December 26, 2007


Filed under: DOMESTIC — civilsocietypakistan @ 4:01 am
Tags: , ,

Mr. Musharraf scared and isolated, keeps himself away from the people. In this picture he stands behind the protection of security agencies who have kept the people at a far distance. Mr. Musharraf for all practical purposes is in a bunker, totally isolated from the people of Pakistan. He dare not come out because he has killed hundreds of Pakistanis, including women and children to please the neo-cons of Bush administration. Is he fit to be the president of Pakistan?


Machiavellian Musharraf

Filed under: DOMESTIC — civilsocietypakistan @ 1:26 am

Khaleej Times Online


25 December 2007
THE 42-day drama in Pakistan is far from over; the declaration of emergency and the lifting of emergency are part of a charade, behind which exists a complex power play between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, various camps within the military elite, and the US government. The Pakistani people are the least relevant to these calculations, although every player never fails to justify unwarranted actions in their name.

General Musharraf’s motives for declaring emergency on November 3 are far from enigmatic. To guarantee his political future, Musharraf acted in the decisive, uncompromising fashion of a military man: first he brought the country to a state of suspended animation, then he restructured the government, judiciary, parliament and constitution to align them with his interests. Once these changes were enacted, he revoked the 42-day state of emergency, and even further promised ‘absolutely’ free and transparent legislative elections on January 8 next year.

The Bush administration’s placatory response to Musharraf’s actions (not going further than carefully-worded, benign condemnations) is not the only thing that makes it hard to substantiate the claim that Musharraf acted independently of the US or at the behest of some elements in the Pakistani military alone. Following September 11, 2001, and the invasion of Afghanistan soon after, Musharraf has become one of America’s most faithful allies in the region. US aid to Pakistan multiplied and spent with little accountability. According to Jeffrey D Sachs, a Professor of Economics at Columbia University, “75 per cent of the $10 billion in US aid has gone to the Pakistani military, ostensibly to reimburse Pakistan for its contribution to the ‘war on terror’, and to help it buy F-16s and other weapons systems. Another 16 per cent went straight to the Pakistani budget, no questions asked. That left less than 10 per cent for development and humanitarian assistance.”

The Pakistani president is Machiavellian part and parcel. Contrary to appearances, he knows his limits and plays by the unwritten rules of power. When he declared emergency, he cited two objectives with underlying messages.

The first was aimed at his detractors who he claimed had mounted a ‘conspiracy’ to destabilise the country and his rule; as this conspiracy allegedly involved the judiciary, it justified his purge campaign.

The second message cleverly transcended all of that to reel in the US and its ‘war on terror’. Indeed, according to this logic, Musharraf needed a state of emergency to combat a Taleban-inspired insurgency stemming from the tribal areas in the North West Frontier Province. With the US and NATO fighting their own Taleban and Taleban-inspired insurgency in Afghanistan, Musharraf’s actions in Islamabad were meant to supplement the incessant efforts at curbing the terrorist resurgence in the entire region.

It is hardly news that countries which to utilise ‘war on terror’ reasoning to justify violating human rights and democracy in their own countries are often —  if not always —  American allies or clients.

Musharraf must have understood that his failure to cooperate with US military plans would invite US wrath and hasten his exit (violent or otherwise). While his ‘cooperation’ was hardly optional, it also had its rewards. One of these was a free hand to alter internal political structures, so long as they didn’t in any way interfere with US interests. Musharraf tested this unspoken understanding, and the Bush administration kept true to its word —  until the US Congress decided to interfere.

At the same time that Musharraf began decrying the Taleban-inspired insurgency in the tribal areas, US officials began highlighting —  if not manipulating —  intelligence that exaggerated the same threat.

For example, US Defence Secretary Robert M Gates said in a media briefing on December 21 that Al Qaeda insurgents are shifting focus to Pakistan, threatening the country and its ‘people’. Gates dismissed the Taleban’s violent return to Afghanistan, even mocking the over-publicised spring offensive. “The spring offensive we expected from the Taleban became NATO’s spring offensive,” he told journalists in Washington. Why this sudden change of priorities, and why did they coincide so well with Musharraf’s own changes?

The shift —  which has made Pakistan the primary battleground, as opposed to its previous position as a less important frontier than Afghanistan —  could mean a major strategic change in US military policy toward Pakistan in the future. It also emphasises the importance of the role played by Musharraf and his regime.

Musharraf’s validation is urgently needed by the Bush administration now that Congress has passed the spending bill, putting limits on $300 million of US military aid to Pakistan. A sum of $250 million is be used strictly for counter-terrorism operation, and the delivery of the rest hinges on Pakistan’s success —  or failure —  in living up to the Congress’ strict conditions. This deviation, if not contained quickly, might cause a rift and future difficulties for the US in Pakistan, especially among disgruntled military figures competing for power, privilege and contracts. For now, the White House has gone on crisis management mode, touting the January 8 elections and paying lip service to democracy, free media access and so forth.

One of those involved in defending Musharraf’s record is US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, who, on December 20, said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should be able to report that Pakistan is on its way toward full restoration of democracy. “We’re trying to keep moving toward elections that are as fair and as free as possible. We do think there are (additional) steps that can be taken and will be taken,” Boucher said.

The US administration and Congress are likely to clash over the best ways to control Pakistan, or —  to put it mildly —  to ensure Pakistan’s continuous cooperation in the US ‘war on terror’. However the clash manifests, the resulting US foreign policy posture is likely to affect changes – substantial or otherwise – in US policy toward Pakistan, resulting in further interference in the country’s internal affairs, deepening the discord and fuelling more violence. Indeed, it may endanger the future of genuine democracy in Pakistan for years to come.

Ramzy Baroud ( is an author and editor of His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London)

A nightmare for judiciary (For year 2007)

Filed under: DOMESTIC — civilsocietypakistan @ 12:42 am

The nation

Dec 26, 2007

Amir Riaz
LAHORE-The year 2007 turned out to be a nightmare for the judiciary as 43 judges were sacked under the garb of Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) after the President felt threatened by Supreme Court in his bid to become President for the second term while holding office of the Chief of Army Staff.
But the good thing that came out of the ongoing judicial crisis is that the lawyers emerged as a new political force in the country.
At the start of the year, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was called to the Presidential camp office to tender his resignation.
But Justice Iftikhar who once had validated Musharraf’s 1999 coup, was a completely changed man as he refused to step down.
General Musharraf suspended him and send a corruption reference against him to the Supreme Judicial Council.
The situation turned worst when the CJP accused some members of the SJC of corruption but no heed was paid to his objections.
These allegations were also made public. His counsel Aitzaz Ahsan moved a Constitutional petition in Supreme Court that stopped SJC from proceeding further in the matter.
On the other hand the move ignited wild protests among the country’s thousands of lawyers against President Musharraf who stood steadfast with their CJP then and even today.
They lawyers kept the momentum of their four and a half month long movement during which CJP visited bar associations throughout the country. During each visit at bars CJP received tumultuous welcome and became the most famous personality of the nation. Judges of the Lahore High Court, Sindh High Court and Peshawar High Court waited hours to welcome their CJP.
The police also used its resources to crush lawyers movement after March 9. For the first time in LHC history armored vehicle entered the LHC premises. But even the display of the worst kind of torture could not help State functionaries to break lawyers will or dent their unity.
Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry who was the member of SJC conducting reference against CJP, did not take action against manhandling of lawyers. However, the then acting CJP Justice Javed Iqbal took suo moto notice of the incident.
Meanwhile, Justice Rana Baghwandas Das retuned from his India trip and had taken the oath of acting CJP in place of Justice Javed Iqbal.
Justice Baghwandas(now retired) had formed a larger bench headed by Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday that restored CJP in its historical July 20 verdict.
The bench also threw out the reference, declaring all the allegations baseless and concocted.
After his reinstatement, CJP kept his word to strictly follow Constitution and law. This is evident from the fact that he summoned important functionaries or sacred cows in missing persons case and in Nawaz Sharif contempt of court case against his forced exile.
The crunch moment for SC came when President dual office was challenged before it but the bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal dismissed petitions filed by Imran khan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed and others on technical grounds.
The lawyers top leaders then evolved a new strategy against Musharraf.
They announced Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin as Presidential candidate only to challenge Musharraf’s nomination papers in SC which they did.
The 11-member bench of the Supreme Court, a day before polls , restrained Election Commission of Pakistan from issuing notification of the retuned candidate.
The darkest part of the entire episode started from here onwards. As the SC was hearing the case, General Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency on November 3 and issued a Provisional constitutional Order to remove ‘unwanted’ judges. The Constitution was also held in abeyance, the move which lawyers termed as imposition of Martial law.
The judges were asked to take a new oath under PCO while Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry alongwith 43 judges was sacked.
The lawyers again came out on the streets, but this time they were subjected to severe torture and thousands of them were put behind the bars with civic liberties curtailed under PCO.
Most of them have been released on bail but Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Tariq Mahmood are still under house arrest.
The superior court judges who refused to take oath under PCO, were also detained at their residences while some of them including CJP are still under detention.
The missing persons case also got international attention and dozens of persons were released.
Pre-November judiciary also sentenced police officers responsible for manhandling of CJP when he refused to use an official car to go SJC after he was first deposed on March 9. Post-November 3 judiciary has now suspended these sentences.
General Musharraf’s imposition of emergency and PCO was challenged in SC by Tikka Iqbal Khan. The bench headed by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar validated Musharraf’s all steps taken on November 3 and afterwards.
The judges who took oath under PCO also dismissed petitions challenging Musharraf’s ineligibility to contest Presidential elections in uniform. But it made mandatory for him to doff uniform before taking oath as President.
When the emergency was imposed a seven member bench headed by Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had suspended it, restraining all superior court judges from taking oath under PCO. The judges did not act upon it because 50 judges throughout the country took oath under PCO. The present SC has now set aside that order.
The judge who did not take oath under PCO still say that they are judges under the Constitution while the lawyers are also supporting their cause. They are on the boycott, holding rallies and passing condemnation resolutions.
President Pervez Musharraf had lifted the emergency, PCO on December 15 and restored the Constitution with all the ‘amendments’ he made during the emergency. The same day a fresh oath was also taken from the judges.
The Lahore high Court also stayed the establishment of Federal High Court at Islamabad. This order has been suspended by SC a couple of day ago.
This year a new Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court has been appointed after five years. Though new CJ Justice Syed Zahid Hussain will take oath on January 1st ,2008.
During these five years most of the time tense atmosphere remained between bar and bench and the differences were further widened mainly due to the reasons that both sides stuck to their view-point.


Filed under: MILITARY RULE — civilsocietypakistan @ 12:38 am


DECEMBER 26, 2007






Filed under: DOMESTIC,ELECTIONS - 2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 12:21 am


DECEMBER 26, 2007


Dictators nurtured extremism: Benazir

* Former PM says she is keeping a close eye on Musharraf
* Reiterates demand for dissolution of local governments

MUZAFFARGARH/LODHRAN: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairwoman Benazir Bhutto said on Tuesday that dictatorship had always nurtured extremism in Pakistan.

She told a large public gathering at Muzaffargarh that extremism was the biggest threat to Pakistan and it should be eradicated. She said the government was conducting a military operation in Balochistan, while extremists were allowed free reign in the country’s Tribal Areas.

Benazir said the deaths of innocent Muslims in mosques on Eidul Azha were part of a conspiracy against Islam, adding that extremism could be eradicated only through democratic governments and not in a dictatorial system.

She said every dictator had nurtured extremism. She said the PPP had never accepted any dictator in uniform, saying its founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged because he refused to bow down before a dictator. She said the 2007 negotiations between the PPP and the government had resulted in the military being separated from the government and the instalment of a civilian president as head of state.

Close eye: The former premier said she hoped that “total powers would be transferred from the dictator to democratic institutions”. She said Musharraf had promised free, fair and transparent elections to the world, adding that she would keep a close eye on Musharraf to ensure that he fulfilled his promise.

She said the PPP has its ideology and conveyed its message of provincial autonomy to the people. She said it is the government’s responsibility to secure the women, minorities and poor their rights. She said the PPP’s message did not believe in promoting provincial politics, sectarianism or ethnicity.

The PPP chairwoman said her party always wanted to bring the country into the modern world, adding that every dictator wanted to keep the people of Pakistan away from modernity. She said Ziaul Haq had not let people buy or listen to radio because he feared that they would listen to foreign broadcasts and raise their voices against his brutal dictatorial system.

She said Pakistan had never been involved in war internally or externally during the PPP’s tenure in power.

She announced several large projects for Muzaffargarh if the PPP returned to power, including the brick-lining of Muzaffargarh canal, the provision of sui gas and electricity, and the construction of roads for Muzaffargarh, Layyah, DG Khan and Rajanpur districts.

“We believe in the supremacy of the judiciary and the army’s minimum interference of the army in national affairs,” Daily Times correspondent Dr Khalid Chaudhry quoted her as saying. “Minimum interference in the country’s affairs is inevitable for strengthening the political and democratic system,” she added.

Later, addressing 4,000 supporters in the city of Lodhran, Benazir accused President Musharraf of failing to stop the spread of Islamic militants, reported AP. “The areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan has become a haven for extremists, and extremism and terrorism is flowing to other areas also,” she said. If elected, her party would clear extremists from Pakistan, she added.

In her campaign speech, Benazir said – under a slogan of “Food, Clothing and Shelter” – that her party would give people better health, education and job opportunities. She said she hoped that a true democratic situation would continue after the January 8 polls. She urged people to come forward and vote for the PPP, as it is the party of the masses.

Disbanding: Later on Tuesday, addressing reporters at the Islamabad International Airport, Benazir once again reiterated her demand for disbanding the local governments to dissuade any polls’ rigging.

According to Online, she admitted to having discussions with Nawaz Sharif on overall seat-to-seat adjustments with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. She said the discussions included a limited seat adjustment in Sindh.

The former PM also condemned the chaining of the media and appealed to the Election Commission to take immediate notice of this discrimination. She said no free media can be disallowed from direct coverage. abdul manan/agencies


DECEMBER 26, 2007


No personal vendetta against Musharraf, says Nawaz

* Former PM says every penny to be recovered from the Chaudhrys

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that he will not go for any personal vendetta against President Pervez Musharraf as his agenda is for the uplift of the country.

“President Musharraf wreaked a horrible personal vendetta upon me after October 12, 1999. I was kept in confinement in Attock Fort for 14 months. I was even kept handcuffed in the plane. But I will not take any personal revenge against him despite this victimisation,” he told a mammoth public meeting here in Mehmood stadium.

“The sovereignty and integrity of the country and the restoration of the judiciary are my top priorities,” he said.

He vowed to regain the lost glory of the country if voted to power so that the country’s prestige could be restored in the comity of nations. The president has made the country a laughing stock in the comity of nations, Nawaz charged. The rulers had mortgaged the integrity of the country to perpetuate their rule, he alleged.

The admiistration should learn a lesson from India where martial law has never been imposed nor has any dictator ever held the judiciary hostage to prolong his rule, he said.

As per a State Bank of Pakistan report, the Chaudhrys of Gujarat had gotten their loans written off to the tune of Rs 128 billion, he said. Despite their national crimes, the Chaudhrys are participating in the general elections, he added. President Musharraf has rejected the nomination papers of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif owing to a personal grudge, he alleged.

Nawaz said his party would recover every penny from the Chaudhrys if voted to power.

“I will generate more opportunities for employment after coming to power,” he said. “‘Mera ghar scheme’ will be launched again so that homeless people may get shelter to live in,” he added.

He said one individual was compromising the judiciary and arresting the judges. This one person was out to disintegrate the country, he said. It is the PML-N’s national obligation to prevent him from achieving his designs, he added.

The people elected me as their prime minister, but Musharraf put me in jail, he said, adding that Musharraf had broken his pledge, undermined the judiciary and abrogated the constitution.

He said generals were ruling the country at the time East Pakistan was turned into Bangladesh in 1971. We are heading towards another tragedy today, he added.

“I was being asked not to conduct the nuclear test,” he said, “but had I not carried out the blasts, India would have done it first.”

“The foundation of the current missile programme was laid down during my stint in power,” Nawaz said. online




DECEMBER 26, 2007


Nawaz plans 12-day election campaign

* Heads out on GT road today, plans to cover Punjab, Frontier and Quetta

LAHORE: Former premier Nawaz Sharif’s election campaign goes into full swing today, with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief planning to address more than 40 public gatherings across the Punjab, Frontier and Balochistan provinces from December 26 to January 6.

He will leave Lahore, heading out on GT road, today (Wednesday). He will address public gatherings in Wazirabad, Gujrat, Lala Musa, Kharian, Sarai Alamgir and Jhelum. Public gatherings in Gujar Khan, Sadiqabad Chowk and Rata Amral, Rawalpindi are also on the schedule for Wednesday.

On Thursday, Nawaz’s campaign will shift to the Frontier, with gatherings planned in Hassan Abdal, Hattian, Haji Shah Mor, Jhangira, Akora Khattak, Nowshera and Peshawar. After addressing public gatherings in Charsadda, Mardan and Attock on December 29, he will re-enter Punjab briefly, departing for Quetta from Islamabad on the last day of the year. He will address public gatherings and attend party meetings in Quetta, then return to Islamabad the same day.

Nawaz will then proceed to Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Kot Adu and Layyah on January 1, 2008.

On January 2 he will head to central Punjab, with public gatherings and corner meetings scheduled for Mianwali, Khushab and Sargodha.

On January 3, Nawaz’s campaign trail will pass through Mansehra, Abbottabad and Hawalian, followed by Haripur and Liaqat Bagh (Rawalpindi) on January 4. Campaigning in Narowal and Daska is scheduled for January 5, and on the last day of his election campaign, Nawaz plans to address 13 public gatherings in Lahore. online


DECEMBER 26, 2007




DECEMBER 26, 2007



The nation

Dec 26, 2007

Don’t vote for turncoats: Nawaz

Bilal Habib
RAHIM YAR KHAN – PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has said the victory of his party in the coming elections is necessary to control the inflation, restore constitution and eliminate unemployment in the country.
Addressing a huge public gathering at Mehmood Stadium here on Tuesday, he alleged that Chaudhry brothers and their allies have got their loans worth Rs 107 billion written off while plunged the masses into abject poverty. He said that during the PML-Q government, the country had to witness mass murders and countless bomb blasts from Karachi to Khyber. Mian Nawaz Sharif further said President Musharaf has betrayed the nation by violating the Constitution and illegally detaining the Supreme Court judges.
Nawaz urged people not to vote for those people who keep changing their loyalties. He said Musharraf’s dictatorial rule embarrassed the country, and he accused the ruling party of destroying the economy.
“Pervez Musharraf’s government made the people’s lives miserable. They cannot buy bread for their families due to extreme price-hikes and inflation,” Nawaz said.
The PML-N leader said due to undemocratic attitude of greedy and self-centered Pakistani politicians, the image of the country has been irreparably damaged all over the world. He further said that present rulers have increased the flour price five-fold, detained national hero Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and massacred hundreds of innocent children in Lal Masjid operation. He said during his tenure, he had introduced green channel, Mera Ghar Scheme, Motorway project and many other development schemes.
Mian Nawaz Sharif strictly denied any deal with President Musharaf saying that he had returned on the call of 160 million Pakistanis.
Earlier, PML-N candidate of PP-290 Ch Sabir Ali welcomed Nawaz Sharif on his arrival in the city. Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar said that district Rahim Yar Khan is the fortress of PML-N. He further said that people would reject the turncoats in elections. Begum Ishrat Ashraf said that Pakistan was passing through 1970-like situation and only PML-N could emancipate the country from present crises.
APP adds: Former Prime Minister and leader of PML-N Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that effective steps would be taken to bring real democracy in the country.
He was addressing a public gathering here on Tuesday. He said that the steps would be taken to give freedom to judiciary for the smooth running of their work in the country.
Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was a democratic state and he wanted to see complete essence of democracy in the country.
“I am here to serve the 160 million people of Pakistan and the struggle for true democracy would continue,” he said.
He said that the PML-N and the PPP would form an allied government, but their first priority was to save Pakistan.
He said that after coming into power, his government would provide jobs to unemployed youths and take steps for the betterment of the farmer community.
He said that he had served as chief minister and prime minister twice and during his regime, he made efforts for the uplift of Bahawalpur district.
He said that he was in Bahawalpur to celebrate Quaid-i-Azam’s birth anniversary with the people of this area.
Baligh-ur-Rehman, Saud Majid, Malik Iqbal Channar, Samiullah Chaudhry and others also addressed on the occasion.

The nation

Dec 26, 2007

Suspend LGs before polls

Malik Sajid Budh
MUZAFFARGARH – The killings of innocent Muslims in the mosque on Eid-ul-Azha is not a service to Islam but rather such acts are becoming part of a conspiracy against Islam, PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto said this while addressing a big public meeting at the Sports Ground here on Tuesday.
She said that extremism was the biggest threat to Pakistan and it should be eradicated. She said that military drive was going on in Balochistan while the tribal areas were under the grip of extremists who were ruling that part of the country fearlessly.
Benazir remarked that extremism could be eradicated only through democratic govts and not in a dictatorial system.
She said that every dictator fanned extremism for their own interests.
She said that PPP never accepted any dictator in uniform as its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged but he never begged for life before a dictator.
She said that negotiations between Gen Musharraf and PPP were held in 2002 but PPP could not accept an Army General as President.
She said that in 2007 negotiations between the govt and PPP again started and as a result now a civilian President is in the Presidency while the military has a separate COAS.
Benazir said that this is the first step of transition but ‘I hope that total powers should be transferred to democratic institutions’.
She said that Musharraf had promised all the world and nation that free, fair, transparent and credible elections would be held in the country.
She said that I will keep my eye on Musharraf whether he fulfilled his promise or not regarding transparent elections.
Benazir also demanded the suspension of local bodies in the country prior to the holding of elections.
She said that PPP has its own ideology and conveyed its message of provincial autonomy to the people.
She said that it is the responsibility of the govt to secure the women, minorities and poor’s rights.
She said the PPP’s message is not to promote provincialism, sectarianism and ethnicity.She said that people should rule the country.
She said that PPP’s slogan is that every man wants knowledge, progress and work and every man needs Roti, Kapra aur Makaan.
She said that every dictator wants to keep the people away from modern civilisation. She said that Zia did not let people buy and listen to radio because he feared that people after listening to BBC or VOA would raise their voices against his brutal dictatorial system.
She said that Bhutto had given nuclear bomb to Pakistan while she herself gave the missile technology.
She said that PPP has given Chashma Nuclear Plant, Kamra Aeronautical Plant, a factory of submarines in Karachi, Satellite system, optical fiber, computer literacy, electricity, Ghazi Brotha Dam, Pasni and Karakoram Highways, Karachi Steel Mills, Port Qasim, 1973 Constitution, Heavy Mechanical Complex at Taxila and Multan Oil Refinery etc.
She said that 1965 war was in a dictator’s regime while in 1971 East Pakistan was disintegrated.
She said that during Zial-ul Haq’s govt Siachen Glacier went to India.
She said that PPP had worked against sectarianism.
She criticised Farooq Leghari and said that if someone from Seraiki belt puts chaadar on his sister’s head, then he never steps back but Leghari turned a traitor against me and now he is all alone while PPP is the most popular party in the country.
She said that the PPP govt has given a lot of projects to the Seraiki belt like new airport,LHC Multan bench and Sui gas to all cities of Seraiki areas.
She said that anti-PPP govts hanged Bhutto in a false case, murdered Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto and implicated me in cases in Pakistani and Swiss courts, jailed Asif Zardari for eight years and now put the country at the mercy of extremism.
She said that anti-PPP govts raised the prices of atta, potato, tomato and petrol.
She announced big projects for Muzaffargarh if the PPP comes to power that include brick-lining of Muzaffargarh Canal, Sui gas, electricity, ring roads for Muzaffargarh, Layyah, D.G. Khan and Rajanpur districts and a bridge on Chenab.
Earlier, PPP Punjab President Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Naveed Malik, Dr Babar Awan and PPP candidates from the district Muzaffargarh addressed the gathering.
On the occasion tight security steps were taken.

The nation

December 26, 2007


PPP may win 42 NA, 85 PA seats in Sindh

KARACHI – The Pakistan People’s Party is eyeing 42 National Assembly and 85 provincial assembly seats in Sindh province.
Total NA seats in Sindh, including reserved, are 61 while 168 are provincial assembly seats. PPP enjoys better position in the Sindh after the arrival of Chairperson Benazir Bhutto. PPP Sindh President Syed Qaim Ali Shah talking to The Nation on Tuesday, said that despite the biased caretaker government, which in fact is extension of the PML (Q), PPP would win 75 percent of National as well as Provincial Assembly seats in Sindh. In 2002 elections, PPP won 29 NA seats out of 61 and bagged 68 provincial seats out of 168. Factors like the return of Ms Bhutto, attack on PPP rally in Karachi on October 18 and failure of coalition government of the PML (Q) in Sindh have given boost to its vote-bank and graph of PPP, said Mr Shah, adding that the previous rulers had miserably failed to provide jobs to people in the Sindh, especially in the rural areas. The poor law and order situation in Sindh and rising poverty further increased the vote bank of the PPP in the province, dimming the chances of the opponents of PPP vis-a-vis getting more seats. Political observes said that 18th October’s welcome accorded to PPP chairperson was referendum against the PML (Q) as the PPP supporters came to welcome their favourite leadership from every nook and corner of the Sindh.
Political observes also said that this time the situation seems different from 1988 elections, when PPP had bagged majority seats in the province by knocking out the political kinds like Pir Pagaro, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Elahi Bukhsh Soomro, etc.
In the coming elections, these leaders might retain their own seats, but most of the seats of National Assembly and Provincial Assembly would be won by the PPP candidates.
PPP leadership for January 2008 election, refused to award party tickets to those who had left the party to join PML (Q) and the People’s Party Patriotic. However, in Karachi city, the PPP would get only three national assembly seats from Lyari, Malir and NA-239 from Kemari Baldia town along with five provincial assembly seats. In Karachi, MQM appears in sweeping position in the absence of Jamaat Islami.
PPP sources said that their candidates in Khairpur, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Larkana and in Dadu districts are in very strong position.
Sources in PPP said that PPP has also made a plan to resist the PML (Q) and its coalition partners’ plan to rig the election. PPP Central leader Manzoor Hussain Wasan told The Nation that PPP would not let any party leader or the government to snatch the right to vote from the people and would protect each and every vote.

PPP Sindh President Syed Qaim Ali Shah told The Nation that despite use of the government machinery by the PPP opponents and harassment of the workers and candidates of the PPP the party would win election with thumping majority.
PPP Sindh President said that in the wake of the successful election campaign launched by the PPP chairperson their political opponents were scared and made plans to rig the election. PPP Sindh President said that he has challenged the PML (Q) leadership that to hold public meetings just like ones organised by the PPP chairperson in Sindh. He alleged that PPP political opponents were using all the government machinery and using police officials as tool to rig the election, but PPP with the support of the people foiled all conspiracies of their political opponents. PPP Sindh president said that PPP would retain all the seats as was done by it in 1988 election. Holding PPP as symbol of the federation, he said the manifesto of the party was for the poor, labour, middle class etc. He hoped after getting 75 seats in the provincial assembly as well as national assembly the party would form government in the Sindh as well as also in the centre.

December 25, 2007


Filed under: DOMESTIC — civilsocietypakistan @ 5:26 am


DECEMBER 25, 2007

فوج قومی نہیں قابض ہے: وکلاء
مشرف مخالف پوسٹر
کنونشن میں شرکاء نے مشرف مخالف پوسٹر اٹھائے ہوئے تھے

پاکستان میں ایمرجنسی کے نفاذ اور ججوں کی برطرفی کے خلاف جمعرات کو پشاور میں سینکڑوں وکلاء کا ایک کنونشن منعقد ہوا جس میں مقررین نے پاکستان فوج کو قومی نہیں بلکہ قابض فوج قرار دیکر اسکے خلاف جدوجہد کو مزید تیز کرنے پر زور دیا ہے۔

وکلاء نے اتوار تک چودھری اعتزاز احسن اور دیگر رہنماؤں کو رہا نہ کرنے کی صورت میں پیر سے صوبہ سرحد میں ماتحت عدالتوں کا بائیکاٹ کرنے کا اعلان بھی کیا۔

پشاور ہائی کورٹ کے احاطے میں منعقد ہونے والا یہ کنونشن صوبہ سرحد میں اٹھارہ روز سے جاری وکلاء کی احتجاجی تحریک کا سب سے بڑا اجتماع تھا جس میں تقریباً چھ سو وکلاء کے علاوہ عوامی نیشنل پارٹی، پشتونخواہ ملی عوامی پارٹی، تحریک انصاف اور پیپلز پارٹی پارلیمنٹرینز کے صوبائی قائدین نے بھی شرکت کی۔اس موقع پر پشاور ہائی کورٹ کی عمارت کے اردگرد پہلے کی نسبت پولیس کی ایک بڑی تعداد چوکس کھڑی تھی۔

کنونشن کے مہمان خصوصی عبوری آئینی حکم کے تحت حلف اٹھانے سے انکار کرنے والے پشاور ہائی کورٹ کے جج جسٹس شاہ جہان خان یوسفزئی تھے۔

اپنے خطاب کے دوران شاہ جہاں خان نے کہا کہ آئین میں ایمر جنسی کے نفاذ کی شق موجود ہے مگر بقول انکے جنرل پرویز مشرف آئین معطل کرکے عبوری دستور کے تحت ایمر جنسی نافذ کرکے ماورائے آئین اقدام کے مرتکب ہوئے ہیں جو بقول انکے غداری کے زمرے میں آتا ہے۔

کنونشن میں مشرف حکومت کے خلاف کھڑے ہونے والے افراد کو بہت سراہا گیا

انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ ’نو مارچ کو صرف ایک چیف جسٹس نے نو کہہ کر بیس جولائی تک جدوجہد کی اور دو ماہ کے اندر اندر فوج کو گھٹنے ٹیکنے پر مجبور کردیا جبکہ تین نومبر کو پچپن ججز نے نو کہا ۔جنرل پرویز مشرف اگر ایک نو کا جواب نہ دے سکے تو پچپن نو کا جواب تو بالکل ہی نہیں دے سکیں گے کیونکہ اب شکست انکا مقدر بن چکی ہے۔‘

اس موقع پر خطاب کرتے ہوئے سنیئر وکیل بیرسٹر مسعود کوثر نے کہا کہ ’پاکستان کی فوج اب قومی نہیں بلکہ ایک قابض فوج بن چکی ہے لہذا اسکے خلاف جہاد کرنا اب ہر پاکستانی پر لازم ہوگیا ہے۔‘

یہ حال ہی میں سرحد میں ہونے والا وکلاء کا سب سے بڑا اجتماع تھا

اس موقع پر پشاور ہائی کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن کے چئرمین عبدالطیف آفریدی نے جنکی نظر بندی بدھ ہی کو ختم کر دی گئی اپنے مختصر خطاب میں کہا کہ وکلاء کے رہنماؤں چودھری اعتزاز احسن، علی احمد کرد، طارق محمود کی رہائی اور عدلیہ کی بحالی تک انکی جدجہد جاری رہے گی۔

ہائی کورٹ کی عمارت کو مختلف قسم کے بینرز سے سجایا گیا تھا جن پر ’عدلیہ کو بحال کرو، ایمرجنسی نامنظور، فوج بیرکوں میں جبکہ انصاف دہلیز پر‘ جیسے نعرے درج کیے گئے تھے جبکہ وکلاء بہت عرصے بعد پہلی مرتبہ بہت پر جوش نظر آئے اور وہ نعروں کا زبردست جواب دیتے رہے۔

کنونشن میں عدلیہ کی بحالی کے لیے تحریک انصاف کے سربراہ عمران خان کی طرف سے تادم مرگ بھوک ہڑتال شروع کرنے پر انہیں کئی بار خراج تحسین پیش کیا گیا البتہ انہوں نے دیگر سیاسی جماعتوں پر الزام لگایا کہ وہ اب بھی جنرل مشرف کی نگرانی میں ہونے والے انتخابات میں حصہ لینے کے لیے پر تول رہی ہیں۔ وکلاء نے تمام سیاسی جماعتوں سے مطالبہ کیا کہ وہ صرف ’عدلیہ کی بحالی‘ کے ایک نکاتی ایجنڈے پر متفق ہوکر جدوجہد کا آغاز کردیں۔



Filed under: DOMESTIC — civilsocietypakistan @ 2:54 am


Filed under: ELECTIONS - 2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 2:42 am


DECEMBER 25, 2007









DECEMBER 25, 2007

Jan 8 will be last day of ‘Q’: Nawaz

SUKKUR/MIRPUR MATHELO – PML-N Quaid and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday alleged that President Pervez Musharraf was the chief patron of PML-Q and he was “involved in bloodshed of innocent people from Khyber to Karachi”.
Addressing a mammoth public meeting at Clock Tower here, Nawaz said people would reject those who shed blood of the innocent people including children of Swat, Waziristan, NWFP, Balochistan and of innocent girl students of Lal Masjid. The masses would decide on January 8 that either 160 million people would rule the country or some Generals, he said.
He further said if the people gave wrong verdict, it could cause damage to the solidarity of the country and “another Bangladesh could be created”.
He said that he was committed to eliminating the role of the Army from politics forever.
“We will not even hesitate from rendering scarifies for the restoration of judges and judiciary,” he maintained.
He criticised the PML-Q leadership and this party was being headed by President Musharraf who was involved in bloodshed of innocent people in tribal areas of NWFP, Balochistan and students of Lal Masjid in Islamabad. He said Musharraf had handcuffed an elected prime minister after removing him from office and sent him to jail.
Nawaz told hundreds of his supporters that he had ignored five phone calls from then US president Bill Clinton after Pakistan tested an atom bomb in 1998.
“But Musharraf prostrates himself after just one phone from Washington,” he said – an apparent reference to Musharraf’s decision to join the US “war on terror” after the September 11 attacks on the United States.
He said President Musharraf made the country an international laughing stock by purging the judiciary after he imposed emergency rule in November.
“We have become a laughing stock all over the world,” said Nawaz, who was ousted as prime minister by Musharraf, his army chief at the time, in a 1999 coup.
He said that if he had reached a compromise with Musharraf then he could return back in the country within a week’s time but he preferred exile and imprisonment to compromise. He said the country was passing through crisis and alleged that Pervez Musharraf was responsible for this.
Addressing a big public meeting in Mirpur Mathelo, Nawaz said PML-Q was the sign of destruction of Pakistan and it was the party of opportunists. He requested to the people not to cast the vote to PML-Q candidates because 08 January would be the last day of this party (PML-Q).
He said Pervez Musharraf had made hostage those people who made Pakistan a nuclear state and enhanced military’s strength.
He further said, “We replied to Indian nuclear tests with six nuclear explosions and hero Dr A Q Khan was defamed and made hostage by Musharraf.”
Nawaz said, “We will never shake hands with Musharraf and Chaudhry brothers because we want real democracy and free judiciary in the country.”
He made an appeal to the people to reject PML-Q candidates in the forthcoming general election and support PML-N for the betterment of Pakistan.
Agencies add: Nawaz Sharif blasted President Pervez Musharraf as a failed leader largely under US control. “Musharraf has made us a mockery by sacking the judiciary,” he said .
“We are a laughing stock all over the world, even in India. We have to liberate our country of dictators,” he said.
He said the elections would witness a competition between fascism and democracy and ultimately democracy would emerge as victorious.
He said his party was struggling for restoration of real democracy where 160 million people had full opportunity to decide about their future.
He said every Pakistani should play his role for restoration of democracy and its promotion, safety of all basic rights of civil society and for economic strength of the country, adding that the January 8 elections were for the survival of Pakistan, and people would have to reject everyone responsible for the current “lawlessness and anarchy” in the country.
He held the erstwhile former government responsible for flour shortage, inflation, lawlessness and unemployment.
The PML-N Quaid said deposed judges would be reinstated if the PML-N came into power, adding that PML-Q was not a political party but was a faction of those who salute the rising sun.
The PML-Q was a representative of political turncoats, he said, asking not to vote for the PML-Q.
He asked people not to vote for the PML-Q because it was the supporter of a dictator.
“These judges are our heroes,” he said. “It is our commitment that we will restore these judges at any cost.”
Nawaz’s strongholds are in urban areas of Punjab which returns nearly half of National Assembly members. He did not appear hopeful of winning seats in Sindh.
“We’ve never won a National Assembly seat from Sukkur but I still love the people of Sukkur and Sindh … they’ve always supported the democratic forces,” he told the crowd.
There have been more than 40 suicide attacks in the country this year. A suicide bombing on Friday killed 56 people but missed the target – former interior minister Aftab Sherpao, who oversaw a crackdown on militants.
Nawaz, speaking at a rally in the southern city of Sukkur, said the campaign had failed and left the country “soaked in blood and fire”.
Large number of party workers from interior and upper Sindh including Kashmore, Kandhkot, Larkana, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Naushahroferoze, Nawabshah, Ghotki, Pano Aqil and other allied areas attended the public meeting.
Earlier, Nawaz Sharif visited Garhi Mori native village of former Chief Minister Sindh and leader of PML-N Syed Ghous Ali Shah to condole the death of his wife and son and offered fateha.
He declared that a time for a consensus government had arrived and masses would decide about rule of the democracy and a perpetual end to Army interference in national politics.
Earlier when Mian Nawaz Sharif arrived in Sukkur from Karachi, thousands of jubilant PML-N activists greeted the former PM with great joy and pomp.
Later on while talking to women delegates of party in Digri, he vowed to wipe out PML-Q in the forthcoming general elections, so much that they (PML-Q) would be left with no quarter, whatsoever.
Our Monitoring Desk adds: “If Pervez Musharraf restores the constitution in its genuine shape and pre Nov-03 judiciary, I shall feel no hesitation in having meeting with him, as I don’t have any personal confrontation with him”, said PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif adding that he had no deal with Pervez Musharraf and PML-N would never compromise on its stance of restoring the constitution, an independent judiciary and real democracy in Pakistan.
In an interview to a private TV channel on Monday, Nawaz Sharif said his party could not join hands with those who connived against the Judiciary, placed curbs on deposed Judges and suggested the imposition of emergency in the country. He ruled out any possibility of taking back those elements who left the party in the hour of need and joined hands with a military dictator.


We will snatch our rights: BB

RAHIM YAR KHAN/AHMADPUR EAST – Chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto has said that after coming to power her government would snatch its rights, adding it would provide maximum canal water to Southern Punjab and would grant propriety rights to poor farmers of Bhutta Sheikhan in Rahim Yar Khan district besides putting an end to the dictatorship in the country.
Addressing a public gathering at Mehmood Stadium here on Monday, she said that PPP would give rights to the exploited and oppressed people of the area by introducing true democracy in the country.
PPP has never surrendered before the dictators and always stood with the deprived and the poor, she maintained. She further said that the present Govt was responsible for the flour crisis in the country and a poor man could not afford it at Rs 20 per kg. The Govt has totally destroyed the agricultural system in the country and the farmers were buried under the debts, adding that unemployment and price hike were the worst problems faced by the country.
She further said the PPP never supported dictators due to which she was kept away from people for eight consecutive years. She said that some opportunists who won elections on PPP tickets compromised on principles and joined hands with the present regime. PPP is the party of the poor and committed to safeguard their rights.
Benazir Bhutto announced that her government would construct the Nishtar Ghaat Bridge on the River Indus in the larger interest of the local people. She further said that elimination of the unemployment, easy access to education and healthcare, provision of electricity and other basic facilities were on the agenda of the PPP government in the future.
She said that the interest on agriculture loans would be written off to the poor farmers of the Southern Punjab.
Criticizing the ruling coterie, she said that they banned my entry into the country and disfigured the constitution many times. They arrested hundreds of judges and degraded the institution of judiciary and gagged the media.
She said that PPP would never accept exploiters and traitors but those willing to sacrifice them for the party.
She reiterated her view to conduct the elections under the supervision of army to make the process of electioneering fair, free and transparent, adding if such a task is accomplished PPP would easily win the elections.
She opined that if the elections were rigged, it would badly affect the country.
The PPP leader demanded of the Election Commission end to Govt’s interference in the upcoming general elections.
Benazir Bhutto declared that the posting of Razakar Force for the maintenance of law and order during the polling would not be acceptable and said that if the strength of police in the country was insufficient then the Army should be posted during the elections.
She said that PML-Q was trying to rig the elections by getting the votes of prisoners through post.
She said that the talks could be held with all the democratic forces including Muslim League-N, with whom, seat adjustments in Karachi were made. She said that the country was confronted with dangers from within, as it was threatened by extremism. Benazir also demanded the suspension of local bodies in the country prior to the holding of elections.
Farzana Raja, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Naheed Khan, Farhat Ullah Babar and local PPP leaders were also present on the occasion.
While addressing a public gathering in Bahawalpur, Benazir Bhutto cautioned that any weakening of Pakistan against its war against terrorism would be fatal for Ummah.
She said that PPPP believed in Islamic theory of social justice, and strived to bring about a political revolution in society, and usher in an era of social, economic and justice for masses in order to enlighten the otherwise depressed lives of masses.
She cited all the “previous development” ushered in by the rule of PPP, and said that she had once again referred to masses for voting her party, vowing to alleviate unemployment, poverty and other evils, despite receiving no foreign aid whatsoever.
She expressed her deep consideration and alarm about the fact that there had been increased incidents of suicide blasts and terrorist attacks in Pakistan, which have devoured countless innocent citizens, for which the sole responsibility rests with dictators.
She termed PPP as an icon of struggle of poor masses, and farmers, and termed her politics as politics for federation of Pakistan.
Benazir Bhutto said that her father and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto established Radio Pakistan, Islamia University, Quaid-e-Azam Medical college and Peoples Textile Mills in Bahawalpur besides the provision of Sui gas and allocation of quota in federal and provincial services for qualified youth of Bahawalpur.
She assured to redress the grievances of masses of Bahawalpur after coming in power.



DECEMBER 25, 2007



Pre-poll apprehensions

IT is perfectly in order for the political parties campaigning for elections to highlight one another’s failings and point to any signs of the party in power’s manoeuvring to get an upper hand in the polls. A mature approach would, however, call for complaints to be based only on reasonable doubt; they ought neither be made just for their own sake nor to keep open the option of calling ‘foul play’ at the end of the polls, should the results not favour the complainant. Nevertheless, it is the duty of the government to look into them, whatever they are, and make sure that genuine grievances are removed so that the fairness of the exercise of electing people’s representatives cannot be put to doubt.
With the approach of the polling day the political campaigning in Pakistan has gained momentum and with it are fears and apprehensions about rigging being given vent to more vociferously. Leaders of the two mainstream opposition parties, Ms Benazir Bhutto, and Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who have been in the forefront of levelling charges of official interference in manipulating the people’s verdict to PML-Q’s favour, have voiced their concern about rigging once again. Ms Bhutto accuses the government of hiring hooligans to masquerade as policemen at the polling stations in Sindh on January 8, obviously, to cow down her supporters, and has called upon her workers to be ready to foil such attempts. According to one report, she has even said that the election results would be unacceptable if the PPP were not to emerge as the winner and the PML-N as the runner-up. Her aide Rehman Malik has pointed to danger to her life in Punjab where she is now going to do the campaigning. Not to be left behind, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has alleged that PML-N leader Mian Shahbaz Sharif is trying to engineer riots in the country on the polling day. Probably, Chaudhry Shujaat’s assumption is that by focusing on negative tactics, Mian Shahbaz is attempting to provide a cover-up for the defeat he visualises as the PML-N’s fate. On the other hand, Mian Nawaz avers that the PML-Q has no vote bank in contrast with Chaudhry Shujaat’s confident assertion that his party would win enough seats to make Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Prime Minister.
Considering the past record of elections and certain current realities, it would be unjustified to dub the complaints of electoral manipulation as merely the wail of the defeated. No amount of official propaganda declaring impartiality and transparency could avail unless these charges are investigated and, wherever found correct, satisfactorily settled. The common demand also voiced by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher the other day about free media and transparency must be met for the world to believe in the polls’ fairness.



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