Geo Blocked. Sherry Resigns. Hundreds Arrested. Crackdown on Long March. Efforts to Cool Tensions Heat Up. Uncertainty Rules.

Posted on March 13, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

Much, too much, is afoot in Pakistan. Talk is rife of changes: in the President’s stance; in the Prime Minister’s tone; in the  President himself; in the international response; in the Military’s preferences; even, maybe, in the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Change seems to be afoot. It is not clear what. But it is clear that whatever it is will leave much, too much, still in limbo. There is no one that anyone seems to have much confidence in.

The media is being gagged again. Civil society forces remain defiant as ever in the face of increasing crackdowns. The politicians fail to inspire confidence. And the military and international actors remain kingmakers. The dominant sense one gets is of a country that is afraid of its own politics. Very very afraid.

The litany of breaking news tells the story (all from the homepage of The News today):

GEO News blocked in different cities of country. The transmission of Geo News has been blocked in some parts of Karachi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Rawlakot, Muzaffarabad, Deepalpur and Sargodha. The concerned officials have directed the cable operators to place Geo News channel at the tail end, making it difficult for the viewers to watch the channel. PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif, Tehreek-i-Insaf Chief Imran khan and Senator Babar Ghauri condemned the blocking of Geo News.

Lawyers to intensify campaign. The lawyers challenging the government will step up their cross-country protest campaign despite beatings and arrests by the police, the President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Ali Ahmed Kurd said on Friday. Black-suited lawyers and flag-waving opposition activists launched the long march protest in the cities of Karachi and Quetta on Thursday, despite a ban on rallies and the detention of hundreds of activists. Baton-wielding police clashed with protesters in Karachi and arrested several of their leaders as they tried to stop a convoy of cars and buses leaving the city.

Containers placed around Pindi, Islamabad to block marchers. Several containers were placed at all entry points of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in an attempt to thwart the lawyers’ long march. In Rawalpindi, containers were placed near Faizabad Fly over. Besides, several containers were lined up near Kashmir Highway, Parliament House and all other entry points of the federal capital. More containers, dumpers and trucks are likely to be brought there to block the marchers from entering twin cities.

U.S. Ambassador calls on PM: U.S. Ambassador to Islamabad Anne W. Patterson called on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani here on Friday. According to sources, country’s prevailing political situation in view of the long march was discussed in the meeting.

Miliband telephones Nawaz. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has called Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif on Friday and discussed with him the overall political situation. According to sources, country’s prevailing political situation in the wake of long march came under discussion.

Zardari agrees to resolve crisis in light of CoD. In response to the reconciliatory efforts of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, President Asif Ali Zardari has agreed to resolve prevailing political crisis according to the charter of democracy (CoD). According to sources, Army chief’s meetings with the President and the Prime Minister are producing results. Gen. Kayani held separate meetings with President Zardari and Premier Gilani to discuss various options for solution of prevailing political crisis confronting the country. Sources further told that Prime Minster was in favour of restoration of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. However, the president’s close aides said that President Zardari wants his restoration through CoD. The President is willing to lift governor rule in Punjab while besides Army chief, British and American governments are playing the role of guarantors. President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani are expected to meet again tonight in which some important decisions are expected.

We have been here before. Too many time. Too painfully.

67 Comments on “Geo Blocked. Sherry Resigns. Hundreds Arrested. Crackdown on Long March. Efforts to Cool Tensions Heat Up. Uncertainty Rules.”

  1. Daud says:
    March 13th, 2009 1:16 pm

    This is really really out of control.

    My hats off to the supporters of the Lawyers Movement. They have preserved and worked tirelessly for democracy. I hope they will stay true to the cause and not let PML-N highjack them.

  2. March 13th, 2009 1:23 pm

    I’d be too disappointed if no “change” comes soon =|

  3. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 13th, 2009 1:31 pm

    There is a middle class led change and movement in Pakistan. It is unprecedented in the region, and in its aims, in the world. This is ultimately due to the minimal, coincidental civic education of an expanding middle classes through a mushrooming private media. The media is freer than it has ever been, regardless of quality of journalism. People are thinking. Some thing they have never done before because they never had even the minimal tools to do that. The diversity of opinion is of itself a good thing as long as it is independently held. For the first time in Pakistan’s history the nation has been showing some strength and something like a mind of its own and confronting the state (which has failed them and the failure post 9/11 cannot be hidden because it is violence of an extreme kind in their midst). This middle class awakening will neither be cowered by Zardari nor swindled by Sharif, in the longer term. This may be a “death of politics”. But it’s a death of old politics. A new birth is only a matter of time. Even another military dictatorship cannot stop the trend. The solution “is more democracy, not less”. More self-belief, not less. More optimism, not less. And it would be messy. Painful. Two steps forward one step back. But it very clearly is a sign of life. The nation is alive.

  4. Aamir Ali says:
    March 13th, 2009 1:50 pm

    For last many years, Pakistani awam has cursed army interference in politics, as well as British/American interference in Pakistani politics. Now everybody is happy that army, US/British are playing a role ?

    What a hypocritical and confused lot Pakistanis are! If change happens, it will only prove that street power mob and militancy are what matter in Pakistan, not elections, not Parliament, not elected government and certainly not democracy.

  5. Khan says:
    March 13th, 2009 2:09 pm

    History is repeating itself…

  6. Khalid says:
    March 13th, 2009 2:44 pm

    To me this is PML-N charade. If there was no decision against Sharif brothers this lawyers movement wouldn’t have got so violent and gained much attention. Nawaz has said he is not for Taliban, but when did he ever come out against what is going on in Swat and FATA. Innocent people are dieing and country is getting in the grips of the terrorists, and this guy is presenting himself as savior? it is just a power grab opportunity for him. “Pakistan ka Khuda Hafiz”.

  7. Sajjad says:
    March 13th, 2009 2:50 pm

    well, call me anything, its actually a good news that GEO is blocked. They always create Chaos. I dont know what they are upto. They knew that Musharraf is best in worst lot. people calling it middle class struggle must understand that news channels are most profitable business in the country now. people at GEO are not us. Top anchors are highly paid, they get more than any multinational Executive in Pakistan.what i see is they are never happy with anyone. i understand that this is what journalism is, This cricticism is will not lead to improvement in society instead it will lead to more problems. if they are running this for some revolution, How can we expect revolution in a country where 70% cant clearly read and write. They are using emotional Music and stupit promos to brainwash people that they have bought the wrong peace. Pretty hillarious that GEO news is very similiar to “AS Seen on TV ADs”. They always show you old products as crap once they were selling and new product is always better. Well, Pakistan ko Waqaii Allah Chala raha hai….

  8. Hammad says:
    March 13th, 2009 3:10 pm

    On 18th February, i had a hope that democratic governments in Pakistan have been able to learn some lessons from the past and will change their way of governance.

    Unfortunately, the reaction of the PPP-led government to the long march has proved that this democratic government is an elected dictatorship. Our democratic leaders have failed to learn anything from their past mistakes and require the men in khaki to guide them how to run or manage governments. I felt like crying, when i saw Mr. Kiyani holding talks with our respected head of states.

    I hope and pray Sherry Rehman stands by her words, as she had promised that she would resign if a news channel is blocked during the present PPP government rule. Madam, dont stick on to your prestigious ministry saying you were not aware of it. PLEASE.

    Sorry, i forgot promises are made to be broken.

    Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Paindabad (Ameen)
    Hammad ul Haq
    http://beta.vajood.com/

  9. REALIST says:
    March 13th, 2009 3:14 pm

    Can’t figure what disease can cure these politicians? Martial law wasn’t effective.

  10. Anwar says:
    March 13th, 2009 3:48 pm

    I just read – Sherry Rehman has resigned and that means more pressure on Zardari… we have to wait and see how he buckles…

  11. Darwaish says:
    March 13th, 2009 3:56 pm

    Really unfortunate developments. I don’t understand what is Zardari trying to do here? He is taking his government down himself.

    Information Minister Sherry Rehman has kept her word that she would resign if a news channel is blocked during the present PPP government rule. Well, she has resigned but the Prime Minister has not accepted her resignation yet.

    I have never been a PPP voter but I just hate to see PPP in disarray like this. PPP is a symbol of federation in Pakistan and something needs to be done quickly otherwise it would be a great loss for all of us.

  12. ATP Administrator says:
    March 13th, 2009 3:59 pm

    GEO News website is reporting that Information Minister Sherry Rahman has resigned because of the government’s media policies (one assumes, the GEO block).

  13. ATP administrator says:
    March 13th, 2009 4:01 pm

    Here is the text of an email recieved from Mir Ibrahim Rahman, CEO of GEO Networks:

    Geo News, Pakistan

  14. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 13th, 2009 4:02 pm

    Neither our politicians nor the generals nor even journalists can, as a general rule, be any better than society itself. Zardari is the legally elected President. Street protest is a very unfortunate choice but not illegal. There is commercial competition and some diversity in the media houses. Journalists, no matter how incompetent or malicious, do not have a feudel background and are salaried – no matter at what levels. Arbitrary blacking out of media is illegal. Military coups are unconstitutional and illegal. If we can only stand up against all that is clearly illegal and/or unconstitutional, we would perhaps have done our little bit. As for quality of men/women, that’s a social process and typically has a lifetime quite irrelevant to that of an individual’s. I have feelings better than just disdain or disrespect for the people of Pakistan and Pakistani society. And more than just pessimism about its future – immediate and long term. A miracle defying the general quality of men would be if Sharif decided to lead the long march to Swat, instead of Islamabad, in solidarity with all the girls who have been denied access to education, and PPP and MQM join in with Zardari stepping out of the President House and Altaf Hussain returning to the country. But I am not in to day dreaming, no matter how worried sick I may be about the threat from the religious extremists.

  15. Nihari says:
    March 13th, 2009 4:05 pm

    jamhooriyat ka janaza hai zara dhoom say niklay..

    welcome kiyani sahib welcome

  16. Faraz says:
    March 13th, 2009 6:30 pm

    This is just Zardari being his true old self. Something like this had to happen sooner or later. His tenure is another bad phase that Pakistan needs to bear through. Fortunately, doesnt look like he will last much longer. But unfortunately, the next phase for Pakistan may not be that much better either.

  17. zia says:
    March 13th, 2009 6:52 pm

    SIR PREVEZ MUSHARAFF….PLEASE COME BCK…PAKISTAN NEEDS YOUU!!!!

  18. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 13th, 2009 7:12 pm

    Correction to my earlier post: “And more than just pessimism about its future – immediate and long term.” = And more hope than just pessimism about its future – immediate and long term.

  19. Mohsin says:
    March 13th, 2009 7:37 pm

    Hats off to Lawyers movement and Media! They have shown us the way how to struggle against the dictators (military and Civilian) . They have given us new hope for our country

  20. Jam Yasir says:
    March 13th, 2009 8:27 pm

    wow iam glad that atleast for time being transmission of Geo was blocked….. because Geo news knows how to creat fuss in the society and i dont want unhing in the country….so iam very enthralled.

  21. Neena says:
    March 13th, 2009 8:32 pm

    I don’t get it why only Geo, seems like other news stations (Dawn and Aaj) giving News uninterrupted. Is it that Geo is too much inclined towards ZIa/Jamaat e Islami kinda agenda?

  22. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 13th, 2009 8:53 pm

    Aaj is also claiming black outs. It is disappointing to see that there are several who neither know nor care about the difference between due process and arbitrary use of power. It does not matter whether you agree with someone or not. Or how bad or harmful you think they are. Even if they are criminally culpable. It’s only a suspicion until due process has taken its course. The least we can do as individual Pakistanis is stand up for due process and against any abuse of it. “I disagree with what you have to say but will fight to the death to protect your right to say it.” Jungle law or Constitution of Pakistan? We, as individuals at least, should know which we want to stand for. Before passing judgement about society or the nation, or the kind of politicians, generals, or journalists it is likely to and does produce.

  23. same stuff says:
    March 13th, 2009 8:55 pm

    i am not surprised that all this is happening, i am surprised that it took so long to happen.
    i am not sure why the people of pakistan want the politicians to change when the people themself do not want to change.

  24. ASAD says:
    March 13th, 2009 9:53 pm

    The video you have added is very moving. This is what every Pakistani is feeling like today. Totally helpless.

  25. ASAD says:
    March 13th, 2009 9:54 pm

    I am not sure Sherry Rahman has resigned or if it has been accepted. Here is the news in The News:

    Information Minister Sherry Rehman called it a day after she failed to convince President Asif Ali Zardari to lift the ban on Geo News transmission, private TV channels reported late Friday night.

    Sherry, after coming to know that the Geo transmission was blocked by cable operators in most parts of the country on orders from the top, met the president and appealed to him to lift the ban. On refusal by the president, she kept requesting him to remove the ban, which she said would bring a bad name to the PPP government. However, President Zardari gave no weight to her view and adhered to his decision.

    On this, Sherry tendered her resignation in protest against the ban on the Geo News transmission Earlier Sherry Rehman had indicated to resign if a crackdown was launched against the media. The government plan to launch the crackdown was reported by Hamid Mir in The News on Feb 27 . However, sources close to the Presidency denied that the information minister had resigned. The News could not contact Sherry Rehman despite several efforts.

  26. PPP Jiyala says:
    March 13th, 2009 9:59 pm

    Here is what I hope will happen.

    The real PPP leadership will finally realize how bad Zardari has been for the part and remove him.

    Gillani will become real Prime Minister.

    Punjab Governor will be changed and Governor rule enforced.

    All Judges will be restored and Iftikhar Chaudhry will become Chief Justice Again

    Ameen.

  27. Eidee Man says:
    March 14th, 2009 1:46 am

    I agree wholly with PPP Jiyala. I am glad the true PPP leaders and workers have decided to be on the right side of history.

  28. fatima says:
    March 14th, 2009 2:15 am

    welll i think that each and every politician will get their own interests sooner or later and we as a nation willl be left again with fake promises and hoplesness.

  29. Ali says:
    March 14th, 2009 2:43 am

    In all honesty, with the way media has started manipulating public opinion – I guess we need to review the whole debate of independence of media and media regulation in new light. This doesn’t hold true for Pakistan or Pakistani politics only but is also true for global media. One should watch Jon Stewart’s dialogue with Jim Cramer of CNBC. On the other hand, at some level Stewart himself does this.

    Secondly, how should a Govt. respond when the leaders of protest are threatening mutiny and siege? And this mind you is not an illegitimate government but a government elected.

    Sherry Rehman, if resigned (for these days it’s hard to believe Pakistani media), has followed principles she has laid out for herself. These were principles set when journalism was in the hands of likes of Nisar Usmani and Faiz Sahab and media owners were likes of Mian Iftikhar Ud Din and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Now we need to answer what principles should apply for journalists like Hamid Mir and Ansar Abbasi and Talat Hussain and media owners like Zia Shahid and Mir Shakil?

  30. Monkey says:
    March 14th, 2009 2:56 am

    Congratulations to the lawyers if they can, indeed, pull it off. This should go in the history of Pakistan as a glorious victory – not the fact that CJ Iftikhar was reinstated (for me, he is more or less as preferable as Dogar) but the fact that the lawyers/supporters were so steadfast in their struggle. Sends out a clear msg: the people of Pakistan will no longer stay put and accept a dictatorship – military or civil.

    GO ZARDARI.

  31. Jusathot says:
    March 14th, 2009 7:08 am

    So long as Pakistan remains the playground of Uncle Sam and the corrupt, incompetent and opportunist stooges in our Establishment

  32. Zecchetti says:
    March 14th, 2009 7:38 am

    Might as well join the Taleban. At least they are truthful and have order now…

  33. March 14th, 2009 8:09 am

    So much is in the air and so much to say but where to start. Putting it simply I feel its dama dum mast kalander time again, see the post below:

    http://blog.otherpakistan.org/

    Feimanallah Pakistan

    Wasim

  34. Watan Aziz says:
    March 14th, 2009 8:46 am

    ~~There is no one that anyone seems to have much confidence in.~~

    Best news for Pakistanis yet !

    What did Pakistan get when they had confidence in someone? Disappointment? Lost to the dark side? The last one lost Sultan Musharraf?

    Pakistanis should build institutions and laws and rules and procedures and above all, honor ordinary foot soldiers who uphold laws. The collective will to demand, expect and deliver justice and equity.

    People in the past, within and without Pakistan, have come out for wages, power, jobs or on behalf of individuals or parties. I do not know any other time or any other place when justice was the calling.

    How sweet a calling!

  35. muhamad furqan says:
    March 14th, 2009 8:52 am

    Why isn’t the site bloggers.pk being updated?it has the same old news of many days ago?

  36. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 14th, 2009 9:07 am

    Ali, totally agree with your last paragraph – it’s all fact anyway. While a corrupt media can mislead and fool the people, it cannot oppress the way the corrupt and ‘despotic’ politicians can who have the authority of the state and law behind them. Indeed, ‘despots’ are not averse to use the force of the state against the law. Military dictators do the same, i.e. abuse their institutional power to subvert the constitution – lock, stock and barrel – and take over the state. Surely, abuse of state power and the law are far greater sins than a corrupt media. What’s important with the mushrooming media (no matter how unprofessional, corrupt and/or partisan/subjective) is that it has – over the past few years – awakened a moribund middle class and got it thinking. The thinking might be misplaced and subjective, (but it cannot be corrupt, since the whole middle class cannot have a vested interest)… but at least it’s a sign of life. To that extent, it is welcome and promising. The hope is that a sobering elite, forced to address it’s historic neglect of popular opinion, will automatically result in a more ‘equal’ balance between the institutions – Executive, Parliament, Military, Judiciary and the media. The media is gravely mistaken if it thinks it can ‘fool all the people all the time’. In the long term, the interests of the middle class cannot and do not agree with either those of the elite or those of the media. As long as we can have a ‘thinking’ middle class…. media can neither presume to brainwash it nor afford to ignore it.

    The more worrying issue for the moderate middle class is to confront the kind of dangerous cynicism expressed by Zecchetti. Hopefully, there are not many subscribers to such views. He is obviously NOT a girl living in Swat.

  37. Pakistani says:
    March 14th, 2009 9:58 am

    Zechetti, the Recruiter for evil murderers and Taliban. The real enemy of Pakistan are still the Taliban and worse thing is that this only distracts from the need fir jihad against the evil Taliban. The Taliban and extremist enemies of Islam and Pakistan are only one who benifit from unstable Pakistan.

  38. Obaid says:
    March 14th, 2009 10:40 am

    ATP should conduct a poll on these lines http://lahore.metblogs.com/2009/03/13/consequences-of-long-march/ to get the pulse of the nation on this matter.

  39. Another Pakistani says:
    March 14th, 2009 10:45 am

    Well said Pakistani

    In the last two years the liberal civil society has worked for justice and voice for Pakistanis and Muslims everywhere. The evil Taliban have been killing Pakistanis and Muslims.

    I choose to stand with those who stand for Pakistan and against the enemies of Islam and Pakistan, the Taliban. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD. And may all Taliban burn in hell.

  40. MileStone says:
    March 14th, 2009 11:46 am

    I believe, government did the right thing by taking the decision to ban Geo TV. this channel was not doing any good except creating depression and crushing the moral of Pakistani people.

    I havn’t heard any good news coming out from Jew channel ever. They are busy in promoting the Indian cultures and values in Pakistan and slow poisoning the people of Pakistan, which is helping making Pakistan much softer target. So that it will be easier for enemy of the state to destroy Pakistan.

    I accept the Pakistan Army and ISI has done lot of wrong things and corruption in the past. But at this moment the only wall that is standing between the enemy and Pakistan is Pak Army and ISI. We should support our troops, as by maligning them, we are actually weakening ourselves.

  41. Bumsqueak says:
    March 14th, 2009 11:48 am

    On the face of it, it would seem that Sherry Rehman’s resignation is a laudable act, and possibly the first voluntary resignation by a member of the federal Cabinet in this country . However, does it not indicate a schism within the PPP itself and a distancing of the “real” PPP from Zardari. Is this the first step in a no confidence vote by the PPP in its own leadership, and thus is Sherry Rehman just ensuring her own political future?

  42. Waheed says:
    March 14th, 2009 1:27 pm

    If this ends with Zardari and his cronies like Rahman Malik and Salman Taseer out and the real PPP in control with old guard then Pakistan will be a better place for it.

  43. March 14th, 2009 1:32 pm

    Bibi sahiba tu Jahanum mey aag par lot rahi hongi apna mian sahib ki “karwaiyan” dekh kar :-)

  44. March 14th, 2009 1:46 pm

    Do you believe that he decided to resolve this issue? I don’t think so … kuch din intazar kijye phir inka aikr aur go’ata dekhye ga

  45. SOHAIB says:
    March 14th, 2009 1:53 pm

    Lawyers should be kicked….
    Journalist should be kicked…
    Politicians should be kicked…
    Talebans should be kicked…

    Non of the above lot are sincere to pakistan at any level. Lawyers are corrupt, politicians are corrupt, as far as journalists are concerned and geo meo theo tv, they are biased also. If geo sheo although its a great venture and i am proud that paki channels have imrpoved there quality etc but for a change just once in a while our tv channels can be bit positive for PAKISTAN! its all good to get negative image which is good but i dont see any positive image of pakistan from these channels. maybe i am wrong but i feel it that way.

    Ufff when will this drama finish and proper leadership can come to our beloved country.

    The opposition who are against the channel blockage, when they will come to power and same channels will say anything against them they will do the same…

    Lastly, these channels should be more responsible ….

  46. Edward says:
    March 14th, 2009 3:20 pm

    What do we about this? What CAN we do about this?

    Adil, I’d like to see you write a piece about what you think Pakistanis can do to save Pakistan sometime in the near future. Please. Many of us would appreciate it.

  47. Ahson Hasan says:
    March 14th, 2009 3:39 pm

    Will there ever be time when this country gets settled down and works for the betterment of its people? Is anyone even thinking about the welfare of the poor masses at this time? Is this rock n’roll going to continue forever?

    The ‘failed state’ premise is not after all not a fallacious idea anymore! Pakistan does perhaps fits the description of a run down mechanism where institutions are available but not functional.

    This ‘new’ setup is not helping matters. I see Musharraf making a coming back. After all, only a few days ago he said the he was ready to serve in any capacity, if asked.

    These politicians have proven themselves to be ruthless nincompoops. Zardari, of course, heads the list. The guy was/is a money grabber. However, it appears that some unfortunate soul told him that he’s fit enough to obtain a ‘leadership’ role as well!

    Worst of all, his decision to play around with Punjab was nothing less than suicidal. The Sharifs are well-entrenched in that province and a force to be reckoned with. Understood that they were ‘the illegitimate children of the Establishment’ back in the 80s, yet, they have come a long way since then.

    Also, Punjab is basically what the mainstream Pakistani political scene is. Whatever happens in Punjab impacts the entire length and breath of Pakistan. Zardari was naive and atrociously foolish to have meddled in the affairs of Punjab.

    What’s happening now may effect the balance of the federation. With the issue of issue of terrorism already out of control, thanks to the mullah/taliban-oriented power dealers of the country, the ongoing protesting episode can bite the country in the rear-end.

    Unless an intervention is done and Zardari is booted out, it would be fallacious to assume that the current crisis will simmer down. Washington understands it and is probably already looking into other options. The problem of terrorism can only be tackled through someone who is capable-enough to hold the federation together and the restrict internal frustrations with an iron hand. Pakistan needs to deal with menace, otherwise soon its existence will be history.

    In the meantime, as the people suffer, all one can hope is that this ‘tamasha’ comes to an end and meets a logical conclusion.

  48. ALI says:
    March 14th, 2009 4:31 pm

    I think this has become as bad as this bc of Salman Taseer in Punjab

    Remove him and it becomes manageable

  49. Talat says:
    March 14th, 2009 4:44 pm

    I do see a silver lining to this

    Pakistani people want democracy and real democracy with functioning institutions

    This is victory of Palistani people

  50. libertarian says:
    March 14th, 2009 6:11 pm

    I do see a silver lining to this

    Must be all those endorphins from multiple near-death experiences …

  51. jk says:
    March 14th, 2009 6:18 pm

    Zardari is saying that protesting is against democracy. This proves that this guy is a complete ignoramus. Protesting is one of the pillars of democracy.

    Is blocking TV stations against democracy or not?

    Can this guy please be removed from office already? This kind of Ghundagardi needs to be a thing of the past!

  52. Pakistani says:
    March 14th, 2009 6:39 pm

    It is like an elephant sitting in the room and nobody wants to acknowledge it. We all know Zardari is a shady, Mr. 10%, aristocrat in disguise (perhaps not for too long), Sharif brothers are budmaash & ghunda to the epic proportions (ask anyone in Lahore) and also very shady, chief justices are anything but honest and 100% politically motivated, if they have anything to do with justice system, they should stay out of politics. Altaaf H. is running his friendly boat from outside Pakistan because he knows that he will be tried and convicted in Pakistan for his terrorist days in Karachi. And all Politicians reciting poor Habib Jalib as if they care about Pakistanis, they don

  53. Neena says:
    March 14th, 2009 9:04 pm

    OK, my democracy loving colleagues are asking me.

    In the US Supreme Court justice are appointed by the President, so why Pakistani President isn

  54. Neena says:
    March 14th, 2009 9:08 pm

    I know PML(N) doesn’t support relgious Mafia (mostly deals in drugs and weapons) but JI does support them openly. Still PML(N) did nothing when innocent people were targeted by them.

  55. Pakistani says:
    March 14th, 2009 10:01 pm

    Good question Neena, who appoints Chief justice in Pakistan? “The Chief Justice of Pakistan is appointed by the President and the other Judges are also appointed by the President but after consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan”.
    See this webiste by Supreme Court of Pakistan:
    http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/web/page.asp?id=115

    But as I said before from top down Zardaari, Sharifs, Altaaf H., Mullah parties and so on…… are all corrupt and they are playing the public on their fingers tips. Do you notice not one descent and educated Pakistani is involved in this mess and hunger for power.

  56. March 14th, 2009 11:13 pm

    It hasn’t even been 1 year and these political parties have again brought Pakistan into crisis and disrupted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.

    I hope the next military rule rounds up the entire top leadership of every political party and shoots them, global condemnation be damned.

  57. Deeda-i-Beena says:
    March 15th, 2009 3:15 am

    THE FACT IS THAT THE US PRESIDENT “NOMINATES” – NOT APPOINTS THE JUSTICES/CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT.

    THEY MUST, REPEAT MUST, THEN BE APPROVED BY THE US SENATE

  58. Sojourner says:
    March 15th, 2009 6:52 am

    Neena, in US the President can nominate a candidate for SC but there have to be congression hearings and confirmation. Such a process not exist in Pakistan.

  59. PakWather says:
    March 15th, 2009 9:28 am

    The following 3 must share blame for whats happened of Pak.

    1. Pak Army
    2. Pak politicians
    3. USA

    I certainly believe that if USA had left Pak alone after 1947 and not propped up and supported every military regime or not , the country would have followed more sane, responsible and less bellicose policies for its own good.

    Interference by Western powers , China, Saudi etc have distorted Pakistran’s development as a responsible political entity.

  60. Pakistani says:
    March 15th, 2009 10:06 am

    PakWather : Interference by Western powers , China, Saudi etc have distorted Pakistran

  61. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 15th, 2009 10:48 am

    PakWather: Please name me a significant Pak politician not created by Pak Army. Or not under threat – at one time or another – from NAB and such. ZAB was the leading light of Ayub Khan’s King’s Party – the Convention Muslim League. No one has forgotten NS’s shameful origins under Zia. BB did not have the same origins as her father. But the military and its US sponsors left her with little option but to return under a ‘deal’, offering her the NRO. Zardari is no politician. He is where he is on the basis of a will that no one has ever seen, and stepped in to play the role as agreed per the ‘deal’ as BB’s successor. Wanna reconsider your already short list?

  62. FYSAL says:
    March 15th, 2009 11:21 am

    Pakistan Kahan ja rha hai… Allah he bachae hum ko in hukamranooon se…. Pakistan k 2 satoon to kat diye inhon ne.. Adliya aur media…
    So sad
    /….
    http://www.PTVp.blogspot.com

  63. bonobashi says:
    March 15th, 2009 12:53 pm

    @Pakistani

    As a friendly observer, I believe that you have things exactly back to front.

    Until Pakistani civil society – and the Pakistani military – give up assuming that the military is the glue apparently holding the country together, the political infrastructure will never grow, and, in your words, your political foundations will remain weak, your leaders will continue to stray from honesty and you will apparently not be ready for democracy.

    I respectfully submit that the reverse is the case. If you give up depending on the military to arbitrate, and to restore order in a situation where all sides know that whatever the silly decisions they take, there is always a nanny to step in and sort things out, you will find that a foundation will develop, political infrastructure will gradually coalesce around a few commonly accepted rules and processes, leaders on being voted out by an unforgiving electorate that knows elections will happen, and will happen on time, with no dishonesty with respect to the results, will become honest and you will find that you do not have to prepare to be ready for democracy – you will look around one fine day and find that you are democratic.

    I could give you examples, but it is sure that a membership as sophisticated as the membership of this forum has already worked out what I am driving at. As our Latinate commentator would no doubt have liked to have said, verb. sap.

  64. Pakistani says:
    March 15th, 2009 1:31 pm

    @bonobashi
    I am all for a country that makes their own choices and free democratic elections. But but but……when you have a leadership of majority parties that are roaring false promises to their voters every day, corrupted from top down, then you have a huge population that is not protected, life and property is in jeopardy, democracy in Pakistan failed for today, yesterday and for many years. A free democratic nation doesn’t happen on its own, it takes years of preparation……..that means we need to rebuild our government system and its infrastructure within a peaceful society that nurtures growth of an individual and country. And this is obviously not possible via elected government of today. We had two very different versions of military rule since Bhutto, Zia who took us to dark ages, installed mullah rule, manipulated and sold the country several times. Then Musharraf military tried the hybrid of military and freedom to the individual policy which at least worked for first four years and Pakistan infrastructure got its footings, there we had a chance to rise for a day. So you tell me what is the best option for Pakistan, give our future to thugs of today? or have some discipline and accountability, perhaps we will be ready for democracy one day.

  65. PakWatcher says:
    March 15th, 2009 1:42 pm

    @Bloody Civilian,
    there is a reason why I ordered the list, as I did. So I don’t disagree with you.

  66. ali qureshi says:
    March 15th, 2009 2:19 pm

    we are ready for democracy today.
    we are…
    let the cards play out…
    have patience my friends…

    let the system (i.e. elections, the development of democratic institutions) weed out those who never live up to their promises to the people of pakistan…

    the army are the chowkidaars of the nation. their taking over pakistan is tantamount to your chowkidaar taking over your house – on the premise that..”sir, i can run this house better…”

    the army has never allowed democracy to flourish. that’s why we see the same political leaders play musical chairs with the powers to be of our beautiful nation.

    education of the voter is not necessarily through books and sitting in the classrooms. the media plays a far more prominent role in educating the masses.

    my point is. let things play out. no gain, without pain..

  67. bonobashi says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:49 pm

    @Pakistani

    No, beyond a point, no friend will tell you. We have no business telling you (I include big fat idiot countries who should go home and mind their own business instead of giving themselves airs and graces). Ultimately, the decision is yours. Friends can only suggest, advise, argue, that kind of thing. When the chips are down, it is every Pakistani who loves her or his country who must decide.

    For those of us who have been reading the comments on this forum, and others similar, there can be no doubt that there is enough informed and intelligent opinion about the situation for the right decisions to be taken. What those decisions are has to be finally your choice.

    We can only pray for you, those of us who are of a praying disposition, or will you to win, if we are among those who will not pray. Go for it.

    But cut yourselves some slack. You should have been on this side of the border when the Nav Nirman agitation under JP was in full swing. We thought the country was falling apart. It didn’t.

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