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]

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beggars we are

Well, turns out, this brand new "democratic" government is going to revolutionize everything that went wrong in the last regime. How? One might ask. Simple. Beg for more!!! Military regime got military qarzay (borrowing), non-military operators will get non-military qarzay, (10 billion vs. 7.5 billion now) but one thing is in common, and that is this qarzay. Javed Chaudhary yesterday said in his Express News program that "in the documented history starting from 10,000 years or so, no human nation has brought about any revolution with money earned from begging". It's a simple matter of principle. People who get our votes are not made up of elements required for taking a strong decision of "no more begging". Iran, I read in the papers is the only Muslim country who made that decision a while back, and now as a result, they make everything on their own. They, no more rely on any other country for instance, US, UK, Russia, UN, etc etc. We, on the other hand, like to have everything made for us, by someone else. We like brands, we like big names and BigMacs. But unfortunately we are doing that at the cost of being beggars, mentally, intellectually, ideally, literally, I'm afraid in all due respects. But who cares, we can get to wear armani jeans and get to eat Quarter pounders for a few more years. Good luck to the change of faces, for I don't have respect for arrogant and selfish short-sighted "beggars", neither does the world, neither does history, but more importantly neither does Allah!!
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Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Lawyers not responsible", says Sher Afghan's Lawyer

Source: The Post

Afgan's counsel denies FIR against lawyers

Staff Reporter

LAHORE: Noor Muhammad Awan, counsel for Dr Sher Afgan Niazi, has declared an FIR registered by the police against 44 lawyers on charges of attack on Dr Sher Afgan fake and baseless.

Noor Muhammad Awan advocate said this at an emergent press conference held here at the Punjab Bar Council in the presence of a large number of lawyers. It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Sher Afgan Niazi had visited the office of Noor Muhammad Advocate when unidentified lawyers allegedly attacked him on April 8 and later Aitzaz along with office-bearers of SCBA and LHCBA came to his rescue.

Noor said Dr Sher Afgan did not want to register any FIR against lawyers because lawyers including SCBA president Aitzaz saved his life when the mob attacked him.

He added that the FIR was baseless and against facts, because lawyers did not attack the former federal minister.

"Dr Sher Afgan Niazi did not want to get any FIR registered against lawyers and police on its own registered the FIR," he said.

According to the FIR lawyers were holding sticks and clubs for attacking the former federal minister but it was not true, he said.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

PML, MQM trying to raise storm in a teacup: Episode engineered: LHCBA

The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) has said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam are trying to raise storm in a teacup over manhandling of former minister for parliamentary affairs Dr Sher Afgan Niazi.

Speakers at a session of the LHCBA here on Wednesday were unanimous that the lawyers were being blamed for beating up Niazi in an episode engineered by the presidency, and the people who manhandled the minister were indeed policemen in civvies.

LHCBA Secretary Rana Asadullah, Abdur Rasheed Qureshi, Hafiz Abdur Rahman Ansari, Mian Abdul Qadoos, Hamid Khan, HRCP chairperson and advocate Asma Jehangir and LHCBA President Anwar Kamal spoke on the occasion.

They said since March 9, 2007, sorriest of the developments took place but those, who were trying to play up the incident, did not bother speaking about it. They said at a time when democratic forces were gaining strength, the dictator was trying to show the world that democracy was not right for the people of Pakistan.

They said the whole incident was the result of a well thought-out conspiracy under which Dr Niazi remained inside the office of the lawyer, and refused to come out even after the lawyers requested him to leave the place. The role of the police – which had been present on the spot but failed to prevent the incident even after the lapse of five hours – made it abundantly clear that it was a conspiracy.

Dr Niazi had visited the same place a day earlier and had the lawyers been so interested in beating him up, they could have done it on that day, they added.

They condemned former chief minister Pervaiz Elahi, former information minister Sheikh Rashid and MQM chief Altaf Husain for using derogatory remarks against lawyers in the wake of the incident.

They said the conspiracy was aimed at sabotaging the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of deposed judges. They vowed to continue the struggle and expose what they called “nefarious” designs of the dictator.

They said they would also hold accountable any lawyer found involved in the incident. They said the lawyers were nearing their objectives and needed to keep focus on their struggle, especially after the release of the judges and the Murree Declaration between the PPP and the PML-N for the restoration of the judges.

They asked Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan to reverse his decision on resignation because none of the lawyers were involved in the incident. They said the lawyers were baton-charged, stoned and tear-gassed but they never let patience slip out of their hands. They said the incident like May 12, engineered by the MQM, could not be forgotten and the lawyers wanted to do away with this culture of aggression.

Speaking on the occasion, LHCBA President Anwar Kamal said the manhandling of Dr Niazi was a reprehensible act. Let alone lawyers, not even a layman would want to beat up even a labourer, he added.

He said the lawyers were not involved in the incident as evident from their role of being on the forefront for establishment of the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and supremacy of the Constitution.

He added the men associated with agencies had been beating up Dr Niazi while the lawyers, present on the spot, tried to protect him.

He announced forming a committee consisting of former LHCBA presidents to examine the video footages of the whole incident and prescribe punishment for lawyers found involved in Niazi’s thrashing.

He announced observing a complete strike of the court proceedings on Thursday (today) and setting up of hunger strike camps for two hours in connection with the weekly protest over the Nov 3 Provisional Constitution Order.

LHCBA Secretary Rana Asadullah presented a resolution before the house against SCBA president’s resignation decision. The resolution, which also condemned the attack on Mianwali District Bar Association offices after the incident, was carried unanimously. Mianwali is the hometown of Dr Niazi.

It also demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of May 12 incident in Karachi.

LBA: The Lahore Bar Association (LBA) has accused President Pervez Musharraf and the caretaker government of, what it says, “engineering the manhandling of former minister Dr Sher Afgan Niazi in Lahore on Tuesday”.

Addressing the general house at Aiwan-i-Adl on Wednesday, LBA President Manzoor Qadir said the manhandling was aimed at sabotaging lawyers’ movement for the independence of the judiciary.

He said he was an eye-witness to the incident, and that no lawyer was involved in attacking Dr Niazi.

A mob beat up the former minister for law and parliamentary affairs on Fane Road, ignoring bar leaders’ warnings that their action would jeopardise the drive for the revival of the pre-emergency judiciary.

He said only 40 to 50 per cent of the people present there were lawyers, who had tried their best to avoid the violence. Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan had himself rescued Dr Niazi, he added.

He said police provided ample leeway to the mob to attack Dr Niazi and did not try to protect Mr Niazi “because the attackers were from them”.

He said lawyers fought the “terrorist in uniform” for the restoration of judges and an independent judiciary. He claimed the establishment was trying to create differences among lawyers.

LBA Vice-President and Secretary Malik Arshad and Latif Khan Sara added the manhandling of Mr Afgan was continuity of the ongoing campaign of violence. They asked if lawyers had beaten up Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim.

They said lawyers would face trial if the government tried to involve even a single lawyer in the ongoing violent activities. They said saboteurs wanted to kill Dr Niazi to end the lawyers' movement.
PML, MQM trying to raise storm in a teacup: Episode engineered: LHCBA -DAWN - National; April 10, 2008
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President, governor blamed for Lahore incident

The Punjab governor, caretaker government and President House are allegedly involved in violence against former federal minister Dr Sher Afgan Niazi as they are conspiring to prove that the new democratic government is ineligible to control the state of affairs.

This was said by President Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Sardar Asmatullah at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Clearly those were officials of the intelligence agencies who thrashed the former minister and it was quite evident from their hair cuts and dressing, he alleged.

The LHCBA condemns the unfortunate incident and expresses its utter grief over the tragedy, he said.

The bar representatives said it was unjust to single out lawyers as the perpetrators of the unfortunate incident in Lahore.

People in February 18 elections discarded political parties that supported President Pervez Musharraf, and that annoyed the establishment which in collaboration with intelligence agencies was trying to sabotage the democratic process, Sardar Asmatullah claimed.

Trashing of former Sindh chief minister and ransacking of the official residence of Supreme Court judge, who did not take oath under November 3 PCO, reveal the real intentions of the conspirators.

The plot becomes more evident as the attack on Dr Arbab Rahim was carried out from the governor’s gallery in the Sindh Assembly, the LHCBA president said.
President, governor blamed for Lahore incident -DAWN - National; April 10, 2008
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Aitzaz ‘withholds’ decision to quit SCBA

President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan announced on Wednesday that he had withheld his decision to resign from the SCBA post, and accused the presidency of trying to sabotage the fledgling democracy and jeopardising the Bhurban Declaration on restoring pre-emergency judges.

“I am withholding the decision for a day to convince and consult the legal community since the entire executive committee of the SCBA as well as the presidents of different high court bars and districts bars have warned me that they would do the same if I quit,” he told reporters at his residence here.
Referring to the beating up of Dr Afgan and the treatment meted out to Arbab Ghulam Raheem, he alleged that such incidents were taking place because President Musharraf had refused to accept the people’s mandate of Feb 18. “He (President Musharraf) should not act like a spoilt child,” he observed.He also demanded that an inquiry committee be set up to look into the Dr Afgan incident and said that in future no lawyer would act contrary to the norms or decency in any manner.

He said being in a responsible position he felt that it was his duty to risk his life to save the former minister who, according to him, was manhandled by policemen in plainclothes and intelligence people. He said his allegations were supported by the fact that the driver of the vehicle was missing when Dr Afgan was rescued. Besides, only one Superintendent of Police and a dozen constables were on duty to handle such a charged situation.

He had gone there along with lawyers Manzoor Qadir and Anwar Kamal and, he said, everyone obeyed him and helped Dr Afgan.

He asked why had the Governor of Punjab, the caretaker chief minister, former chief minister Pervez Ellahi and the inspector-general of police, who were accusing lawyers, failed to show up at the scene to protect Dr Afgan.

He asked them where were they when he was beaten up in Islamabad at the time of filing of nomination papers of President Musharraf before the Election Commission.

Referring to the incidents of lawlessness in Karachi, he called up the leaders of the MQM to calm the situation in the city.
Aitzaz ‘withholds’ decision to quit SCBA post -DAWN - National; April 10, 2008
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Aitzaz says he won’t revise decision

President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan has said the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had advised him against quitting the post of the SCBA president, but it was very difficult for him to reverse his decision.

Addressing a late-night press conference at his residence,

Barrister Aitzaz said he would make a formal announcement about his resignation in a couple of days.

He said that policemen in plain clothes were “among the lawyers” when former minister for law and parliamentary affairs Dr Sher Afgan Niazi was beaten up.

He said he had announced his resignation because some lawyers were among the people who had thrashed Niazi. He said he had asked the police to make a safe passage for Dr Niazi, but they did not heed his advice.
Aitzaz says he won’t revise decision -DAWN - Top Stories; April 09, 2008

he shld stick to the decision I think
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‘Black coats’ or ‘Blackshirts’! -DAWN - Top Stories;

IF Monday’s incident inside the Sindh assembly was despicable, the treatment meted out to veteran politician Sher Afgan Niazi by a group of ‘lawyers’ in Lahore yesterday has perhaps put the entire nation to shame.

The images of Arbab Ghulam Rahim being thrashed by an unruly band of PPP activists in Karachi were still fresh in the minds of most people, when the television screens started to flash some of the most disturbing images of people in black coats beating, abusing and humiliating a former minister. Sher Afgan’s only crime was that he didn’t agree with the lawyers’ movement, sided with President Musharraf on the issue of proclamation of emergency, and even lost his seat in the elections after being dumped by the then ruling PML-Q.

Perhaps in civilised societies even criminals are not treated the way some of the people treated Sher Afgan outside a lawyer’s chamber.

During the chaotic situation in Lahore on Tuesday, when this group of lawyers refused to listen even to their leader Aitzaz Ahsan, there were clear signs that if not checked at this stage the ‘black coats’ may soon be replaced by what were once known in Europe as the ‘Blackshirts’.

Indeed, what was being dubbed as a movement for restoration of democracy and rule of law was clearly showing signs of fascism.

Sher Afgan Niazi has always been a controversial person, and the way he had taken upon himself the task to defend all of the President’s actions earned him the reputation of being more loyal than the king.

At a time when most leaders of the previous governments were clearly avoiding taking a position on President Musharraf’s move to impose emergency, Sher Afgan was perhaps the only minister in the previous cabinet to publicly support or justify the presidential action. Of course, it made many people in the country quite angry. But could that justify such uncivilised behaviour? Certainly not.

One can argue about the real causes for this kind of intolerance in the society, and there is every reason to believe that because of repeated disruptions in the democratic process, many people have adopted violent means to voice their grievances. Still, there can be no justification for the way senior politicians and lawyers have failed to control their supporters, who are bent upon settling scores the way they feel is the right way.

Perhaps the first signs of such ‘fascist’ trends were seen when after the restoration of Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry the first time a group of lawyers in Rawalpindi took upon itself the task of enforcing their style of justice system.

During this period, at least one pro-Musharraf writer, and a lawyer, Naeem Bukhari, who was author of a controversial letter against the chief justice, were badly thrashed by this group.

Former Senate Chairman Wasim Sajjad was roughed up at the Supreme Court, and at one point some lawyer activists burnt the copy of an apex court verdict simply because it was not acceptable to them. One can always argue these were aberrations in what had come to be known as one of the most forceful lawyers’ movement for restoration of the judges and rule of law. Had these incidents been condemned at that stage, those who took the law in their own hands in Lahore on Tuesday wouldn’t have dared to do so. Ironically, most of those linked to the lawyers’ movement, and the opposition parties of that time, preferred to recognise and condemn such fascist trends.

The result is that today those who in the past had been directly responsible for supporting and promoting military rule, dictatorial actions and dismantling the rule of law in the country, are now coming forward to present themselves as better democrats. They are certainly not democrats. If anything, they are the people who are directly responsible for destroying everything that is democratic in the country.

Most observers of democratic struggle in this country are of the view that these incidents, serious as they are, should prove to be a wake-up call for both the democracy-loving politicians and lawyers. And if one can dare say, also for the media, especially the independent television networks, to take a step back and think how the name of freedom and democracy is being used by some to damage or destroy the very basis on which these lofty ideals are set.

Pakistan’s chequered political history is witness to the fact that the opponents of democracy have always used such incidents to their advantage to disrupt the efforts for the establishment of rule of law in the country. Until two days ago the whole nation was in an upbeat mood, celebrating the restoration of democracy, and hoping for a better future. These incidents have somehow disturbed them, if not dashed their hopes outright.

However, there is still hope. It’s mainly because there exists in the country a very strong coalition of political forces who have suffered in the past at the hands of dictators. But these seasoned politicians and leaders of the lawyers’ movement need to rise to the occasion and instead of getting involved in petty issues and score-settling, deliver democracy and rule of law.

They are quite capable of delivering, provided there is realisation about the gravity of situation, and a will to do so. If they fail, the real loser will be democracy, and the people of Pakistan.
‘Black coats’ or ‘Blackshirts’! -DAWN - Top Stories; April 09, 2008

if lawyers did this, they did it wrong... if they have been used by some hidden hands, then they must be careful in future... but since it has now been done, I think lawyers community should extend an apology n improve their distorted image... they shld do it before it gets too late.
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pakistan, the next target :)

Speaker and majority leaders of both chambers of the US Congress have sent a letter to President George W. Bush asking him to disengage the United States from Iraq and refocus on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The letter, also signed by chairpersons of a dozen congressional committees, outlines the policies of the Democratic Party towards the war on terror.

It urges President Bush to acknowledge that his policies have gravely damaged America’s security and offers him a four-part strategy to change course in Iraq:

First, the US must urgently seek political accommodation among Iraqis and transition the US mission in Iraq.

Second, the US must restore the highest state of readiness to its army and marine corps, weakened by repeated and extended deployments in Iraq.

Third, the US must refocus on fighting Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Fourth, the US must also address two key security challenges – the nuclear dispute with Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

But the point that is repeatedly emphasised in the letter is the need to seek a political reconciliation in Iraq in order to refocus US resources on fighting Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal zone, which is described by one lawmaker as ‘the most likely real, near-term security threat to the United States’.

The lawmakers remind Mr Bush that to defeat Al Qaeda, the United States will have to ‘dedicate sufficient resources to secure Afghanistan and Pakistan’.

They claim that Al Qaeda’s senior leadership – including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri – has reportedly reconstituted to pre-9/11 strength in safe havens along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

The letter also mentions a truce Pakistan signed with the militants in 2006 and President Bush approved after discussing it with President Pervez Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a White House dinner in September that year.

The scourge of terrorism ‘exacerbated when your administration supported a Pakistani peace deal in the tribal areas giving Al Qaeda’s senior leadership time to regroup in this border area’, the letter claims.

The lawmakers urge the Bush administration to ‘refocus US attention on this grave and growing Al Qaeda threat, increasing its military, diplomatic, and economic development efforts in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, instead of tying up the bulk of US resources in Iraqi internal sectarian violence’.

After releasing the letter to the media, senior US lawmakers also addressed a news conference, reminding Mr Bush that the United States needs to fight Al Qaeda along the Pak-Afghan border and not in Iraq.

Thousands of Americans died as a result of the efforts from Al Qaeda, the terrorists in the Afghanistan and, of course, the Pakistan area,” said Congressman Ike Skelton, chairman, House Armed Services Committee. “It should be our number one priority, and sadly, it’s not.”
Pressure on Bush to refocus on Pakistan -DAWN - Top Stories; April 07, 2008

:) dekha hamara waqar kitna buland huaa... dekha hamara image kitna behtar hua... dekha mush ne pakistan ko bacha liya... dekha ab amreeka hamara kuch nahi bigaray ga... dekha hum nay danishmandi ka saboot detay huay kaisay dushman ki pakistan ko tabah kernay ki chaal nakaam ki... dekha hum nay apnay logon ko amreeka ki khaatir maar ker mulk bacha liya... dekha hum amreeka kay gehray dost hain... dekha amreeka hamein kitni importance deta hai... dekha yeh hamari jang hai... dekha hamara defence kitna strong hai... dekha hamari foreign policy ghairat per mabni hai... dekha hum kitni ghuyyur qom kay baashinday hain...

the day is not far, we'll soon b bombed friends... lets prepare... lets return to Allah... lets stop following western ways of spendin life... lets get back to islamic teachings... lets seek Allah's help... lets resist them with full power... lets sit alone n think if we r doing right? is it wht Allah asked from us? in my opinion NO...

we must atleast change our lifestyle n priorities in life... lets stop considering money a god...  lets recognize our true God... lets obey His orders... lets do our duties... may Allah help n guide us...
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‘Americans to attack Fata if Musharraf steps down’ -DAWN - Top Stories;

President Pervez Musharraf thinks that if he steps down as head of state the United States will go for direct military attacks on tribal areas and will also take away Dr A. Q. Khan for interrogation.

Official sources told Dawn on Sunday that the president was also of the view that Gwadar port project would be adversely affected if he left the scene and consequently the country’s time-tested relations with China could suffer a setback.

Similarly, the president believes that in his absence no leader or party will be able to maintain cordial relations with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

In view of the likely negative fallout, the sources said, the president had no intention to quit the post to which he had been elected for five years.

Moreover, they claimed the president’s decision to stay in office was more in the ‘national interests’ than in his own.

The sources said it was President Musharraf who was keeping the United States away from Dr Khan.

They said the US had been seeking access to the nuclear scientist for interrogation but it was the president who resisted all pressures and kept Dr Khan in a safe custody at home.

It was also because of Pesident Musharraf’s strong personal links with US President George Bush, the sources claimed, that the US was not attacking tribal areas. However, they said, the situation would change if the president resigned.

The sources said the US and many other countries were opposed to the deep-sea Gwadar port project and they did not like to see it functional mainly because of China’s role in the project.

President Musharraf, the sources claimed, was determined to get the project completed without any foreign interference. In case Pakistan gave in to foreign pressures, its relations with China would be adversely affected.

The sources said the MQM had brought about a positive change in its outlook and role in national issues because of the behind-the-scenes role played by President Musharraf.

It was because of the president’s influence that the MQM was supporting the PPP in Sindh, they said, adding that no party or leader would have such relations with the MQM as the president.

The sources also said the president had been keeping a low profile for a few weeks under advice from his friends in the establishment.

They claimed that political developments were taking place in accordance with the president’s calculations and nothing ‘unexpected’ had happened so far.

According to sources the ‘worst’ was over and the situation will soon take a favourable turn for the president.

“Thus, there is no possibility of the president stepping down the demands or the wishes of his adversaries notwithstanding.”

‘Americans to attack Fata if Musharraf steps down’ -DAWN - Top Stories; April 07, 2008

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Same old, same old!!

Same old, same old!!

Javed Chaudhary's views on the current "democratic" and political situation in Pakistan.
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Saturday, April 5, 2008

PPP - A strong advocate of democracy progressing undemocratically

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has issued a long charge-sheet against the deposed superior court judges, saying they never came to his rescue and were responsible for his eight years in jail.

In the clearest indication that the PPP may not stand by the Murree Declaration to restore the judges, the PPP leader told his central executive committee in Naudero that he was not interested in the restoration of personalities but wanted a judicial reforms package.

Analysts said things were getting complicated for Zardari, both within the PPP and outside, as he was moving closer to allies of President Musharraf and drifting away from his coalition partner Nawaz Sharif.

As Zardari issued his charge-sheet against the judges, Makhdoom Amin Fahim demanded the disbandment of the Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians which he heads. Others in the PPP blasted the party leadership's decision to join hands with the MQM.

On the other hand, the PML-N is determined not to compromise on the issue of restoration of the deposed judges through a resolution in the National Assembly. The party says it seeks strict adherence to the Murree Declaration and would not accept any formula or constitutional amendment that restores all the deposed judges minus chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

"After gaining so much because of the political initiative that Zardari has taken in the recent weeks, the PPP co-chairperson is on the verge of losing all," a senior PPP leader told this correspondent from Naudero, revealing the situation in the interior Sindh was extremely tense after Zardari's visit to the MQM headquarters popularly known as Nine Zero.

In a post-dinner gathering of the PPP's central executive committee, the source said, many PPP leaders minced no words in criticising Zardari's decision to woo the MQM. PPP MNA Shugufta Jamani and Sethi Ishaq were among those who expressed strong resentment and wondered how the PPP could join hands with the MQM, which was responsible for the killing of PPP workers.

"The Sindhi people have not given a mandate to Zardari to thrust upon them his personal agenda of humiliation in the name of reconciliation," a PPP leader told The News, adding, "We strongly oppose and condemn the PPP-MQM coalition in Sindh."

The leader asked: "Who caused the May 12th incident? Who was behind the Oct 18 blast? Who killed Murad Baloch and Munawar Suhrawardy? But you still went to the Nine Zero to express solidarity with the MQM against the wishes of the nation. Now it's time for us to rethink our support for you, Mr Zardari," said the source, who sounded quite disturbed.

"There is a wave of anger," a PPP leader said. The likes of Raja Pervez Ashraf, Shah Mehmud Qureshi, Jahangir Badr, however, showered Zardari with praises and called him a great leader. Badr even crossed all limits by saying that the PPP had become more popular under Zardari.

Zardari, however, defended his party's rapprochement with the MQM and termed it a sensible political move having far-reaching impact. He said he wanted to open all political avenues for his son, Bilawal, and never liked to see the doors of Nine Zero closed for him. He said the MQM would be forming a government with the PPP.

Aitzaz Ahsan, who sought the restoration of the deposed judges, told the meeting that it would be in the interest of the party to get the judges restored.

Zardari, according to sources, came hard on the issue of the judges� restoration. According to one source, Zardari snubbed the widely-respected lawyer leader and said he knew the worth of the judges whose restoration was being sought by the lawyers' community.

Zardari said these were the same judges who had earlier taken oath under the PCO and validated the military rule. Referring to his jail life, a source quoted him as saying that he was let down by these judges, who had even refused to release him on parole to attend the funeral of his nephew. He said he was allowed only a two-hour parole despite Farooq H Naek's pleading before the same judges.

He said the then Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed had also refused him a parole. He termed the same judiciary biased, which he said was responsible for his eight years in jail. Party sources reported that Asif Ali Zardari was quite emotional while speaking on the judges' issue. One source said he talked of the restoration of the judges but linked it to a constitutional package. He said the party was interested in the independence of the judiciary and not in personalities.

A party leader said he was disappointed to hear what he termed the charge-sheet issued by the PPP co-chairperson against the deposed judges. According to him, almost 60 per cent of the co-chairman's speech was on Aitzaz Ahsan and the judges.

While the PPP is clearly seen connecting the judges restoration issue with a constitutional package, the PML-N is determined not to budge from what had been agreed between the two parties in Murree on March 9, 2008.

"We don't accept the 'Minus-One Formula' or any such solution that excludes Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry," PML-N minister Ahsan Iqbal told this correspondent, adding the "Minus-One Formula" would mean accepting March 9, 2007 Gen Musharraf's action of suspending chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as legitimate.

Ahsan said as per the Murree Declaration, the deposed judges would be restored through a resolution. Ahsan categorically said that the question of any constitutional amendment for the judges' restoration did not arise.

Ahsan said the coalition was committed to the Murree Declaration and clarified that the PML-N was not averse to a mutually-agreed constitutional package having no link with the restoration of the judges.

(Courtesy The News)
The Emergency Times

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Lawyers for unconditional reinstatement of judges

Lawyers will not accept any constitutional package and amendment that affects reinstatement of the deposed judges including deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

If any steps are taken against the Murree Declaration, the lawyers will relaunch their movement, said Supreme Court Bar Association member Sheikh Ahsanuddin here on Friday.

He said conspiracies were being hatched against the Murree Declaration, whereby the coalition partners had made a commitment to have the deposed judges reinstated within 30 days of the formation of a new government.

The conspiracy is aimed to sabotage the plan of the new government about the reinstatement of all the deposed judges, he added.

The deposed judges are a beacon for the people and nothing short of their unconditional and complete restoration would satisfy them, he said.

He said lawyers’ struggle was aimed at strengthening national institutions including parliament and the judiciary. He paid tribute to the deposed judges for not bowing before the rulers.

Agencies adds: Lawyers have said they will announce their future strategy if deposed judges were not reinstated within the period as promised under the Murree Declaration.

“Lawyers community supports the decision of Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, president Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), giving a timeframe to the government for reinstatement of the deposed judges,” this was stated by Sardar Asmatullah Niazi, president Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association, and Athar Minallah, member Pakistan Bar Council, while talking to journalists outside the residence of the deposed chief justice in Islamabad on Friday.

They said lawyers would not create any problem or difficulty for the government during these 30 days.
Lawyers for unconditional reinstatement of judges -DAWN - National; April 05, 2008

lawyers clearly oppose the method being adopted by PPP... so do I... n so should everyone of us... unconditional reinstatement would make future vioators think that their orders can be reversed, they r not the ultimate power... adopting any other means for reinstatement would strengthen their belief that they own the country n can do whtever they want to do with it, nobody wiil b able to challenge their decision
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Aitzaz, Zardari stick to their positions on judges

There was "no agreement, no disagreement" on the issue of restoration of deposed judges in the Thursday night meeting of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Aitzaz Ahsan with PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari.

The two stuck to their respective stand on the question of sacked superior court judges, an informed PPP leader told The News. Aitzaz Ahsan wants instant reinstatement of the deposed justices, saying the talk of amending the Constitution to restore them, amounts to accepting as legitimate unconstitutional actions taken by the then chief of the Army staff (Pervez Musharraf) on Nov 3 last. It would open a Pandora's box for the future, he believes.

Instead of restoration of these judges, Zardari wants to cautiously move for the "independence of the judiciary". He is not inclined to reinstating the deposed judges. However, lawyers, supporting deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, say it would not be possible for the new PPP-led government to keep him and other judges under house arrest and they have to be freed immediately.

"Once the top judge is released he will be addressing bar associations all over Pakistan and will be visiting different cities in processions," a senior lawyer, aligned with the SCBA and the PPP, told this correspondent.

He admitted that this would throw up a grave challenge to the new government, which would face street trouble from day one. He conceded that this would also lead to an intense clash between the government and the lawyers' community.

In the Punjab, the provincial government to be led by the PML-N would not be opposed to the lawyers' movement and would, in fact, encourage it because of this party's unambiguous stand on deposed judges' restoration.

Another lawyer said the attitude of the federal, Sindh and NWFP governments to the lawyers' renewed movement would be different because these would not be backing it in any way. He said pressure would be kept on the PPP government to restore the judges but it would be given some time, enabling it to act in the right direction without much delay.

As far as Aitzaz Ahsan is concerned, lawyers said, it would be difficult for Zardari to tolerate him in the party if he continued to embarrass and put pressure on the PPP through his powerful street campaign.

Lawyers associated with the PPP apprehend that their party would further damage itself if it stood by its non-committal policy on the issue of restoration of judges. They feel that Nawaz Sharif, who came out with a better showing in the Feb 18 elections compared to the PPP, would further gain ground because of his stand on deposed justices.

They said had the PPP matched, if not surpassed the stance taken by Nawaz Sharif on the judges issue, combined with the massive sympathy wave in the wake of assassination of Benazir Bhutto, it would have convincingly won the elections.
Aitzaz, Zardari stick to their positions on judges

zardari is not willing to restore the judges the way ppl want... the constitutional package would assert tht whtever mush did on november 3 is justified... do we want this? atleast I dont.... i want mush to b an example for potential violators n breakers of constitution... a true -ve example so that ppl stop playin with the constitution... n the country progresses in the right direction... but for now it seems that the parliament is also gonna compromise under the logic of 'doctorine of necessity'... among all the major parties I believe only PML-N is respectin the mandate it got... reason for which could be any but its stance is very clear n brave unlike the stance of PPP...
see the following for details on the constitutional package n aitzaz's response

To diffuse the judicial crisis, Mr. Zardari has offered the Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhry the position of Governor of Baluchistan. Instead of humiliating Mr. Musharraf and the Army, he has also asked the president to create a resolution on restoring the judges. Mr. Zarzari is planning to ask parliament to accept the dismissal of all the judges and then reappoint them under a fresh mandate. This may prclude Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry from the position of the Chief Justice. more...
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US wants coalition to retain local govts

LAHORE, April 4: US Consulate principal officer Bryan D Hunt has said the PPP, PML-N and other allied political parties should revisit their political manifestos and implement them to change the socio-economic condition in Pakistan.

"These political parties should make the changes, what they demanded before elections, in their true letter and spirit," he added.

Mr Hunt was speaking after a special lecture on `Pakistan's Elections 2008: Transition to Democracy’ by Prof Dr Muhammad Waseem, organised by the Pakistan Study Centre, Punjab University, on Friday.

The US Consulate principal officer said the entire election process was credible and now there was a need to strengthen institutions, including parliament.

Mr Hunt also hoped that the new government would strengthen the local government system instead of eliminating it.

He said the US was committed to working with the Pakistan government as well as its all tiers, including provincial and local governments. "The US and Pakistan need to work closely because it is in the interest of both the countries," he added.

During a question and answer session, Mr Hunt said, "I don't think that restoration of judiciary is an issue for the US. It is an internal issue of Pakistan".

He said the US Deputy and Assistant secretaries of State had visited Pakistan to discuss and understand each other's stand.
US wants coalition to retain local govts -DAWN - National; April 05, 2008

who the hell is US to interfere into our state n issue statements about our ways to govern our country?
'restoration of judiciary an internal issue' :) ... as if implementation of menifestos and starting dialogue with alleged trouble makers (in tribal areas) are not pakistan's internal issues... hypocrisy is what they always exhibit... will our leaders ever understand this? will they wake up? will we (the ppl) btw?
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The word Scrutiny invites bars’ ire -DAWN - National; April 05, 2008

LAHORE, April 4: Reacting to the reports about judges’ scrutiny after their restoration, the bar associations have warned parliament of ‘consequences’ in case it links revival of the pre-emergency judiciary to any constitutional package.

At a joint press conference on Friday, the Lahore High Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Bar Association said they would resist any deviation from the Murree Declaration which sought restoration of the deposed judiciary to what it was on Nov 2.

LHCBA President Anwar Kamal, Lahore Bar Association head Manzoor Qadir, Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary Chaudhry Amin Javed and Vice-President Ghulam Nabi Bhatti and Lahore Tax Bar Association president Mohsin Nadeem were among the participants. Former SCBA chief Hamid Khan also was present at the press conference held on the high court bar premises.

The LHCBA president said lawyers would not accept any step of parliament intending to sabotage the restoration of all the deposed judges. Any attempt to curtail the tenure of the chief justice of Pakistan or provincial chief justices would also be frustrated, he said.


LBA President Manzoor Qadir said the political parties, now in the government, had won a heavy mandate because of the issue of the judges’ restoration. The lawyers now felt that they were not only trying to wriggle out of the declaration, but also betraying their mandate too, he added.

“Let me make it clear that the lawyers will not allow parliament to cast aside its word on the restoration of the judges,” he said. He criticised Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naik for stating that “Musharraf is a national asset”. He said such a statement not only hurt the lawyers, but also lacerated the feelings of the people who had rejected a dictator through the ballot.

Hamid Khan said the lawyers were aware of the conspiracies originating from the presidency to sabotage the process of revival of the pre-emergency judiciary. He added that the restoration of the judges and the constitutional or the so-called reform package were two separate issues which could not be tied to each other. He asked Mr Naik to make public all the steps being taken for the restoration of the judiciary.

Mr Khan said he saw no justification for President Musharraf to stay in the office because he had lost the day his party (PML-Q) faced a humiliating defeat. Parliament, he said, would have to consult the bar associations before introducing any ‘constitutional package’, otherwise, it would have no value.
The word Scrutiny invites bars’ ire -DAWN - National; April 05, 2008
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Iftikhar receives official protocol (for the time being atleast)

QUETTA, April 4: In a surprising development, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry received official protocol when he left his hometown for Islamabad on Friday. His vehicle was escorted by 25 vehicles of police and Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) contingents headed by SSP Quetta Qazi Abdul Wahid.

Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, senior lawyers, including Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) president Baz Mohammad Kakar and Pakistan Bar Council vice-chairman Ali Ahmed Kurd were present at the airport to set off Justice Iftikhar who spent three days in the provincial capital.

Justice Iftikhar was scheduled to leave Queeta on Thursday but because of dusty weather his flight was cancelled.

During his stay in the city, he addressed a lawyers’ convention. He also visited graves of his parents at the Kasi graveyard.

Meanwhile, Justice Iftikhar has scrapped plans to address lawyers’ associations across the country. A lawyer close to him has said that Justice Iftikhar will stay in Islamabad and avoid making speeches.

Ali Ahmad Kurd said the decision was taken amid expectations the new government would restore Justice Iftikhar and other judges axed in November.

“We took this decision on our own because we do not give any impression that we are pressurising the government,” Mr Kurd said. “The chief justice has to remain calm. There will be no statements and no addresses.”

But, Mr Kurd said if the government did not honour its promise to restore the judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf within 30 days, Justice Iftikhar would address bar associations across the country. He also said that lawyers would hold a huge protest rally in Islamabad.
Iftikhar receives official protocol -DAWN - Top Stories; April 05, 2008
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Over 80pc say America going in wrong direction

NEW YORK, April 4: More than 80 per cent of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction, a CBS News-New York Times poll released on Friday revealed.

The poll was first conducted in the early 1990s. Since then the Americans’ opinion regarding the nation’s situation hasn’t been as bad as it is now.

In 2002, just 35 per cent thought the US is on a wrong course. A year ago the percentage of people unconfident with the way America’s leaders lead the way rose to 69 per cent, and this year the poll showed that about 81 per cent citizens believe “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track”.

The survey comes amid mounting tension over the housing turmoil that rocked the Wall Street. The economic crisis became the most debated issue lately, surpassing the war in Iraq.

The public opinion about America’s situation has changed from good to bad as the war on Iraq began, and from bad to worst as the economic crisis became more and more obvious.

Most Americans polled -- Democrats and Republicans, men and women, residents of cities and rural areas, college graduates and those who finished only high school -- consider the country is facing significant problems, the survey published on The New York Times’ website shows.

Seventy-eight per cent of those polled said America was in a worse state than five years ago, while just four per cent said it was better.

About 21 per cent said they believe the overall economy was in good condition. Two in three Americans said they considered the economy was already in recession.

The only figure that didn’t change was that of President George W. Bush’s approval rating, which was just 28 per cent last year.
Over 80pc say America going in wrong direction -DAWN - Top Stories; April 05, 2008
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Russian bid to replace Pakistan as supply route: War in Afghanistan

At the Nato summit, which begins in Bucharest on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to offer an alternative route for supplying US and Nato troops in Afghanistan.

The proposal, if accepted, will change the course of the war in Afghanistan and will also have far-reaching consequences for Pakistan as Nato’s 43,000 troops in Afghanistan rely heavily on supplies transported via Pakistan.

Diplomatic sources in Washington told Dawn that Russian and Nato diplomats have already held a series of “productive and successful” talks on a plan that would allow non-military material – such as clothing, food and petrol – to cross Russia by land.

The plan, however, could later be expanded to include ammunition and light weapons as well, the sources said.
While America’s European allies have shown great interest in the proposal, the Americans are still reluctant as they do not want to bring Russia back to a region from where it was forcibly ousted in 1989, after battling Afghan freedom fighters (now Al Qaeda and Taliban militants) for almost 10 years.

Despite Washington’s reluctance, the Nato has held intensive talks with Russian officials on the precise routes to be used and hopes to reach agreement at this week’s summit in Bucharest.
Western diplomatic sources in Washington told Dawn that Nato sees the proposed route as a good alternative for supplies going through Pakistan which faces political uncertainty and may not be a reliable route for long.
But there are others in Washington who warn that an attempt to disassociate Pakistan from any plan for Afghanistan may have dangerous consequences.

In an article published on the eve of the Nato summit, Karl F. Inderfurth, a former US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, describes Pakistan as “one country that can make or break (Nato’s) mission” in Afghanistan.

He notes that Nato’s Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has promised to visit Islamabad as soon as the new Pakistan government is in place.

“After Bucharest there is no better destination to reinforce Nato’s Afghan mission,” says Mr Inderfurth while backing the proposed visit.

Full story on DAWN - Top Stories; April 02, 2008
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Liberal Assembly of NWFP condemns CIA Director’s comments on Pak tribal areas

The NWFP Assembly has taken a strong note of CIA Director Michael Hayden’s recent statement terming Pakistan’s tribal areas as direct threat to US. The Assembly strongly condemned Hayden’s comments in a unanimous resolution passed by it.

The resolution also said that all the matters should be resolved through holding meaningful talks.

Raising a point of order, PML-N provincial chief Pir Sabir Shah diverted the attention of the House towards the statement issued by the CIA chief, and termed it as direct threat to the country as well as interference and attack on sovereignty of their country.

He said that aggressions from any foreign country would not be tolerated. “My countrymen had witnessed suicide attacks, bomb blasts and destruction only because of the dictatorial policies of the US in this region,” The Nation quoted him as saying.

Provincial ex-CM Akram Khan Durrani seconded the resolution and expressed the same feelings, saying that a joint resolution should be tabled to condemn the CIA chief’s statement unanimously.

Later, the parliamentary leaders of various Parties drafted the resolution and allowed the ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain to move it, and was unanimously passed through which they demanded of the Federal Government to take serious note of the statement issued by the CIA chief immediately as they considered it as an interference in the affairs of an independent country. (ANI)

NWFP Assembly condemns CIA Director’s comments on Pak tribal areas | Top News

Please note that religious parties do not have much representation in the assembly... so US n mush cannot say that these are views of extremists... also see following

Provoked by the recent statements of the CIA director Michael Hayden, the NWFP Assembly promptly adopted a unanimous resolution Tuesday condemning US official’s utterances and asked the PPP-led federal government to take steps to resolve all issues through negotiations.

All parties represented in the assembly ranging from the nationalist ANP to the secular PPP and centrist PML-N, rightist PML-Q to the Islamic JUI-F, backed the resolution. ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who will take oath as education minister today, moved the jointly drafted resolution on behalf of all members of the House.
PPP-S’s Israrullah Gandapur did not agree with the speaker who suggested the mover to leave the issue for another day as no other business could be made except election of the chief minister. He said they could not remain silent spectators like those of school’s children on such important and sensitive issues. “We will be doing no service if we also adopt criminal negligence like that of the previous government,” he said and suggested passage of a resolution. He also asked the federal government to summon US ambassador to know as to whether it was the American policy or a statement of one individual.

Full story at The News website
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