent judges (60 out of a total of 95) from the senior judicial system of Pakistan and replaced them with relatively unknown people who are widely perceived as his allies. With all the independent judges under arrest, who will monitor the elections and provide justice to the aggrieved parties?

My political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] - along with several other major political parties in Pakistan and civic groups all over the country - have decided to boycott the upcoming elections until and unless [all] the independent judges are restored to the pre-November 2, 2007 status.

Congressman Braley, I request you to educate and inform your colleagues in the United States Congress that without the restoration of an independent judiciary, elections in Pakistan will neither be fair nor acceptable to a majority of Pakistanis and will lead to further unrest and turmoil.

I write to you, not as a politician, but as an individual concerned about the fundamental rights of a people of the world to another who shares his concerns.

Once again, thank you for your efforts in requesting for my release.

Warmest Regards,

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
(Movement For Justice)
Central Secretariat 11
Street No. 46, Sector F-7/1
Islamabad, Pakistan
Telephone: 92-51 227-0744
Fax: 92-51 287-3893
PTI Lahore:



Good-by, proud world, I'm going home,
Thou'rt not my friend, and I'm not thine;
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I've been tossed like the driven foam,
But now, proud world, I'm going home.

Good-by to Flattery's fawning face,
To Grandeur, with his wise grimace,
To upstart Wealth's averted eye,
To supple Office low and high,
To crowded halls, to court, and street,
To frozen hearts, and hasting feet,
To those who go, and those who come,
Good-by, proud world, I'm going home.

I'm going to my own hearth-stone
Bosomed in yon green hills, alone,
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green the livelong day
Echo the blackbird's roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

Oh, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;
For what are they all in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet.

from: Emerson, Ralph Waldo.

عطار کا لونڈا

وسعت اللہ خان
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام

سندھ کے شہر شہداد کوٹ میں ورکرز کنونشن سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے پیپلز پارٹی کی سربراہ بینظیر بھٹو نے کہا ہے کہ انٹیلی جینس ایجنسیاں اسٹیبلشمنٹ کے تسلط کو چیلنج کرنے والی سیاسی حکومتوں کو مدت پوری نہیں کرنے دیتیں اور پاکستان میں صرف وہی حکومتیں مدت پوری کرسکتی ہیں جو ’سٹیٹس کو‘ کو نہ چھیڑیں۔انہوں نے یہ بھی کہا کہ ایجنسیاں موجودہ انتخابی عمل کے دوران امیدواروں پر دباؤ ڈال رہی ہیں۔

بینظیر بھٹو نے یہ بات پہلی مرتبہ نہیں کہی بلکہ انیس سو اٹھاسی سے اب تک وہ درجنوں بار ایجنسیوں کے کردار پر اظہارِ خیال کرچکی ہیں۔لیکن معاملہ پھر اس شعر پر اٹک جاتا ہے کہ

میر کیا سادہ ہیں بیمار ہوئے جس کے سبب
اسی عطار کے لونڈے سے دوا لیتے ہیں

انیس سو اٹھاسی سے آج تک ہر مرتبہ سرکردہ جماعتوں نے ایجنسیوں کی سیاسی اور انتخابی مداخلت کا واویلا بھی جاری رکھا اور پھر اسی تنخواہ پر کام کرنے پر بھی آمادہ رہیں۔

آج تو حالات پہلے سے بھی دگرگوں ہیں۔ نائب امریکی وزیرِ خارجہ رچرڈ باؤچر سے لے کر ہیومین رائٹس واچ، دولتِ مشترکہ اور یورپی یونین سمیت ہر کوئی ایک آزاد عدلیہ کی عدم موجودگی میں انتخابی مشق پر تخفظ کا اظہار کرچکا ہے۔

خود بینظیر بھٹو ایک ماہ پہلے یہاں تک کہہ چکی ہیں کہ پرویز مشرف نہ تو وردی میں قبول ہیں اور نہ وردی کے بغیر۔اور یہ کہ ایک آزاد عدلیہ، خودمختار الیکشن کمیشن اور غیرجانبدار نگراں حکومت کی عدم موجودگی میں موجودہ بلدیاتی نظام کے ہوتے ہوئے انتخابات نہ تو منصفانہ ہوسکتے ہیں اور نہ ہی شفاف۔ مشرف حکومت نے ان میں سے بظاہر کسی خدشے کا ازالہ کرنے کی کوشش نہیں کی ۔لہذا بہت سے لوگ سمجھنے سے قاصر ہیں کہ بینظیر بھٹو کی جماعت سمیت جو بھی پارٹیاں اس انتخابی سرکس کا حصہ ہیں وہ ایجنسیوں کے مبینہ کردار پر شور کیوں مچا رہی ہیں۔

کم از کم توقع یہ تھی کہ چارٹر آف ڈیموکریسی پر دستخط کرنے والی پیپلز پارٹی کے منشور میں بینظیر حکومت کے پہلے دور میں ایجنسیوں کے کردار کو محدود کرنے کے بارے میں قائم کردہ ذوالفقار کمیشن کی سفارشات پر عمل درآمد میں ناکامی کا اعتراف کر کے یہ عہد کیا جائے گا کہ اس مرتبہ اقتدار ملنے کی صورت میں ان سفارشات کو لاگو کیا جائے گا ۔تاہم خود کو ملک کی سب سے بڑی سیاسی جماعت کہنے والی پیپلز پارٹی کا منشور اس بارے میں خاموش ہے۔

سوائے مسلم لیگ (ن) کے انتخابی عمل میں شریک کسی جماعت نے کھل کر یہ وعدہ نہیں کیا کہ برسرِ اقتدار آنے کی صورت میں عدلیہ کو بحال کردیا جائے گا اور ایجنسیوں کے سیاسی کردار کو ختم کردیا جائے گا۔ عوام بھی جانتے ہیں کہ سیاسی جماعتوں کے ہاتھ کتنے بندھے ہوئے ہیں لیکن کم ازکم وعدہ نہ وفا کرتے وعدہ تو کیا ہوتا۔

ہوسکتا ہے کہ بیظیر بھٹو کی سوچ یہ ہو کہ اقتدار ملنے سے پہلے اس طرح کے اعلانات کرکے اسٹیبلشمنٹ کو خوفزدہ کرنا عقلمندی نہیں ہے۔

تو کیا انہیں یہ امید ہے کہ پاکستانی اسٹیبلشمنٹ برما کی فوجی جنتا کی طرح اتنی بے وقوف ہے کہ وہ انکی جماعت کو دوتہائی اکثریت حاصل کرنے کا انتظار کرے گی اور انہیں آنگ سان سوشی کی طرح ہیروئین بنا دے گی یا انہیں یہ امید ہے کہ آٹھ جنوری کو اگر دھاندلی ہوتی ہے تو نو جنوری کو پاکستان نیپال یا یوکرین بن جائے گا۔

موجودہ صورتحال میں جبکہ بقول بینظیر ایجنسیوں کی مداخلت بھی ہو رہی ہے انہیں ایسا کیا ملنے کی امید ہے جو انیس سو اٹھاسی یا ترانوے یا ستانوے یا دو ہزار دو میں نہیں مل پایا۔

مجھ جیسے کروڑوں لوگ یہ سمجھنا چاہتے ہیں کہ اسٹیبلشمنٹ اگر آپ کو اپنے میدان میں ہاکی کھیلنے کا موقع دے تو آپ کرکٹ کیسے کھیل سکتے ہیں۔

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"Restoration of Judiciary is as important as the existance of Pakistan" - Nawaz

Source: BBCUrdu

PMLN leader Nawaz Sharif said that the restoration of the deposed judges is as much important as the existance of Pakistan and judiciary can not be "freed" until the judges are restored. He was in Karachi for the first time since he came back from 8 years exile. After showing up at Jinnah's tomb he went to the houses of "deposed judges" to show his solidarity.

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Iftikhar, Aitzaz to sue Musharraf for Rs 2 Billion

Source: Teeth Maestro

Deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Supreme Court Bar Association President Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan are suing President Pervez Musharraf to claim damages worth two billion rupees through a defamation suit.

Talking to The Nation on Thursday, Aitzaz made his intentions known when asked to comment on a statement of President Musharraf in which he charged former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Aitzaz Ahsan, senior deposed judge Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday and PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif for hatching a conspiracy to throw him out of the presidency. “A time has come when he will see a controversy behind every curtain”, said Barrister Aitzaz while playing down the allegations levelled by President Musharraf. “We are consulting our lawyers and will soon file a defamation suit of two billion rupees against Musharraf for leveling false allegation and bringing our name into disrepute without any substantial evidence”, said Aitzaz, who was released earlier in the morning for three days.

Defending the credibility of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Aitzaz said the ‘misconduct’ charges against his client were thrown out of the box by a full court. “Any such impression is not only false but also absurd,” he added. “We will sue him for two billion damages through a defamation suit”, he reiterated. Former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is also reported to have said the charges of President Musharraf are actually “his self-created fears”. Athar Minullah, a civil society activist-cum-lawyer, who has a frequent access to the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, informed The Nation that Justice Iftikhar has absolutely dispelled the impression that he, along with Aitzaz and Justice Ramday, were hatching a conspiracy to overthrow the rule of President Musharraf.

“He (Musharraf) was all praise for Supreme Court on September 28 when it dismissed petitions against his qualification to contest presidential polls but now he is talking about conspiracies”, Athar quoted deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as saying during his latest interaction the other evening with the latter after the statement of President Musharraf was carried by media. “Chief Justice has also said the government lawyers not only had to withdraw corruption charges against him but also sought apologies, besides paying one hundred thousand rupees fine when they brought the corruption charges to the apex court”, Athar Minullah also quoted the former CJP as saying.

Meanwhile, commenting on Pervez Musharraf’s statement that Aitzaz and some judges had plotted a conspiracy against him (Musharraf), Aitzaz said these are the emotions of a ‘defeated gambler’. He said that after consultation with the lawyers he would file a damages suit of Rs 2 billion against Musharraf and the amount will be recovered after selling out his national and international assets.

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Pakistan’s Tyranny Continues..

Source: The Emergency Times
Lahore, Pakistan

THE chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his family have been detained in their house, barricaded in with barbed wire and surrounded by police officers in riot gear since Nov. 3. Phone lines have been cut and jammers have been installed all around the house to disable cellphones. And the United States doesn’t seem to care about any of that.

The chief justice is not the only person who has been detained. All of his colleagues who, having sworn to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, refused to take a new oath prescribed by President Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army remain confined to their homes with their family members. The chief justice’s lawyers are also in detention, initially in such medieval conditions that two of them were hospitalized, one with renal failure.

As the chief justice’s lead counsel, I, too, was held without charge — first in solitary confinement for three weeks and subsequently under house arrest. Last Thursday morning, I was released to celebrate the Id holidays. But that evening, driving to Islamabad to say prayers at Faisal Mosque, my family and I were surrounded at a rest stop by policemen with guns cocked and I was dragged off and thrown into the back of a police van. After a long and harrowing drive along back roads, I was returned home and to house arrest.

Every day, thousands of lawyers and members of the civil society striving for a liberal and tolerant society in Pakistan demonstrate on the streets. They are bludgeoned by the regime’s brutal police and paramilitary units. Yet they come out again the next day. People in the United States wonder why extremist militants in Pakistan are winning. What they should ask is why does President Musharraf have so little respect for civil society — and why does he essentially have the backing of American officials?

The White House and State Department briefings on Pakistan ignore the removal of the justices and all these detentions. Meanwhile, lawyers, bar associations and institutes of law around the world have taken note of this brave movement for due process and constitutionalism. They have displayed their solidarity for the lawyers of Pakistan. These include, in the United States alone, the American Bar Association , state and local bars stretching from New York and New Jersey to Louisiana, Ohio and California, and citadels of legal education like Harvard and Yale Law Schools.

The detained chief justice continues to receive enormous recognition and acknowledgment. Harvard Law School has conferred on him its highest award, placing him on the same pedestal as Nelson Mandela and the legal team that argued Brown v. Board of Education. The National Law Journal has anointed him its lawyer of the year. The New York City Bar Association has admitted him as a rare honorary member. Despite all this, the Musharraf regime shows no sign of relenting.

But for how long? How long can the chief justice and his colleagues be kept in confinement? How long can the leaders of the lawyers’ movement be detained? They will all be out one day. And they will neither be silent nor still. They will recount the brutal treatment meted out to them for seeking the establishment of a tolerant, democratic, liberal and plural political system in Pakistan. They will state how the writ of habeas corpus was denied to them by the arbitrary and unconstitutional firing of Supreme and High Court justices. They will spell out precisely how one man set aside a Constitution under the pretext of an “emergency,” arrested the judges, packed the judiciary, “amended” the Constitution by a personal decree and then “restored” it to the acclaim of London and Washington.

They will, of course, speak then. But others are speaking now. The parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 8 have already been rigged, they are saying. The election commission and the caretaker cabinet are overtly partisan. The judiciary is entirely hand-picked. State resources are being spent on preselected candidates. There is a deafening uproar even though the independent news media in Pakistan are completely gagged. Can there even be an election in this environment? Are they being heard? I’m afraid not.

Aitzaz Ahsan, a former minister of the interior and of law and justice, is the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

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