Emergency “Lifted”: Three Steps Back, Half a Step Forward

Posted on December 15, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Politics
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Adil Najam

Musharraf Drops his UniformThe Emergency that Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf had imposed on November 3 was technically lifted today. The operative word there is ‘technically.’ Pakistan, Pakistanis and Pakistani politics were already in a very troubled state when the emergency was imposed and it is in a far worse condition now. Only someone who has totally missed on everything that has happened over the last month and a half or someone in total denial could even argue that we are back to where we were before the emergency. Pakistan is, in fact, in a much bigger quagmire because of the emergency.

The President claims in his address that “The country has been saved from grave dangers through imposition of emergency.” He is wrong. Unless, of course, he actually believes that he and his person is the country. His Presidency has, in fact, been saved by the emergency. But everything else – democracy, national security, the political fabric, the judiciary, the constitution, media freedom, extremist violence, national morale – has been severely maligned by this emergency. One only prays that the damage inflicted does not turn out to be permanent.

Artwork by AbroThe President also claims that “as promised, PCO has been repealed, emergency lifted and the Constitution restored.” Once again, he is not being fully honest. In fact, he made parts of the PCO permanent and played around (yet again) with the spirit as well as teh substance of the constitution only yesterday. As The News reported in its lead story yesterday:

President Pervez Musharraf on Friday amended various articles of the Constitution providing protection and continuity to the superior courts judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), and removed those who did not take oath under the PCO. However, they would be entitled to pension and other retirement benefits.

The amendments were made a day before he intends to lift emergency and restore the Constitution. The president, in exercise of powers under the PCO, has amended Articles 41, 44, 193, 194, 208 and 270-C.

In case, there was any doubt in anyone’s mind the Attorney General made clear that: “Whatever amendments are made in the Constitution do not need ratification from parliament.” This, by the way, the second set of arbitrary and unconstitutional changes to the Constitution in the guise of this emergency.

Artwork by AbroAnd all, one wonders, for what? From the part of his speech targeted to foreign audiences one would assume that the emergency has in some way helped ease the extremism and violence in Swat and the Northern areas. Had that, in fact, been so there would be some mild relief. The fact of the matter is that the emergency only distracted the attention away from that grave situation and the situation there continues to worsen. In fact, the emergency has only strengthened the militants and given them time to organize and mobilize further. Again, all one needs is the daily newspaper to keep abreast of far the government has lost control over militant extremists. For example, from Dawn:

Local Taliban from tribal areas and some districts of the NWFP on Friday decided to set up a centralised organisation for a joint war against US and Nato forces in Afghanistan and appointed Baitullah Mehsud as their Central Amir, a spokesman for the militant commander told Dawn. The militants have named their movement as Tehrik Taliban-i-Pakistan and said the aim of the movement was to enforce Sharia in their respective areas.

The decision was taken at a meeting of 40 Taliban leaders, held in an undisclosed place in South Waziristan Agency. “The sole objective of the Shura meeting was to unite the Taliban against Nato forces in Afghanistan and to wage a ‘defensive jihad’ against Pakistani forces here,” Baitullah’s spokesman Maulvi Omar said. He claimed that Pakistani forces were bombing seminaries and killing people and the Taliban wanted to avenge the forces’ action.

Taliban Police Station in MattaThe meeting asked the government to call off military operation in Swat and North Waziristan and abolish all military checkpoints within 10 days. Otherwise, it warned, a suitable course of action would be chalked out in the next meeting of the militants. Taliban leaders from seven tribal agencies, six Frontier Regions of Fata and NWFP districts of Swat, Kohistan, Buner, Dir, Malakand, Kulachi, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank and D.I. Khan attended the meeting.

They demanded release of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz and other Taliban jailed across the country.In another development, Baitullah Mehsud on Friday withdrew his threat to subvert the polls and allowed candidates to run their election campaigns in the South Waziristan. Maulana Hassamuddin and Maulana Mairajuddin, candidates for NA-42, South Waziristan, told Dawn that they had been allowed to take part in the election by Baitullah during their one-to-one meetings with him. Baitullah had earlier written a letter to elders of the Mehsud tribe and asked the candidates to withdraw their nomination papers and warned them of serious consequences if they contested the election.

Note the last paragraph. Those contesting in forthcoming elections had to take permission from the Taliban to do so. Note also the picture we use here. This is a “Taliban Police Station.” If this is not an abdication of national sovereignty by the Musharraf government one wonders what it is!

If there was any doubt at all earlier, it should be clear now that the emergency was for one and one purpose alone. To remove a bunch of judges who seemed to be moving towards a verdict that would not have allowed Gen. Musharraf to remain president. Even in our own highly soiled political history one cannot imagine an instance when such irreparable harm was done to the national polity, to the national psyche and to the national image for such little gain. The last minute changes in the Constitution to keep our some judges proves, as if more proof was needed, that the goal was merely for Gen. Mushrraf to hold on to personal power and office, and no more. Now he has. Good luck to him!

Cartoon by Fauzia MinallahSo, while nothing has been gained (except for him in maintaining personal power) what has been lost is significant. The militant extremists have not only reorganized, re-energized but they have also been reinvigorated by the distraction of “emergency politics.” Two of the most important institutions have been crushed. The emerging assertiveness of the judiciary and the independence of the media have been squashed with venom. A third critical institution – the military – has also suffered a serious blow as the respect for it in society has been gravely damaged. None of us have really ever respected the constitution much, but never have we made as big a joke of it as we have now.

People's Resistance movement in PakistanIt was demonstrated that Pakistan remains a democratic society trapped in an undemocratic state and at least some people have consistently spoken out against what has been happening. But the sad part is that our ‘organized political forces’ have totally let them down. The political fabric has been left asunder.

The political bankruptcy of our supposed political leaders has been further exposed and in their shenanigans for power with Gen. Musharraf all have lost respect – indeed “iss hamam mein sab nangay hain.” Once again one hears the sham cries of those who do not like democracy anyhow (and who mostly do not understand what it really is) that since all the alternatives (Benazir, Nawaz Sharif, etc.) are bad therefore Musharraf should be tolerated. They are wrong. This argument rings even more hollow today than it always has. The politicians remain as full of problems as they always have. What has changed is that Gen. Musharraf has proved that he is no better. Maybe, he is worse.

As you can see, I am in no mood to ‘celebrate’ the supposed ‘lifting’ of the emergency. I do accept, however, that it is good that it is not there. It will also be good if we have elections; even though they will be sham and manipulated elections. It is good. But not good enough. Even if this is a tottering half step forward, the three steps that we have gone backwards means that we remain far worse off than we were at beginning November. What is even more troubling is that all signs suggest that things will become much worse before they become any better.

61 Comments on “Emergency “Lifted”: Three Steps Back, Half a Step Forward”

  1. Watan Aziz says:
    December 15th, 2007 8:14 pm

    Q. Will the judges be restored to their prior positions?
    A. No, not at all. What judges? Why should they be restored? New judges are there. They will never be

    Q. People in the West will have a hard time understanding that.
    A. Let them not understand. They should come to Pakistan and understand Pakistan.

    Q. Since you say you are restoring the constitution, why not also restore the courts?
    A. No, there is no restoration of courts required — the courts are already there.

    Q. But these judges are handpicked by you.
    A. We took action. The judges had to take oaths, and those that took the oaths are there. Those that did not are
    gone. This action was validated by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. . . . There was something seriously wrong
    with the chief justice of Pakistan. On March 9th, there were charges against him of corruption; [he was accused
    of] interfering [with] the judgments of judges on other courts; he was accused of interfering in the executive by
    taking actions on issues from traffic control to privatization.

    I have always liked Sultan Musharraf.

    It bleeds my heart that I cannot support his positions. He has surrounded himself with third class advisers who cannot even get the promogulation of PCO properly and had to be amended again and again. He is being mislead by his sycophants.

    Someone needs to tell him, snap out of this nightmare of Piped Piper.

    No nation offers perfect justice, but the semblance of justice is justice delivered. No nation has succeeded when its people have no faith in justice. No army has ever won a battle when the people are happy at the prospects of the next aggressor.

    Sir, we offer you ‘Sadar Salam’. Please restore the honorable judges of Pakistan and then leave.

    Pakistan Zindabad
    Pakistan Pa’indabad

  2. Owais Mughal says:
    December 15th, 2007 8:23 pm

    Adil just as your title says, it is a half step forward and i would consider that as positive news.

  3. December 15th, 2007 8:25 pm

    I can not agree more with you assessment of situation in Pakistan. I believe that lifting of emergency by General (reluctantly retired) Musharraf is not going to bring an iota of change. This land of pure has been transformed beyond recognation.
    On this day I think we should rename Islamic Republic of Pakistan to something more akin to its real nature and I can not think any other apt name than ‘Orwellian Republic of Pakistan’, in the honour of George Orwell who unwittingly authored the de-facto constitution of Pakistan in his books ‘Animal Farm’ and ’1984′.

  4. Aik Pakistani says:
    December 15th, 2007 9:19 pm


    Some of us might not like Altaf Hussian but I think he has a point this video. I would like to see what supporters of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry have to say in response to his question.

    How can you take oath under one PCO and declare other as illegal?

  5. RE says:
    December 15th, 2007 9:37 pm

    Watin Aziz
    Will the judges be restored to their prior positions?
    These all judges got jobs through sufarish or bribe so why do you want them back?
    People in the West will have a hard time understanding that.
    why do we care so much about west ?
    Since you say you are restoring the constitution, why not also restore the courts?
    They are open with new judges.
    President Mushraf can do things and break laws as long they are in the interest of Pakistan.
    Many before broke laws and took money from Pakistan and hardly interest of Pakistan was their priority.
    Our country is unique our people are unique and our government is unique.
    This government is way better than previous Governments this is a positive start.
    Do not compare Pakistan with west. West is way more civilized.
    Bush’s war on Iraq VS Mushraf’s Breaking rules
    what is worse? Answer is Bush is worse.
    did you see American burning tires in their own country and destroying cars? Even American Media and people think before they say things keeping the interest of their country in mind.
    Mushraf is Pakistani Citizan. He has no criminal record.He is well educated and he belongs to our best institute.Imagin Pakistan without Army? He brought in billion while in past other took out billions.Even if Mohammad (PBUH) was running Pakistan at the time when Mushraf took over he will have to bend some rules here and there for the mess which is created by many years do not think this will be fixed over night.
    Allah Bless Pakistan
    Use intelligence not ignorance.
    Unite for the interest of Pakistan,

  6. MQ says:
    December 15th, 2007 9:48 pm

    Pehlay bhi khazaN maiN baagh ujray, par youN nahiN jaisay ab kay baras
    Patta patta, boota boota, ravish ravish barbad hooay

    My garden became desolate every fall but not like this year, when
    Every tree, every leaf, and every row of flowers is destroyed

  7. Saad says:
    December 15th, 2007 10:41 pm

    President Mushraf can do things and break laws as long they are in the interest of Pakistan.
    Ever wondered why, for them (this general and his predecessors), our supreme national interest always happens to be in collision with our laws and our constitution? Interesting thought, no?

    Do not compare Pakistan with west. West is way more civilized.
    Let me get this straight, according to you, since Pakistanis are not a ‘civilized’ nation, they do not need basic human rights? an independent judiciary? a government that adheres to the constitution? And instead need a shepherd who gets to treat them like his goats? Let me know if I got your point right.

    did you see American burning tires in their own country and destroying cars?
    I didn’t see American police barbarically attacking ‘un-armed’, innocent civilians in order to curb dissent either? Your point being? There will always be a reaction to violent acts of injustice, there is no way you can get around that fact of life.

    Even American Media and people think before they say things keeping the interest of their country in mind.
    So what do you want from Pakistani people and it’s media? Do you want them to forget about an independent judiciary, the laws of Pakistan, their basic human rights, even the fact that they have a stake in their country and it’s system of governance? What is it exactly that you want from people of Pakistan?

    Mushraf is Pakistani Citizan. He has no criminal record.He is well educated and he belongs to our best institute.
    He has no criminal record? The guy is responsible for subverting the constitution of Pakistan; an act of treason, punishable by ‘death’. How can you possibly say that this guy is not a criminal? Mind if I ask as to what is your definition of the word ‘crime’?

    Imagin Pakistan without Army?
    Being anti-Musharraf doesn’t mean that one is anti-Army, that’s a rather simplistic view of the situation, no?

    Even if Mohammad (PBUH) was running Pakistan at the time when Mushraf took over he will have to bend some rules here and there for the mess which is created by many years do not think this will be fixed over night.
    You’re commenting about a personality, who forgave the very people who killed his (PBUH) uncle (R.A). He was the example of truth, honor and justice for the people of people of all times. I’m rather shocked at the fact that you’ve dared made a comparison between the two personalities.

  8. sidhas says:
    December 16th, 2007 12:34 am

    I was clinging to hope that honorable judges will be restored and independence of judiciary will be respected. For some reason, I was clinging with the hope that Musharraf after playing his hand will restore the judiciary.

    My rational instincts always beat my hearty hopes. It is just brutal what Musharraf has done to judiciary and thereby to Pakistan.

    Mullah and Military (M&M) are two destructive forces in Pakistan, crushing the ‘M’ for middle and moderate folks in between.

    Did anyone read his amendments to constitution.

    He is a brute.

  9. MB says:
    December 16th, 2007 2:52 am

    Its exactly the reason why i blogged this post. Its the best way i could find to explain the overall situation.


  10. RE says:
    December 16th, 2007 3:12 am

    yes forget about everything and move on. Mushraf is there to stay he likes 2 things nice suit and best drinks. He has not taken anymoney out he is not money lover. He is not like politicians who are out there for money not for the country.
    God bless Mushraf and he has handled everything like a man,like a leader and this is all we need.
    Mushraf jeo huzaroo saaa
    ALlah Bless Pakistan
    Allah is with the truth and Allah is with Mushraf because he is the truth among what Pakistan has to offer.
    Unite for the interest of Pakistan.
    That X CJ is can not see straight and he got his job with sufarish and with links. he is not all that give up on him. he is in his home getting food its not all bad.

  11. Saad says:
    December 16th, 2007 6:03 am

    That X CJ is can not see straight and he got his job with sufarish and with links. he is not all that give up on him. he is in his home getting food its not all bad.
    Whose sifarish and which links? Care to shed some light on that? Moreover, I’d be absolutely thrilled if you can come up with some names too. Also, was he not the senior most judge at that time? And no, I for one can not give up on a civilian, who has for the first time in the history of this nation, stood up to a goon in uniform.

  12. December 16th, 2007 6:06 am

    three step backwards, half a step forward and now prepare yourself for a ONE GIANT LEAP into the……

  13. asa says:
    December 16th, 2007 6:34 am

    on the lighter note PAK ARMY NEW BUSINESS – they sell qurbani bakaras – see bbc report – shame on them.


  14. Rahim Khan says:
    December 16th, 2007 7:01 am

    The real problem and biggest threat to Pakistan is Musharraf. Lets see how long he hangs on before being swept like Shah of Iran, Saddam, Marcos, Suharto, all favorite of US regimes.

  15. Anwar says:
    December 16th, 2007 10:14 am

    Folks, what has been a routine mess for the past 60 years will not stop immediately – like a large ship it will coast for a while.
    Unfortunately, the current situation is no longer a battle for ideas or ideals but a personality clash between the educated class that ran the country to date and a strongman who survived with the tacit support of the same class that is responsible for the mess in the first place.
    Ordinary person on the street cares less for who is at the top as long as he survives another day in hell.
    It will be better if we focus our energies on proposing a solid plan for the future of the country and leave the rest to the unfolding of the events – predictably, this guy is not going to survive but in the process of directing our resentments towards him we are in a way ignoring the fact that the alternative leadership proposed for this nation is corrupt par excellence.
    In just few days a new year will be at our doorsteps – I wish everyone a beautiful sunshine – let us move forward and seek strength for doing the right things
    Best wishes.

  16. RE says:
    December 16th, 2007 10:17 am

    Anwar what a reasonable post you have. Thanks

  17. Ishaq says:
    December 16th, 2007 11:31 am

    Dear Prof. Najam. This is an excellent and nuanced analysis of our complex mess. You highlight teh many interlinked aspects of this most eloquently.

    But I am afraid it is wasted on this site because from the comments most people seem not even to have read teh anslsis and are only commenting on the headline!

    You should please have this published in a major newspaper so that more people can benefit. By the way, why did THE NEWS stop publishing your columns? Was it becasue they were cutting down on people writing anti-Musharraf articles?

    You specially hit it right on the nil when you write:
    “If there was any doubt at all earlier, it should be clear now that the emergency was for one and one purpose alone. To remove a bunch of judges who seemed to be moving towards a verdict that would not have allowed Gen. Musharraf to remain president. Even in our own highly soiled political history one cannot imagine an instance when such irreparable harm was done to the national polity, to the national psyche and to the national image for such little gain. The last minute changes in the Constitution to keep our some judges proves, as if more proof was needed, that the goal was merely for Gen. Mushrraf to hold on to personal power and office, and no more.”

  18. RE says:
    December 16th, 2007 2:16 pm

    Nayab Khan
    I am not fan of Altaf either and I have mention before Altaf Hussain is giving the most reasonable statements lately. He is been right on many things.Not sure but this could be he is cleaning his image. Wish these statements were coming from more credible person or Wish Altaf had the clean record in Past. But for now he is right on target almost in all of his statements lately.

  19. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    December 16th, 2007 2:19 pm

    @ Appki Tasweer

    In the photo, it says in Arabic on the top
    “Amr-e-bil ma’aroof, wa nehein-anal-mukar”
    “Taliban Station , matta”

    where is ” Police Station ??

    @ Awami Muzahemat ( People’s resistance )

    Chalay chalo keh wo manzil abhi nehein a’yi
    aur chaltay hoay ham ko hogay sathe Baress

  20. Saad says:
    December 16th, 2007 2:42 pm

    Should it come as a surprise that the pro-Musharraf camp is finding solace in the words of one person who has publicly stated the very making of the state of Pakistan, a mistake? I think not.

  21. RE says:
    December 16th, 2007 3:14 pm

    Mairay Hum Watinoo can you talk about ata issue which is effecting millions of poor people in Pakistan for this issue if you will bash Mushraf I will be with you on that. Because this is little poor eats and many criminals are taking Roti away from Poor. Sorry its off topic but saw images of women with tears when they could not get Ata.
    Allah Help the poor of Pakistan.

  22. Nayab Khan says:
    December 16th, 2007 4:11 pm

    I think, we should all shift to rice, soups/ fresh veges. let the people who stock aata for profits, suffer massive losses. Can we get a message on tv/radio?

  23. December 16th, 2007 6:43 pm

    Its all a smoke screen as with the Army Act and the ordinances we are still living in a land without law.

    Talking of law, see the heroes welcome given to our real heroes Justice Rana Bhagwandas & Justice Rabbani in Karachi via



  24. RE says:
    December 16th, 2007 8:29 pm

    Wasim what about Ata? millions of poor in Pakistan has no Ata? Do you only care about bashing Mushraf? Get over with it talk about some real issues.
    Ata for all.

  25. RJ says:
    December 16th, 2007 8:46 pm

    I agree with every thing what “RE” said. Musharaf has done no harm to the country by imposing the emergency; if any thing it did good for Pakistan. Words like democracy and free media are the pet peeves for west and they used intelligently against the 3rd world nation. I asked some of the intellects even on this forum; please stop dancing on the tunes of west; and start having your own thoughts.

  26. RE says:
    December 16th, 2007 9:16 pm

    Thanks Many here have only one mission and that is to Bash Mushraf , move on and see the end results before bashing him. Check out this http://www.longlivepakistan.com

  27. TamashBeen says:
    December 16th, 2007 11:38 pm

    I would like to thank the Musharraf fan club here on this post for enlightening the rest of us. You gotta give it to Musharraf. How can one not praise a person who came to power, through the back door, to save the nation from bloody civilians. Then he picked and chose the most honest and honorable politicians (Chaudries/MQM and such) with no blemishes on their records and surrounded himself with them. Empowered the legislative houses and the office of prime minister with no interference from the presidency. He took some hard decisions, in national interest , mind you, , like doing away with an independent judiciary and free media etc, things that just get in the way of efficient administration. People are being a little unfair to him by asking him to go. He has only been there for eight years, not enough time to do anything useful really, just ask Hosni Mubarak/Qadhafi etc.

    Probably one of the strongest argument of the Mush fan club is that democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression are not deserved by an un-civilized society like ours. Maybe when we become a civilized society then we would be justified to ask for these luxuries? But I am confused, can we call ourselves civilized without these things? Chicken or the egg?

  28. Viqar Minai says:
    December 17th, 2007 2:53 am

    A few noisy supporters of Mr. Musharraf keep trying to create the impression that the man has support beyonds what he really has. The gist of their argument to persuade and/or wear down the skeptics centers around the claim that the man has done incalculable good for Pakistan; that he is the only one since the early departure of the nation’s founders to have done anything of worth; that all other political leaders in the country, his adversaries in particular, have been nothing but a bunch of crooks who have plundered the country’s wealth for their personal benefit; that he has been bravely fighting to rid Pakistan of militants and extremists who kill and maim our “brave” soldiers; that, moreover, the future of Pakistan – if indeed it does have a future – is inexricably tied to Musharraf remaining in charge for the foreseeable future.

    The above claims in Musharraf’s support are, arguably, a mixture of some truths, half-truths, and outright lies. Be that as it may, let us – if only to advance the discussion – grant all these claims.
    Let us try to dispassionately look at what this group is asking the nation to surrender (or accept) in return so the Superman can continue to save us. Here is a brief list they way I see it. Musharraf is justified in, and should have the right (with our support of course) to:

    1. Dismiss any judges of the superior courts in the country, and appoint any new judges in their place. If this should required going beyond the rules for the appointment of judges, then so bi it. The dismissed judges are all trouble makers who are bent upon destroying the functioning of the Executive (in this case Musharraf); hence their dismissal is morally and legally justified.

    2. Have any members of the civil society – specifically lawyers, human rights activists, and media people – arrested and held (without charge if necessary). All these people are worthless anarchists who use their role in the sciety to twist facts and project a disproportionately unfair image of the govt. and its unparalleled achievements.

    3. Single handedly amend the constitution whenever he pleases

    4. Indemnify himself from all his actions – be they within, or outside, the ambit of the Constitution of the country with the stipulation that his action cannot be challenged in – or ruled upon by – any court in the country.

    5. Suspend, and supersede with an appropriate PCO, the Constitution, and reinstate it (with whatever amendments he desires) at any time, enterely at his pleasure.

    6. Not have any of his actions questioned – not just by the courts – but also by any other institution (e.g. the Parliament), and indeed by the people of the country.

    There may be other serious implications of what we are being asked to blindly accept by this anonymous cult of Musharraf.

    I don’t know which other modern day country – unless it be a blatant dictatorship – gives all these powers to any one person in the society. Perhaps some knowledgeable people in the ATP forum could enlighten us.

    I close with a couple of 1400 year old admonitions:

    - “meri itA’at karo jab tak ke maeN Allah(SWT) aur us ke rasUl ke batA’e huv’E QanUn par chalUN; aur agar maeN aisA na karUN to meri koi itA’at tum par wAjib nahIN hae”.
    (Abu Bakr(RA))

    - “koi imAN wala kabhi imAn ke is martabE par nahIN pohNcha ke ma’siyyat mayN us ki itA’at ki jA’e”
    (Umar ibn KhattAb (RA))

  29. Nayab Khan says:
    December 17th, 2007 6:23 am

    Pakistan has a future and a bright one too, InshaAllah,

    1. Compare the number of judges who got fired with the judges working today. Everyone read the same book of law then howcome majority has accepted it?
    2. People were only held in protests which were violent and those calling protest were house-arrested as calling mass protests were banned under PCO which is not the case now. Imran khan was handed to Police by students and police sent him to house-arrest even tho under PCO Musharraf could have kept him arrested for as long as he wanted.
    3. I agree with you, one shouldn’t be able to change law, it should go thru parliment and senate but his amendments are not so bad. It also includes giving retirement benifits to the judges he fired. Whats wrong with that?
    5. PCO is not something new, it is in our law and imposed by civilian presidents in the past. Musharraf saw ex-CJ doing wrong and he acted. I personaly believe ex-CJ is responsible for this whole mess. If he had not made his case a political issue, things would have been very different. Infect if i can remind you that Musharraf accepted ruling from the panel of court on reinstated the ex-cj despite the fact that musharraf’s references were not even heard. It followed by another case that went into government’s favor and the lawyers started crying that they will not accept this decision and filed another case which was a move to delay musharraf’s appointment so that elections are help under different president. If lawyers & Judges are going to play politics then who needs terrorists to blow this country apart!. They should f-k-g do their jobs honestly.
    4 & 6. I do not support musharraf for these actions as he has not given any explaination that can satisfy me but I think Musharraf should resign and let people tear pakistan apart, the way they want! I am sure that will satisfy many.

  30. Jamshed Nazar says:
    December 17th, 2007 8:04 am

    In an ideal world, Gen. Musharraf and his buddies should be court marshalled for on several counts, the first related to launching the coup against a sitting Prime Minister.

    PM Nawaz Sharif had fired Musharraf and the coup should not have happened.
    Before Musharraf, Gen. Karamat set a befitting example of following the constitution. He had made some comments, the PM disagreed and asked for Gen Karamat’s resignation and he complied. What a man. He earned his respect in and out of uniform.

    Nawaz Sharif had fired Musharraf for the misadventure that Musharraf conducted in Kargil without express knowledge of the Prime Minister. Heads should have rolled inside the Army Brass for causing the loss of face and 3000+ causalites in the Kargil war. However, rather than taking resposibility, Musharraf came up with the coup and the rest is history.

    Sticking with the law of the land has its benefits – this Musharraf and his buddies need to learn. By taking each short cut and not following the legality of the action, they are making their exit out of the system impossible.

    The simplest and easiest way to get back to normality is to return the power to the people and let the organs of the state function according to the agreed constitution of 73. The Army should have nothing to do with politcs and should focus on maintaining and improving its fighting cababilites against “foreign” enemies. The business interests of the Army should be cut down and the organization should stop meddling in political affairs of the country.

    But then, all these are wishes for another day in another life time. To expect people in Government to have some morality is a bit of asking too much.

  31. Nayab Khan says:
    December 17th, 2007 8:20 am

    @TamashBeen, which backdoor did musharraf used to come to power?, Did he ask Nawaz Sharief to dream of becoming a khalifa or try to kill him along with other Pakistanies?
    No one will buy that, Please get your facts right!

  32. Nayab Khan says:
    December 17th, 2007 8:39 am

    @Jamshed Nazar, Nawaz Sharif is the biggest liar of the century. After 8 years he remembered there was no deal, then Saudies stepped in to confirm otherwise and he changed his statement to ‘the deal was for 5 years and was verbal altho he signed on 10years one in hurry’ Wah!

    Expecting a bit of fairness from people who are supporting the 2 time corrupt PMs who have been ruling their parties for 15 years like their own Jageer, have ripped judiciary in their own times, never let media free, changed the laws and conspired against the nation (BB:Selling secrets to india, NS: Ordering kargil, defaming army & attempting murder) is a bit of asking too much!

    Musharraf should have hanged NS just like Zia hanged bhuto, for the sake of other Pakistanies who were on that plane.

  33. zia m says:
    December 17th, 2007 11:02 am

    Nayab Khan,Please quit talking about hangings(I am against capital punishment)
    People who are guilty of abolishing judiciary and constitution should be put in jail for the rest of their lives.Let people decide what is best for them they are not stupid as you might think.

  34. Nayab Khan says:
    December 17th, 2007 12:08 pm

    Whats the difference between hanging and puting people behind bars for life?, isnt slow death behind bars more painful!

    I have never siad that people are stupid, but yes they are un-educated and because of less exposure their analysis of possibilities, problems and solutions is limited. If they were not stupid there wont be any cases of force marriages, jirgas making decision and so on or even people supporting BB/NS for the third time to loot the nation.

  35. RE RE says:
    December 17th, 2007 12:14 pm

    I agree with Nayab that anyone wanting to bring back Benazir is “stupid”….. of course, the person who has brought her back is Musharraf…. but we already know what he is!

  36. TamashBeen says:
    December 17th, 2007 12:40 pm

    I would like to comment on the argument that since Musharraf has done so many great things, he deserves to get away with all his violations of the law.

    Even if everything Musharraf did while in power was perfect and everything the civilian rulers did was bad, it would still not make him above the law. Is it too hard to understand this point?

  37. RE says:
    December 17th, 2007 1:32 pm

    Allah knows better and he will judge humans based on their intentions not deeds. So if all the deeds Mushraf did in the interest of Pakistan with good intentions Allah will not Question him why people who do not even understand todays challenges at international level.

    Allah Bless Pakistan

  38. Kamal says:
    December 17th, 2007 1:56 pm

    AmaZing logic. If someone does wrong but believes he is right in his intention then he is doing right! Boy O boy talk about perverted logic.

    I am sure Zardari believed his intentions were honorable and his corruption was good for Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif believed his intentions were honorable and his incompetence was good for Pakisatn and Musharraf certainly believes that his treason was honorable and his ego-mania is good for Pakistan and I am sure that you also believe that your spreading rumors is somehow good for Pakistan. But I am sorry none of this makes you, and Musharraf and Benazir and Zardari right in what you have done or are doing.

    Neither I nor you know what Allah will do, but Pakistan will not forgive any of them… certainly not Musharraf for his treason (not once but twice).

  39. Aqil Sajjad says:
    December 17th, 2007 3:06 pm

    There was a brutal baton charge on the big demo in Islamabad today. Many protestors got injured.

    The students also retaliated. In the fighting, at least 25 policemen got injured. This included the SP who received a sound thrashing and got his head bashed.

    I am told that the morale of the police is really down. Someone even called up the SP and said “bachoo, pata chala? jaissa hamaray saath karo gay, vaissay khood bhee bhugto gay.”

    While many protestors got injured, their morale is still very high. In fact this is a tactical victory since it totally exposes the govt’s claim that the “emergency” is over and things are getting back to normal.

    The turn out at the protests has been on the increase in the last couple of weeks. Previously, most protests had hundreds of people. But in the last two protests in Islamabad, the number was over a thousand.

    With inflation likely to get even worse in the coming weeks/months, the government is worried that the protests could spiral out of control.

  40. Viqar Minai says:
    December 17th, 2007 3:59 pm

    “I think Musharraf should resign and let people tear pakistan apart, the way they want! I am sure that will satisfy many”.

    If the country is so fragile that it will not survive without Musharraf, then perhaps it is not worth saving.

  41. RE says:
    December 17th, 2007 5:41 pm

    Viqar Minai

    Bhai when Mushraf took over our reserves were Zero,There was no money in the pockets of Pakistan. Think before you say. Many wonder how Pakistan is surviving over the years. Pakistan survived because of Army.If we have credible and hardworking Politicians this will never come to this point. Name one politician who is mentally stable and not a criminal?The one will serve Pakistan like a Servant. BB and NS did not even show up at the earth quake when the whole world was sadden by the disaster.

    Allah Bless Pakistan

  42. TamashBeen says:
    December 17th, 2007 6:23 pm

    And not to forget, we are still reaping the rewards of our last savior, Zia, with the strategic depth and all …

  43. Viqar Minai says:
    December 17th, 2007 6:33 pm

    “Think before you say. Many wonder how Pakistan is surviving over the years. Pakistan survived because of Army”.

    … And justifiably so. In fact it has survived in spite of the army; and that is no small miracle considering all the idiots who regularly get fed into Kakul every year.

  44. Anwar says:
    December 17th, 2007 9:48 pm

    While it is true that at the time of military take over economy was in a bad shape and a claim that after Musharaf got in place the economy improved is worth looking into…
    At the time of coup, Pakistan was under several international sanctions due to nuclear tests. 911 events played a critical role in the way things turned around for our guy. Money in the country came only after Musharaf’s “unconditional” support for war on “terrorism” and U-turn against Talibans…Consequently, all sanctions were lifted and money spigot was opened to reward the country. By the way, much of the FDI in Pakistan has been in the real estate and service sector and negligible in the manufacturing sector which is the actual back-bone of a nation.
    Military got rich by reaping rent from the US for use of military bases, intelligence sharing, selling of citizens suspected of links to terrorisms to foreign agencies, mercenary warfare against its own nationals, and fuel service to Nato forces in Afghanistan. Military aid was tied to specific items in a way that helped American arm merchants only…

    From a poor person’s perspective, a line item in the national budget for “poverty reduction” is ample proof of the economy’s inability to support ordinary citizen.

    Depending on the international relations, all foreign exchange can evaporate in short time. Pakistan is ripe for economic strangulation and that is the threat that hangs over Musharaf’s head all the time. And that is why perhaps he has been blackmailed also (my conjecture).
    While it would have been a plus if he had departed, Pakistan must make very calculated moves for survival.
    By allowing NS, BB’s power has been curtailed to some extent (why would army allow BB to sweep everything?) By killing two birds with single arrow, MQM will benefit and so will the traditional allies of military – the mullahs. We will have to see if this gambit pays off.
    It is therefore important for all of us to keep an eye on the way this game is being played out. The script has been written and unless the nation as whole, and in a cohesive manner face the brunt – the end results are predictable. In these calculations let us not ignore the role of insurgencies in Balochistan, NWFP and Swat etc.
    Best wishes.

  45. ivehadit says:
    December 18th, 2007 8:34 am

    The end of shame? policemen beating young girls exercising their right of peaceful protest?


  46. Nayab Khan says:
    December 18th, 2007 9:48 am

    Check this link in bbc, Sensible Pakistanies;

  47. Nayab Khan says:
    December 18th, 2007 10:06 am

    @TamashBeen, I agree with you, no one should be above law.
    @Aqil Sajjad, Yes there was a brutal charge, as dawn reported this first saying ‘Police in Islamabad charged on protesters after they were stoned and a policeman was critical in hospital’. Well, you did take notice of charge by police but you totaly ignored the fact that the protesters were violent!
    @Viqar Minai, Yes our country is very fragile, It is like a truck on a hill which is overloaded with people, has pencture tyres, not serviced since bought, out of engine oil & brake oil! but I think i will never give up :)

  48. Nayab Khan says:
    December 18th, 2007 10:29 am

    @TamashBeen, Zia’s legacy was militancy but what zia did was to save pakistan from USSR. Just think if we had not supported afgans in their war, USSR along with india would have eliminated pakistan by late 90s.
    @Viqar Minai; ‘all the idiots who regularly get fed into Kakul every year’, Dnt think so, if you only get thru with a day of their life with all the raging, frozen feet in winter when they drill 5 in the morning etc. I have seen in Cadet College Hasanabdal, many kids who think it must be easy peeing in their pants, crying and leaving in few weeks of joining and CCH gives just a taste of what Kakul does.

    Also like to mention that most of the Kakul cadets come from Military college Jehlum and when they join MCJ at the age of 13/14 they are the cream of Pakistan. Only 100 or so kids are selected in MCJ from thousands that appear in the entry test. You should not underestimate them, they are more intelligent, disciplined, hardworking and patriotic then others.

  49. Nayab Khan says:
    December 18th, 2007 10:36 am

    wah rey ivehadit, teri khabrien!

    There is only one police officer charging a man in this pic and the two women have jumped in to protect that man.

    I think you need to spend some time with women so you can better tell next time if they are young girls or women!!

    It is a grim one tho, police shouldn’t have hit him, looks aged, the stik is on his head and women asking police to stop. Very cruel….

  50. Talawat Bokhari says:
    December 18th, 2007 2:12 pm

    The emergency has been lifted because the desired changes that have been made in the Constitution make it redundent. Now you have a perpetual emergency in the country whether you like it or not which makes it easier for the self proclaimed President to run it as he wants or his masters want. If some unusual situation does develops in the future with which this brand of emergency can not cope he can always revert back to another PCO (precedent for which has been set)to repeat his performance.
    Right now my problem is this: When the reference against the CJ of Pakistan was being heard I got interested to read the Constitution of Pakistan. So I purchased a copy of it. While reading it I found at places it did not make sense. It then transpired that the copy which had been purchased by me did not have 17 amendment incorporated in it. So I went and bought another edition duly amended by the 17 amendment.
    Now,with the current changes, this particular edition has again become obsolete. I will now have to purchase another latest edition of the Costitution to know where exactly we stand. It will obviously take some time to publish this mutilated version of the Constitution.
    I,therefore, suggest our Constitution should be published in a loose binder whereby the frquent changes can easily be incorporated by removing the old irritating undesireable Articles and inserting the new ones close to the President’s heart’s desire. This will make life easier both for the rulers and the ruled.

  51. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    December 18th, 2007 3:12 pm

    @ Boot’s reality,

    Dear commentators,

    All’ around’ the military Boot, you can see Mullahs, Mushy,
    BB, some terrorists, Chaudries, Imran, Nawaz etc.

    But, where are the progys, Marxist, seculars & others
    Makhlooq ??

    Inside the boot !!!

  52. Qurban says:
    December 18th, 2007 6:40 pm

    Editors, is there a way to please limit the comments from individuals. Why do people keep repeating the same thing again and again and again. So, OK, you said it. We either agree or we do not. In any way repeating it again and again and again will not make it right if it was not right the first time. I cannot understand why some people keep leaving the same message again on every post. If you have something new, say it. Otherwise get on with life. Thank you

  53. RE says:
    December 18th, 2007 9:10 pm

    Many in Pakistan religious nuts and anti Mushraf demanding every thing from this to that? What Pakistan has? Loans? Pakistan owe money to many countries and organizations . its been like this forever now.Its going to be long way to recovery and now you people do not understand this.
    From cricket to Pakistan as country you mula

  54. Jabbar says:
    December 19th, 2007 12:41 am

    I agree with what you are saying in this post. Lots of things have gone wrong and we will probably see more problems in teh months to come. This is not over yet.

  55. ivehadit says:
    December 19th, 2007 7:28 am

    nayab khan, “thou protesteth too much”….if you cannot see the indignity in that photograph, i have to say you must be in an earlier state of evolution than the rest of us.

    for other defenders of the status quo, read the ny times article on pakistani missing people today.

  56. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    December 19th, 2007 9:57 am


    @ Fellows ! It is great time that we should go for
    those who are killing everyday muslims every where,
    they must be dealt with efficiently, In Pakistan, Army is
    utilised, exploited, and abused in plans where they find
    themselves killing the target which are muslims.
    We have many within our country living but “FOR ”
    someone else. Those have to be taken out of their ‘holes’.

  57. The American Desi says:
    December 19th, 2007 2:12 pm

    A great piece by Naeem Sadiq. make sure all your American buddies read it:

    Breaking News! Proclamation of Emergency and CPO in United States!

    November 3, 2007

    Chief of Staff US Army, General George Tracy today issued a proclamation declaring Emergency, suspending the 1787 US Constitution, dismissing all judges of the superior courts, placing Supreme Court Chief Justice John H Roberts under house arrest, placing a ban on media, and taking away fundamental human rights of all US citizens. He also arrested the President of the American Bar Association William Lukenorm and four other prominent attorneys and sent them to the Guantanamo Bay’s Detention Camp X-Ray. He issued executive orders that despite being a serving military General, he is eligible to contest elections for the post of the President of USA . He then went to the outgoing US Congress and asked them to give him a vote of confidence, if they know what is good for them. He then declared himself the President of USA for next five years. In order to ensure continuity of justice , he reduced the age of judges and picked up sixty odd youngsters , who were duly bribed or coerced to take oath under the new rules made by the Chief of the Army Staff. These rules are called CPO or Chief’s Personal Orders, and these judges referred to as CPO judges.

    Many countries of the world have indicated grave concern over the new developments in USA and expressed hope that General Tracy would soon have the country back on the path of democracy.

    December 15, 2007

    General George Tracy today removed the state of emergency, lifted CPO and restored the US constitution. However before its restoration, the following changes were made to the constitution.
    Actions of declaring the emergency and proclamation of CPO were legal orders and can neither be challenged nor require a ratification by the Congress.
    Actions of sacking all judges and putting them under house were legal orders and can neither be challenged nor require a ratification by the Congress.
    The new judges who took oath under the Chief’s Personal Orders (CPO) are the legal judges of USA and this action can neither be challenged nor requires a ratification by the next Congress.
    A serving military General who has taken oath not to take part in politics and to uphold the constitution can now violate, suspend or amend the constitution in what ever manner he feels like and these actions can neither be challenged nor require a ratification by the Congress.

    Many countries of the world have expressed great satisfaction at the restoration of constitution in USA and have expressed hope that the country would soon be back on the path of full democracy.

    Meanwhile Leaders of Democratic and Republican parties have assured General Tracy of their full support and complete participation in the next general elections scheduled to be held on January 8, 2008.

    (Naeem Sadiq)

  58. Rahman says:
    December 19th, 2007 6:42 pm

    Excellent analysis. This is very insightful and honestly written. Excelent.

    You are right we are worse now than we were before the emergency and also that the purpose was only and only to remove some judges for Musharraf’s personal power. Corruption is defined as use of power for personal gain. This is the ultimate corruption, abuse of constitution only to retain a personal office. Now, thsi is what is shameful

  59. Morocco Property says:
    December 24th, 2007 7:24 am

    Emergency was only to dissolve supreme court and save presidency

  60. Matloob Zaman says:
    February 19th, 2008 12:58 am

    With due regards to distinguished author of this article, do you think you are in a position to revise the following statement at this time? Would you say that it was merely an speculation based on rumors spread by various politicians, parties as well as the media which competently attempted to rig the elections in Pakistan from their very own platform and even after using all those phool jharies they were not able to spark further news material out of the elections event.

    “It will also be good if we have elections; even though they will be sham and manipulated elections.”

  61. F.Khan says:
    July 10th, 2008 3:00 pm

    About Swat…..And Taliban
    I am 25 year old .so i know evey things now.. We are Muslims and then Patan,,So Musharaf Hate from both of these.The peopls of Swat are very good and good mind peoples.
    So Musharf bring here some peoples and gave them named Mulana Fazal Allah (Mam deri Muvi) He gave lectures on Radio and maked the minds of the peoples well that what i am talking that is ISlam and which others telling all are not right. So after he told in Radio that fight with Solders and Police they are not Muslims and they are Only working for USA.
    So i think 8 monthes ago the war has been started in Swat and thousands of inocent peoples gone from this world.. So at lost we saw that there were no Talibon in Swat but all was Gave of Govt of Pakistan. and If Govt stop this Game so then USA will stop the money ..So ONLY for Money Pakistani Govt distring the Homes ,Lands and every things of the Peoples of Swat. Solders told that Govt orders them that never arrest any Talib. So till to this time they never kill or arrest Talibons.. and MUSHARAF playing his game well and we are looking to it .. Hope that God will Help Us because he Creat us.

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