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People-Politics in Pakistan: Who is Protesting and Who Is Not

Posted on November 16, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Pakistanis Abroad, Photo of the Day, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

I have been traveling nearly non-stop over the last month, and events in Pakistan are headline news everywhere. More than that everyone is asking questions about Pakistan. An immigration official in Baku, Azerbaijan, asked me (2 weeks before the emergency) how long Musharraf will survive? A hotel receptionist in Musqat, Oman, asked more politely if “all is well in your country?” (one week before the emergency). In Pakistan (just days before the emergency) the question was more like “What is America planning for Pakistan?” A shop-keeper in Trondheim, Norway, asked (one day before the emergency) wondered if “Benazir will solve Pakistan’s problems?” And my driver in Cairo, Egypt, asked yesterday “Has Musharraf gone mad?”

You have to be impressed by how much ordinary people around the world know about Pakistan. But also sad that this is what they are thinking when they think Pakistan.



I do not think I have been able to respond to any of them satisfactorily. Politics in Pakistan is way too complex, even for us Pakistanis.

But to each I have said, in different ways, that the real story in Pakistan is not about Gen. Pervez Musharraf. The real story is about Pakistanis demanding democracy. The reason the general has had to use ever increasing pressure and more draconian measures is precisely because the people who want democracy are just not giving up. As we have said before, here is a democratic society trapped in an undemocratic state. This is a moment to be proud of Pakistanis. The failure here is not of Pakistan. It is of Gen. Pervez Musharraf (and he wrote his own indictment in his ‘emergency’ speech).

And this is what is most heartening. In response to a journalists question yesterday, I elaborated on something I have been saying already (here, here and here):

…this is a moment of great pride for Pakistanis. How can you not be proud of your people when ordinary citizens – lawyers, journalists, students – come out on he streets ready to be beaten up and put in jail… knowing that they will be crushed and yet demanding democracy…. this is NOT Pakistan’s failure… this is a moment of success for Pakistan’s people… the reason that the military government has been forced to apply ever greater force and every more draconian measures is simply because the democracy forces in the country (the lawyers, the students and journalists… unfortunately not the politicians as much) are simply unwilling to bow down. In the past people used to stop demanding democracy at much less pressure than this. Now they are resisting pressure and they keep demanding democracy and freedom.

Even as I travel (still on the road) and check email on unreliable connections and unfamiliar computers, I find my inbox and the comments on ATP innundated with information about what ordinary citizens are doing. This is most heartening.








The pictures say it all and I will let the pictures do the talking here. But as I look at teh pictures, some points do pop into the head about who is protesting here and who is not. Maybe our readers can comment more on this:

  • Note carefully who is protesting for freedom, human dignity and democracy. These are ordinary people. Lawyers. Students. Journalists.
  • Note carefully who they represent. These are amongst the most so-called ‘secular’ and ‘liberal’ classes in society. The people who were supposed to be Gen. Musharraf natural constituency. Musharraf has lost the support of the very people who were supposed to be (but never really were) most aligned to him. [Readers, please spare us your diatribes and fatwas about what 'secular' and 'liberal' means. Despite the propaganda from some, neither of those terms means anti-religious or un-Islamic... There is a huge literature on this, so please read it. But, for Allah's sake, not on Wikipedia!!].
  • Note also the solidarity being shown by Pakistanis within and outside Pakistan. While there are obviously those who do support the general, the opposition to the emergency is more widespread than anything one can remember. One can scarcely think of any political act that has united our otherwise divided society they way the general opposition to the Emergency has.
  • More importantly, please note who is NOT in the pictures. Who is not on the streets protesting.
  • Political activists and political leaders are not on the streets. They make statements, but half-heartedly. This is not a movement led by politicians. In fact, it is not even clear whether the politicians are smart enough to just follow the people on the streets. Really conspicuous by their absence are the ‘political workers’. The Million who greeted Benazir, or were supposedly stopped from greeting Nawaz Sharif, or routinely come out for the MMA, are nowhere to be seen. Their leaders have failed to mobilize them, or maybe not tried to do so at all.
  • The one exception to the above may be Imran Khan, but I have long felt that at his core he is more of a civil society actor than a political leader in the true sense; his stance, his style, and even his vote bank seems to suggest the same.
  • Also conspicuous by their absence are the religious parties, the MMA. Beyond statements they do not have much to contribute here. Their words and boasts onpeople’s will and democracy are large but their actions no different from the secular parties.
  • Finally, and probably most importantly, missing from the streets and from protests are the religious extremists (not to be confused with the religious parties which are religious but, mostly, not extremists). The folks who were killing and terrorizing and blowing up ordinary Pakistanis in Swat, in Islamabad, and elsewhere seem not too worried about the Emergency and not to unhappy at the death of democracy. They may even like it that way. This is important because supposedly the Emergency was imposed to curtail them and their activities. However, they seem to be neither affected not interested in the Emergency or the opposition to it.

While the shape of things will obviously evolve, it does seem that a new politics is taking shape in Pakistan. A people-centered politics that might just sideline the mainstream political parties as well as the extremists. It is way too early to say that this will happen. It is quite probable that it will not. But one can certainly not be faulted for hoping that it just might.

128 Comments on “People-Politics in Pakistan: Who is Protesting and Who Is Not”

  1. D_a_n says:
    November 16th, 2007 7:25 am

    3rd video clip…..first frame 2-3 seconds…
    you can see the Mcdonalds golden arches peeking out over the heads of the protesting kids…
    love that shot….. :);

  2. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 16th, 2007 7:27 am

    Biased Images of very partial pub reserved only
    for a particular militancy.

    @your blog on the subject should clearly indicate
    that the media, journalists, newspapers are biased
    towards certain political sections and having different
    colours as specific one reserved only for their specific
    ideology.

    The others simply don’t exist, have no chance to be
    heard and watched, this is today’s Pakistani Publicity.

  3. Abdullah says:
    November 16th, 2007 7:30 am

    people are not on the streets because they are being beaten up, put in jail, harrassed. that as many people are still protesting despite this is proof that Pakistanis do want real democracy. not just another sham election and same politicins being elected again and again. but a real say in how the country is run.

  4. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 16th, 2007 7:48 am

    @ your comments on the subject

    point 4: Can opposition go out freely in Karachi
    (MQM’s Gundas and murderers are free !!)
    Lahore ? Islamabad, Rawalpindi ?
    hyderabad ?

    point 7 : Religious have been out and against the
    regime and have no ARRANGEMENT
    WITH MUSHARRAF & USA, that is why
    you do not want to see them.

    point 8: Religious Extremists are your pure
    Fanatasy and latest creation of USA
    (the boss of Pakistani Politics) which
    includes the LEFT.

    If you permit me, can I ask where are the marxists
    seculars, Liberals, trotskys, prolitariat, Faizists,
    Jalibists, btw, are they not with BB ?????? or
    around her, with distance, not too far not too near !!

  5. Usman Akram says:
    November 16th, 2007 8:11 am

    I am an ordinary pakistani but i am not on streets.
    Infact, those taking to streets are in minority, out of 16Millition you do not have even have 1/3 of a million protesting!!. which is less then 3% of the population.
    Among these 3% only lawyers and people from Media are genuin protesters adn I have no sympathies for them. Media have had it enough, independence comes with responsibility but media, Specially GEO has no code of conduct!.
    Lawyers are only suffering due to ex-CJ.
    Musharraf was suppose to retire and sworn in as civilian President by 15thNov but CJ announced that his selection cannot be declared officially, What is that?
    Either say, it was legal or illegal. If emergency was not declared on 15hNov, legally Pakistan would not have General of its arms or President or a parliment. What a mess, a complete desaster! Is that what CJ was trying to achieve?

    Besides, welldone Musharraf and well done PML-Q. Altho last 5 years were not outstanding, but this government has achieved alot despite all the natural desasters, political turmoils and External threats.
    If it as not Musharraf, Pakistan would be ruins like Afganistan.
    GEO Musharraf.

  6. Huma says:
    November 16th, 2007 8:31 am

    I too am an ordinary pakistani however living in karachi i see ppl in groups mostly belonging to the elite class protesting in the elite corridors of the city , the reason not many have been able to come out is due to two reasons : a) MQM ruling and threatening the civil society with even a hint of protest ; b) Lack of leadership in the country.

    On the other hand aruguing on the justification of this so called national interest driven emergency , there is no room for sanity here to be associated with the general , a power freak obsessed with crushing EVERYTHING that comes in his way be it judiciary, civil society or Armed forces, all he cares for is his staying in power and associating it with the old anthem of Sab Say Pehlay Pakistan.

    Finally Kudos to Imran Khan to do something tangible that will have him backing over the years , on a bitter note however IJT (islami Jamiat Talba) the student wing of Jamaat Islami did what their parent body is used to practice, ditch your frients and manipulate all that comes in your way.

  7. Ahson Hasan says:
    November 16th, 2007 8:36 am

    Usman, there are reasons why majority of the population is not on the streets.

    One, the people are suffering from an economic paralysis. Folks are so hard up financially that no one wants to give a day’s wage and go out and protest. The core of the society is struggling hard to make end’s meet.

    Two, there is an absence of democratic traditions in Pakistan and therefore protesting is generally confined to a few interest groups. Even though coming out on the streets and protesting against Emergency, Musharraf will be absolutely justified, Pakistanis don’t protest because most of the population is unaware of how to protest!

    Three, because of lack of democratic cognizance, mobilization of public opinion is not well regulated. Major political parties have been either hibernating or their leaders have been missing in action. The only one visible now is Benazir Bhutto and it appears that she’s only interested in ‘capturing’ the Prime Minister’s house overnight! Public opinion has never been a discipline phenomenon in Pakistan primarily because of censorships, severe issues of freedom of speech and expression and, of course, intermittent martial laws.

    And, lastly, demonstrations and protests usually turn violent. It is highly likely that someone going out on the street to protest may come back home bruised and battered or may never come back!

    So, to assert that you cannot see many people on the streets protesting will be absurd and fallacious. One would urge people living in Pakistan to come out and rock Mushy’s boat a little bit!

  8. November 16th, 2007 8:54 am

    There are a few things that we, as students of history, should understand.

    1. Never, in any society, everyone is so sensitive and active to come on the road. There is always a minority that thinks deeper, that is more sensitive and that takes the lead for the rest. e.g., not all 300 million Americans came out to protest against Iraq war.
    2. A common citizen would only start voicing concern once you give him/ her room to do so. On the one hand you keep the “final punches” in your hand, you batton-charge, fire gas-shells on protesters, round up each and every of your opponent into jail and on the other your say “Look, no one is protesting!” Chances are that you may be erring in your reading. I hope all have watched the “monks” protesting in Burma (Myanmar) recently and how they have been quieted down.

    3. 40 out of 60 years of army rule in Pakistan has been changing our mindsets into dictatorial (something happening to us unknowingly) that accounts for the belligerent behaviors in our society, thus making transition towards a dialog-oriented society more difficult. This has to stop, if we want to live as a civilized nation.

    4. General Musharraf’s behavior is terms of taking continuous U-turns ((a) 1999: I will leave in three years and will keep working on 7-point agenda. (b) 2002: I will take off my uniform by December 2004. (c) 2007: I will take off uniform on November 15, 2007 if I am elected President. (d) I will abide by all judicial decisions. (e) Emergency will not be imposed in Pakistan. (f) No corrupt politician will be allowed in Pakistan…) is setting a dangerous trend that there is no law in Pakistan. In fact his most recent actions are making a mockery of our country throughout the world e.g., the President extends Army Chief’s tenure; the Army Chief imposes emergency in Pakistan and then hands over power to President to lift emergency; civilians can be tried in army courts… what is this nonsense?

    There is no doubt that Pakistani politicians have not had an admirable past but that is not a justification of usurping the civil rights of the nation.

    These are only a few points that immediately came to my mind after reading the lead post and then the followup. There is no doubt that our politics is complex, but the awareness level of masses is also higher, far higher than past. It

  9. Naveed Khan says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:09 am

    Usman,
    I agree with you completely that Musharraf was a godsend and was probably the best leader we had. And last five years were better than all earlier five-year periods. But you have to understand that people are not proptesting against those five years or things done in those five years. They are portesting what he’s done now. And I stand by those protesters as I think it is in the long term interest of Pakistan that any unlawful, prejudicial, barbaric and anti-social acts by anyone especially the rulers should be condemned, protested agianst and revolted against. As for the fact that only few ppl have have taken to streets is not indication of approval or acceptance, it could be that people are thingking what you are thinking that Musharraf was so good all this time and has done such wonderful things for Pakistan so it not fair or worth protesting against his recent measures. I personally think that this thinking requires correction. Think of the future and think in long terms. Try to see the implications of his measures in 20 years time and on your children’s future.

  10. Eidee Man says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:09 am

    Well, I think it would be inaccurate to say that the political parties are not on the streets. They’ve attempted to stop Benazir several times. The thing is that the government is not afraid of the protests by the normal population. The PML(Q) cannot be expected to come out, since it is part and parcel of Musharraf’s government. That leaves the MQM; well, why would a terrorist organization participate in a political protest.

  11. Danish Naeem says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:16 am

    Ahson,
    >One, the people are suffering from an economic paralysis.
    This is certainly not true in the case of Karachi. The city witnessed big socio-economic revival during the “Musharaf-rule”. For the first time MQM played the allied role and was able to bring fruits back. People in Karachi are happy as they see things growing in their city, the businesses are booming and there are more high profile jobs then there are applicants. A lot of problems still remain to be addressed, this is true, but the masses are giving due credit where it lies, that is with Musharaf and the ruling partner MQM.

    Huma,
    In Karachi lives the biggest population of Pashtoons outside NWFP, well lead by ANP. Had they been forced not to protest (by MQM as you suggest), there wouldve been a bigger unrest.

    I am not a MQM supporter as the fisrt two paragraphs might suggest :), but it is very right to give the credit where it truly lies. The JI Nazim of Karachi (Naimutullah) is still highly respected and talked about as the person who started the Karachi evo/revolution.

    Finally, I agree with Usman, Naeem and Emaan. They made a good summarization.

  12. Emaan Nazir says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:25 am

    Naveed Khan & Ahson Hasan
    I respect your views and agree with you on 90% things you have said.
    Tho I have few reservations, PPP & PML are being ruled by Benazir and Nawaz as if they are their personal properties. Can these parties not bring up more leaders?, there are many good people among them that i love to see as party leaders & PrimeMinisters, these parties agenda is not country’s welfair infect they want their leaders to become PrimeMinisters.
    According to Pakistan’s Law one cannot be PrimeMinister for more then 2 terms, which is an excellent law. It stops dictatorship from politicians. Many countries in the world have same law and Thanks to Musharraf for it. What is Benazir and Nawaz trying to do now, one trying to return to country and the other has got her cases taken away and now hitting back (jis thali me khaya usi me thook deya).

    Anyways, i agree with both of you, but i believe we need honest, petriotic people to come in parliment this time and opposition should stop fighting over what has happened and look for future as this is the turning point for Pakistan. By january Musharraf will be Civilian president and will still need vote of confidence from new Parliment. I support Musharraf in anyway, with full confidence in him, He might have had made wrong decisions but as I understand what he has done was best in this situation. Infect I want Benazir, Nawaz n Mulana Fazalullah to be jailed for life and I want people like Imran Khan and Edhi Amin made life time Ministers but Imran has a long way to go. I predict Imran will become a good president and will keep goverments on track with his track of being straight forward, honest and standing up.

    Lets stay United and hold on while this storm end!

  13. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:28 am

    Dr. Adil Najam:

    In spite of media’s best efforts, both inside and outside Pakistan, the movement to chase Musharraf out of office has not gained its full momentum. The opposition to Musharraf rule remains mostly in the educated urban upper middle classes with lawyers and certain other groups being in the forefront. These are the groups most directly affected by the military rule. With military taking up all the plum jobs these groups loose many job opportunities that they see rightfully theirs. As for as rest of the populous is concerned, it sees no stakes in this fight that concerns mostly the upper economic classes. Masses are neither concerned nor involved in this so called struggle for democracy. They have seen the ugly face of so called democracy in Pakistan. Sharif brothers, Bhutto dynasty, Mullahs, Iltaf Bhai gang—a common man has experienced them all and now refuses to come out on the street at their behest. A military government is never an answer, but so discredited are the corrupt politicians that public is no longer interested in following them blindly. They see an iron fisted dictator as a better option than the thieves disguised as political leaders. And as for the judiciary goes, its re-born honesty and so called independence has a very short history. On the overall judiciary is just as corrupt as other institutions in Pakistan. It has time and again failed to deliver justice and man on the street knows it.

  14. Naeem Shah says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:36 am

    Huma:
    I believe students should not be involved in politics at all, actually there should be a law for any under 21 taking part in politics.
    Our youth needs education and with so much studying and expertise required for Pakistan’s next generations to seccede there is no time to take part in politics. Politicians turn to Students because they know its hard for working class to leave work and protest but students (as they get emotional quickly) will. We should remember that this was done by Bhutto and we suffered from Student groups for a very long time, Students used to beat buss drivers for not stopping or asking fair!.

    MQM and MMA do not deserve to be in power , lets make sure they do not win any seat in upcomming ellections and we vote or deserved people who can work for nation’s welfair, understand our security issues, are well educated and honest regardless of which party they are from.

    I wish these ellections were on non-party basis.

  15. Afzal says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:37 am

    I totally disagree with anyone who supports Mushraaf or his regime. He allied with the most corrupt people inside this country just to save his position.
    His corruption level has been more than any other democratic government. 1- The money made through Real Estate by all army generals has been unprecedented.Its just that no one has the power to bring those things to light because either a) they put in jail or b) they also bribed to join become devils advocate 2- The electricity crisis in Karachi has been brought just because government received huge kick backs from SEIMENS. Same company has been fined millions of dollars for corruption charges in Africa as per WSJ today. No one in Pakistan names that because they afraid of Mushraf and his Army which is none other than group of gangsters committing worst human crime against Pakistanis.
    3-There are millions of other examples of corruption ..just that no one talks ..just they scared or burried in their own problems. Exactly like when it comes to street protests where not large majority is coming out due to their own issues.
    Pakistan wouldn’t have been created if it was not about the rights of people..we could have been equally been happy living in sub-continent but our rights were demolished and that was the major factor in driving people out on streets.

    People like Usman, Naeem and Emaan above live in glass houses and don’t know the problems faced by grassroot pakistanis..they just watch stupid enlightened moderation and dances on PTV and think Pakistan has progressed. Guys grow up these things are not the benchmark for anyones success.

  16. Steve says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:40 am

    A feel-good and optimistic take, but spurious.
    ‘Pakistan is a democratic society trapped in a undemocratic state’. Now, which society out there is ‘not democratic’ per se? (if you leave out S.Arabia perhaps).

    Something tells me this kind of protesting (elites, people with vested interests) has happened before, except that todays media is more capable of delivering them to a worldwide audience.

    Musharraf is using power because he doesn’t want to lose it. Not to the people, but to other power-hungry groups. He’s also having to use power because he had this misconception about himself (or he thought he was the cleverest person on the planet) early on that he was not a dictator. If he was realistic, he would have used the iron fist long ago, which would have set a tone. What then would have happenned to the argument of the ‘democratic society’? The people would then not have been democratic?

    In any case, this idea that ‘democracy’ will solve Pakistan’s problems is nothing more than wishful thinking. Something that provides succor for now, and avoids having to deal with the real problems plaguing the nation and its people.

    And what democracy will it be!! A few years interregnum before the same democratic people cheer for the military putting in place a useless civilian politician?

  17. Intruder says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:40 am

    I dont agree with most of the comments above, they are telling fairy tails

    …. MQM and civilized (Joke of the century)
    ….Mush and Good for Pakistan (his hashar wud be bad than Zia)
    …..MMA (is just the B teams … they have ruined N.W.f-P rather pushed it to stone age)
    ….(PPPPPPPPPPPPP …. with every increaing Pee Bayzamir is peeing on all its leader just like her father civil dictator is a political party)
    ….Q-league (its actually queue of Pakistan Money-minded lotas league)
    there is much to say but it would rather wasting my time on ppl that dont worth my time….

  18. Usman Akram says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:52 am

    Steve, your name is a lie. You are clearly an asian guy.#
    Grow up dude!.

  19. Usman Akram says:
    November 16th, 2007 9:55 am

    Intruder,
    What you said about every party might be correct, but it seems you do not like anyone? Perhaps all you know is to find defects and critise others, but not live with whats best and help make it better.

    Do not worry, majority of our country men are like you!, that is why we are under PCO.

  20. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:04 am

    Usman Akram,

    and the minority of your countrymen are like your
    ” Tabqa ” that race, that special race !!

  21. Usman Akram says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:04 am

    Besides, the first image says,’Musharraf ka marshal law Na Manzoor’, You have no idea what marshal law looks like!

    Infect what the state of country is, marshal law should be imposed and shoot on sight orders must be released for militants, Benazir, Nawaz and Altaf hussain.

    Musharraf is too kind to put under house arrest those who are trying to rally (which us illegal under current law) and then releasing them after 2 days, letting print media go free and only imposing code of conduct on electronic media. By the way, BBC and CNN are live again and they are free to broadcast everything, Dawn and Aaj have been asked to drop 2 shows however they can still criticise or cover everything.

  22. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:06 am

    This blog is corruption of media !!

  23. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:08 am

    @This file is a reflection of what the media and
    so called freedom of expression is up to in Pakistan.

  24. Usman Akram says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:08 am

    Excellent @ Pervaiz Munir Alvi.
    So true ….

    (Everyone please read Pervaiz Munir Alvi’s comments on top of the second page in comments)

  25. ali raza says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:14 am

    I think the majority of Pakistanis prefer the status quo in government. Even the educated professionals and business people would rather do their own work rather than play good cop for the political parties. The media and lawyers are the face of the protest because it looks better on western screens and will help in getting sympathetic pressure from the west. In Pakistan, where people know these clowns for who they are, no one cares.

    The political parties are holding their workers back because they don’t want the ugliness of their own protest to scare away the western support. Once the government has backed off a bit due to western support, the political uglies will be brought on street for domestic consumption. Its a drama being played on us.

    The majority of us have no say in our political system. The parties are fiefdoms. Imran Khan came out as a ray of hope that could bring the silent majority out od their shells. Sadly, he is acting more like a pawn of the political parties.

  26. Israr says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:17 am

    Optimistic as ever , you find light in the dark and thanks for always sharing that, I think surfing the web, Pak Wiki, Pakistaniat and teeth maestro is my way of protesting and showing solidarity with the chief Justice in fact more so with the Lawyers, Munir and Kurd.
    Akram… Those of you who can and are not raising a voice against injustice, because there was injustice before are missing the point, it is not about Musharraf or for that matter the judges. This is our chance to reclaim our country let me share a small experience that made me sort of an activist I might say though for education in Pakistan visit (www.hdf.com )
    I was visiting back home Pakistan after two or three yrs in USA and had applied for Umra visa at Saudi embassy , The consulate is right behind our house in Islamabad, to deposit the passport I went in a the LAND CRUISER with a driver we parked the car in front of the embassy in a car park made on CDA land ( must be illegal ) walked straight inside , the guy at the door said salaam and i walked right in , when went to collect the passport I went in a Suzuki car, ( same day ) drove myself and parked in the same parking lot , I got down the same guys walks over and says ” Aap yahaan park nahin kar sakte ye embassy ke liye he ) I said but this is CDA land and I will park here , and you can predict the rest police, counsular and others , I wanted the passport so standed down and melted away , But How long How Long, I think it is time we are free ( we meaning People)

  27. faraz says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:22 am

    I think we are not protesting for last 5 years. Reality is Pakistan had grown 8% in last 5 years and we have 15 billions in foreign exchange. I was in investment company and Pakistani bonds were well respected.

    The problem is, he could have leave with respect and made a place in history, but he broke deal with beezamir who looted 1 billion. He have not allowed NS to return inspite of SC orders. He could have arrange a fair elecetion and next parliment decide his faith as president.

    He is destroying himslef and country. I am sad that when he will leave, all trash will fall on him and he dont deserve that much bashing. How x-preseident are respected in USA. See how Clinton, Algor and Jimmy Carter are still respected people. Why in world our leaders leave with such disgress? I thnk biggest danger we face is USA-girl(Beezamir). Once she is installed she will give free access to USA in Pakistan to our nukes. NS is better alternate.

  28. -Farid says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:26 am

    Thanks for the post. Totally agree that this is.a new (in recent times) and very welcome phenomena.

    A more active, informed, and confident civil society is exactly what we need.

    Whoever is in government – today or tomorrow – has to be held accountable to public feedback.

    This political awakening of the usually quiet segments will only grow, and will serve us well in the years to come.

  29. ali raza says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:26 am

    Israr, lets not fool ourselves. It is about Musharraf. We all know it. And then who follows Musharraf. We know what follows the current regime. I think Pakistanis can foresee what will follow Musharraf, were he to be removed and the political saviors be allowed another shot at us.

  30. Usman Akram says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:27 am

    Afzal:
    You honestly need to grow up and learn to respect others point of view.
    My family bought property from a retired service man, most of them get land in army estate on retirement. We bough it on higher price because of security in the area
    Talking about army, it is my request to you, please consider the soldiers and not just ones in service as these schemes benifit the lower ranks which make up most of the army staff and come from villages.

    You said ‘millions of other examples of corruption’ but you have only mentioned 2 which dnt have much credibility anyways!. Why dnt you expose someone like an indian reporter exposed their army in ‘Tehelka’ report.

  31. November 16th, 2007 10:33 am

    Ordinary people are not on the streets because they don’t believe in current politicians. I think with planned strategy, people’s minds were changed and now they are hopeless. Now people think that they can’t make any difference and this is planted in their minds notoriously. We need a new leadership who should be loyal to country and his nation. How we will get that leadership, time will show us.

  32. Usman Akram says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:41 am

    Israr: Brother, believe me, Musharraf would never have told that security guard to allow certain people to park there. Please talk to that guard nicely, offer him tea and convince him to he fair and equal to all as his faith (Islam) requires him to do so.

    I have my sympathies for CJ and i hope he gets what he deserve but I will still stand by Musharraf on the basis that what he has done is in best interest of Pakistan. Please look at the solutions to our problems, what would be your policy in current scenario?, would you let PPP come into power now and betray pakistanis once again or like to return Nawaz Era when we were taking loans to pay goverment salaries or you want Pakistan to fall in warlords hands which unfortunatily are our mullahs at the moment. any of these choices will only turn Pakistan to ruins. If you are so clever and know what is right then please state a solution here. solution to our economic problems, our stability, fighting militants and keeping credibility as a Nuclear nation

  33. Shahid Husain says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:48 am

    First things first. I am not a Mushrraf supporter. The emergency is all wrong. The dismissing of the Supreme Court is wrong.

    I have just returned from Pakistan after a month and I was in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. I met a ton of people, businessmen, students and the atxi drivers, servants etc. As correctly pointed out by other people in their posts it is very very few people who are participating in these protests. Why? Most of the people said that first of all they have no faith in the political leaders available to them. Two, they say that what these political leaders want is that someone else do the dirty work for them get their heads bashed so that they can get into power. Sorry, wrong number. Look at Benazir. No one stopped her from coming back to Pakistan and going to the people to get her back in power but instead she chose to go to the US and UK and get in by the back door. Why put in so much work. While she was out she continued from where she left off in Pakistan and now cases against her in Spain. Once a crook always a crook. Musharraf had done a lot of bad things and yes he has but beleive me if you give a choice between Benazir and Musharraf the choice is easy.

  34. Rizwan says:
    November 16th, 2007 11:05 am

    students in Pakistan should read this before they destroy Pakistan.
    http://pakistaniat.com/2007/11/12/martial-law-least-of-pakistan%e2%80%99s-worries/

  35. Aqil Sajjad says:
    November 16th, 2007 11:09 am

    Some people being released.

    Asma Jahangir:

    here

    Hamid Gul

    here

    Benazir:

    here

    In addition the strict warning from the US government has been issued to Pakistan’s current administration.

    here

  36. ali raza says:
    November 16th, 2007 11:12 am

    Usman Akram mentions buying a property from a retired military officer. As the son of one such man let me clarify a few more things here. Officers have to pay a monthly sum out of their salary throughout the service to get a mediocre house at retirement. Even then, many of them sell these houses to get dowry for their daughters. My father sold his house even before we had ever seen it to send us to school in America. My parents still live in a rented house. Other government servants, even lawyers, and journalists have similar schemes where they can get some property or assets at the end of service. I am not trying to defend the alleged corruption of those at the highest echlons of government service. Just trying to point out the reality of life for most others.

  37. faraz says:
    November 16th, 2007 11:31 am

    Latest news: BB has asked USA to cut aid to Pakistan. So looting 1 biilions were not enough, now she also want to cut 1 billion/year aid to Pakistan. USA has already said that they will only cut 300 millions of aid which is used on education and health and not 700 million which is used for army anti terror operations.

    CIA is trying to topple MUSh because he said NO to USA when they asked permision to attack FATA. BB at same time(end 0f 2006) promised USA full aceess to FATA as well as our nukes. Thats why USA is dying to install her as PM without Mush. This NRA was darama of BB. She just wanted to get rid of valid cases against her. Now she want to replace Mush so she can rule Pak without any check and balance.

  38. November 16th, 2007 11:42 am

    Adil Bhai
    With due respects your central thesis is a little flawed. Several researchers on Pakistan have noted the paradox of Pakistani society and have termed it as stuck between a “democratic ideal versus autocratic reality”.

    Our society has autocratic trends embedded in the family, school, madrassa, and other institutions – ruled by patriarchy and hierarchial rural social and economic relations. Whereas there is a yearning for democratic process, it often founders against the rocks of autocratic reality.

    The current movement is heart warming – our middle classes have finally woken up – but in essence they are struggling for their own rights – this is why LUMS had the first protest as the bourgeois interests are well represented there.

    The ‘ordinary’ people that you cite time and again in the post are actually the millions of landless poor who are toiling in the rural areas far from the globalized urban centres, the urban poor who run from pillar to post for a day’s meal – and they will not become a part of this movement until their interests are not articulated and no political party wants to do that.

    It is a cliche now that land reform is an urgent need to fight rural poverty but NO political party or even the civil society talks about it.
    Use of natural resources like irrigation water is another issue – therefore poltical mobilization is not in evidence.

    The poor per many studies do NOT go to the courts in the first place – the lawyers and courts cost money and don’t have it. Health care costs keep the poor trapped in poverty; and education – we all know what is happening with state schools and madrassas.

    So why should people or masses come out?

    And as commentors have mentioned, the political parties are not inspiring confidence save a few hard core pockets of loyalists.

    Having said this, this is a historical moment in our history where the ruling classes are split from within and are resisting the domination of one power group – therefore it is a welcome development in the erstwhile stagnant waters of Pakistani politics. However, to expect that the successful overthrow of the military ruler (like 1969) or a limited transition like (1988) and return to democracy will solve Pakistan’s problems nothing but naivete.

    Pakistan’s pressing issues require much more than return to another set of ruling elites who just don’t wear uniforms!

    P.S. My favourite was someone here who said that by visiting the blogs s/he is protesting against the emergency. Talk of armchair struggles ..amusing indeed – no offence intended.

  39. Neena says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:06 pm

    The Million who greeted Benazir, or were supposedly stopped from greeting Nawaz Sharif, or routinely come out for the MMA, are nowhere to be seen.

    Remember their local leaders who organize them are all in custody. This government is smart; they know where to hit. Only the informed people are protesting, common men who can

  40. Ismail says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:08 pm

    @Usman Akram
    Spurious logic zindabaad. So if teh MAJORITY of all Pakistanis are not on teh streets that mean that they are all supporting Musharraf… wah bhai wah. Hum bewaqoof hain, par itnay bhi nahin.

  41. Qaiser says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:08 pm

    By the way, have people noticed how ISI types are now attacking popular blogs with pro-Musharraf comments… just read teh comments under various names and they start reading very very same…

  42. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:20 pm

    Pak Tea House:

    You are on the mark. My sentiments exactly. The present political crisis is a quarrel within the ruling classes. The common man has very little to do with it. And then of course there are the interests of the USA that ‘American-girl’ has promised to safeguard if she and her loving husband are installed in power.

  43. Babar says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:21 pm

    Technology is an important part of these protests. I wrote about activism at ATP before and my recent post about the use of mobile/sms (http://tinyurl.com/2k3fyg) by Pakistani activisits was also posted here:
    http://mobileactive.org/bhatti-pakistan

  44. Fasih says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:25 pm

    Looks like she will accept a martial from anyone else, and dictatorship preferably from a civilian or a democratically elected (so-called) government, but not from Musharraf. How about if he change his name to Deen Mohammad?

  45. Ismail says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:29 pm

    So, Pervaiz Munir Alvi and Pakistan Tea House, are you saying that the ‘common Pakistanis’ are with Musharraf?

    And by the way, this obsession with labelling some Pakistanis uncommon’ or ‘special’ makes very little sense… are you ‘common’ Pakistanis or ‘uncommon’ ones…. if former, what are you doing here… if later, how can you speak for the people you obviously consider ‘commoners’, since you are so ‘special’.

    Take a break people, can we all not be just Pakistanis for once, without annointing ourselves as ‘special’ and others as ‘common’!

  46. Israr says:
    November 16th, 2007 12:55 pm

    Akram
    Well here is the true solution and I am not just posting it because it is a cliche
    We at HDf had realized ten years ago that the solution to the nations condition is Human development , Human development revolves around taking people out of the poverty trap, we developed a comprehensive program for development and have been working in all provinces in Pakistan with primary pillars of community empowerment, education, health ,micro credit and physical infrastructure development. This has been a very successful model but to scale that model we have also realized that public policy , transparency in governence, access to justice plays a critical role, we had a statement of goals formulated after a conference of various intellectuals in the field in Pakistan ( may 2007) and we think that making these goals as the discourse of all discussion political and social will bring society to address them. you can view all this information as http://www.hdf.com

    The current problem is not exclusive to Musharraf or ZIA or Benazir, it is a product of 60 years of evolution and we are where we are, Whats the way forward, infact i have prensentation made for this and can send you if you r interested,some of the info is on the blog.

    I think you are vouching for Mushaaraf becuase you are saying “I will still stand by Musharraf on the basis that what he has done is in best interest of Pakistan ”
    I want to draw your attention to this fact
    What he has done is in the best interest of Pakistan , just add what HE thinks is in the best interest of Pakistan, isn’t it true that currently it would in best interest of Pakistan for him to have moved on, George Washington was asked by his compatriots to continue after his presidency too and he refused because ” if i do it now than it would continue ” I think his problem is ” What he thinks ” In a society it is not about what I think but What ” WE ” think .

  47. ali raza says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:07 pm

    The ISI better start paying me soon.

  48. Israr says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:13 pm

    ALI
    No for some people it is about Musharraf, For me I think for most it is what Musharraf has come to represent, you answer your self, he may have come representing something different but now {right or wrong} represents ” Rule of the Power full ” not the Rule of Law. His body language, his demeanour towards others shows a contempt, ” how dare you ” I am right and and Iam right, it is not Musharaff again it is what he is representing, Now I am not for Benazir or Nawaz or the Moooolahs, but at least I know I am not for what Musharaff represents. The silver lining here is activism in the society, if people are activated all these so called politicians and generals will not have a free run,
    A few people got together( http://www.hdf.com) about 10 years ago and decided they will do something , They now have 10,000 students, two hundred thousand people benefit from there services and have 600 people employed, without a dime from government but with peoples donations. You should see the picture on the blog and video clips
    http://www.dreampakistan.blogspot.com
    I invite everyone on this blog to do what hey think is right, it is the inaction that is a crime, I would be sorry but if you think Musharraf is good than take out a support rally, save him for if he is right he should stay,
    If you are someone critical of everything than see the picture under cover picture on my blog, send me a list of people you would like it mailed to , I will print and mail it at my expense to raise money for yet another school.
    http://www.dreampakistan.blogspot.com

  49. zia m says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:28 pm

    Mush believes in killing the messanger.Geo is being banned altogether.Shame Shame

  50. Sohail Agha says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:42 pm

    Watch the latest ”Lions for Lambs” by Robert Redford….

    http://www.lionsforlambsmovie.co.uk/

    Couldn’t be more timely in Pakistani perspective.

  51. Israr says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:45 pm

    They came for the politicians, I did not do anything because i wasnt on
    They came for the extremists I did not do anything because i wasn’t one of them
    They came for the Judges I did not do anything because I wasnt one of them
    They are now going to shut Down GEO
    what are we going to do, I am going to call dish network now, will keep my subscription, anyone can we ask bridges TV to provide a platform now
    any ideas what to do,

  52. Kaleem says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:53 pm

    I am not very politically active or intersted but I know of no one in Karachi in my family or friends or co-workers who is not tired of this situation and who has not given up on Musharraf. I know many people who are afraid to protest in public but they are all opposing this in any way they can. Even his ministers are apologetic when they talk about the emergency. Even Sh Rashid is so. I hope you are right and new politics of teh people will emerge, maybe around Chief Justice Chaudhry. The established political parties have failed and Musharraf has failed even more. Time for a new leadership.

    I will vote for a party that has Iftikhar Chaudhry, Talat Hussain, Dr. Shahid, Ayaz Amir, Aitrizaz Ahsan and others who may have flawed pasts but have stood up for the right and truth now.

  53. Ahmed Karim says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:54 pm

    Its over now Musharraf. Geo zendabad. Pakistanies do some think to show your protest before running out of time. We dont want lota channels. Again Geo zendabad. Pakistan Payendabad. Geo, Geo or Pakistan.

  54. Ismail says:
    November 16th, 2007 1:55 pm

    the last video, of the anti-Jamiat rally at Punjab Univeristy after they beat by Imran is important because students at PU rising against the IJT goons is also a sign of new politics in Pakistan.

  55. Viqar Minai says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:06 pm

    Just heard this on GEO News itself.

    !!!!!!! GEO Network is SHUTTING DOWN !!!!!!

    Shame! Shame!

  56. Khurram says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:14 pm

    Just heard on dawn news that news about Pakistan Martial law was the most covered news item in US media during the last week in all 3 media outlets (print, electronic and internet). In all 3 cases, it beat out election 2008 coverage.

  57. November 16th, 2007 2:16 pm
  58. Sohail Agha says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:22 pm

    Negroponte in Pakistan

    ”..GEO TO SHUT DOWN..”

  59. Nasar says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:22 pm

    It seems like the ISI is behind on it’s payouts as I am still waiting for my check too…

    One thing that is apparent from reading all the posts is that there is a sizable majority of pro-Musharraf participants here. There are even those who are pro-emergency.

    ISI must be close to bankruptsy by now… I better start looking for other employment opportunities.

  60. Sohail Agha says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:32 pm

    Who is next….Bloggers….!

  61. Abid says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:45 pm
  62. Deewana Aik says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:48 pm

    The GEO network is getting closed.

    http://islamabad.metblogs.com/

  63. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:54 pm

    Geo,

    why don’t you prepare a balance sheet and present it
    before the whole nation, I have serious grievances with
    your politics, attitude towards Pakistaniat, and
    NAZARIA-E-PAKISTAN, you have played a decisive
    role in rootingout Islam, the religion of 165 millions of
    Pakistanis, have tried to drive Islam out of Pakistani
    families.

    Every day there was a segment anti-Islamic, sometime
    3 and 4 times per day. Making fun of Eids, Ramazans.

    Even in your last moments, you are still lying !!!
    You can claim sympathies from all the leftist, seculars,
    liberals, evils pro Indians.
    I decline to give you my sympathies,

  64. Ismail says:
    November 16th, 2007 2:59 pm

    Geo Network’s cosing down is a serious blow to expression in Pakistan but it is also a victory of a media outlet not willing to bow out to power.

    I predict that geo will be back and stronger than ever.

  65. November 16th, 2007 3:02 pm

    Ismail:

    I respect your point of view but I think we cannot be naive about the differences in class and empowerment levels in Pakistan. The truth is that officially 25 percent (others say nearly 30 per cent) live below the poverty line. Another few (!) millions live below $2 per day. This in absolute numbers is a huge figure.

    So let us not be oblivious of these realities. Their interests have always been sidelined as they are pretty much voiceless and disempowered and are herded to the polling stations or rallies each time there is an election.

    Neena has made some interesting observations and partially addressed some of the issues you raised.

    Hope we can agree to disagree!

  66. November 16th, 2007 3:03 pm

    GEO NEWS CLOSED DOWN.. DUBAI GOVT WANTS THAT NO CURRENT AFFAIR/NEWS SHOULD BE AIRED!!!!!

    LETS TUNE TO PTV…….

    FOR LOCALLY MANUFACTURED/CENSORED/YES SIR NEWS

  67. Pakistan's General Problem says:
    November 16th, 2007 3:15 pm

    Humor in State of Emergency (Great Collection of Editorial Cartoons)…..Enjoy!!!

    http://cagle.msnbc.com/news/PakistanMusharef/main.asp

  68. Adnan says:
    November 16th, 2007 3:24 pm

    Jang network also surrendered. Shahid masood announced tht only Geo news would go offline and all other channels would continue their operation.

    Poor Geo chaps like Masood,Amir Liaquat who had been saying that they didn’t surrender unlike other channels and felt proud faced similar situation which PPP’s Jiyalay faced when BB made a deal with Mush.

  69. Sohail Agha says:
    November 16th, 2007 7:10 pm

    The confession on BBC …The end game?

    http://tinyurl.com/2vctgv

  70. shahid virk says:
    November 16th, 2007 10:39 pm

    Instead of all the hardships still there is nothing which is disturbing Pervez Musharraf to stop this brutal police force from beating and arresting these innocent protesters.
    We should react collectively in a way so that we show him a real force which has to be unstoppable until our basic rights are granted and there is free media and judiciary working and most importantly there are free and fair elections in the country.
    These generals should be held accountable for all these atrocities which police is committing under their umbrella. We should remind all of them there will be a day of judgment when people of Pakistan will hold their collars and will ask for the justice. And on that day every one of these generals will be punished.
    Look what they have done to the one and only real great hero of the country Imran Khan and his family. Your days are numbered Mr. Musharraf. You do whatever you can do in desperation, but you have to go one day, you can

  71. LA Bajwa says:
    November 16th, 2007 11:10 pm

    President Musharaf Deserves Kudus for his Plan to Restore Democracy

    The decision to proclaim emergency in Pakistan was a difficult and a painful one. It may not be to the liking of the western governments, but at times, one is forced to take extra-ordinary steps to deal with extra-ordinary circumstances.
    Pakistan is facing difficulties due to increased militancy and extremism which is linked to the past history of our region. In order to curb these extremist forces which were threatening sovereignty of Pakistan and the security of its people, it has become essential to take certain steps.
    It is unfortunate that media has over-reacted and has given a negative image of Pakistan which betrays complete ignorance and lack of understanding about the fundamental realities in Pakistan.
    It must be acknowledged that over the last eight years President Musharraf has brought significant improvements in Pakistan

  72. omar r. quraishi says:
    November 17th, 2007 1:36 am

    adnan pray tell me how is shutting down ‘giving in’?

  73. Adnan says:
    November 17th, 2007 2:27 am

    Omar,unlike AAJ, geo had seperate news channel. Govt actually wanted to shutdown programs of Talat,Mushtaq Minhas,Hamid,Shahid Masood and Kashif abbasi of ARY. AAJ is Up without Talat and Bolta Pakistan, means they surrendered. Similarly GEO is up by surrendring GEO news which means NO hamid mir,Kamran Khan and Masood anymore.

    GEO has been doing false propaganda. It does seem GEO also signed code of conduct. Now all GEO is up without all mentioned guys.

  74. Adnan says:
    November 17th, 2007 2:29 am

    Even I have not been reading Ansar Abbasi for last few days or maybe I am missing? is he put on ban as well?

  75. Yousuf says:
    November 17th, 2007 2:33 am

    Why can’t we just wait for the elections? Itni be-sabri kyun hai? They’re inviting quite a lot of foreign observers and media. Voting would be in transparent ballot boxes. People are not dying, they’re not being fired at by the police (recall burma) phir bhi masla hai. If they allow open rallies, then you’d blame them again if there’re suicide blasts. Desperate times call for desparate measures.

    Why couldn’t the CJ wait for Mush to doff his uniform? Why were they so hellbent on delivering the justice and uphlolding the constitution? Was that more important preventing what’s happening today.

    They could’ve blocked this very site you know. They didn’t. They don’t have problems with us. At least not that much. And to some extent, it appalled me sometimes to watch those news channels involved in a relentless banter of everything. Every news was a breaking news. There’s so much ill-will among every facet of the society, it was sort of their duty to mend those gaps, not aggravate them. I watched burnt bodies, people crying and limping on the blastsites and what was the cameraman doing? filming them and showing GEO NEWS Exclusive. Instead they showed PG ratings not suitable for children. Was it suitable for the rest?

    Let’s not forget that Mush did some good when he didn’t mess with the press in at least 7 of these 8 years. The media had all the time to learn how to stay free all this time. We want the militants to accept the writ of the govt. What about us accepting that writ as well? I guess there’s a lot more to learn. They’re so righteous that they wouldn’t say good things on their own but once paid they’ll start showing parha likha punjab 5 mins before every news.

    I feel sad for geo, ary. I miss Capital Talk, Meray Mutabiq and especially that I love you so Ad before every news. Geo Super, Aag had nothing to do with it. They wanna fight the govt. till death, they should be prepared to take collateral damage as well.

    One has to realize that this struggle is being hijacked by BB. She’s feeling so confident that she has apparently stopped worrying about the swiss cases. Must be thinking I’ll fix them once I get to be the PM. They’ve rarely criticized this govt’s economic policies in their bashings. Does this mean they agree to it? or they haven’t even thought about the alternatives. Please wake up. Major democracies of this world sacrificed a lot of blood to get there. Do we really want that? Things’ve gotten more ever since. We’ve got nukes to worry about. We’ve got two hostiles on both sides of the border. And yes, I feel agitated. I feel ripped off of my rights. Change cannot be done overnight until there’s blood involved. Trust me, no leader would give his life for us when the going gets rough. Why’s she being given so much protection. Doesn’t that make us “commoners”? Where was she for 8 years? neogtiating her comeback? with who? us or the US?

    I can keep on blabbering…

  76. G-FORCE says:
    November 17th, 2007 4:12 am

    I do not rate a few protests here and a few there as a movement. Without the ‘mass’ being behind this movement of a few students, lawyers and social activists will only be limited until the elections in January 2008.

    Though I may not agree with the mode of emergency, I fully agree with the reasons behind its imposition.

    I believe that what the Government is doing is the same as what Adil and his gang do everyday on this blog and under the ATP Comment policy! Read this policy as given herein and then tell me why blame Musharraf or the Government?

  77. Ahmad Tariq says:
    November 17th, 2007 4:52 am

    Today the channels are closed.
    Tomorrow our tongues will be tied.
    The day-after we will be imprisoned.

    I hope this tyranny continues, so that we Pakistanis could understand what ‘freedom’ means. Only our forefathers knew what freedom meant. ALL of us are not protesting for our freedoms. Hence, We have a long way to go.

    InshAllah the lawyers, the journalists, the students shall succeed.

  78. omar r. quraishi says:
    November 17th, 2007 5:01 am

    adnan — no — GEO has not surrendered but rather the dubai govt has ordered it to stop broadcasting — quite different — talat hussain is privately v upset and i hear nusrat javeed has already left or is on the verge of leaving AAJ TV – ansar abbasi was published in the news today — no ban on him –

  79. omar r. quraishi says:
    November 17th, 2007 5:33 am

    very well said ahmed tariq — i am amazed at the general myopia found among most educated and apparently liberal pakistanis

  80. sara says:
    November 17th, 2007 5:54 am

    Imran Khan has always stood fast to his principles and has always been fighting for justice and rights. He has given up a lot, and now his freedom, to fight for Pakistan. Historically, he has delivered what he has promised; WC, hospital and now building school. We need to give him a chance to lead us. He fought for us and now we need to fight for him and all others that are languishing in Pakistani jails now. I feel ashamed that this is happening to good, decent people while, gundas roam are streets freely. Rise up people, demand your rights. Demand Imran’s freedom, demand the freedom of everyone who has been thrown in kail for speaking out, demand free judiciary and media. Then only can we think about elections!

  81. Adnan says:
    November 17th, 2007 6:01 am

    so maybe Ansar’s translations are not being published in jang?

    and FYI, I can STILL watch geo news live on Internet. What kind of satellite ban it is?

  82. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 17th, 2007 6:02 am

    @Geo’s last breathing,

    Geo has only Khadakeliye left to die with.!!!
    and other Wawelas and syapaas !!

  83. Sohail Agha says:
    November 17th, 2007 7:25 am

    Once again..a must watch

    The confession on BBC

    http://tinyurl.com/2vctgv

  84. November 17th, 2007 7:40 am

    Adil Bhai,

    A brilliant post as usual, this is a time for rejoicing for Pakistani is ALIVE. The coming days and weeks will usher in a new dawn, it will not be perfect or without problems but the masses must rule not the khaki kings, Musharraf the movie is in its final scenes, see the movie on http://www.otherpakistan.org/archive.html

    Feimanallah

    Wasim

  85. Sohail Agha says:
    November 17th, 2007 7:48 am

    The complete interview…A must watch…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7099567.stm

    Click on to….

    ”Did I go mad? Or suddenly, my personality changed? Am I Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

    President Musharraf

    Musharraf interview ”

  86. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 17th, 2007 8:30 am

    Drop Scene of a failed Drama,

    @who is protesting, who is not,

    It does’nt mean anything now, you failed entirely,
    the whole theatre has collapsed on its foundations.
    In your defeat, you carried the whole miserable
    nation with you like an unknown coffin wrapped up
    in Red drappery of High Treason.

  87. Qaiser says:
    November 17th, 2007 9:40 am

    This interview with Dr. Najam on the current crisis just popped up on my Yahoo News. Similar points to ones here but really worth a read.

    http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=40098

    Here is a quote-”However, one still gets questions about

  88. khairulbashar Siddiqui says:
    November 17th, 2007 9:54 am

    Adil Sahab
    I want to reply you directly. I will meet you probably at Elmhurst college in Chicagoland in April 2008. What you know is only through the sources that supply you information. That is why you are yourself biased. I go Karachi very often. I have my roots in Karachi. Karachi has never developed that much in last 60 years, as compared to what I see in last 5 years.
    How can you bring Krachiites on street. This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that Karachi feels that it is part of the pakistan government. The problem with us is that every body living outside of Pakistanthings he knows all. If he is not from Karachi, he is against Musharraf. We ” so called Muhajjirs ” will never go against Musharraf. We believe that he is even better than Liaqat Ali. I have yet to see any successful movement in Pakistan without Karachi. Going against Musharraf at this time of our History is not only against Army, it is against normal poor and lower middle class. Remember my words—– You all might end up dividing pakistan in 3 to 4 parts , and then we all will suffer. None of you went Swat or Waziristan. How do you know what is happening. Please open your eyes. Don’t become hate mongers. This is not good. You wrote yourself that people have never protested that hard, which I disagree. Musharraf for the first time in Pakistan’s history has provided an opportunity to build 2 more stronger pillar of state, which were abused by the very people, who would have benefited from it.
    I hope again that no body is hurt by reading my analysis.

  89. Tariq Malik says:
    November 17th, 2007 10:28 am

    I beg to differ with your comment “Political activists and political leaders are not on the streets.” As far as PPP is concerned, here is the update on the arrests of PPP leaders and activists on the third day of the March on Nov 15.

    Ghulam Abbas, Sec Gen Punjab PPP has reached Sheikhupura with hundreds of supporters and over a 100 buses. Deputy Leader Opposition Punjab, Rana Aftab arrested while leading Long March out of Faisalabad.

    Reports of clashes between protestors and police trying to break up the march were pouring in at the time of compilation of the report.

    In Peshawar the Frontier PPP Sec General Najmuddin Khan and others were arrested after baton charge and clashes with police. Demonstrators also tear gassed as clashes erupted.

    Frontier President of the PPP Rahim Dad Khan already locked in jail.

    In Karachi violent clashes took place in Lyari that resulted in the killing of two PPP workers. Opposition leader in the Senate Mian Reza Rabbani and former federal minister Yusuf Talpur arrested while leading a procession.

    Police fired upon the protesters as major towns and villages shut down amid shelling, baton-charges protesting the detention of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and arrests of over 7500 leaders and workers of the party on third consecutive day Thursday.

    Nawabshah remained shut completely. In Sakrand, police resorted to firing injuring PPP worker Raza Mohammad Chandio. Eight PPP workers including the injured one whisked away by the police which also registered case against them.

    Over 50 PPP leaders and workers including PPP District President Dr Mohan Kohistani, Dr Sikandar Shoro and others were arrested in Kotri. The protesters blocked the Kotri roads paralyzing the vehicular traffic while shopkeepers pulled their shutters down in protest.

    In Chachro, over two dozen PPP workers were arrested following a protest demo. Those arrested include PPP tehsil Chachro President Ghulam Hussain Gajju, Kamal Bajeer, Jalal Bajeer, Ghulam Rasool Rahimoon and others.

    The reports about protests were pouring in from Tando Ghulam Ali, Talhar, Matli, Gulab Leghari, Tando Bago, Jam Sahib, Dando, Hyderabad, Larkana, Naudero, Qambar, Thatta, Gharo, Dadu, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Mehar, Ghotki, Khairpur, Faiz Gunj, Shikarpur, Kot Mirs, Garhi Yasin, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot etc

  90. November 17th, 2007 10:50 am

    We know that our judiciary was corrupt, for over 59 years our judges bowed to the Army generals. They never gave verdicts according to the constitution. They always legitimized the rule of dictators. And then one fine morning , we found a person whom we never thought in our dreams to take up the cause of people. He went in front of the dictator , told him:
    Alright from now onwards, all the decisions will be according to the constitution of Pakistan.
    And now we find that there are 50 of his brother judges following him.

    Why can I not dream that :
    One fine morning one of our generals overthrows their boss, issue a one line statement :

  91. November 17th, 2007 11:36 am

    @ali raza
    As a software engineer, I envy God’s creations. It is impossible for human beings to create intelligent machines which will have such a vast difference of intellect between one machine and another.
    Don’t worry we are poles apart in our thinking :)

  92. meengla says:
    November 17th, 2007 12:48 pm

    I share Pejamistry’s dream!

    Anyway, we should know in a couple of days the impact of Negroponte’s crucial trip to Pakistan. There are talks of encouraging/threatening other Generals of Pakistan Army to make Musharraf behave and change course. Also, BB’s role has become pivotal in forming a grand political base against Musharraf’s rule. I hope BB does not make wrong choice under American ‘directive’. I hope BB starts a mass movement to overthrow Mush.

    To the guy above who is planning to meet Prof. Najam in Chicagoland: You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but this Urdu speaking Karachiite stopped supporting Musharraf when he declared the new Martial Law. Karachi, my birthplace and my beloved city, is part of Pakistan and just because it has seen properity does not make the case to allow the rest of the country to be screwed by Musharraf’s misrule.

  93. November 17th, 2007 12:57 pm

    If sitting at home means supporting Mush then I think Pakistanis were more supportive at the time of Zia and then NS and BB? BB and NS looted country but awam didn’t step out. infact things were better in their era. Less inflation, more jobs, no severe Loadsheding. If this is barometer of measuring popularity then BB and NS were far ahead than Musharraf.

    @Khairul-Bashar: I am not a “so called” Mohajir. I am a genuine Mohajir and I do OPPOSE Musharraf. I also was supporter of MQM in 90s(nervous 90s I must say ;) ) and do know maybe more than ordinary supporters of MQM. Still I oppose MQM and Musharraf.

    Thanks

  94. meengla says:
    November 17th, 2007 1:08 pm

    Adnan Siddiqi,
    Good points!

    By the way, Gen. Zia used to boast that he had established silence in the country since coming to power. I remember an interview from Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan where he retorted: “Yes, it is the silence of a graveyard”.

    People are not coming out because people haven’t come out to protest in huge numbers since the MRD movement of 1984. But if PPP truly gets into confrontational mode–let’s wait and see how Negroponte’s visit unfolds–then there is bound to be a lot of protest. If I understand it correctly then Army will revolt against Musharraf when ‘red line’ is crossed: Firing upon demonstrators. I hope it does not come to that. But, short of extreme American pressure, there is no other way to remove Musharraf than by mass protests. The idiot, by forming a PML-Q led caretaker govt., has clearly indicated that he wants to stay in power forever. What a nightmare scenario!

  95. ivehadit says:
    November 17th, 2007 1:15 pm

    Israr says (excerpted)

    They came for the politicians, I did not do anything because i wasnt on
    They came for the extremists I did not do anything because i wasn

  96. Abid says:
    November 17th, 2007 1:19 pm

    Being Pervez Musharraf
    What’s it like to be Pakistan’s ruler?

    BY BRET STEPHENS
    The Wall Street Journal November 13, 2007

    In recent days, you have declared a state of emergency, imprisoned thousands of lawyers and civil society types, fired the Supreme Court and put its chief justice under house arrest, and shut down much of the independent media. You have done all this to keep your grip on power, all the while insisting you have “no personal ego and ambitions to guard.”
    Abroad, the conventional wisdom is that you have shredded what little legitimacy you had and that your days, politically or otherwise, are numbered.

    No doubt you are sensitive to the appearance of hypocrisy. In your self-applauding autobiography, “In the Line of Fire,” you wrote about former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as follows: “He threw many of his opponents, including editors, journalists and even cartoonists, into prison. He was really a fascist–using the most progressive rhetoric to promote regressive ends, the first of which was to stay in power forever.” Of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, you recalled how he “got his party goons to storm the Supreme Court building while the court was in session. . . . This was, to put it mildly, a very low point in Pakistani political history.” Concerning the efficacy of martial law, you said that “our past experience had amply demonstrated that martial law damages not only military but also civilian institutions.”

    The way you see it, however, there’s just no comparing you to Pakistan’s past leaders. The elder Bhutto, his daughter Benazir, and Mr. Sharif were a trio of political mesmerists–aristocrats posing as populists–who enriched themselves and their friends to the tune of billions as they bankrupted the country.

    The reason why you are confident you can ride out this storm, just as you have so many others. The intellectuals, the leftists, the human-rights activists and the lawyers–lawyers!–may be against you, but the worst they can do is write nasty op-eds in the pages of the Western press. That may be a stain on your vanity, but it is not a threat to your regime.

    By contrast, the merchant classes, political allies from the beginning, remain your great beneficiaries and would be the last to cheer your ouster. As for the poor, they will do nothing to risk their livelihoods for the sake of politics. Come to think of it, that’s another excellent reason to enforce the state of emergency well past the next election.

    Then there is Ms. Bhutto, whose political smarts don’t quite match her rhetorical gifts. She did you a favor earlier this year when she all but agreed to rule in condominium with you in exchange for having her corruption charges dropped. But she was under the mistaken impression that you needed her “democratic legitimacy” every bit as much as she craved a return to power. You’ve rubbished that assumption.

    As for the military, you’ve had eight years to make sure your lieutenants are loyal. Not only do they see you as one of their own, they also see you as the man who will keep the money coming from Washington. And the money will keep coming. The ostensible purpose of President Bush’s phone call last week may have been to insist that you hold elections and relinquish your uniform, and you’re probably prepared to meet him halfway. But the subtext of the call is that the two of you remain on speaking terms. Had it been otherwise, the consequences could have been devastating to you. For now, though, you’re still the one.

    What worries you? The business about the uniform, for starters. You are old enough to remember 1958, when a former general turned civilian president named Iskander Mirza dissolved the government, declared martial law and put Ayub Khan, the army chief of staff, in charge. Bad move: Khan exiled Mirza to London in three weeks flat.
    You also can’t be sure the street violence won’t spiral out of control. You have gone out of your way to treat the detained lawyers gingerly, by local standards. What if they don’t get the message and return to the streets, unchastened and emboldened? What if there is some kind of “event” that galvanizes the protestors? Most of your army is Punjabi: Could they be counted on to crack the heads of fellow Punjabis in Lahore, if it came to that?

    There’s also this pesky matter of increasingly assertive Islamist militants in the North-West Frontier Province, who have repeatedly humiliated the army in recent confrontations. Your motives for declaring an emergency have been so transparently self-serving that it’s easy to forget there really is a terrorist threat to the country. It may soon dawn on you that your assault on civil liberties has only ripened the conditions in which terrorists thrive.

    Fortunately for you, the first two scenarios aren’t likely to come to pass, and the third you’ll somehow handle. Your support, both at home and abroad, may never again be what it was, but the absence of support does not necessarily mean active opposition. In your case it will probably mean reluctant acquiescence to the facts you lay on the ground. Were you a democrat, you might feel ashamed to carry on ruling that way. Soldier that you are, it won’t make you lose much sleep.

  97. meengla says:
    November 17th, 2007 1:21 pm
  98. TamashBeen says:
    November 17th, 2007 1:24 pm

    I am getting tired of this constant repeating of “Musharraf is so good and Benazir/Nawaz/xyz is so bad that I am willing to sacrifice my civil rights. Who cares if we don’t have an independent judiciary or media as long as the Shehenshah is good. We have had 8% economic growth rate so who needs the constitution.”

    Seems like the agencies have found their way to this website.

    My request: grow up people and realize what is at stake. Please!

    BTW, excellent comments by Suhail Toor.

  99. Sada says:
    November 17th, 2007 1:28 pm

    Thanks Adil for a very good analysis and I fully agree with you that who is protesting an dwho is not. Those who have stakes inor with the existing system are just silent and they are not protesting namely political and religious parties. Every one who knows about the working of system is worried that how the affairs will be run in case if Mushraff opts to leave as challenges are countless!

    As for extremists, this is not clear that emergency is not for them as they have already been operating in an illegal framework and they are in a so called wa with the army so for them emergency or no-emergency does not matter at all. This assault of Musharraf was aganist judiciary, civil society and people’s rights and the mtove is to perpetuate his stay in power and thats why this group is protesting. I was just reading about a news update that around several hundred last minute, illegal appointments are made by the Chief Minister, Sindh within two hours and further the Sindh Professors & Lecturers Association has condemned the attempt land mafia lead by same chief minister to erect illegal construction on D J Science College Ground. No one can file a writ petition in High Court in this case as emergency declaration coupled with PCO has taken that right away. So you can imagine who is benefiting from emergency and against whom it has been imposed!

  100. November 17th, 2007 1:28 pm

  101. Qaiser says:
    November 17th, 2007 6:19 pm

    The govt is going to great lengths to cut down this ‘people politics’. Will it be able to survive without a free media or judiciary and for how long?

  102. Mahmood says:
    November 17th, 2007 11:04 pm

    I wish Imran Khan would become the next prime minister with Chaudary Iftikhar as law minister, Qazi Hussain as interioir minister and Dr. Shahid Masood as information minister.

    I would like to see Lota party in opposition. That can only bring some real democracy and freedom of media.

  103. malik imran says:
    November 18th, 2007 2:40 am

    hi i am oridnary pakistani i would to tell mr usman, that people like you and me are selfish, we are those who sit outside and just try to watch and when some thing happen we can only talk like right now” we are talking stupid things”. we don,t like to see if some thing happen to sajay or sulman khan or kareena; we are muslims of that catogory, and citizens of those catogory whose cheif justice who is above even the presedent and we are watch om shanti om and sawariya, cj go to hell pakistan go to hell who cares, no one care we can just talk.
    so i would like to tell all of you who can not do anything including me we all should not talk about that because we can not help them nor we can throw salt on the wounds. we know mushraff is playing with pakistan but believe me our nation ” NO FOOD TO EAT, NO PLACE TO LIVE , ” how can we go out and protest. I am Sorry Pakistan we love you but we are selfish, our heroes are dead.
    CJ i can give life for your work what you did including saving steel mill, and helping capture people but again we are selfish, you should be selfish too, don’t think for us. MAY ALLAH GIVE US THOUGHTS AMIN

  104. Navid chaudhry says:
    November 18th, 2007 2:49 am

    I would just like to point out a couple of things. How can any of you not support democracy? Musharaf good or bad has been on the scene for over eight years now and is asking for another five. Do we really want to see that? Especially now that country is so disunited. What about billions of dollars his govt. has spend on buying weapons?? Is this the right direction for Pakistan?

  105. Viqar Minai says:
    November 18th, 2007 3:03 am

    Invariably, Pakistanis continue to harp on how/why a particular political figure is the only hope for Pakistan’s future, be it Imran, BB, NS, or Musharraf. Not surprisingly, one can find ardent admirers, as well as detractors, of each of these people.

    Personally I find this promotion of a particular leader extremely frustrating. For God’s sake let us get off this obsession with personalities. Let us recognize, instead, that a vibrant media and strong and independent judiciary is indispensible to our political, social and economic progress.

    Incidentally, Khalid Hasan’s column in the Daily Times today has some eye opening information, and I would like to quote a small excerpt here:

    “The executive has never wanted an independent judiciary because it can ask authority to account for its actions, something that has never been acceptable to any government in Pakistan

  106. omar r. quraishi says:
    November 18th, 2007 3:25 am

    The News, Nov 18, 2007

    RIPPLE EFFECT
    Regulating (read stifling) the media

    By Omar R. Quraishi

    As I got down to writing this week’s column I came across this news item in APP — the government-run news agency. Titled ‘Azeem hopes progress on media issues in next few days,’ the report quoted minister of state for information, Tariq Azeem, as telling a private TV channel (one of those which remains off air) that “issues relating to the media would be worked out in the next few days.” The minister was further quoted as saying that the government “firmly believes in press freedom” and that it had “no intention to dictate to the media.”

    One wonders which government the honourable minister is talking about because if he is referring to the Musharraf government then that has shown by its actions since Nov 3 that it is no friend of an independent and free media.

    The TV channels were ordered off air in a manner that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be thought of as being fair or even legal. No notice was given by PEMRA to the channels for the offences or violations committed and it was only after several days of the blackout that one heard of a so-called ‘voluntary code of conduct’ that the government was now saying the channels would have to sign for their transmissions to be restored. A lot of what is contained in the code of conduct is already found in the existing PEMRA rules and regulations.

    However, certain new clauses added seemed to only add to the already-vast discretion that the electronic media regulator has. For instance, clause (g) says that “anything against socio-cultural norms” will not be aired. Clearly, this is such a wide and vague ‘definition’ that it leaves broadcasters vulnerable to abuse and intimidation from a government that is bent on a hostile confrontation with the media.

    There is no official definition of what constitutes ‘socio-cultural norms’ but it is likely that the arbiter in such a situation will be the government, PEMRA to be precise, and it will dictate to the broadcaster what the norms are and take it to task for violating them. In addition to this, another clause, (o), seem to target certain individuals whom the government feels are doing shows that are sharply critical of its policies.

    According to the clause, all broadcasters that sign the code of conduct will be prohibited from carrying any content or programming, “including talk shows based on personal bias.” Since when is a talk show not based on one’s personal bias — the whole idea of having a talk show is to invite people with differing points of view and have them talk to each and debate and discuss issues. It may be partly true that many of our talk shows do not really add to a person’s knowledge or information about certain events and that many often invite the same people over and over again but to ban those based on ‘personal bias’ is tantamount to censorship. The reason why people with differing points of view — the talks shows often have government spokespersons in the form of ministers and opposition politicians and sometimes independent experts/scholars or journalists — are invited is so that they argue and debate the issue at hand. This can only happen if the person engaged in the argument has a stand or a position regarding something and that means a bias. When three or four people engage themselves in discussion, each with his/her own standpoint and bias, then chances are that the talk show will be engaging.

    Since codes of conduct seem to be in fashion now, it may be instructive to look at how the press and media in Britain go about their business. There is Ofcom, an independent regulator for (according to Wikipedia) the communications industries in the UK. Part of its duties as the electronic media’s regulator is to examine complaints from the public. According to its website, a complaint is entertained after being received by a viewer or listener after which Ofcom asks the broadcaster for a copy of the programme.

    In the case of the TV channels’ blackout on Nov. 3, clearly there was no prior warning or notice to the broadcasters. In fact, it would be fair to say that the channels were taken off air not for airing anything that was objectionable or illegal but rather for what the government thought they would air — which in any case would be news of the imposition of the emergency.

    Back to Ofcom. After seeking the copy of the programme that was broadcast, it asks the broadcaster to respond to the complaint. It is this response which is then examined by the regulator and the complaint is either denied or upheld. A third option is that the complaint is ‘resolved’, pointing to an amicable settlement.

    And now to PEMRA. What does it do? It acts first and asks questions later (if at all). First the channels are taken off air, through the cable operators’ route and then when everyone begins to wonder what in the world happened and why this action, only reluctantly is any reason given.

    Both Aaj TV and Radio 103 complained that following November 3, raids were carried out at their offices and equipment was seized. No notice or prior warning of any kind was given. In one case, staff said that those carrying out the raid said that they could either take the equipment in a nice and peaceful way and if they weren’t allowed to do that then there were ‘other’ ways.

    Those channels who do sign the ‘voluntary’ code of conduct should remember that once they do that, they would well sign their independence and credibility away. Of course, one view is that when this dispensation is no more, the code of conduct will also die its natural death. However, if one looks at Zia’s days, government restrictions, especially on the media are often hard to take away and stick around for far longer than any professional journalist worth his or her salt would like. The reason for that is simple: any government would always like to have a lever with which it can keep the media in check. Also, independent broadcasters would do well to realise that part of the reason why they are far more popular than, say, PTV, is because of their very independence and credibility and hence the fact that many people watch them.

    The writer is Op-ed Pages Editor of The News.

    Email: omarq@cyber.net.pk

  107. Ahsan says:
    November 19th, 2007 10:16 am

    The subject of Democracy in Pakistan is based on hypothetical assumptions that:

    (1) The Pakistani Society is a Democratic Society.
    (2) The Lawyers, Journalists and Students are Ordinary Pakistani citizens.
    (3) The Secular and Liberal element of the society is necessary for a democratic regime.

    The Democracy is the system of government where the People is sovereign to decide for itself in State affair. The people

  108. Ambreen says:
    November 19th, 2007 12:35 pm

    I have been very impressed that most of the protests have been peaceful despite the use of violence by the government. This shows a mature civil society which is a must for a democratic society.

  109. Zahra Asif Sukhera says:
    November 19th, 2007 1:33 pm

    I believe the most important thing some of us are forgetting while praising Mush and his buddies is the millions of dollars of U.S. aid that Mush has received after 9/11. So, we can’t give the entire credit for the development in Pakistan in the previous 6-7 years to Mush, as he had pretty much in his pocket to go with.

    Also, Mush should be condemned for having his security agencies capture and torture scores of innocent people on grounds of being involved in terrorists activities. Numerous among them are still rotting in some far-flung prisons that none among us has even heard of.

    “So, therefore”, its fairly unfair to give all the credit to Mr. Mush. He’s got plenty of blots on his conscience that he needs to wipe off.

  110. Sohail Agha says:
    November 19th, 2007 6:40 pm

    Found at Lums Blog

    http://lumsblog.com/

    Student expulsion on wearing black ribbons

    ”A piece of paper titled FLASH, literally threatening students involved in demonstrations and political activities was pasted to walls and passed through the corridors of Bahria University. It stated that those involved would be subject to strict disciplinary actions including but not limited to expulsion, cancellation of degrees as well as legal action. These

  111. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 20th, 2007 5:59 am

    @ my entire disappointment on the Silence
    Adopted by our conscience on BB, PPP
    shameful relationship with USA as puppet
    potential protectorate. I protest in my way :

    Arz hay :

    Abb to atay hein Sifarat-kar Uncle Sam kay

    Dehriay Biktay jo hein BB ki dukaan par

  112. Nayab Khan says:
    November 20th, 2007 6:11 am

    Israr: Knowing that you are working on such a modl I am going to be weighting your views more and provide any help I can. Yes you are right that it is 60 years of evolution that has put us on this edge and its not to blame Musharraf or Zia or Civilian governments but I get put off when i see people criticising other but doing nothing and that is what PPP & PML-N is doing, instead of convincing Musharraf to do whats right.
    It is proven that democratically ellected government will only make a bigger mess, See the Lal Musjid Case, Politicians approched them for stand off , even Amin Edhi spoke to the Molana but he did not listen and it was Musharraf who gave diplomacy and negotiations a chance but it did not work because hardliners always have no compromise agenda.
    I bet Musharraf is the best option we have at the moment. I do not say he hasnt done any wrong and what i want to see is PPP, PML and civil society working together with Musharraf (army) to make things better rather then bring country to its knees by striking or saying they will not take part in ellections.

  113. JK says:
    November 21st, 2007 2:51 pm

    The real thing is that people are continuing to protest… the spirit has not been killed. Not yet.

  114. Umair Syed says:
    November 23rd, 2007 4:25 pm

    A friend of mine working in Mexico city declined to work as consultant in Pakistan and when I asked why he replied that he doesnt want to goto Pakistan now because of all the troubles after Bhutto has come back.

    Whole world is very informed and unfortunately we make news for all bad reasons.

  115. Shirazi says:
    November 24th, 2007 11:05 am

    Living away and such incisive analysis! These ‘few points’ mean so much.

  116. Amjad Wali says:
    December 18th, 2007 2:30 am

    if we want to check the popularity of the Mushraff, we have to wait for while, as an ordinary mushfaff how many people will come out.with out symbol of president, he is nothing, may not be able to win one seat from any where in pakistan.

  117. Saad says:
    February 27th, 2008 9:07 pm

    For the record, i just wanted to inform Mr. Adil Najam, that Musharaf supporters are still around. Quite a few of them, just wanted to bring it to your attention.

  118. Sohaib says:
    July 21st, 2008 10:25 am

    ok so I am also a Musharaf suporter. Guess what happend during Musharafs time?
    More Jobs
    Better Roads
    Living standard increased (more motor bikes, cars, cellphones …)
    The value of the rupee stayed pretty much the same in almost 10 years – never hapend in the history of pakistan.
    NO ONE in our history had managed to do that since our independence. Value of the rupee has gone from RS 21.900 = 1 USD in dec 1990 to over 70 rupees for a dollar. He might be a military man but he is pro peace. He is the ONLY one who actually wants to find a solution to the kashmir problem. If we don’t support musharaf then the other leaders while just waste you like water, play you like pawns just like the Junoon song.

    For once stop and think and RESEARCH about what he has done for Pakistan. And I hope ALL you who spread rumors about ANYONE, may Allah give you the worst punishment. Dont just sit and talk about stuff and accept what others have said. ASK FOR F@#$# PROOF.

  119. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    July 21st, 2008 3:46 pm

    @ Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani

    ” itna jhoot bolo, keh wo sach sunaei deway ”

    “Jhoot kehta tha wo, sachaei sey kehta hoon ” !
    Sach kahoon ? jo sachaa tha, wohi jhoota hey
    Phir bhi ik baat kehoon sachaei say O Awaam
    Tu hi, kambakht, jhooti hey, magar sachaie sey !

    wish you all a rapid solution
    Rafay Kashmiri

  120. hamma says:
    September 19th, 2008 12:41 pm

    sab sey acha kshmir kashmir banay ga khud mukhtar

  121. September 19th, 2008 12:43 pm

    kashmir banay ga khud muktar.pskistan ke leedroo laroo apis main

  122. October 30th, 2008 1:57 pm

    Should we call Pakistan, a nation of baggers as this is the only product we are producing for the last many years. Our recent factories to produce these unique product is by two richest political groups who are governing the federal government and Punjab government respectively. they start distributing money to help poor in the society. The huge money could have been used to create jobs and let these poor work and earn living for themselves. But as a nation we become baggers, what it makes different if you are sitting/ standing by the road in dirty cloths or visiting richest countries capitals in expansive outfits, you are basically BAGGING and bring your nation down in front of the one from whom you are bagging. Baggers always give reason and excuse for this worst kind of behavior for a dignified person or a nation. Could we as a nation are respectful enough to stop thinking of this bagging excuses as most of the time we as a nation go and beg from nations who earned hard their fortune and was not for granted. Pray for betterment in Pakisan. Khwaja Aftab Ali,Advocate & I.P. Attorney.( a former PRO, Iranian Embassy, Saudi Arabia).

  123. Aamir Ali says:
    October 30th, 2008 7:26 pm

    1 year on…No Chief Justice, and Asif Zardari is the President! The joke is all on the folk in the above pictures and videos, except PPP jiyalas who are enjoying themselves then and now.

  124. Farooq Ahmed says:
    December 4th, 2008 2:12 pm

    Because of the these PARHE LIKHEY people like this girl in the picture, Pakistan is in this position.
    Musharraf’s Aamriat is not acceptable, but Zardari’s corruption is acceptable to them.
    Pakistan deserve these CHOR leaders.

    Musharraf’s latest interview
    http://www.buzzvines.com/i-am-really-missing-president-pervaiz-musharraf-today-0

  125. Usman says:
    March 4th, 2009 9:52 am

    @Farooq Ahmed said:
    Because of the these PARHE LIKHEY people like this girl in the picture, Pakistan is in this position … ???

    Hey, you are MISSING Mush? God what has to happen in the country (after things like Lal Masjid,Iftikhar Chaudhary sacking due to steel mill and missing people episode) to make the people of my country realize that it is the rule of army, the dictatorship of the Generals that is the core of this country’s problems.

    As for Zardari, well you can oust him in due time (next elections) for he has not been upto the task, he is rather against it altogether. I DO NOT support him. But democracy must prevail! That is most important.

    Just give the things some time. Yes we are in a really tight corner. Yes the security and economic situation are nowhere. Yes the current government is not working in the best interests, but what is the solution. Throw it away? And then what. Let the army walk in? yet again? Remember this: even if Musharraf had done nothing wrong in his tenure, he violated the constitution by imposing martial law and ousted Nawaz. Oh, but he is corrupt too, and so is Zardari. So who then? I say let democracy run its course. Let the rule of law prevail, and lets participate in it more and more.

    Somehow, just somehow, we must find a way to stop the Military Incorporated from running the show. It will take time, and it will take a lot of energy, maybe sacrifices, but you should see it could only be “the educated” people, who can lead the way. Because they at least “know” and can “decide” if they are being made fools or not.

  126. April 5th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Salam All,
    Please have a look at the website http://www.PakistanKaKhudaHafiz.com and advise what you think of their coverage and angle on issues.

  127. Cyma says:
    June 19th, 2009 11:34 am

    A friend just forwarded this to me and I am angry and laughing at the same time :)

    People here instead of talking about the protest are discussing the woman :) who actually is no one else but me :)

    anyways…. My point of view STILL is the same that i had when i was protesting saying ” Musharraf ki amriat na mazoor”

    RULING a country is NOT armys job and not matter how shady democracy is… it still is better than dictatorship…

    :)

  128. Aamir Ali says:
    June 19th, 2009 3:04 pm

    Pakistanis are a nation who daily disobey laws and don’t pay income tax. Less than 50% of registered voters show up for polls. But Pakistanis just can’t shut up about “rule of law” and “democracy”.

    Hey practice what you preach first before you all have credibility. Musharraf was a far better leader than any of the slackers and crooks who are ruling Pakistan today in the name of “democracy”.

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