ATP Poll Results: Chief Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar’s Removal

Posted on March 16, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Law & Justice, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

Today Chief Justice Chaudhry Mohammed Iftikhar is to appear again in front of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). It is not at all clear what will happen today or in the days to follow. But the verdict from ATP readers does seem to be quite clear.


(Click above to view larger image)

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.

We have tried to look at and make sense of these events fromvarious angles, including the poetic. But like Pakistanis everywhere we remain confused and concerned about the direction of events. Things seem to be spinning out of control. The government seems to be panicking. And public frustration with the turn of events is escalating.

But one thing is very clear. Much more clear, in fact, than one might have imagined. It is not just that these events have left Pakistanis rattled, it is also that the sacking of Chief Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Iftikhar is not supported by many – and possibly most – Pakistanis. At least this has been the result of the ATP Poll that we have been running the last many days and which we today closed. Notwithstanding the fact that this was not a scientific poll and was subject to all the (many) limitations and problems of web-based polls, this is a result one can be quite confident of. Indeed, one did not need to run a poll to come to this conclusion. It is obvious from the reaction of the lawyers, of judges, of shopkeepers, of the media, of bloggers, and just about everyone else. However, our poll results do strongly validate the all-too-evident view. Here are some highlights:

  • At the time of closing the Poll a total of 786 responses had been recorded (not including some 60 duplicate responses that were discarded).
  • Of these 625 votes – a whopping 80 per cent – believe that the decision to remove teh Chief Justice was a wrong one and an expression of abuse of power by the President.
  • Only 65 people – a mere 8 per cent – believe this to have been the right decision.
  • 96 votes – 12 per cent – were for the ‘Don’t Know’ option; signifying that these people wanted more facts before they made up their mind.
  • Votes were still trickling in at a steady pace when we closed the poll, but the interesting – and very surprising – finding is that the proportions for the three options have remained steady and nearly unchanged from the very beginning. Between 78-80% consider the decision wrong; around 8-9% consider it right. From the very beginning, this proportion never really changed even as events took many unforeseen twists and turns. (Compare this, for example, to our current cricket poll, where the response proportions have fluctuated widely over about the same period). This, in fact, is one reason why we closed the poll; it seems that what needs to be learned from it has been learnt – i.e., this decision is strongly rejected at least by the type of Pakistanis who woudl visit bogs like this!
  • If one looks at the comments that go with the various posts on the subject, it is very striking that many people say that they were Musharraf supporters but are no more; that this and other recent events have pushed them out of that camp. Indeed, it seems from the comments that this vote is more ‘against’ Gen. Musharraf than ‘for’ Chief Justice Iftikhar.

While one must never over-analyze such non-scientific web-based polls that necessarily give only a snapshot of a limited internet-savvy community, the rather decisive numbers and the content of the accompanying comments suggests that the result is, in fact, rather robust. Long time readers of ATP will also realize that although the reader participation has been very enthusiastic, excited and even emotional, for most part most people have actually been in strong agreement. Indeed, while this has been an emotional discussion, it has not been a confrontational or even controversial one!

To end on a personal note, I want to say something about comments of despair for Pakistan that some people left here or are being made at other blogs. I must confess, I do not feel despair. Indeed, I think ordinary public – particularly lawyers, but also others including bloggers – have demonstrated that at our core we as a society DO WANT DEMOCRACY. Earlier this evening I was giving a lecture at Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government) on democracy in Pakistan and there I introduced the notion that “Pakistan is a democratic society trapped inside an undemocratic state” and that “this moment we are living through right now is a quinessentially democratic moment; a moment of turbulence, but also of hope.”

While the abuse of democratic norms by state institutions should be rightly condemned, let us not forget to celebrate the courageous and honest demonstration of democratic values by societal forces, including the legal profession, journalists, and ordinary citizens. Ultimately, it is not as much a question of ‘who will win’ as a question of whether the societal urge for democracy will overwhelm the statal desire for control… and, in that process, transform the state.

P.S. This video news report clip from GEO includes Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s response to the current state of affairs. In fairness, we should also give this a hearing.

77 Comments on “ATP Poll Results: Chief Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar’s Removal”

  1. Khalid R Hasan says:
    March 16th, 2007 2:04 am

    I was a teenager in Karachi at the time of the street movements against Ayub Khan’s regime in its final years. I was out of the country for most of the seventies but by all accounts the movement against Z.A.Bhutto after his “fixed” elections of 1977 was also a massive one. However, since then the public has been relatively apathetic. I think the people have come to realize that whatever they may do or feel, they have no real influence over what happens at the top.
    Musharraf will only go when he loses Army support, and that is unlikely to happen while George W. Bush remains. We can only express our feelings but it won’t make much difference where it matters.

  2. Samdani says:
    March 16th, 2007 3:00 am

    The Musharraf speech in ths video is intersting…. what ‘secrets’ is he referring to that he will ‘reveal’ later? But he does soudn definat.

  3. Samdani says:
    March 16th, 2007 3:01 am

    In the second picture, the guy with the jhoot ki potli is the info minister Durrani. Who is the other puppet of?

  4. Imran says:
    March 16th, 2007 5:12 am

    From the General’s speech:

    “I want to convey to the public that it is not an ordinary matter but a big issue and my lips are sealed. I will make the entire issue public through media the next day the Supreme Judicial Council gives its verdict on it,â€

  5. Abdullah says:
    March 16th, 2007 5:34 am

    Zaban-e-khalq ko naqqara-e-khuda samjho

  6. bhitai says:
    March 16th, 2007 6:53 am

    I hope SJC gives a decision *against* IMC (I actually cannot imagine it doing otherwise). And I also hope that that decision leads to a popular uprising against Mushy.

  7. Saad says:
    March 16th, 2007 8:32 am

    Gov. of Pakistan attacks GEO!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC0pPYdjVHY

  8. Omer says:
    March 16th, 2007 8:45 am

    Interesting Site concept…

    Here is Ehtesab Wiki Site. Everyone can edit the site and add information. Your contributions will be welcomed.

    http://www.ehtesab.org/wiki

  9. Anwar says:
    March 16th, 2007 9:20 am

    I do not support the strongman. At the same time Pakistan does not have the luxury to indulge in chaos that will lead to downward spiraling of the country. It is hard to tell exactly what is transpiring – though it smells fishy.
    Historically, when a dog on the leash starts to bark on his own – he is put to sleep. Musharaf, like his previous club mates of White Man’s pets in the third world countries, is about to get what his masters have decided.
    Hope that the country survives this turmoil as well.

  10. Disciple says:
    March 16th, 2007 9:30 am

    جسٹس بھگوان داس، خاندان کو تشویش

    سپریم کورٹ Ú©Û’ سینئر جج جسٹس بھگوان داس کا منظرعام سے غائب رÛ

  11. Suleman says:
    March 16th, 2007 10:24 am

    Have your say on Musharraf going to far at BBC website.
    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?threadID=5802&&edition=2&ttl=20070316142052

  12. Idealist says:
    March 16th, 2007 10:43 am

    I find this song by Shazad Roy,whom I admire for his courage and talent ,very pertinent at this time .Adil if you could post it from youtube ,would appreciate it.Hum Aik Hain.Each word in the song has depth.Bagi Allha Khair Karay.

  13. March 16th, 2007 11:41 am

    As others have already been reporting here, the TV studios of GEO TV were attacked by police today.

    According to the GEO TV website:

    Police entered in Geo News office building, shattered glasses and started shelling within office premises.

    Large number of policemen entered in the office manhandled newsmen and other staff members of Geo News.

    Policemen shoved senior journalist Hamid Mir. They baton-charged and injured several staff members. Policemen also damaged vehicles of Geo News.

    Police officials also demanded closing camera coverage of protests in Islamabad.

    Staff members offered resistance to police aggression to save the premises.

    Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani rushed to Geo News office soon after incident.

    While talking in a Geo News programme ‘Kamran Khan Ke Saath,’ Durrani termed the incident as ‘unnecessary.’

    He said that the incident by the police force was totally irrational and vowed stern action against the Islamabad police.

    Also, you may see a video report of this incident from IBN here.

  14. Coldrain says:
    March 16th, 2007 2:15 pm

    This should be remembered as a day of infamy in pakistan’s history. this country has gone to the dogs.its time for a revolution.

  15. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 16th, 2007 2:26 pm

    We do need INQALAAB(revolution) but that needs sincere leadership!

  16. Saad says:
    March 16th, 2007 2:45 pm

    More information on the attacks that took place..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv–5HFl0Uo

  17. Deeda-i-Beena says:
    March 16th, 2007 2:54 pm

    Mirza Ghalib has captured the entire Tmasha exactly right:
    KHAAMA ANGUSHT B’DANDAAN KEH ISSEY KYA LIKHIYEY
    NATAQA SAR B’GREEBAAN KEH ISSEY KYA KAHIYEY
    On a lighter note, during a Panel discussion on Geo TV hosted by Hamid Mir(after Geo office being ransacked earlier in the day)Ch.Aitzaz Ahsan referred to Mohammad Ali Durrani the Information Minister AS Mohammad Ali GHALAT BIYANI. To this the Minister retorted by referring to Aitzaz AS Ch. AITRAAZ Ahsan.Everyone was amused.

  18. Ali says:
    March 16th, 2007 5:20 pm

    @Khalid R Hasan – I agree that everyone feels they have no influence on what happens in Pakistan. That still doesn’t mean we should stop asking altogether.

    Pakistan’s military leaders(Ayub, Zia, Musharraf etc) all weakened institutions time and again to maximize/legitimize their time in office. This is another attempt.

    Contrary to public opinion, the current regime does little to prevent Islamic extremism, as it helps justify military rule/excessive defence budgets to the west.

    Pakistan has been run by the military since its inception, please support the people who are trying to step up and ask for their right to democracy.

    proud-pakistani.com/petition
    Ali, a Proud Pakistani from Toronto/ Karachi

  19. March 16th, 2007 6:12 pm

    A reader sent this photograph of journalists protesting in Karachi. Note the lips and eyes behind the camera.

  20. bhindigosht says:
    March 16th, 2007 6:20 pm

    Mush was on TV blaming The Police (As if the police is a foreign organ of the State and has nothing to do with Mush) for the attack on GEO. He also said that this was a possible attempt to sabotage his Govt. After that a pasty-faced Shortcut Aziz came on, clearly jetlagged from his various foreign tours, and promised immediate action against the culprits. I am holding my breath (yeah right!).

  21. March 16th, 2007 6:56 pm

    Many people have seen this picture, published in The Nation. The original caption read:

    ISLAMABAD: Police ‘requesting’ suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to sit in the police car after he refused to do so – Photo by Sajjad Ali Qureshi.

    I was able to find this larger version of the picture (since earlier versions on the web were very small). I wanted to be see whether this is what it looks like. I know that it is standard police procedure most places in the world to keep a hand over someone’s head as they enter a car. Is this just that and made more incriminating than it is by the camera, or is this really police pulling at the Chief Justice’s hair, etc. I am still not fully sure. But it certainly does not look good!

  22. siham says:
    March 16th, 2007 10:14 pm

    It is really ironic that Mushrraf sacked the Chief Justice of Pakistan without giving him the opportunity of being heard. This reminds me of a similar action taken by Nawaz Shaif, when he sacked Musharraf from the position of the Chief of Army Staff. Not only that Musharraf in violation of the constitution removed the Prime Minister, arrested him but also tried, charged and sentenced him of treason and conspiracy of murder. If I understand correctly, under the provisions of the constitution, any one who overthrows the elected government by way of coup is guilty of treason and liable for death penalty. Musharraf should have in fact been charged and tried for treason and not Nawaz Sharif. This is yet another coup by Musharraf, a judicial coup. If Musharraf is justified in taking the action against the Chief Justice then Nawaz Sharif was also right in sacking him.

    I am not pro Nawaz Sharif but can not help saying this that sacking of Mushararaf, right or wrong, was a legitimate action, taken by him, within the powers vested with him as the Prime Minister. The action taken by Musharraf on the other hand is illegal ab initio taken without lawful authority. The difference is that Musharraf is mighty powerful and strong, with the backing of the army whereas both, Nawaz Sharif and the Chief Justice, despite holding powerful positions, were weak and powerless, with no backing and support of their respective institutions. The whole army, supported Musharraf, even if some might have disagreed with him in their personal capacity, whereas Nawaz Sharif and the Chief Justice were betrayed and stabbed by their own people – politicians and the judiciary.

  23. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 16th, 2007 10:53 pm

    I get very low self esteem when I look at these pictures, I was born & raised in a country like this. This is the time for a revolution but again I get hopeless when I see no sincere leadership who have an ideology and a school of thought & something to ‘offer’ to people of Pakistan. I choosed an easy path, I left my country and settled in the West. But my heart bleeds, I can’t help that. May God send some ‘Moses’ in this dark period. Ameen.

  24. DB9 says:
    March 16th, 2007 11:49 pm

    Please refrain from using negative language about our country on BBC & other foreign blogs, this is our internal matter and we will deal with it. Show positive language in fron of others please.

  25. MajorSahib says:
    March 17th, 2007 12:26 am

    13 constabils had been arristd today – they was culprut on their own account. Case of Geo is therefour sulved. Now drop this nonimpotent issue and is moveon.org.

  26. mozang bijli says:
    March 17th, 2007 12:45 am

    Never did we had a dictator who favors drama and performance as much as our darling mushy. If any thing he is a shrewd player. This current attack on geo office is yet another of his gimicks. He did this just to distract attention from current CJ case. people were outraged at this incident and our charming hero came out apologizing for this untowardly act of the police who does not fall under his jurisdiction. He did this on a purpose to get a public and humble apology to people so that he can return to his righteous position of “PEOPLE’S PRINCE”. there was never a dictator who craved to be a hero like our dear mushy is. Perhaps he has forgotten the befitting treatment we bestow on heros. if only he remember AQ khan, liaqat ali khan he will immediatly stop trying to be one.
    OUT WITH THE DICTATOR.

  27. mozang bijli says:
    March 17th, 2007 12:47 am

    there is not a single word on the proceedings on CJ hearing neither on web nor on news papers and all the attention is focused on media mishandling at he moments. Somebody cares to update on CJ case?

  28. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 17th, 2007 1:26 am

    DB9: who are you addressing to?

  29. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 17th, 2007 1:31 am

    Major Sahib: I apoligize, I really didn’t get what are you trying to say??

  30. Saad says:
    March 17th, 2007 6:11 am

    Geo! Tv coverage of the clash between Punjab Police and Lahore Bar Council lawyers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjpL-a2rgCo

  31. BitterTruth says:
    March 17th, 2007 11:33 am

    Chief Justice on forced leave? What kind of law is it?

  32. Disciple says:
    March 17th, 2007 11:35 am

    جسٹس اÙ

  33. Samdani says:
    March 17th, 2007 12:22 pm

    Does anyone know if there is a similar opinion poll done for all of Pakistan on this. By Gallup or by some newspaper etc. Would be interesting to compare results. Is this only teh more educated internet types who feel thsi was or is this view across Pakistan. I think its all over.

  34. Kaleem Afzal says:
    March 17th, 2007 12:30 pm

    I just saw the General’s address at Pakpattan. He sure is panicking and the way he was delivering the speech, made it crystal clear, he knows he is a gonner and what we are seeing are one of his last days.

  35. Saad says:
    March 17th, 2007 3:08 pm
  36. March 17th, 2007 3:21 pm

    A video clip of the Pakpatan speech by Gen. Musharraf (mentioned by Kaleem and Saad above) where he talks of thsi as a conspiracy against him have been added at the end of this post, and also in the right hand column.

  37. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 17th, 2007 10:13 pm

    Even if the attack has been ordered by some overly zellous minister or official without Musharraf’s knowledge, the buck stops with him. This conspiracy nonsense is not going to convince anyone.

    BTW, where is the interior minister? Has he appeared in any talkshows etc?

  38. MQ says:
    March 18th, 2007 1:55 am

    If it is a conspiracy, as the president says it is, then it must be spelled Qonspiracy.

  39. Saad says:
    March 18th, 2007 4:40 am

    Is the Gov. of Pakistan lying to it’s citizens again? There are no provisions for sending a judge on forced leave in the 1973 Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. A Geo TV report:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INuZ8McyW4I

  40. BitterTruth says:
    March 18th, 2007 8:50 am

    Clearly the attack was to deviate attention from CJ issue. Mushi’s advisors are paving the way for the end.
    Thanks saad for the uploads during this phenomenal madness era of dictatorship.

  41. Shahran says:
    March 18th, 2007 10:44 am

    Dear All ,

    Asian Broadcasting Network Chicago, a non-profit urdu talk radio show will be airing a live Talk show hour on CJP issue where Dr.Awab will also be there to discuss his Proud-Pakistani movement and other issues.

    All listerners all more than welcome to call in during the show.

    Here is the updated link for the ethnic radio station which airs our program. Do tune it at the time mentioned:

    Go to http://www.1590wonx.com/ on Sunday at 10pm Pakistan Time / 12pm US Central Time / 5pm UK Time.

    Dr.Awab Alvi and the CJP issue will be discussed in the second hour of the show.

    I would everyone to listen to our complete show if possible.

    We will have two hours of talk show on this issue. This is really going to be an INQUILABI show since garnished with couplets of Faiz the great revolutionary poet.

    Here is this week’s program format:

    1st Hour youth show : Songs request, of course Faiz ghazals keeping in view of the theme of the next hour. World Cup fiasco discussion.

    2nd Hour : Awab and discussion on CJP issue. Callers call in.

    3rd Hour ; Discusion , Mujalla containing Faiz and Ibne Insha and Cemendtaur’s Aik Khayal (an audio blog) on the recent crisis.

    Studio phone numbers (US) : (1) 847-475-1555, 56 and 57.

    Share your thoughts be calling during the show

  42. omar r quraishi says:
    March 18th, 2007 1:28 pm

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=47304

    Editorial, The News, March 18, 2007

    Dealing with dissent

    One would have thought that going by the tumultuous events of Friday and the general response of the nation to them, on Saturday the police would have been ordered to be a little more circumspect in their dealing with those protesting the ‘suspension’ of the chief justice. On Saturday, the ‘action’, so to speak, seems to have shifted to Lahore, with dozens of lawyers arrested, manhandled and lathi-charged by the trigger-happy Punjab police. And while the chief justice’s lawyers are now claiming that the tight security cordon around him has been relaxed, it should be remembered that this has happened (pending independent corroboration) only after the Supreme Judicial Council made it clear on Friday that there were no restrictions on the movement of Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. As for Saturday’s actions by the police, they were mostly unprovoked again, this time beginning when lawyers were prevented by the police from going inside the premises of the LHC to attend an all-Pakistan convention organised by the Lahore High Court Bar Association. The police lathi-charged the lawyers and fired tear gas shells and this rash action eventually snow-balled into a full-fledged street battle between the unarmed lawyers and the Punjab police constabulary.

    The question that one would like to ask is why cannot the government let the lawyers meet if they want, why cannot it be okay with people protesting whatever it is they wish to protest against, provided it is peaceful and does not disturb public order. Surely by now, it should have realised that an all-out confrontation with either the lawyers’ community or the media is going to be a futile if not downright negative exercise in that it will only serve to further exacerbate an already tense situation and that this heightening of tension will only damage the government’s own credibility and lower its image in the eyes of Pakistanis in general as well as the outside world. As for the attack on the office of The News and Geo TV on Friday, the government has reportedly suspended 14 policemen who allegedly took part in the raid. A judicial inquiry has been promised as well one can only hope that it succeeds in unearthing the real perpetrators of this naked assault on press and media freedom. Again, it is worth reiterating that it defies common sense and logic to believe that junior-level policemen on their own would attack and ransack the offices of a national newspaper and a news channel in the heart of Islamabad, a stone’s throw from the Parliament House, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and the Presidency.

    The best way forward for the government would be to allow peaceful forms of protest. As it has already said, the matter is now before the SJC and the directives of this body should be followed. One of them relates to the coverage of the SJC’s proceedings and of the hearing of the reference. Here, as directed by the SJC print and electronic media have reported only the press release detailing Friday’s proceedings. The government, and especially the electronic media regulator PEMRA, should not seek to unnecessarily extend this directive, as has been done so far, to order newspapers and TV channels not to cover the events and incidents arising out of Justice Iftikhar’s suspension and to desist from giving him any coverage.

    Such a blanket prohibition impedes the people’s right to be informed on all matters related to the chief justice’s ‘suspension’ except of course those that are sub-judice, i.e. the contents of the reference against Justice Iftikhar and the proceedings of the SJC to examine it. Also, by prohibiting any coverage of the issue, a situation may well arise in which, because of absence of any information, rumours begin to gain currency and that only serves to destabilise things further. As a first step, the government should call off the police on the lawyers and permit them to exercise their democratic right to register a peaceful protest and this should be applicable for civil society in general. As has already been pointed out by some commentators, those at the helm of affairs should realise that the rise of the information age, characterised particularly by the coming of age of the country’s electronic media (and to some extent of the Internet, especially blogs and so on), has changed everything. Clamping down on the flow of information and on dissent is next to impossible and only counter-productive. Ban a TV channel and one will find the information on the Internet or on a blog, blackout a newspaper and get the story on a web forum. The dictum that the Internet is perhaps the biggest encourager of a democratic mindset (and certainly a facilitator of a level-playing field in terms of who controls and provides information) has never been as true as now in Pakistan’s case. Now only if the country’s polity was as democratic, with its head of state and head of government, both accountable solely to the people.

  43. Ahmed2 says:
    March 19th, 2007 1:08 am

    As always Faiz has something to say which is immensely moving and immensely relevant.In the present situation:

    Jis dhaj say koi maqtal mein gya
    Woh shaan salamat rehti hai
    Yeh jaan to aani jaani hai
    Is jaan ki koi baat nahin..

  44. Saad says:
    March 19th, 2007 5:48 am

    Dr. Shahid Masood’s take on the events after the ouster of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan. A must see.

    Meray Mutabiq – Rad -e- Amal

    Part1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-RBNonzY4I
    Part2:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhpnbTzwfqg
    Part3:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipQPkXvK4ts
    Part4:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15PtLnZgWNw

  45. Saad says:
    March 19th, 2007 7:35 am

    Correct address for part2:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y12dMH3L6aQ

  46. Critic says:
    March 19th, 2007 8:03 am

    Well the above video by Saad proves it again that no one lies better than Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

  47. Disciple says:
    March 19th, 2007 9:06 am

    Turns out Shareefuddin Peerzada was the person behind the reference, what a surprise. This is according to the General himself; http://www.geo.tv/news_images/urdu/3-19-2007_5922_1.gif

    Shareefuddin Peerzada is as usual active in supporting dictators, no matter how disasters it is for the nation.

  48. Saad says:
    March 19th, 2007 9:11 am

    Geo TV report on the interview of the President Gen. conducted by Kamran Khan:

    Part1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UOEOOo1r1w
    Part2:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7XVeSgpG-k

  49. shak says:
    March 20th, 2007 1:13 am

    Today DAILY TIMES PAKISTAN reports today.

    Bhagwandas to assume ACJ office today?

    NEW DELHI: Justice Rana Bhagwandas of the Supreme Court was to return to Islamabad on Monday and assume the office of acting chief justice of Pakistan on Tuesday, according to Indian press reports.

    Justice Bhagwandas had been in Lucknow for the last three weeks on a religious pilgrimage, and his leave was to end on March 22, but he decided to cut short his visit and return on Monday, according to the organiser of one of the sastangs, or religious discourses, that the Supreme Court judge has been attending. Justice Bhagwandas is the senior most judge of the Supreme Court after the suspended chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and is to take over the role of acting chief justice on his return to Pakistan.

    The organiser, Shrichand, said senior police officers had contacted Justice Bhagwandas and offered him special security arrangements in India, but he had refused, saying he was only in Lucknow for prayers. The judge briefly spoke to the reporter of a Hindi newspaper and told him he was returning on Monday. He refused to comment on the suspension of the chief justice.

    According to other press reports, Justice Bhagwandas has been visiting Lucknow around this time for each of the last seven years to attend religious services along with members of the local Sindhi community. During his visit, he has been staying with friends in the local Sindhi colony. iftikhar gilani

  50. March 20th, 2007 6:46 am
  51. Saad says:
    March 20th, 2007 10:26 am

    Kamran Khan ke sath – President Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf

    Part1:
    Part2:
    Part3:
    Part4:
    Part5:
    Part6:
    Part7:

    Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan (also on the legal council of CJ) has raised some very very interesting questions pertaining to information provided by President Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf in his interview to Kamran Khan.

    Watch the clip here.

  52. Samdani says:
    March 20th, 2007 12:35 pm

    Dear Saad, thank you for posting the links to the interview with Gen. Musharraf on Kamran show and also the comments from Aitizaz Ahsan. You are doing a good service to all of us with these.

    After watching the video (heard it yesterday when someone posted an audio), I am less convinced. I think Aitizaz Ahsan is trying to get a showdown. From his remarks it seems that he is preparing for a public trial where he can call teh President on the witness stand to state what the ‘hidden’ reasons were that he mentioned in Gujranwalla. I think that video was also here somewhere earlier on.

    Now, if that happens that will be something!

  53. CJ Reference says:
    March 20th, 2007 5:39 pm

    Here are the 35 charges against CJP. BBC has published a copy of reference.

    In my view, these are stupid kind of charges and looks like a joke to me. I can’t believe Mushy is getting such poor legal advice.

  54. Jabir Khan says:
    March 20th, 2007 6:24 pm

    Dear readers, millions of dollars have been spent to study the psychology of our nation. They know how we think and react.
    Musharraf is nothing more than an actor and their puppet, presented as a liberal and frank kind of guy. He is trained to speak in a manner that our innocent people think he is telling the truth. Do not hear him but look at his actions – all lies. Conspiracy is very deep. He is there to pave the way for NWO in our country. USA is spending 80 million dollars on this guy per year. Visit http://www.loosechange911.com to begin to understand the whole fiasco.

  55. Farrukh says:
    March 20th, 2007 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the link. The charges are the same as in the letter by Naeem Bohari. Nothing new here. And also, if this stuff (too many cars, getting your son a job) gets a government servant fired these days then teh whole cabinet and entire Federal Secretariat will have to be sent packing!

  56. Disciple says:
    March 20th, 2007 8:43 pm

    Farrukh not to mention our beloved, bahadur fauji gernails.

  57. Saad says:
    March 21st, 2007 2:59 am

    You’re most welcome Samdani.

    Capital Talk – Sudden delay in trial, why? – political alliances

    Part1:
    Part2:
    Part3:

  58. moazzam raza tabassam says:
    March 21st, 2007 6:41 am

    Islamabad and other Pakistani cities have seen violent confrontations in recent days between security forces and lawyers, opposition political activists, and ordinary Pakistanis opposing the attempt of the country’s US-backed military strongman, General Pervez Musharraf, to fire the head of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

    To prevent protests last Friday when Chief Justice Chaudhry was to appear before the Supreme Judicial Council, the police detained scores of political leaders. Then, in an attempt to stop live broadcast of the protests, which occurred nonetheless, the police raided the private GEO television station, ransacked the facility, and roughed up many of the station’s personnel.

    Later that day, Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in October 1999 and is touted by the Bush administration as one of its chief allies in the “war on terror,â€

  59. Realist says:
    March 22nd, 2007 12:06 pm

    Here is a prediction. The government will back off and the CJ will be reinstated. He will make a deal with the government and will eventually preside over the continuation of Musharraf in uniform. He has become a hero for the moment but this is not a man who has proved to be a man of principles and he will not emerge as one now. God save Pakistan.

  60. Lahori says:
    March 21st, 2007 12:18 pm

    The new video you have on the side is great show….. but the video part does not work for me, only audio…. is that our friend Wasi Zafar in the audio!!!! Seems like he is to his old games!

  61. The Patriot says:
    March 26th, 2007 3:23 am

    Look how beautifully this topic has been described on this page:
    http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-68465.html

    But the reply to it is not very beautiful

  62. Anwaar says:
    March 27th, 2007 8:00 pm

    I am surprised tha now that teh CJ can speak freely, why dont we hear anything from him. Has he made deal with govt?

  63. KAWA1 says:
    March 28th, 2007 3:14 pm

    moazzam raza tabassam Mar 21st, 2007 at 6:41 am

    Your article was worth reading. Thanks for sharing your views. I don’t know what more to add except feel a strong sense of frustration.

    It scares me with the thought that this country will fragment. We already lost 1/2 of the country by army rule. Baluchistan and NWFP will be next!! Sindh is already alienated so that leaves Punjab.

    MAYBE ONE DAY PUNJAB WILL BE KNOWN AS PAKISTAN AND THEN WE CAN KEEP JUST ONE PERSON AS ARMY HEAD/HEAD OF STATE.

  64. Abrar says:
    March 30th, 2007 2:29 am

    As expected. This news has now been all but forgotten. Another victory for Mush!

  65. KAWA1 says:
    March 29th, 2007 4:10 pm

    I just saw the picture of CJ being harassed by the police. The picture posted by Adil Najam, March 16.

    If this can happen to CJ, can you imagine what they can do to the likes of you and me (ordinary citizens). The picture is disgusting and shows the true character of the people in uniform, who have always somehow considered themselves to be above the law.

  66. Farrukh says:
    April 1st, 2007 5:34 pm

    Can someone please update on what is teh next imprtant date in the legal proceedings on teh CJP case.

  67. KAWA1 says:
    April 1st, 2007 11:54 pm

    I think it is April 3rd … simply do a google search..

    Has Mush found any lawyer to represent him?

    I hear that Tony Blair’s wife (who is a top lawyer in Britain) has offered to come to Pakistan and represent the CJ..

  68. babbi says:
    April 2nd, 2007 7:31 am

    Well, everybody is sharing his thoughts, I personally beleive that all the actions taken by CJ: like steel mill, missing persons etc were not going to take throne away from Musharraf at any cost and this was not the reason that CJ was suspended.

    It is something else which only CJ and the top brass knows. I dont want to speculate but it might be that CJ was contacted by some political parties for the upcoming elections and he might have agreed to play his part to dethrone Mush and somehow Mush got this news.

    We have no guarantee that CJ is an honest man, I see him also with suspicion.

    Those who have ever gone to courts in Pakistan know well about the corruption. You can have any decision in favour by spending the right amount of money. CJ also hails from the same deptt.

    Lets see what future has for us in offing.

  69. Saad says:
    April 2nd, 2007 7:42 am

    And whatever made you think that CJP is guilty of financial embazzelment? Unless of course you’ve ample proof against him, which I must insist that you should share with us, given the preposterous claim that you’ve just made.

  70. KAWA1 says:
    April 30th, 2007 8:44 pm

    Bhabbi,

    I agree with Saad. Please share the basis of your claim. It does sound preposterous!

  71. Saqib says:
    June 8th, 2007 4:39 pm

    Public opinion has started shifting against the Chief Justice after three affidavits were filed by govenment officials:

    here http://www.app.com.pk/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10336&Itemid=2
    here http://www.app.com.pk/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10333&Itemid=2
    here http://www.app.com.pk/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10330&Itemid=2

    Most, people I talked to recently said that he is as bad or worse than the current leadership. People seem to have lost faith in the revolution that the media and his legal team were promising.

    I think we should be more careful before declaring people as heroes.

  72. Farrukh says:
    June 8th, 2007 4:50 pm

    Interesting. All three of your links are to reports from APP, teh governemnt run news agency.

    I guess we are back to the age of disinformation.

  73. Saqib says:
    June 9th, 2007 11:21 am

    Here you go:

    Lt-Gen (retd) Hamid Javed, CoS to President Musharraf Affidavit
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=59683

    Maj-Gen Nadeem Ijaz chief of Military Intelligence (MI)
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=59684

    Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB)
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=59678

  74. Junaid says:
    June 17th, 2007 2:42 am

    Dear All,

    To me its enough this drama should be over, One man cheif justice,100s of people died and abused, care about them, the ch.j we have or had , have they done anything for the poor people of Pakistan ?I am shocked why are the politions so worried about this one man, No one is good for the people of Pakistan.one bad guy is depowred and another bad guy is powred.This is all like you should read (The Lord of the Flies) novel.
    For God sake dont crash the poor people of Pakistan.

  75. ayesha sajid says:
    June 17th, 2007 3:12 pm

    Why have the live telecasts of the Chief Justices rallys been banned ?
    What purpose will that serve ?

    Just one more comment here. A lot has been said about the rampant corruption of the Generals, the Politicians and the rest of them.
    Has anyone ever high lighted that the respected Judges of the Pakistani courts , right from the Civil Court to the Supereme Court judges are on the take. Ones fingers will not run out , but the names of the judges NOT on the take will finish.
    My family has been fighting a case for the last 18 years for an ancestral home in our ancestral area. The case has gone from the lowest to the highest court and is doing that round again …. SAME CASE !!
    the amount of money , the judges from top to bottom have taken ( blatently asked sometimes ) would have made us buy the property four times over. They dont even call it a bribe any more. Its called a cut, a fee , a gift etc.
    So lets not make angels out of the black coats.They may be fighting a war for a basicly right concept, they are also one of us …. corrupt to the core.

  76. MOHAMMED REHAN says:
    August 22nd, 2007 4:44 am

    The decision was wrong

  77. adeel says:
    December 11th, 2007 2:17 am

    go musharraf go

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