Shameful. Distressing. Dangerous.

Posted on March 12, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

The way that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was removed was bad enough. But what has happened since then is even more disturbing.

The Chief Justice removed. Media being muzzled. Lawyers protesting beaten up.

One can debate whether Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry should have been removed or not, or even whether the way he was removed was appropriate or not. But there is no question that the way the government is dealing with this issue is shameful, distressing, and dangerous.

The shamefulness is obvious in these pictures; just as it was when a young man’s shalwar was taken off as he protested ‘disappearances’ some months ago. It is distressing because it demonstrates the sanctity of our most important institutions – the judiciary and the media – is under stress. It is dangerous because if one keeps slipping down this road then it is not merely the future of this government but that of the entire country that will be at stake.

Whether the lawyers here instigated the violence or not, I do not know. They very possibly did, and that is itself disturbing. But that is not the point. The question is how a society and a state deals with dissent and protest. Once again, the answer is: “Shamefully.

I do not know who is advising the government on all of this. I just pray that someone is. I hope there is someone who stands up and says:

“Don’t do this.
Please don’t do this.
This is not good for you.
This is not good for the country.
This cannot be good for anyone.
Please – for God’s sake – STOP!”

I wish I had something more profound to say right now. But as I stare at these pictures and this video clip, I hold my head in shame; I am distressed; and I ponder on the dangers before us.

All I can think of right now is: “Allah khair karey!”

(Also see a BBC video report here. All pictures above from BBC website; video from GEO News). 

124 Comments on “Shameful. Distressing. Dangerous.”

  1. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 12th, 2007 9:59 pm

    Adil: You are right, this is so shameful. There are so many things you can say but at the end of the day, nothing matters. I do appriciate that we are in the US and atleast we can ‘openly’ talk about it, I am not sure in Pakistan you can do that; thousands of people are missing in Pak. and those who protest openly, we can see what happens to them. My mind somehow goes to the extreme, I can’t help it: When I think of Musharaf, I think of Prophets. Whatever prophets used to say, that used to be the law and the word of God. These army generals can break the law and constitution the way they want it, and guess what, that become THE LAW and the word of god.

  2. omar r. quraishi says:
    March 12th, 2007 10:16 pm

    Editorial, The News, March 13, 2007

    All the makings of a police state
    The events since Friday make extremely depressing reading for anyone remotely concerned about the state of the nation. The continued virtual house arrest of the suspended chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, is a black spot on this government that will be difficult — one would say, almost impossible — to erase from public memory. As if the humiliation of Justice Chaudhry being summoned to Army House and being asked to explain to the president (wearing army fatigues) the allegations contained in a now-controversial letter was not enough, one now learns that since Friday the suspended chief justice of Pakistan and his family have had their telephone lines disconnected, their mobile phones taken away and have been prohibited from watching television or reading newspapers. According to several reports, most quoting Justice Chaudhry’s family members, the house of the suspended chief justice is swarming with officials of the intelligence agencies and no one is allowed to enter the premises, though retired air force chief Air Marshal Asghar Khan did manage to argue and walk past the guards and meet Justice Chaudhry.

    In doing all of this, the government has clearly overstepped its authority. Justice Chaudhry, if Article 209 has been followed and read properly, has had a reference filed against him for misconduct and abuse of office. However, preventing him from meeting people and restricting his and his family’s movement, and not letting him establish contact with anyone outside his residence gives the impression as if the government considers him a dangerous criminal who is a clear and present danger to society. What the government has been doing since Friday is only going to exacerbate the crisis and lower its credibility — already quite low — in the eyes of (it can be safely said) most Pakistanis because they will think that if this can happen to a chief justice of the Supreme Court then ordinary citizens might just as well forget about receiving their constitutionally guaranteed right to due process and a fair hearing.

    By denying the suspended chief justice the right to move around freely, to meet whoever he wishes or even to talk to the media, the government is in violation of the Constitution, and specifically of the constitutional process by which a member of the Supreme Court is to be removed from office. Surely, the president, the prime minister, members of the federal cabinet and even the brother judges of Justice Chaudhry would agree that his is a case of convicting without even being given a fair hearing. Surely, it can be seen that Article 209 does not authorise the president, or anyone for that matter, with the power to restrict the physical movement of a judge against whom a reference has been filed and to bar him from using any link to the outside world. A lot of damage has already been done by this full frontal assault on the judiciary of the country.

    Of course, no one should defend a judge, no matter how august he may be, if he indulges in conduct unbecoming of his office and misuses his official powers. But allegations should not be equated with proof and conviction — something that the government’s actions suggest is the case — and the method and process outlined in the Constitution need to be followed. This constitutional method does not have any provision for physically restricting a judge under investigation from moving about freely and stripping away his officially entitled privileges — the latter can be done only after the investigation has been carried out and a recommendation for removal made by the Supreme Judicial Council and acted upon by the president. Even in that eventuality, the action should not be seen as high-handed and vindictive — which seems to be the case now, despite the fact that the charges against Justice Chaudhry remain mere allegations. As has been reported widely, on the day of his suspension following the filing of the presidential reference, Justice Chaudhry was stopped from entering the premises of the Supreme Court building and escorted to his house by a senior police official. Even now, with a reference filed against him but none of the charges proved, the suspended chief justice should be free to visit his office if he so wishes because there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents any judge of the Supreme or High Courts, and against whom a reference has been filed with the Supreme Judicial Council, from attending his office.

    There is one other point as well: ministers should not consider the people of this country to be bumpkins who cannot see what is going on. When told that Air Marshal Asghar Khan had met Justice Chaudhry who told him that he (Justice Chaudhry) had no access to the phone, TV or newspapers, one member of the federal cabinet expressed surprise and then went on to say that this itself was proof that the chief justice was free to meet people. Surely, the hordes of journalists, politicians and well-wishers standing outside the gates of Justice Chaudhry’s official residence and denied entry by the security staff posted there speak of an entirely contrary situation, one that really puts official claims that he is free to meet anyone to shame. The government needs to extricate itself from this ugly situation before it spirals out of control. Any delay in repairing the damage can only convince most Pakistanis that they live in a country that has all the makings of a police state. Also, equally importantly, the government needs to understand that for the sake of its own credibility this farce needs to come to an end.

  3. Owais Mughal says:
    March 12th, 2007 10:47 pm

    The way lawyers are seen throwing stones is not a gentlemanly act either. I don’t have any respect for stone throwing people.

  4. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 12th, 2007 10:55 pm

    Owais: I do agree with you!

  5. Alam says:
    March 12th, 2007 11:53 pm

    Every blogger here is pro-Musharraf. So shed corodile tears?

  6. March 12th, 2007 11:59 pm

    Owais: While hooliganism and mob-mentality is rather pervasive in our culture, I don’t see how the lawyers who were being pelted with laathi charge in this case could have possibly responded. Their other option would have been to disperse and the news headline would be something like:”Lawyes gather to protest but were stopped by police and thus they dispersed after a little naara baaze.” That would have barely qualified for a page 3 column in the newspaper.

  7. Daktar says:
    March 13th, 2007 12:05 am

    Tomorrow morning the Chief Justice is supposed to appear before the SJC. He is insisiting that he wants representation and wants an open trial. At least the first request is totally reasonable. I hope the government does not again make an already bad situation even worse by refusing. If it does, then anything can happen.

  8. Owais Mughal says:
    March 13th, 2007 12:10 am

    I don’t know if I’ll ever use services of a lawyer whom I saw throwing stones on national media :)

  9. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 13th, 2007 12:49 am

    Owais: What are your thoughts about the top picture, a lawyer in bllod tinged white shirt??I do agree that voilence is not the answer to voilence but I guess as a nation, we are still not at a point in evolution where maybe we could understand that!!!

  10. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 13th, 2007 12:50 am

    Daktar:
    In yesterday’s Aaj TV talk show with Talat Hussain, the information minister said that the decision to hold an open trial is not in the hands of the government. He claimed that it’s totally up to the supreme judicial council. Meaning: no open trial.

    Also, note that while the lawyers are protesting, the judges are not. I feel tempted to use words that would violate ATP’s posting policies.

    By the way, in yesterday’s Kamran Khan show, he and Ansar Abbassi spent some time talking about the history of good ties between the military and judiciary. They also talked about the fact that when Musharraf created NAB, two institutions, the military and judiciary were exempted. That show is certainly worth putting up on google if someone has a recording.

  11. Owais Mughal says:
    March 13th, 2007 1:04 am

    Moeen Sahib. yes the first photo has probably the same effect on me as on you but replying violence with violence is civil disobedience, not a protest. In today’s dawn there is a photo where lawyers are seen throwing trash and garbage in city-nazim Gujranwala’s office. They may be protesting for a legitimate cause but the violent protest or throwing garbage in govt offices will make them lose sympathy.

  12. Babbi says:
    March 13th, 2007 1:41 am

    Lawyers’ protest and CJ’s removal: everything is cheap politics and yes we are not at a point in evolution where we could swallow Democracy and Freedom of Expression. Being 200years behind the developed world, we can only expect what is happenning.

    Nor the Govt Nor the Judiciary are saints. They all are in the same pool.

  13. Asma says:
    March 13th, 2007 2:11 am

    It’s kind of becoming a national attitude; thrashing one another and then blaming one another for the misdeeds – Instead of peaceful demonstrations, that should’ve been staged. I really don’t know who can actually get benefited of such an insolent show of power and protest, as if someone(govt??) really cares here.

    This is nothing but the humiliation of Pakistan.

  14. March 13th, 2007 2:27 am

    *grin*

    I already knew one day General will take away his Mask of educated,enlightened ,secularism and liberalism and would show the real horrible face of dictatorship. Thankyou General,”dair ayed durust ayed”

  15. Abdullah says:
    March 13th, 2007 2:32 am

    According to todays Dawn , more shameful. It is all from enlighten, secular, modern, anti – Mullah, highly western educated people

    TV channels off air for airing protest

    By Amir Wasim

    ISLAMABAD, March 12: Two private TV channels remained off air for some time on Monday after getting a warning from the government’s media regularity authority for showing pictures of police baton-charge on protesting lawyers in Lahore against the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

    It was the Aaj TV which first showed the footage of police chasing and beating the protesting lawyers on the streets of Lahore at around 1pm. The TV channel showed senior Supreme Court lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa with a bleeding head being taken by colleagues for medical treatment.

    After a while, another private TV channel, Geo News, aired the footage of the same incident.

    After some time, the two channels went off the air simultaneously. The transmission of the two channels resumed after several minutes with a different footage of the Lahore incident.

    Sources told Dawn that an official of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) in Sindh contacted the managements of the channels on telephone and told them not to telecast the scenes of police action against lawyers.

    They said the Pemra official was particularly angry over the scenes in which Latif Khosa was shown bleeding from a cut on his head. The managements of both the channels replied that they were telecasting the news report because their competitor was also showing it, they said.

    The sources said the managements of all private TV channels were under pressure and issued ‘verbal orders’ not to give too much coverage to the ongoing judicial crisis.

    Despite several attempts, Dawn failed to contact Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani and State Minister Tariq Azeem to seek the government’s version.

  16. Saad says:
    March 13th, 2007 2:33 am

    Article 144 enforced in Lahore , all sorts of congregations are made illegal.

  17. Tahir says:
    March 13th, 2007 3:18 am

    I have supported President Musharraf for more than 6 years now throughout all sorts of semi-legal machinations engineered by his team, but this episode of the ‘suspension’ and house arrest of the CJ has changed my mind. I think after being in power for so many years, the President has been corrupted by it. This incident might well mark the beginning of the end of Musharraf’s rule, at least I hope so!

  18. YLH says:
    March 13th, 2007 3:41 am

    As someone who is in Pakistan right now… I am beginning to feel that something is up. General Musharraf, who despite being a military dictator, had generally governed without stepping on two many toes suddenly finds himself in the eye of the storm… all of Pakistan is unanimous against Musharraf right now, unlike the Bugti Affair where the opinion was divided.

    What is going to happen next. As Jawaharlal Nehru said (ominously in response to ML’s direct action threat in 1946) all those years ago: Either the government brings down the direct action or the direct action brings down the government…

    The lawyer fraternity is up in arms and will soon be joined up by the opposition and the religious right … next few days will see the direct action succeed or the government succeed…. either way, blood of Pakistanis will be spilt in the streets of Pakistan… and whatever innocence is left shall be lost.

  19. Anon says:
    March 13th, 2007 4:35 am

    Reliable eyewitnesses report that the Chief Justice tried to take a walk with his wife and two daughters whereupon the police tried to stop them, and when the CJ persisted, they beat him up, manhandled his family and threw them in their cars and sped them off to the Baluchistan house. Eyewitnesses say his clothes were torn and he had to be forcibly pushed into one of the vehicles.

    This was confirmed by Geo TV at the 1pm news hour on March 13, 07, also by people in Islamabad.

  20. iFaqeer says:
    March 13th, 2007 5:09 am

    First they came for the bloggers.
    Then they came for the IT Executive.
    Then they came for the lawyers…

    stay tuned.

  21. Disciple says:
    March 13th, 2007 5:24 am

    What a shameful day for the country. Even criminals are not treated this way whereby they are manhandled and denied access to legal representation *well* before proceedings and their families held hostage.

    Is there a shred of dignity in this? Can this be considered a legal process by any standard? No.

  22. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 13th, 2007 5:45 am

    i think the thing about beating him up is incorrect — but what has happened is not much worse

  23. March 13th, 2007 5:49 am

    http://geo.tv/geonews/details.asp?id=3357&param=1


    Talking to newsmen after his arrival to Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chaudhry said that the Judicial Council comprises of those judges against whom he was preparing to file references. Some of them having personal grudge against him, he said. He urged the lawyers to be patient and stay calm.

  24. MQ says:
    March 13th, 2007 5:54 am

    Where does MQM stand on this issue? We didn’t hear a beep from them — one way or the other.

  25. Disciple says:
    March 13th, 2007 6:04 am

    As for politicians’ role, I see it this way;

    - Most politicians stood put and on the fence until they could see the popular sympathy for the CJ that they could cash on.

    - PPP and MQM are still on the sideline.

    - Nawaz Sharif is making noises but his actions can hardly be considered noble as he himself has not been honurbale to Udlia (to put it mildly) and he has an axe to grind against Musharraf.

    - Molivs are making noises and have effectively hijacked the political side of the protest. If history is anything to go by then these Mullahs (in effect B-team Army) will make some formal noises before bringing the matter to an amicable (for Army) close. If however issue gets out of hand and ‘Buray Sahib’ decides that Musharraf has to go then Molvis would be used to support the next general in line.

  26. PatExpat says:
    March 13th, 2007 6:18 am

    you know what MQM stands for nowadays,

    Musharraf Qaumi Movement

  27. Disciple says:
    March 13th, 2007 6:22 am

    Just like MMA is Mullah-Military-America.

  28. Tehmina says:
    March 14th, 2007 2:18 am

    I agree with Owais, this picture of the lawyer throwing the stone and look on his face is not good and not worthy of respect. I deplore the violence by the police but lawyers taking law in their own hands is also not right. To see lawyers and police fighting like this and chief justice being beaten next day, I do not get much confidence in LAW and ORDER in Pakistan. No wonder no one respects the law. Not even lawyers.

  29. king_faisal says:
    March 13th, 2007 6:46 am

    excellent. and about time. i can think of no other group in pakistan more deserving of a good old fashioned phaintee through lathi charge than the lawyer mafia who, while drapping itself in the flag of democracy, cant even agree on its own election results:

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=4789

    Lawyers accuse Qayyum of doctoring SCBA poll result

    Progressive Group of Lawyers claims high margin victory in re-election

    “LAHORE: The Professional Group of Lawyers has accused Justice (retd) Malik Muhammad Qayyum of tampering with the election results of Supreme Court Bar Association…”

    also the sight of blood seems to be eliciting a lot of sympathy for the scumbag lawyers yet i cant recall reading even a few words of sympathy for the shaduth of 600+ army jawan in fata and baluchistan. also showing blood to the press camera is an old Pakistani trick. the mullahs in fact got people killed during the cartoon riots. awam however did not bite than and wont bite now. people supporting the lawyers will have to ask for foreign help which is precisely what bb is doing.

  30. king_faisal says:
    March 13th, 2007 6:50 am

    btw here is the link to the report showing the exact amount ppp is giving to people who bought you the iraq war.

    http://www.prweek.com/us/news/article/642662/Burson-reps-Pakistan-opposition-party/

    WASHINGTON: Burson-Marsteller recently signed a $28,500-a-month contract through the end of June 2007 to assist the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by the former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, in its efforts to foster US support for “free elections” in Pakistan.

  31. Naveed says:
    March 13th, 2007 7:16 am

    LUMS responds to ‘unlawful’ removal of CJ with ‘teach-in’

    LAHORE: The LUMS Law and Policy faculty is arranging a university-wide teach-in, consisting of faculty and external experts giving talks on constitutional history and judicial independence on March 14, Wednesday. It will be open to students as well as other citizens. The teach-in was announced in a statement released on Monday that expressed said faculty condemnation of the removal of the chief justice of Pakistan. They described the government’s action as “arbitraryâ€

  32. Disciple says:
    March 13th, 2007 9:00 am

    Where are those people whose missing relatives CJ tried to recover? At least they should openly support him.

  33. March 13th, 2007 9:05 am

    Altaf is busy in “Thoughtful sessions” across punjab these days.

  34. Disciple says:
    March 13th, 2007 9:09 am

    In all fairness if anyone did anything real it was in Lahore including barring ministers from BAR etc. The rest are just talk so far. Presumably this talk will also die down in a day or two when everyone switches to cricket. Could Government have included the cricket factor in their planning too? What about Justice Bhagwan Das? Is his mysterious disappearance also part of Government’s plan?

  35. Jamhooriat says:
    March 13th, 2007 9:45 am

    Mushi Zindabad
    Roshan Khayali zindabad
    aitedal pasandi zindabad
    ———————————-
    Is it not the forum that had an unqualified support for mushi?
    —————————————

  36. Bundagi says:
    March 13th, 2007 9:56 am

    Alright, now no offence, i fail to see why you are all so shocked…i mean when has our govt.ever been an exemplary, model govt. As far back as i can recall we have always been throwing stones at each other and we have always been fighting like hens in a hen fight, making a spectacle of ourselves, and once the dust dies down it all goes back to the same old routine. Nothing ever changes.

  37. MQ says:
    March 13th, 2007 10:18 am

    Talking to different people here in Islamabad one finds that even the Musharraf supporters are terribly embarrassed by this drama that is unfolding in Islamabad.

  38. MQ says:
    March 13th, 2007 10:41 am

    While no one knows how this drama in Islamabad is going to play out in the end, some very interesting and comic statements are being made by some Q leaders:

    Shuj of Guj: This is between the Army and the Judiciary.

    Mushahid Mandella (answering a question as to why the CJ and his family members were confined to a room in their house with police surrounding the house): It is for his personal security.

    Durr Fitte: The CJ has made the whole thing a political drama

    The Slapper (talking to a journalist from The News): Sorry, I cannot repeat it here. ATP will censor it.

  39. PAKISTANI says:
    March 14th, 2007 4:50 pm

    Don’t you guys have any shame.

    DOn’t you know how much your are hurting Pakistan’s image by putting up these pictures and writing these comments.

    Think about it. How will someone from outside look at Pakistan after seeing and reading this.

    Sometimes its just better to remain quiet, for the good of your country.

  40. Disciple says:
    March 13th, 2007 11:21 am

    All chore uchakkas are in the so-called Judicial Review Commission. Read CJ’s statement here;

    The whole thing has created a very serious judicial/legal crisis. By taking and giving oath of CJ while CJ is still present, judges have disqualified themselves as SC justices.

  41. Pakistaniat Reader says:
    March 13th, 2007 10:55 pm

    Adil, I know you like quizzes and you like books, so guess who wrote this:

    “The prime minister convinced certain judges to take his side, and they passed a resolution against their own chief justice. Then the prime minister got his party goons to storm the Supreme Court building while the court was in session. Their lordships had to hide in their chambers to avoid a thrashing, or worse. This was, to put it mildly, a very low poit in Pakistani political history.”

  42. Saad says:
    March 13th, 2007 12:38 pm
  43. Adnan Ahmad says:
    March 13th, 2007 12:08 pm

    MQ, Who is Durr Fitte? Durrani? BTW looking at his face on tv at times I think he is wishing he wasn’t part of this. MQM has everything to lose if they discussed anything about cj; they did however condemned the lahore incident.

    Owais, yaar, can’t believe you are asking for tehzeeb when you know any civility will be cashed in by these extremely uncivil ministers. We are both karachites and with that disclaimer I think you are saying lawyers should have said “zara ibb kay maar?”

    Omar R. That was a couragious editorial. I just wish somewhere there was a minute by minute update on this.

    Can someone tell Musharraf how much of a good he has undone in the last 4 days?

  44. March 13th, 2007 12:21 pm

    By way of update, a reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent me the following from the scene of the report from the Supreme court building in Islamabad:

    ————–
    This afternoon Pakistan witnessed a historic event outside the Supreme Court Building. On the day of the trial against Chief Justice Ifitkhar Chaudhry, hundreds of lawyers gathered outside the SC to protest against the current administration’s action and to demonstrate support for the judiciary. The events that surrounded the CJs arrival and exit from the building were truly dramatic and unparalleled in the history of the country. I work next door, at the senate, and so was able to circumvent the barriers put up by the police to stop advancing crowds. These pictures were taken by me and I would like to contribute them for consideration for your blog.

    The major news networks have been barred from covering the story. In fact, GEO and AAJ TV were temporarily taken off air yesterday for their reporting of the clashes between lawyers and police in Lahore. ARY has been taken to court and threatened with the cancellation of its TV license. After laying low for a while, they have finally starting reporting again, in view of the magnitude of the events. This news is only just breaking on the networks, and some details, like the dismantling of the CJs escort car, have been left out. It has been exactly three hours since these events happened.

    In case the full news hasn’t reached outside Pakistan yet – and there is reason to believe it might not have – here’s a brief review of the events of the day.

    Since one of the primary charges against the CJ was his indulgence in official protocol, he refused to go to the trial in a government car. Instead, he insisted on walking to the SC, accompanied by his wife and lawyers. However, a few miles from his house, he was intercepted by security personnel, roughed up, packed into an official car, and sent off to the Supreme Court in a motorcade of nine government vehicles. The main road in front of the supreme court, the famed Constitutional Avenue, was blocked throughout its entire length for all types of traffic, and in order to further avoid the public the motorcade made its way thru the parking lots of the cabinet secretariat, the presidency, the parliament, finally reaching the SC. At the SC it was intercepted by protesting lawyers, many of them lying down in front of the advancing motorcade. As soon as the vehicles slowed down, people climbed on top the car carrying the CJ, demanding his release. This went on for fifteen minutes. During this time the crowd managed to, literally, break the car apart; shattering its windows and unhinging the door (It’s the white corolla in the pictures.) The CJ was in the back seat sanwiched between two people, who were conveniently thrown out. Throngs escorted him into the SC building, raising slogans in his support and against the government. This was at 2 pm.

    The crowd remained outside till the proceedings were over. At around 5 pm the hearing ended. The CJ again refused to board a goverenment car. He left in the jeep of a PPP MNA, accompanied by his lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, also of the PPP. The mob once again seized the car, climbing on top, chanting slogans in support of the CJ and the judiciary. But most importantly, they raised slogans against the army, and Musharaf (vitriolic ones like “Musharaf Kutta, hai hai”). Soon, he left, trailed by police cars.

  45. March 13th, 2007 12:32 pm

    The same reader who sent the report above sent these pictures taken by him at the Supreme Court today. Thanks.

  46. Khalid K. says:
    March 14th, 2007 1:59 am

    Are these people getting a beating because they really like Iftikhar Chaudhry or because they are really tired of Musharraf?
    I think it is the second thing. Which means Musharraf is in real trouble!

  47. Disciple says:
    March 13th, 2007 2:13 pm
  48. Anwar says:
    March 13th, 2007 3:30 pm

    I am beginning to feel that Pakistan is a perpetual land trapped in a twilight zone.
    Current events are distressing…

  49. March 13th, 2007 3:44 pm

    CJ has already expressed his doubt about composition of council. Now the thing is that one party of the trial is not agreeing on judges, will there be any kind of violation of some law if court doesn’t bring other judges as SJC members for this trial?

  50. March 13th, 2007 10:20 pm

    Poud-Pakistani.com has moved a petition on this which can be seen here and signed here.

  51. Owais Mughal says:
    March 13th, 2007 10:22 pm

    Adnan Ahmed bhai. Quaid-e-Azam mohd Ali Jinnah was a lwayer too. Do you expect if he had ever come out to protest like this and throw stones. He would’ve fought the battle within legal system.

    That being said, shame for police brutality. No excuse for that. Police action was barbaric. Their brutality is also obvious from the photos.

  52. YLH says:
    March 14th, 2007 12:57 am

    Owais Mughal,

    About Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah… do check out his two famous protest marches… the one againt Lord Wellingdon in Bombay and the other one against Simon Commission….

    Even constitutional lawyers get riled up some times…

  53. TURAB says:
    March 14th, 2007 1:28 am

    in MUSHI WE TRUST !!

    LONG LIVE MUSHI & LONG LIVE PAKISTAN!

  54. Critic says:
    March 14th, 2007 2:14 am

    I think both are true. They were tired of Mush and wanted some one good they could follow which was the CJP. After all you dont see them supporting Nawaz or BB.

  55. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 14th, 2007 3:53 am

    Well said critic, this protest has become so embarrasing for the government precisely because it is not centered around someone badly tainted like BB or NS. The charges against the CJ may or may not be true, but he also made some very good judgements and had become a thorne for the government.
    People who have been regularly calling for the return of BB/NS in the zeal for democracy are badly off the mark, in fact the sooner our discourse on democracy goes beyond them the better. Such characters not only harm the country but also bring a bad name to democracy itself.

  56. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 14th, 2007 4:28 am

    There are also some issues about the behavior of the CJ himself though. He should not have sat in that car brought by that PPP MNA. He should avoid doing anything that can even remotely suggest political partiality. He could have gone with Aitezaz Ahsan and that would have been ok because Aitezaz is his lawyer in the hearing.

    Then there are some other questions that should be debated widely. Is the constitutionally prescribed method of appointing the SJC appropriate? How much can members of the judiciary be reasonably expected to hold their own peers accountable? Has this system worked in the past? How many corrupt judges have faced action?
    And in the event of a CJ being investigated for corruption or abuse of office, isn’t there an inherent conflict of interest because his ouster naturally creates more promotion opportunities for all his juniors.
    But I am not very hopeful that these questions will be debated.

  57. Disciple says:
    March 14th, 2007 5:24 am

    Interesting but understandable reaction from politicians. Most are still sitting on the sideline; some are paying lip service but nothing concrete. Mullahs have as usual hijacked the political side to ensure the protest does not go in a direction ultimately undesirable for Army.

    It’s very clear that no political party wants a truly independent Judiciary. All have plenty of skeletons, and not even in closet – everyone knows about them. The reinstating of CJ and an independent Judiciary is in the interest of none of the powerful groups. This puts the CJ in a difficult position with no supporter of any real strength behind.

    It also shows vast difference between what the politicians want and what public desires. While public hopes for a just system, politicians (all of them) aspire for a system running under their control and which is a threat only to their opponents.

  58. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 14th, 2007 5:29 am

    This from today’s The News, March 14, 2007

    Editorial

    A time to step back

    The nation finds itself in a singularly unenviable position today. A lot can be debated on who is behind things coming to where they have. For instance, the footage shown on television of dozens of Islamabad police constables literally trying to herd ‘suspended’ Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry into a waiting car so that he does not walk to the Supreme Court building. Or the uncalled for and unprovoked lathi-charge by the police on a group of lawyers holding a peaceful protest in Lahore on March 12. And as if opening a front with the lawyers’ community was not enough, the government â€

  59. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 14th, 2007 5:36 am

    The last line above should read:
    “But I am not very hopeful that these questions will be debated enough.”
    (addition of the word “enough”)

    It has been pointed out in the media that very few judges have faced accountability through this process. What I mean above is that I am not hopeful for these questions to get enough attention to raise the level of discussion to debating possible amendments aimed at improving the system.

  60. Critic says:
    March 14th, 2007 6:32 am

    Hey Aqil,

    I agree with you but please consider this. The CJP has been through hell for the last 4 days (held in house arrest, denied any access to information, pressurized by government bigwigs, mentally tortured and finally manhandled in front of his family.

    I mean if any of us was in his shoes, sitting in a politicians car would be the least of our worries. So I think we should not worry about that issue. Lets just pray that he is reinstated as that is the best possible solution for this crises.

    However, on a general note I agree with you that there should be amendments for improving the system.

  61. Critic says:
    March 14th, 2007 7:05 am

    The image of the CJP being manhandled and pushed in the car is on the nation website.

  62. Disciple says:
    March 14th, 2007 8:01 am

    Doesn’t open for me, site unavailable. Can you upload the image somewhere? Thanks.

  63. MQ says:
    March 14th, 2007 8:02 am

    Aqil,

    I think the issue of sitting in a politican’s car was explained by Aitzaz Ahsan and others on a TV show. In the morning while going to the Court the CJ refused to sit in a government car because he was so cut up with the government for denying him access to telephone and TV in the house as well as to newspapers and his official cars. Therefore, he decided to walk to the Supreme Court along with his wife — a walking distance from his house. Instead, the officials tried to physically force him into the car and tore up his jacket in the process.

    On the way back from the court, Aitizaz Ahsan was escorting him back but, he said, there was no way his car could have made through the crowd. So, he spotted his friend, an PPP MNA, and asked him if had a 4-wheel. He did and fetched it, in which the CJ and lawyers rode back. Ahsan said, the CJ probably didn’t even know whose car was it. So, I don’t see it as a big deal.

    Incidentally, “Durr Fitte” has termed the CJ’s wish to walk to the court as an effort to start a “long march”.

  64. NAWAZ says:
    March 14th, 2007 12:18 pm

    The mockery of justice and law that has been made by different governments and now by General Musharraf is one of the biggest curses of our country. The fact that lawyers have to seek justice on the streets through such acts demeans them and their profession (specially throwing stones) but in the end it happens because our rulers have left them no chance and no hope of getting justice in the courts.

  65. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 14th, 2007 8:39 am

    Critic and MQ:
    Points well made and taken.

    Vaissay I am just wondering what kind of things Shiekh Rasheed would have said if he were the disinformation minister. Would be interesting if they invite him on one of their TV talkshows to discuss this.

  66. Critic says:
    March 14th, 2007 8:48 am

    I think Sheikh Rashid would have responded the same way as Durrani, they are all cut from the same clothe.

  67. Anwar says:
    March 14th, 2007 9:10 am

    Unwinding Musharaf…
    New Pakistani leaders. A new recipe from Washington cookbook…
    http://theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21378237-2703,00.html?from=public_rss

  68. Adnan Ahmad says:
    March 14th, 2007 9:23 am

    Regarding CJ using MNA’s car all I have to say is Durr Fitte Moo’n (and a big one too). Sorry folks can’t help it.

  69. Adnan Ahmad says:
    March 14th, 2007 9:38 am

    Despite being brought up reading DAWN and jang in urdu every morning I must say “the news” was most up to date on their latest updates yesterday. It is sad to see dawn chicken out like this. From a business perspective news outlets should know that events like this can make or break their future.

  70. MQ says:
    March 14th, 2007 9:39 am

    Adnan,

    Can’t help laughing out loud!

  71. MQ says:
    March 14th, 2007 9:50 am

    [quote]“I am just wondering what kind of things Shiekh Rasheed would have said if he were the disinformation minister.”[/quote]

    Aqil,

    The tragedy of our country is that each time a new set of leaders take over the last ones start looking much better. Nowadays when I see “Durr Fit” on TV, I tell you, his predecessor looks benign and sophisticated.

  72. Lahori says:
    March 14th, 2007 11:14 pm

    Pakistani. The only thing hurting Pakstan’s image is the behavior of the government. I have never been prouder of Pakistani people and specially of lawyers who are showing that we DO have a sense of right and wrong and are willing to stand up against what is wrong. This is a great moment for Pakistan and a eally bad one for the government. This makes me prouder of being Pakistani than any tal building ever could.

  73. Indscribe says:
    March 14th, 2007 5:51 pm

    Pakistani Sahab,
    Ghar mein aag lagi ho, sab khaak hone ka khatra ho, bas baahri logoN ko khabar na ho….I marvel at your thinking.

    Waise, Ghar mein gale kat jaayeN, baahar naak na kaTe….yeh soch to hindostan mein bhi hamesha rahi hai…..

  74. Baber says:
    March 14th, 2007 6:05 pm

    yeh aghaaz-e-Ishaq hay! rootah hay kiya?
    agay agay dekhiya hota hay kiya ha ha ;)

    Musharraf has still three to four more years to go. After him the same process will countinue. Things will never change untill people start realizing that PAKarmy is no lesser evil and ITS not going to solve all our problems.
    They are our problem and to a solution to our problems.
    I don’t hate our army, I just don’t agree that they should be made GOD.

  75. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 14th, 2007 6:31 pm
  76. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 15th, 2007 2:01 am
  77. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 15th, 2007 3:17 am

    Can someone confirm that Aaj TV has again gone off air. They were apparently giving some reports on some protest activity outside the president house where a heavy police presence was preventing lawyers from gathering.

  78. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 15th, 2007 4:15 am

    Yes, just confirmed from a source, Aaj is indeed off air. According to my info, Geo is not covering the proceedings outside president house.
    So they have been effectively gagged for now. I hope someone in the area can take videos/photographs on mobile phone cameras and have them posted on the internet.

  79. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 7:30 am

    Pakistan president faces open revolt as lawyers take to streets again – Guardian

  80. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 15th, 2007 7:59 am

    aqil for god’s sake man get your facts right — aaj is no right now

  81. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 15th, 2007 9:19 am

    Omar:
    Dude, why do you get so irritated?
    I stick to what I wrote, Aaj indeed went off air today, soon after it reported that some lawyers were trying to protest outside the president house. It is back on right now, don’t know exactly when it was restored, but it remained off for some time.
    And yes, Geo did not have a report on the happenings near the president house at that time. Its latest news headlines just transmitted at 6pm Pakistan standard time are also only limited to Musharaf’s statement and the order by SJC that the suspended CJ should be allowed to meet his lawyers.
    I am sorry if any talk of the press being pressurized into silence by the government upsets you for some reasons, but it’s undeniable.
    I would not be surprised if the government tried to block coverage of tomorrows proceedings, it got a lot of egg on its face on monday and tuesday when Geo and Aaj really went to town (don’t know about ARY’s coverage).

  82. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 9:23 am

    احتجاج جاری، سول جج مستعÙ

  83. USMAN says:
    March 15th, 2007 2:32 pm

    I assume these websites are monitored. I hope Gen. Musharraf is listening and sees that his actions are turning lots of people like myself who used to liek him to now be against him. He should worry about this. Whatever happens about teh Chief Justice in teh end, here are three things he could do that will help him. (1) stop the mistreatment of protesting lawyers. (2) distance himself from SJC proceedings and let them be free and fair. (3) Please, remove that embarsing Law Minister of yours.

  84. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 9:25 am

    Sindh Attorney General resigned in protest.

    BBC Urdu

  85. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 9:34 am

    BBC has apparently retracted the attorney general news…at least for now. It came on their headlines for a few minutes but is now gone.

  86. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 10:04 am

    سندھ Ú©Û’ ایڈووکیٹ جنرل انور منصور خان Ù†Û’ Ú†ÛŒÙ

  87. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 15th, 2007 10:18 am

    And the Aaj TV headlines are also not making any mention of the attempts to protest near the president house, so naturally, it is hard not to think that it may have something to do with the fact that Aaj went off air earlier in the day.

  88. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 10:21 am

    Ú†ÛŒÙ

  89. MQ says:
    March 15th, 2007 10:44 am

    I also noticed that Geo has toned down its pitch since last night. I watched the 6PM news and don’t remember seeing anything about the CJ issue. ARY did give some news though.

    And, mercifully, both “Chittar” and “Durr Fitt” have been off the TV screens the whole day.

  90. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 11:14 am

    ’استعÙ

  91. Abdullah Haq says:
    March 15th, 2007 11:43 am
  92. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 1:01 pm

    Even Shareefuddin Peerzada has refused to appear from Government side. BBC Urdu

    He has been involved in this from the outset and been advising Government on the matter.

  93. Bhindigosht says:
    March 15th, 2007 1:52 pm

    BBC news: CJ’s daughter’s friends also took part in the protest outside the SC on Thursday.

  94. Abdullah Haq says:
    March 15th, 2007 3:52 pm

    Geo programme “Aaj Kamran Khan kai saath” banned! So only news source is I guess bbc urdu..and blogs

  95. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 15th, 2007 4:57 pm

    It’s quite evident that the media is being gagged (though Omar gets irritated when I say that). Kamran Khan’s program not being aired and Aaj TV being repeatedly made to go off. The mention of the CJ issue was also badly limited today in the news headlines.
    Proper coverage of tomorrow’s proceedings is in serious doubt now.

    BTW, did someone watch Talat Hussain’s show on Aaj TV last night? If so, how was the discussion? Did it again contain something that might have irked the government?

  96. Disciple says:
    March 15th, 2007 5:13 pm

    ’سیاسی خواÛ

  97. Hamza says:
    March 15th, 2007 5:26 pm

    Ayaz Amir writing in the Dawn. One of the many hard-hitting op-ed pieces been written in the aftermath of the judicial crisis. Throughout the entire affair, we must pay tribute to the media who have responded very well to this challenge on the judiciary. My apologies for the long post. The article is a bit emotional, but i feel it is worth reading.

    Madness and arrogance unspeakable

    By Ayaz Amir

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.
    – Euripides

    NOTHING like this has happened in Pakistan for a long time, certainly not in the last seven and a half years during which the nation has been seized by immobility and paralysis.

    Now, all at once, the waters seem to be moving and the heavens opening. All because of the courage and steadfastness of one man and the response his courage has evoked amongst the legal fraternity and Pakistanis at large.

    Bereft of worthy icons, much less heroes, the people of Pakistan suddenly have someone they can look up to and take heart from: the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

    Such has been the sad, tarnished history of the superior judiciary Pakistanis had lost faith in it. Now after a long time, a product of the judiciary has arisen to become a magnet to their hopes and aspirations.

    When the Chief Justice and his wife, Begum Iftikhar Chaudhry, walked out of their house on Tuesday morning, refusing to sit in any official car and insisting they would rather walk to the Supreme Court – where the Chief Justice had to appear before the Supreme Judicial Council to answer the reference filed by Gen Musharraf – the Chief Justice was roughed up by the Islamabad police and pushed into a waiting car.

    Photos of this shocking incident, with a rough hand holding the Chief Justice’s head, have appeared in some newspapers. Unthinkable as it may be, even Begum Iftikhar was pushed around. A taste no doubt of ‘real’ democracy and ‘enlightened moderation’.

    But violating the Chief Justice’s person, what has it achieved? It has further elevated his already high stature in the eyes of the Pakistani people. All the high-ups of the Islamabad police, including the Inspector-General (otherwise a likeable enough person), were present when all this was taking place. They can spend the rest of their lives explaining their sorry part in this affair.

    As for Begum Iftikhar, she now becomes in the eyes of the public the First Lady of Pakistan. Eat your hearts out, other candidates for this honour.

    Consider the fix the people of Pakistan are in. Those with any heart in them would have wept at the Chief Justice’s manhandling. But, in a strange way, they would also have felt elated.

    For their worst fears were that the Chief Justice might succumb to pressure, thus taking the wind out of the sails of the present national mood. After all, under virtual house arrest, with no access to the outside world, deprived of newspapers and television (basic necessities in our day and age, especially for someone in his position), his children prevented from going to school, questions were bound to arise about his state of mind.

    But those fears stood dissipated by Tuesday’s events which showed that here was a man not going to bend before unlawful or unholy authority. As worst fears stood confounded, the best hopes being entertained were vindicated.

    The Chief Justice would also have derived strength from Tuesday’s happenings. Because when the car carrying him finally arrived before the gates of the Supreme Court, the people assembled there, unable to keep their emotions in check, lost all control and stormed the vehicle and pulled him out. Amidst deafening cheers and much jostling (but this was jostling of another kind) they swept him towards the doors of the Supreme Court.

    They would have broken the doors and entered the building itself but it was the Chief Justice who bade them go back. And you know what? Even in that melee the crowd obeyed. This is what moral authority is all about. With it you don’t need bayonets to have your way. Without it, not all the bayonets in the world can come to your rescue.

    But, by God, how have the Blackcoats of the legal fraternity acquitted themselves. In all the popular movements with which our history is littered, lawyers were part of the popular ferment, seldom its spearhead. How different this time: Blackcoats in front, first at the barricades, the nation behind, drawing inspiration from their courage and example.

    In the recent elections of the Supreme Court Bar Association the legal community seemed to be badly split. But as soon as this crisis erupted differences seemed to be forgotten. Across the country the unity of lawyers has been exemplary and heart-warming.Senator Latif Khoso is a leading member of the bar. In his distinguished career, however, he will have received few marks of honour more shining than the merciless blow on the head from a police lathi at the gates of the Lahore High Court. Borne aloft on the shoulders of his colleagues, his head and face streaming with blood, his has been one of the most striking images of this agitation. Hail the Pakistani media too, newspapers and private TV channels, which have fulfilled their responsibility admirably, not only keeping the nation informed about what’s going on but also educating it about the fundamental issues involved in the present unrest, issues going far beyond, much beyond, the person of the Chief Justice.

    The issues are democracy, the rule of law and the doctrine of the separation of powers. What is Pakistan’s destiny? To wallow in the turbid waters of authoritarianism forever or a somewhat different future in which the people can come into their own instead of having to endure an endless cycle of self-appointed military ‘saviours’ usurping what is not theirs and imposing their misguided will on the nation?

    My Lord the Chief Justice is thus proving to be a catalyst of a larger discontent. All the issues swept underneath the carpet for the last seven and a half years are coming into the open. Had he not been courageous, had he submitted to uniformed diktat, this moment would never have come. It would have passed, awaiting another catalyst and another crisis. But he stood his ground and the result is before us: bottled up unrest breaking free from its confines.

    What did Keats say? “He ne’er is crowned with immortality Who fears to follow where airy voices lead.â€

  98. The Pakistanian says:
    March 15th, 2007 7:48 pm

    From Ayaz Amir’s column

    [quote]A few other issues have also been settled by this crisis. Confusion no longer surrounds the National Spoon Awards. The first prize goes, indubitably, to Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani who has outdone himself. Second prize: honourable law minister, Wasi Zafar, who, in the form of his major contribution to the English language by the meaning with which he has invested the phrase “…the big armâ€

  99. March 15th, 2007 8:53 pm

    [...] It was Kamran Khan’s Show in which Mr Wasi Zafar’s misbehavior on VOA was reported (video of that program here). He was also the host of Geo’s live transmission which showed and commented on the misbehavior with Chief Justice of Pakistan and his family last Monday. I guess Kamran Khan has finally paid the price of speaking the truth and his efforts to present facts to the people of Pakistan. [...]

  100. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 15th, 2007 9:30 pm

    According to the following daily times report, traders have also decided to participate in Friday’s protest along with the lawyers and opposition:
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20073\16\story_16-3-2007_pg1_6

    Also, I believe Aaj TV is again off air.
    In this situation with the media under pressure, the people not only need to support the CJ, but also the journalists, especially the Jang group and Aaj TV, which have been providing excellent reporting and coverage despite the government’s constant attempts to gag them.

  101. Critic says:
    March 15th, 2007 9:39 pm

    Also don’t forget the Kamran Khan show which has banned. It seems that the gov is willing to go to any length to muzzle dissent. I seems that we are living in communist Russia in the 70′s.

  102. Peeved says:
    March 16th, 2007 1:28 am

    The present government is using the Nawaz government’s storming of the supreme court as a justification. At least by doing this they are equating the two despicable acts.

    Blast from the past:
    “President Leghari is now gone and so is CJ Sajjad Ali Shah; the latter is now designated as ‘Chief Justice under restraint (CJUR)’ — a novel addition to legal lexicon conjured up, presumably, under the ‘doctrine of necessity’. We are thus now blessed with two chief justices of the supreme court — one CJ regular but ‘under restraint’ and the other CJ functional but ‘acting’. Here again we have scored a new first worthy of a prominent entry in the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.”

    Leghari is awfully quiet. Oops! I forgot – he is with Mush. Even a PML(Q) parliamentarian/leghari group yesterday said to me supporting his sons has made an eunuch out of him. I say it is profiting from his sons that has sealed his lips. His excuse would be he is not feeling well and had an angiogram yesterday. Mush’s actions seem to be tough on these guys with Ch. Shuj having an angioplasty as well — do they see the writing on the wall?

  103. peeved says:
    March 16th, 2007 1:32 am

    Rashid terms detention of defunct CJ Iftikhar as wrong, trying to make Ahauk Aziz the fall guy

    Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday has termed detention of defunct CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and preventing his children from continuing their academic studies as wrong. However, he said that the politicians sitting abroad were trying to manipulate the present situation in the country by politicising a purely constitutional matter.

    “These elements resorted to creating law and order problems, setting aside their national responsibility and the respect for the judiciary,â€

  104. March 16th, 2007 1:51 am

    [...] The last week has been a whirlwind of disturbing development. Starting with the removal of Chief Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Iftikhar by the President, things just kept going from bad to worse. Protesting lawyers were mistreated, as was the Chief Justice, Minister Wasi Zafar embarrassed himself as well as the nation yet again, and most recently we saw that not just the judiciary but also the press is under stress as private TV channels are told to cool off and the GEO TV news show by Kamran Khan was banned. [...]

  105. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 16th, 2007 7:50 am

    Geo TV office is being attacked by the police right now as I type these words. I hope someone is recording all this so that it can be posted on the internet.

  106. Disciple says:
    March 16th, 2007 8:04 am

    No offence but Karachites are all talk and no action. Why aren’t Karachites protesting outside on the streets as they are doing in Lahore & Islamabad?

    No wonder KMB is so busy. That’s all they can do. Those who can’t … preach.

  107. March 17th, 2007 3:59 am

    Discple, I think you are wishing some bloody protest like lahore,some bomb blast then you will feel some sort of satisfaction. Who said people of karachi and lawyers are not protesting on road? Unlike other city, Karachi police is demonstrating sign of maturity and not creating any kind of hurdles and allowing protestors to protest freely. Karachi has always played a leading role in every crisis. whether it’s 2005 earth quake crisis or current CJ removal. These were karachiites who played a big role against the censorship of blogs. The other cities are just sleeping nothing else. Don’t do any mistake to underestimate Karachiites :-)

  108. March 17th, 2007 4:05 am

    Something related with the topic. This image appeared in Daily Express. The video clips were shown on TV in which police was kickig his head.

    tinyurl.com/2owv8n

    I rechecked twice the year of publication of the paper. It was not the year 1985.

  109. Jabir Khan says:
    March 20th, 2007 8:23 am

    Adil sahib, grow a spine man. Real freedom is not presented on a platter. It demands sacrifice. Being an apologist is futile.
    Read history of peoples struggle to know how freedoms are won and protected. People like you will very fondly quote India this and India that, all the while conveniently forgetting the sacrifices they offered for freedom. They won it and protected it after independence.
    Alas we won it but lost if to fauji dictators. I do not see any difference in present struggle and the struggle for Pakistan (pre independence era).
    And don’t worry about what others say, it turns achay bhalay log into buzdils

  110. Disciple says:
    March 20th, 2007 8:32 am

    Jabir, to some extent I agree. We have won the country but not won the nation yet.

  111. Jabir Khan says:
    March 20th, 2007 8:47 am

    Thank you Disciple. Voilence is the last reort, but I think this illegal Govt has left no other option. Do you think Musharraf will concede power back to people without struggle? This man is a proven liar. Who in his right man can trust him?
    Justice system is the last resort for anyone. Now they are saying enough and I salute them for this.
    If lawyers can give us Pakistan, surely they can give us a nation as well. These are the first steps in the right direction.
    As for Musharraf, he can go stay with his Rhode’s scholar brother in the USA.

  112. Ashraf says:
    March 20th, 2007 1:15 pm

    Did anyone see the interview of Mush on GEO. He is clearly under stress and knows that this is big. This time his public tactics will not work.

  113. USMAN says:
    March 20th, 2007 9:01 pm

    This charge sheet is a joke and a mockery of all governance

  114. Jernail says:
    March 22nd, 2007 1:17 am

    The theater of the absurd continues in Pakistan. The lawyers are continuing the protest in greater number and in more cities. And teh info minister says this is a sign of trust in government. If this is trust, what does distrust look like!

  115. Imran Bhatt says:
    March 28th, 2007 4:21 pm

    Rethinking Priorities

    We are at the crossroads. As Mirza Ghalib says in his couplet

    Eeman mujay rokay hai jo khenchay hai mujey kufr
    Kaaba merey peechay hai kaleesa merey aagay

    We are trapped between push of development and pull of traditions. Young generation is confused and bewildered where to get reconciliation. Main stream religious leaders failed to satisfy the post-modern political issues. The situation is further aggravated by the absence of any kind of discussion and dialogue in the society. This absence of dissenting views has led to proliferation of orthodox and violent means to assert ones point of view.

    Recent kidnapping of three residents of Islamabad by female students of an Islamic school is nothing but a ‘vigilante justice’. The way government took a very soft stance against the occupation of children library by female students of the same school emboldened their courage and now they are threatening to establish an Islamic court in their school. This is blessing of having military power in over society. This is exact opposite what Jinnah had dreamt for, a tolerant, secular society, where everyone would be identified as Pakistani.

    But I think one should not to be surprised by these events as a cursory look at the evolution of political economy will reveal the true picture of Pakistani society. It is a society where one can do whatever he wants as long as he has the monopoly of violence. A constitutionally elected prime minister dismisses his Army Chief, but as Army Chief rejects his orders and topples his democratically elected government. Why? Here gun power is more powerful then peoples power in Pakistan.

    Have we ever entertained a thought, what if Chief Justice rejects his authority and establishes his own government just like the way General Musharif did to Nawaz Sharif? I know we can not even imagine about it because army as an institution holds the monopoly over violence in our society. By the use of their coercive power they have managed to twist laws in their favour. Why the managed to do this because of our silence. They willfully have twisted the political history of Pakistan under the guise of indispensableness. They are not the guardian of national interest; people of Pakistan are the guardian of national interest. Armed forces in every civilized society are one instrument among many at the disposal of the people to achieve their national interests. Nations are indispensable not the institutions.

    Just like in Animal Farm, in our society all institutions are equal but some institutions are more equal then others. Pakistan Army since the inception of Pakistan has been ‘the most equal institution’ of Pakistan. Now the time has come to put everything in its right order. A place where it belongs

    In order to have a balance institutional structure power must to be handed over to the people of Pakistan. This can only be achieved by the way of establishing a tradition of scrutinizing each and every action no matter how sensitive it is. This can only be achieved by revisiting our history and questioning all the values and dogmas. We need to stand up and as Soraya Shahpour-Ulrich writes,” we must defend justice with our lives lest we need justice to defend our lives.”

  116. Fareed says:
    March 31st, 2007 8:35 am

    I will be the devil’s advocate here. The lawyers and indeed the chief justice should first themselves learn to respect the law before talking about the independence of judiciary. These lawyers are the same ones who think that they are above the law and have only contempt for any any effort by anybody to ensure that they obey the tenents of law. Same goes for the ex chief justice. Just look at the way he tried to get his son in the Civil Service of Pakistan through back door

    All I can say is Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.

    Also everyone should remember that he is not going to remain in power for ever.

  117. Lahori says:
    April 3rd, 2007 11:30 pm

    Yes, Wasim Sajjad is a leading lawyer of the country.  He was speaker of teh Senate at various points in history (including during Zia days and then also later. During these period he would become Acting President (bc he was Senate Chairman) when the Presidents were out of the country.

  118. sahibzada fazal says:
    April 3rd, 2007 6:17 pm

    dear all
    aoa

    in my opnion the non elected times of gen pervez mushraf were good as compared to this elected govt

    the politicains are not of the level to perform their jobs
    in a reponsable manner ,
    this attack on lawyers and other picture just shows miss managment on politicians front
    as president musharaf cannot be every where to clean up the mess.

  119. Hamza says:
    April 3rd, 2007 10:29 pm

    I have a question for anyone on this blog.

    According to this article in The News, a certain Senator Wasim Sajjad is representing the government in the case against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

    “Unless we are not provided security it would be difficult for us to plead the case in these circumstances,â€

  120. Hamza says:
    April 3rd, 2007 11:59 pm

    Lahori: Thanks.

    I was trying to figure out the motivations of the lawyers representing the government in this deeply unpopular case.

    Even if they do “win” the case, most people will believe that the verdict was cooked and unfair.

    If they lose, they will be forever associated with the government’s ham-handed attempts to suppress the judiciary.

    As the above article reported, a couple of the govt lawyers have were beaten up outside the supreme court.

  121. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    April 17th, 2007 1:56 am

    How a dictator’s stupidity cause troubles for others.

    tinyurl.com/2lrazu

  122. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    April 20th, 2007 1:21 am

    Khalid masood Khan:

    tinyurl.com/2h7xe4

  123. Masood Ahmed says:
    April 22nd, 2007 12:16 pm

    It was most astonishing news on 9th of March 2007 for many peoples but not for me b,cos I had seen worst days of M.law of late Gen.Zia ul Haque.you can,t stand to Dictators.when in Power.
    Here I would certainly praise Cheif Justice on his stand.
    Behtreen Jihad ” JABAR SULTAN KE SAMNE KALMA HAQ KEHNA”HAI.
    Thanks Sir,
    We PAKISTANIS ARE REALY PROUD OF YOU.

  124. Tahseen Alam Khan says:
    May 20th, 2008 7:23 am

    Sharam Magar tum ko naheen aatti.

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