Tag Archives: Martial Law

Is democracy still a “security imperative”?

By Umer Farooq

A political set-up devoid of legitimacy invites military coups. In a politically unstable country like Pakistan, when the government’s legitimacy is lost or challenged, a military coup becomes a real possibility — this is clearly exemplified by the two previous military coups. General Ziaul Haq staged the 1977 coup when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government was facing a challenge to its legitimacy, from a coalition of groups belonging to the religious right alleging rigging in the general elections. General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and his generals staged their coup when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was facing allegations of rigging in parliamentary elections. In a subsequent case of intervention by the army, Musharraf was removed from power by his subordinate generals when the street protests spearheaded by the lawyers’ community brought into focus the question of Musharraf’s legitimacy — a question as old as the regime itself.

Every regime in the post-Musharraf period has faced a challenge to its legitimacy. This includes the administration headed by Musharraf himself. On the onset, he hardly faced political resistance of any significance to his rule; nevertheless, the legal and constitutional legitimacy of his rule were seriously questioned from the very start. The Lawyers’ Movement, starting in 2007, only brought this issue of legal and constitutional legitimacy to the forefront.

Legitimacy can be defined as a public perception that a ruler or a government has the right and authority to govern the country — politically, legally and morally. Losing legitimacy means a situation where the government or the ruler becomes devoid, in public perception, of the right to rule the country on account of any illegality or corruption.

The Asif Ali Zardari-led Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government was elected through a democratic electoral process which was legally, politically and morally legitimate. Nevertheless, a situation was created where the PPP was forced, through a campaign of media trials and succession of court judgments, to face allegations of financial corruption of its leaders and the situation escalated to created a sense of mistrust in the government.

The Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PMLN) government came into power in 2013 in an atmosphere where allegations of corruption were a constant. Something new and more powerful was required, and came when the leading opposition party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), pushed for rolling back the whole political system on the basis of alleged rigging in the 2013 election. The protests that brought these allegations into the limelight came and went away, with the Sharif government surviving the onslaught. However, the protests left lingering doubts in the public imagination about the credibility of parliamentary elections. These doubts could be left to hibernate, while the power struggle continued in the corridors of power in Islamabad, and revived at an appropriate time to act as the Sword of Damocles over the political system.

The Pakistani people have passively witnessed similar developments unfold so often in the past that they can make educated guesses regarding what the next act will entail, and who the main actors will be. The actors are constant: political parties of the religious right spearheading campaigns to raise the legitimacy question, the recently mobilised retired generals and ex-servicemen similarly advancing this campaign, and the media acting as another proxy in this game played out by not-so-hidden hands.

Continue reading Is democracy still a “security imperative”?

5th July, a Black Day in the history of Pakistan

By Adnan Aamir

5th July is a black day in history of Pakistan. 37 [38] years ago on this day, a military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq toppled a democratic government. General Zia ruled Pakistan for 11 years till his death. He destroyed entire social fabric of the society and turned Pakistan into a safe haven for terrorists, drug lords and sectarian monsters. It can be said that on 5th of July 1977, a civilian dictatorship came to an end and it was replaced by a brutal military dictatorship that changed Pakistan forever.

Today is observed as a black day by political forces most notably Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), who was the victim of 5th July coup. This day is much important than other black days in Pakistan such as 12th October, when Musharraf took over and 6th October when first martial law was imposed. The damage caused by Zia’ regime was catastrophic for Pakistan.

General Zia armed the afghan militants in the name of religion to fight soviets in Afghans. He became an American proxy in order to strengthen his own grip on power. These decisions of Zia shock the very foundation of Pakistan. Today, all the terrorist organizations that are spreading like jungle fire can be traced back to Zia regime. It was Zia who divided the country on sectarian basis to weaken his opposition. Under his regime the culture of drugs and open spread of weapons was nurtured. He did not leave any stone unturned to destabilize Pakistani society for his own political benefit. Till to date Pakistan has not managed to escape the strangle hold of the policies initiated by General Zia.

Social evils and terrorism were not the only gift of Zia to Pakistan. He destroyed the political culture of Pakistan and created a new political class. Party-less elections conducted by him in 1985 introduced a new corrupt lot of politicians that joined political arena to maximize their fortunes. Most of the current leadership including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs if product of 1985 elections. If the tragedy had not taken place on 5th July then today we would not be facing the family rule of Sharifs.

Interestingly, Zia-ul-Haq gave a new life to PPP as well. According to some political pundits, if Zia had not toppled government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto then Benazir would have never been prime minister and neither Asif Zardai nor Bilawal would have been national leaders. PPP had lost favor with masses in 1977, when it had to rig elections to win them. Another term in the office and PPP would have been a part of history but Zia didn’t let that happen. Persecution of PPP leadership and its activists for 11 years pumped oxygen in PPP and it re-emerge as a strong political force in 1988 when Zia died in a plane crash.

The actions of dictator Zia on 5th July have made Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto a hero and larger than life figure. He is virtually worshipped by many ignorant people in Pakistan. An independent analysis of the 5 year rule of senior Bhutto shows that he was a civilian dictator that could do anything for power. The way he treated his own senior party men, like J. A. Rahim is enough to expose his character. In 1977, Bhutto conducted the most rigged election in history of Pakistan. The rigging kick started a nationwide agitation of Opposition parties known as Pakistan National Alliance (PNA).

Zia used the PNA agitation as a pretext to impose martial Law on 5th July. No one can deny the mischievous designs of Zia behind the decision of imposing martial law but Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also was partly responsible for it. Bhutto tried to brutally crush the PNA agitation; he delayed any settlement with them. All the top leadership of PNA was imprisoned during the course of agitation. If Bhutto had displayed courage and shrewdness and accepted the demand of re-election of PNA in April then Zia would not have got opportunity to topple his regime.

Most of the PPP supporters will dislike the aforementioned criticism of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The reason is that PPP supporters, also called Jiyalas, blindly follow the Bhuttos and defend their every action. It’s because if such people that parties like PPP and even PML-N come to power again and again despite their abysmal performance in the past. Pakistan can never expect any positive change as long as common people let their emotions take the best out of them and vote for dynasties such as Bhuttos and Sharifs.

The damage caused by the Zia was a result of systematic polices during his entire regime. These wrongdoings can’t be reversed overnights. The incumbent government has to show the political will to end the policy of patronizing private militias and terrorist organizations for ulterior motives. There is a consensus in Pakistan that military dictatorships must never be supported. However, politicians like Tahir ul Qadri and Imran Khan, unintentionally, can invite another general Zia and the damage caused by such adventurism would be unimaginable for federation of Pakistan.

– Published in The Balochistan Point on July 5, 2014

Courtesy: The Balochistan Point
Read more » http://thebalochistanpoint.com/5th-july-a-black-day-in-the-history-of-pakistan/

Thailand army declares martial law

The Thai army says that it is imposing martial law amid political crisis “to preserve law and order”.

The army has also granted itself wide-ranging powers to enforce its decision.

The military, which last took power in 2006, stated that the move which gives the army control of nationwide security was not a coup.

Martial law comes after a long-running political crisis, and months of escalating tensions between the government and the opposition.

Earlier this month a court ordered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and several cabinet ministers to step down.

Reports on social media say soldiers have taken over television stations.

An announcement on military-run television said that martial law had been imposed “to restore peace and order for people from all sides”.

“The public do not need to panic but can still live their lives as normal,” the announcement said.

Thailand is mired in political mayhem, with the opposition demanding that power be handed over to an unelected administration charged with rewriting the constitution.

Correspondents say that the imposition of martial law could enrage supporters of the government, especially if it is seen as amounting to a coup.

Courtesy: BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27480845?print=true

The Ingredients for a Glorious Pakistan

By Saeed Qureshi

Throughout its existence since August 14, 1947; Pakistan has perennially remained in troubled waters. From the anarchy of the initial years to the interspersing of democratic stints, to military dictatorships, it has been overshadowed by a constant threat of disintegration as a state. This disintegration came off in 1971 when its eastern part then known as East Pakistan was truncated.

While East Pakistan changed her nomenclature to Bangladesh, the West wing came to be known as Pakistan. It was a cataclysmic event that happened in contemporary history when a state dismembered barely 24 years after its birth and independence from the colonial rule.

All these years, Pakistan earned strictures such as a failed state, a country not viable to stay on the world map and a nation moving towards eventual extinction or another disintegration a la East Pakistan. Pakistani society is infested with myriad chronic problems that range from poor social and utility services to unstable or dysfunctional institutions and sway of reactionary cutthroat religious militants. The competent, efficacious, egalitarian and public welfare oriented governance has ever remained elusive.

Continue reading The Ingredients for a Glorious Pakistan

JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY MAJOR SINDHI DIASPORA ORGANIZATIONS IN SUPPORT OF SINDH NATIONALIST PARTIES UNIFIED DECLARATION OF 13th SEPTEMBER 2012.

Press release: We the undersigned Sindhi Diaspora Organizations (SDOs) that represent the most educated, progressive and economically stable section of Sindh Civil Society and who continue to maintain deep and robust socio-economic and political relations with Sindh

REJECT outright the recently promulgated Sindh Governor Ordinances that attempt to divide Sindh .

This thievery , gerrymandering and trickery by the MQM aided by PPP through obscure back room dealings between the MQM and the PPP in blatant disrespect of the recent parliamenatry decision taken by the Sindh National Assembly restoring the Comissionerate system to Sindh as a whole, STANDS condemned by ALL Sindhis at home and abroad.

We the Diaspora members of the Sindhi nation , who are forced to live abroad due to lack of opportunities and freedoms in our own resource rich motherland will defy all and any attempts to introduce Military Rule or Civil Government Rule through Ordinances or Armed Threats

We , the Sindhi nation will never allow our homeland to be divided politically, administratively, geographically or militarily.

Sindhi Association of North America, SANA

World Sindhi Institute, WSI, USA-Canada,

World Sindhi Congress, WSC, UK-USA, Europe

Sindhi Sangat of Middle East.

Contempt law case: SC rejects federation’s request for full court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the federation’s request of a full court to hear the petitions against the recently passed contempt of court law, DawnNews reported.

A five-judge bench of the apex court comprising Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani heard the petitions against the new law.

Continue reading Contempt law case: SC rejects federation’s request for full court

Gilani’s sentence proves no one is above the law: Chief Justice

By Zeeshan Mujahid

KARACHI: The contempt of court case against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani proves that every individual, irrespective of his position, is subject to the law, said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while addressing a lawyers’ ceremony at the Supreme Court Karachi registry on Saturday.

The chief justice added that action was taken against Gilani under the contempt of court law because the chief executive of the country defied court orders, and added that the implementation of court orders is the duty of the executive, which has been explained adequately in Article 190 of the Constitution.

Addressing the issue of immunity provided to the elected representatives, the chief justice said that if a person elected by the people violates the Constitution, then it is the duty of the courts to stop him.

Continue reading Gilani’s sentence proves no one is above the law: Chief Justice

For Pakistan July 5 is a reminder that Military rule destroys freedom, generates oppression, fosters inequality and promotes extremism.

رات جو رهزن  …….. ضياءالحق

Courtesy: YouTube Via – Twitter

– – – – – – – –

ضیاء زندہ ہے

محمد حنیف

بی بی سی اردو سروس، کراچی

نہ کہیں ماتمی جلسہ، نہ کوئی یادگاری ٹکٹ، نہ کسی بڑے چوک پر اسکا بت، نہ کسی پارٹی جھنڈے پر اُسکی کی تصویر، نہ اُسکے مزار پر پرستاروں کا ہجوم، نہ کسی کو یہ معلوم کہ مزار کے نیچے کیا دفن ہے۔ نہ کسی سیاسی جماعت کے منشور میں اُسکے فرصودات، نہ ہر لحظ اُٹھتے سیاسی ہنگاموں میں اسکی بات۔ نہ بڑے لوگوں کے ڈرائنگ روموں میں اُسکے ساتھ کھنچوائی ہوئی کوئی تصویر، نہ کسی کتب خانے میں اُسکے کے ہاتھ کی لکھی ہوئی کوئی تحریر۔ نہ کوئی سیاستدان چھاتی پر ہاتھ مار کر کہتا ہے میں اسکا مشن پورا کروں گا۔ نہ کوئی دعا کے لیے ہاتھ اٹھاتا ہے کہ مولا ہمیں ایک ایسا ہی نجات دہندہ اور دے۔

Continue reading For Pakistan July 5 is a reminder that Military rule destroys freedom, generates oppression, fosters inequality and promotes extremism.

Parliament not sovereign – Justice Khawaja

PRESS RELEASE: Dated: 3-July-2012 – Earlier today the Supreme Court released the detailed judgment in the Speaker’s Ruling case. On 19th June 2012, the Court had passed a Short Order, upholding petitions challenging the ruling of Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Fehmida Mirza. After the conviction of the former PM Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Speaker had to decide whether or not to make a reference to the Election Commission for Mr. Gilani’s disqualification. The Speaker decided that no question of disqualification had arisen, despite the PM having earned a conviction for contempt from the apex Court. Various petitioners, including PTI and PML-N challenged the Spreaker’s ruling. While hearing these petitions, the Court found the Speaker’s decision to be against the law and held that the PM did indeed stand disqualified to be a member of the Parliament. Today detailed reasons have been given for this order.

Continue reading Parliament not sovereign – Justice Khawaja

Parliament cannot discuss SC judges’ conduct: SC

Supreme Court has said PAC cannot carry out audit of apex judiciary as per Article 58.

According to a report presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday morning three existing and twelve retired judges of the Supreme Court received two residential plots each worth millions of rupees in expensive sectors of the federal capital.

The Supreme Court (SC) refused to provide audit report details to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) saying the Parliament cannot review judges conduct.

This was said in a reply written by Registrar Supreme Court to the Chairman Public Accounts Committee with the consent of full court bench of the Supreme Court in which it is mentioned that constitution prohibits PAC to call any official including Registrar of the apex judiciary, however President, being head of the state has the authority to decide about the consultative sphere of the Supreme Court, so the committee should consult President of Pakistan

If the committee is interested in a formal court order, it should approach the president , the letter said

The letter referred to Article 68 which said: “No discussion shall take place in [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] with respect to the conduct of any Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court in the discharge of his duties”.

It is worth mentioning here that on the orders of former Chairman PAC Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, a letter was written to the Registrar Supreme Court for presenting its accounts before the committee, however it was not dispatched at that time. But new chairman Nadeem Afzal Chan ordered to dispatch it.

Courtesy: Dunya News Tv

http://dunyanews.tv/index.php?key=Q2F0SUQ9MiNOaWQ9ODgxMzc=

Via – twitter

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More detials » BBC urdu

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2012/07/120703_pac_judges_sa.shtml

Pakistan – Punjab government declares martial law in hospitals.

By: Nusrat Javed

Why Shahbaz Sharif always fails to address any crisis by political means and administrative tools put at his disposal? When he was the Chief Minister of Punjab the last time, he asked the Army to find out the ghost schools for him; his elder brother also asked the army to take care of electricity stealing and now Shahbaz has asked the army doctors to fill the void left by protesting doctors.

Courtesy: Bolta Pakistan facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/boltapakistan1/posts/372935972774149

via – Twitter.

The Man With No Plan for Pakistan

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is not the messiah the country seeks.

BY SADANAND DHUME

Pakistan’s been a problem child for so long that even the dramatic appears mundane nowadays. Pakistani militants killed in drone strikes, the judiciary threatening to bring down an elected government—these are nothing new. But a poll released Wednesday ought to make even the most seasoned watchers sit up and take note. Pakistan’s frustrated population is growing ever more extremist, and many are starting to see a charlatan as their political savior.

The Pew Global Attitudes Project reveals that nearly three out of four Pakistanis view the United States as an enemy, up from about two out of three who felt … ….

Read more » The Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303561504577494242169308710.html

Humor on current situation of Pakistan – 7th Nuclear Power

There Are Seven Nuclear Powers In The World.1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Nuclear Countries Are Thinking About How To Do Advancements In Space & How To Make A Permanent Station On Moon.

& The 7th Nuclear Power Is Debating On;

Load Shedding“, “Ramzan Ka Chand“, “Polio Ke Qatry Halal Ya Haram?”, “Iodine Mila Namak Aur Baanjh Pan?”, “Cheif Justice Hero Ya big Zero?” “Veena Malik”, “Rehman Malik”, “Riaz Malik“, “Tuk Tuk Misbah”, “Zubaida Aapa“,

Pakistan Zinda Baad, Pehlay Pakistan Sa Zinda Baag…

Courtesy: Pakistani e-lists, e-groups, 28 June, 2012.

‘Ousting PM instead of Parliament is the new khaki tactic’

By: Adnan Farooq

It goes without saying that the first thing which the Supreme Court will ask the next PM to do is to write the letter to the Swiss authorities. He will refuse too and the game continues

The Supreme Court’s verdict to disqualify Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani “is not a routine democratic change”, according to Ayesha Siddiqa. “In fact, it represents the new tactics of the military and its agencies,” she says.

Author of ‘Military Inc’, Ayesha Siddiqa is internationally known analyst on military and political affairs.

Commenting on the latest political developments in the country in an interview with the Viewpoint, she says: “Instead of ousting the entire Parliament, the military gets rid of prime ministers which has the same effect meaning a weak democracy. The judges seem to have become party to this”. Read on:

The opinion on Supreme Court’s verdict on Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani’s disqualification is divided. In general, the Opposition is hailing the verdict while the PPP and liberal circles are presenting it as a coup by other means. How do you assess the situation?

This is an intense political battle in which the Supreme Court is not neutral but a party as well. Look at the Supreme Court’s comparative behavior. There are times when it bails out murderers and looters but does not spare the ruling party in particular. Its wrath is mainly for the PPP and the chief judge seems to be making sure that he can ensure the PPP government’s ouster especially since he is now worried about his son being investigated.

Continue reading ‘Ousting PM instead of Parliament is the new khaki tactic’

The shadow of Zia (dictator’s ghost) still looms large over the Parliament

Rights activist and former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir.

Constitutional trap

By: Asma Jahangir

THE shadow of Zia still looms large over our political scene. Several parliaments and parliamentary committees have tried to exorcise this dictator’s ghost from the constitution but they never succeeded in rectifying all the ills. The current parliament is no different.

The committee drafting the 18th Amendment was urged time and again to do away with Zia’s crafty law that allows the disqualification of members of parliament. And now the PPP faces the consequences of its own omission as its prime minister is threatened with disqualification due to the Supreme Court judgment in the contempt case.

The SC has not convicted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for obstructing the administration of justice but for ridiculing the judiciary. The court has been able to do this because of the law introduced by Zia. Article 63(g) is open-ended and can end up being used by the judiciary to persecute the politicians.

The law disqualifies anyone who has been convicted for “propagating any opinion or acting in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary or the Armed Forces of Pakistan…”

Very few would dispute that this article is problematic.

Continue reading The shadow of Zia (dictator’s ghost) still looms large over the Parliament

The Washington Post – Pakistan’s Supreme Court sets collision course with new prime minister

By Richard Leiby

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan–Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday demanded that the nation’s brand-new prime minister follow an order to reopen a long-dormant corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari, setting up the likelihood of a continuing constitutional crisis.

The court last week disqualified from office Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s longest-serving prime minister, whom it convicted of contempt in April because Gilani refused to follow the same order.

The ruling party replaced Gilani with a former federal energy chief, Raja Pervez Ashraf, who has already indicated he will not comply with the order and who faces his own set of corruption charges in a separate case before the high court.

Some political and legal observers have accused the court, headed by populist, corruption-battling chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, of working to destabilize an already-shaky civilian government. Ashraf and his predecessor maintain that the constitution grants the president immunity from prosecution, but the court has consistently ruled otherwise, saying no one is above the law. …..

Read more » The Washington Post

Judicial responsibility and organs of state

By Markandey Katju

After my article about the constitutional misbehaviour of the Pakistan Supreme Court was published in The Hindu (June 21), I received several queries and objections regarding it. Hence an explanation is called for, which I am giving below:

The first objection is that the British Constitutional principle, “The King can do no wrong” applies to a monarchy, not a republic. My answer is that I am well aware that Pakistan, like India is a republic. However, in both these countries, total immunity from criminal prosecution is granted to the President. Thus, Section 248(2) of the Pakistan Constitution states: “No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or Governor in any Court during his term of office.” Article 361(2) of the Indian Constitution is identically worded.

Continue reading Judicial responsibility and organs of state

Daily Times – Reminding the village idiot – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Ironically, the situation in Balochistan is already more akin to an emergency rule than to a democratic one

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s pronouncement that “the Constitution will take its course if the prime minister fails to take steps with immediate effect to resolve the crisis in Balochistan,” warning that imposition of emergency could be one of the options to restore sanity to the province has sparked a wave of consternation among the Baloch people. He further said, “All major political players should keep in mind that non-implementation of the Constitution had led to imposition of martial law more than once,” and added, “Why don’t we implement the Constitution before the army imposes martial law.” The Baloch are trying to fathom the real reason behind this ominous threat, which seems to be aimed at them — who are the victims of atrocities and a slow-track genocide — and not at the ‘establishment’ and its departments who are the perpetrators; obviously, this is tantamount to urging the state to impose an ‘emergency’ in Balochistan.

There is an anecdote in Sindh that most of the inhabitants of a village were going off for an extended stay at a neighbouring village for a wedding ceremony and the village idiot was the only one staying behind. As the villagers prepared to leave the village, the elders, hoping to advise the village idiot about his conduct during their absence told him, “Now, don’t you set the village on fire while we are away.” The village idiot gleefully clapped his hands and said, “Gosh! This possibility had simply escaped my mind, thank you for reminding me!” This is what this statement has served to do; it has reminded the ‘village idiot’ that he has forgotten the possibility of setting the village on fire, i.e. step up repression by suspending whatever sham fundamental rights exist in Balochistan.

The Chief Justice’s statement has puzzled even leading legal minds. Renowned jurist Justice (retd) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim expressed his surprise over the remarks, and questioning the judiciary’s powers in this regard said, “Only the executive has the authority to declare an emergency. What powers do you have? I don’t know in which direction things are moving.” Consternation among the Baloch arises from the ominous direction that these hearings about ‘missing persons’ have taken. The hearings are aimed ostensibly at the recovery of missing persons, but could be used to give the agencies authorisation to commit atrocities under an emergency. Instead of addressing their problems, the option of suspending rights is being used; but then what one can expect of a state that is interested in Balochistan simply for its resources.

Continue reading Daily Times – Reminding the village idiot – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Daily Times editorial on CJP’s Strange, ominous, unconstitutional pronouncement on emergency & martial law

EDITORIAL: Strange pronouncement

The Supreme Court (SC) three-member bench hearing the missing persons case in the Quetta Registry headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has been scathing in its remarks during the proceedings about the seriousness of the situation in Balochistan and the obvious lack of the federal and provincial government’s seriousness in addressing the issue. The bench has been putting civil servants, junior government officials and police personnel on the mat regarding their failure to produce the missing persons. At the last hearing, the Deputy Attorney General got so much stick from the bench that he tendered his resignation. The CJ quoted former Balochistan advocate general Salauddin Mengal to portray a situation where no Pakistani flag could fly without the protection of the guns of the security forces more than 10 miles from Quetta. In the same vein of castigating the political, administrative and law enforcement leadership at the Centre and in the province, the CJ remarked that if the prime minister was not interested in acting to salvage the situation, the constitution envisaged other means, including the declaration of an emergency. Further, the CJ warned something must be done before another martial law is imposed.

Continue reading Daily Times editorial on CJP’s Strange, ominous, unconstitutional pronouncement on emergency & martial law

Pakistani Judiciary always Validate Martial Law

Writing of history or triumph of amnesia? – By Ayaz Amir

“Historic”, we are being told — and told without end — is what the judgment of their Supreme Court lordships is. General (r) Pervez Musharraf’s Nov 3, 2007, action has been declared “unconstitutional” and “civil society” is ecstatic, some of our wilder drumbeaters assuring us that the doors on military interventionism have been closed forever. Ah, if wishes were horses.

Continue reading Pakistani Judiciary always Validate Martial Law

MQM chief’s remarks

A decade ago, Gen Musharraf promised many of the same things generals invariably promise, but delivered on none. The MQM would know this better than most because it had a seat at the table of power under Gen Musharraf.

Viewed from any angle, the comments made on Sunday by MQM chief Altaf Hussain are deeply disturbing. Usually, the MQM never tires of pointing out its secular, democratic credentials at every turn, positioning itself as the last line of defence against religious extremists and at the vanguard of the fight against a landed aristocracy that exercises outsized influence over the national political set-up.

Read more >> Dawn Editorial

Promotion of Martial Law? Are they paid to do this or are they just stupid?

Promotion of Martial Law?

by Omar Ali

There is a well-coordinated campaign in Pakistan to get rid of “.. politicians” and bring back the holy army, with its power to “clean up society” once and for all. Never mind that they have tried it at least 4 times before, for up to 11 years at a time, and each time their sacred intervention has left the country MORE corrupt and more violent and its institutions more degenerate. I only have access to … TV channel, and all I see is shameless promotion of the army as if it is not an arm of the government, but an independent opposition party which is doing good work the govt wont do! This is beyond ridiculous, but its promoted non-stop by every newscast and anchor of that particular TV channel. One has to question: Are they paid to do this or are they just stupid?

And of course, the various ISI-friendly politicians have started coming out of the woodwork to prepare the ground for another round of military rule. Mushahid Hussain and Durrani and every other sorry piece of work is on TV, claiming to represent the will of the people as they beg for the army to come and clean house.

It is possible that at this time, they are not actually taking over, but they are just using this campaign as a convenient opportunity to further undermine civilian rule, so that the worthless prime minister can grovel even lower before the army chief and the army can collect credit for doing its job (like flood relief) while getting none of the blame.

Whatever the case, … TV channel’s shameless promotion of this “good army versus bad politicians” framework should be condemned.

Courtesy: — CRDP, August 24, 2010

Call for army’s intervention mischievous and inappropriate

HRCP -Lahore, August 23: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed as entirely inappropriate and mischievous the demand by the head of a political party for the military to “take any martial law-type action

Continue reading Call for army’s intervention mischievous and inappropriate

Cultivate a better variety of politics

Islamabad diary : All those years ago

– Ayaz Amir

I resigned from the Foreign Service — for which I had little aptitude to begin with — on April 15, 1977, when the rightwing movement against Mr Bhutto was at its height. In my two-para letter to my ambassador I said Bhutto’s policies were leading to the imposition of martial law.

Continue reading Cultivate a better variety of politics

From the archive of the history: Mass movement in Sindh- Every minute has story to tell

By Anne Weaver, Special to The Christian Science Monitor

In a surprisingly strong, rural mass movement in Sindh – the first such political movement outside the cities that Pakistan has seen – thousands have continued their defiance of General Zia’s martial law regime. At least 38 people have died in the protests. According to opposition sources, 80 are dead. The opposition claims 7,000 have been arrested or successfully ”courted arrest.” The government acknowledges that some 1,400 Sindis are under arrest.

Driving through Sindh’s interior, where slate hills turn to desert and large tracts of rice, wheat, and cotton fields are flooded by monsoon rains, one is struck by the poverty. There are few development programs here.

People live on the margin of an agricultural economy. One passes through a score of hamlets and villages hugging the banks of the Indus River.

In recent weeks, they have all, in one way or another, protested against the Zia regime or gone on the rampage. They have defied police lines, been beaten back by teargas or a lathi charge. They have burned government buildings, disrupted transportation links, broken into Sindhi jails and court buildings, or engaged in general strikes.

Inside the dirty, overcrowded jail in Dadu, one of Sind’s most violent, up-river towns 200 miles from Karachi, 77 political prisoners told why they were willing to defy martial law, endure flogging, and go before special military courts-martial whose sessions last less than five minutes.

Their reasons for submitting to the punishment are as eclectic as the four provinces of Pakistan.

The province of Punjab, they acknowledge, is the key to the longevity of the Zia regime. If the country’s most populous province, its breadbasket and dispenser of army positions and posts in the federal bureaucracy, does not enter the protest, Zia and his army will probably be able to control the situation here in Sindh.

But, that is not the end, they add quickly. In Sindh, the fuse has been lit. And, if the protest is confined within this southern province’s borders, if others do not join, it will give far greater impetus to the more radical voices favoring Sindi independence, a movement called ”Sinduh-Desh.”

All of the young men crammed into one of the barracks of Dadu’s prison want to speak. They include medical students, provincial government civil servants, workers, shopkeepers, and peasants. Most are supporters of Mr. Bhutto’s Pakistani People’s Party, which has always dominated the politics of Sind. Others belong to the ”Sinduh-Desh” movement or are followers of the traditional ”sardars” or hereditary ”pirs.”

Some are political protesters, demanding a return to democracy and the end of martial law, others are protesting Zia’s Islamization program – most interior Sindis are Sufi Muslims who charge that General Zia has made heresy of the Koran. Still others are there at the behest of their ”sardars,” who have refused to pay the Islamic ”usur” land tax, on their vast holdings, which dominate the Indus River valley of Sindh. Some are here because they went to the streets to avenge Mr. Bhutto’s death. Others are followers of G. M. Sayed, the father of Sindhi nationalism, a hereditary ”pir,” who is the guiding force behind the Sinduh-Desh movement.

Strangers here are eyed with suspicion. But when people discover a journalist , they immediately want to talk. It is not surprising that their primary topic of conversation is their long-time resentment over domination by governments, armies, and bureaucracies coming from the Punjab region.

Protests sweep Pakistan in effort to restore democracy

Courtesy: CSM