Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

SACW | Nov. 2-5, 2007 / Pakistan: Emergency and Crackdown

Expand Messages
  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Wire | November 2-5, 2007 | Dispatch No. 2467 - Year 10 running PAKISTAN: STATE OF EMERGENCY AND CRACKDOWN: Media reports, edits, analysis
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4 7:53 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      South Asia Citizens Wire | November 2-5, 2007 |
      Dispatch No. 2467 - Year 10 running

      Media reports, edits, analysis + citizens response + protest actions]

      [1] Pakistan Emergency - The Official Rationale and Words
      (i) Musharraf's Speech (AlJazeera Video)
      (ii) Text of Emergency Proclamation
      (iii) Text of ordinance No. LXV of 2007 on Media restrictions
      (iv) What The State Run TV Broadcaster's Website Said
      [2] Editorials In The Pakistani and South Asian Press
      - Another move towards absolutism (Editorial, Dawn)
      - Black Saturday (Editorial, The News)
      - Where do we go from here? (Najam Sethi)
      - Sad day for Pakistan: Musharraf's obsession
      with power spells danger (Editorial, The Daily
      - Darkness in Pakistan (Editorial, The Hindu)
      [3] 2 Media Reports from the Day 2:
      - 4,000 held in Pak crackdown (Asian Age)
      - Pakistan Rounds Up Musharraf's Political Foes
      [4] Citizens and Civil Society Response: Statements
      - Lift emergency, restore democracy, demands citizens' group (Karachi, Nov 3)
      - Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (Press Release)
      - A Message from Asma Jahangir
      - SAFMA, SAMC Condemn Clampdown On Press
      - FOSA Demands the Restoration of Democracy in Pakistan
      [5] Commentary:
      - Pakistan: 'Judicial Activism' Triggered Emergency (Beena Sarwar)
      - Tariq Ali: Pakistan takes yet another step into the dark night
      - Flawed and failed (Razi Azmi)
      [6] Some Upcoming Protest Actions
      - Karachi (5 Nov 2007)
      (Image of Poster prepared for the Karachi protest at press club)
      - London (5 November 2007)
      [7] Announcements:
      (i) Public Seminar: Celebrating Revolutions and
      Revolutionaries (New Delhi, 6 November 2007)


      [State of Emergency and Crackdown in Pakistan:
      Media reports, edits, analysis + citizens
      response + protest actions]


      AlJazeera English, 3 November 2007


      o o o


      ORDINANCE (official text on Media restrictions)

      (From Pakistan Television Website : on 3 November 2007)

      The provisional constitution order issued after
      the proclamation of the emergency order states:
      notwithstanding the abeyance of the provisions of
      the constitution.

      Pakistan shall subject to this order and any
      other order made by the President be governed, as
      nearly as may be, in accordance with the
      constitution; provided that the president may,
      from time to time, by order amend the
      constitution as is deemed expedient; provided
      further that the fundamental rights under article
      9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 25 shall remain
      suspended. Notwithstanding anything contained in
      the proclamation of the today's' order or any
      other law for the time being in force, all
      provisions of the constitution embodying Islamic
      injunctions shall continue to be in force.
      Subject to clause (1) above and the oath of
      office (judges) order 2007, all courts in
      existence immediately before the commencement of
      this order shall continue to function and to
      exercise their respective powers and
      jurisdiction; provided that the supreme court or
      a high court and any other court shall not have
      the power to make any order against the president
      or the prime minister or any person exercising
      powers or jurisdiction under their authority. all
      persons who immediately before the commencement
      of this order were in office as judges of the
      supreme court, the federal Shariat Court or a
      high court shall be governed by and be subject to
      the oath of office and such further orders as the
      president may pass. Subject to clause (1) above,
      the parliament and the provincial assemblies
      shall continue to function. All persons who
      immediately before the commencement of this order
      were holding any service, post or office in
      connection with the affairs of the federation or
      of a province shall continue in the said service
      on the same terms and conditions and shall enjoy
      the same privileges. No court including the
      Supreme Court, federal Shariat court and the high
      courts and any tribunal or other authority shall
      call or permit to be called in question this
      order or any order made in pursuance thereof.
      No judgment, decree, writ, order or process
      whatsoever shall me made or issued by any court
      or tribunal against the president or the prime
      minister or any authority designated by the
      president. Notwithstanding the abeyance of the
      provisions of the constitution but subject to the
      orders of the president, all laws other than the
      constitution, all ordinances, orders, rules, by
      laws, regulations, notifications or other legal
      instruments in force in any part of Pakistan,
      whether made by the president or by the governor
      of a province shall continue in force until
      altered, amended or repealed by the president or
      any authority designated by him. An ordinance
      promulgated by the president or by the governor
      of a province shall not be subject to any
      limitations as to duration prescribed in the
      constitution. The provisions of clause (1) shall
      also apply to an ordinance issued by the
      president or by a governor which was in force
      immediately before the commencement of the
      proclamation of the emergency order.




      November 4, 2007


      SO we are back to square one. Back to Oct 12,
      1999. All the gains over the years have gone down
      the drain. All this talk about the forward thrust
      towards democracy, about the impending 'third
      phase' of the political process and the lip
      service to the sanctity of judiciary turned out
      to be one great deception. The people have been
      cheated. In a nutshell, one-man rule has been
      reinforced, and there is no light at the end of
      the tunnel - a tunnel that is dark and winding
      with an end that is perhaps blocked. The reports
      about emergency rule were denied umpteenth times
      by President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister
      Shaukat Aziz. The denials were bogus. From now on
      it would simply be a waste of newspaper space and
      channel time if ever a denial by this government
      is printed or aired.

      In a sense this is Gen Pervez Musharraf's second
      coup. Just as Ziaul Haq assumed all powers for
      himself twice - first in 1977 in what was a
      classical coup d'etat and in 1988 by using powers
      under article 58-2b of the Constitution
      -Musharraf has followed suit with some
      difference. In his second coup, Zia sent Junejo
      packing; in this second Musharraf coup, the
      Constitution has been held in abeyance and Prime
      Minister Shaukat Aziz and his ministers will
      continue to function. But his rule is now
      absolute, and civil society and democracy have
      received a blow. The general had not addressed
      the nation till the writing of these lines. All
      private channels had gone off air, and only the
      state-controlled PTV released the proclamation of
      emergency order which spoke of the 'visible
      ascendancy in the activities of extremists' as
      the reason for imposing the emergency. Frankly,
      not even the most naïve amongst us would buy this
      line. In what way does the proclamation of
      emergency help in prosecuting the war on terror?

      Already, the president enjoys all the powers that
      a ruler could possibly hope to amass. He is Chief
      of the Army Staff, he is president and he is
      supreme commander of the armed forces. What more
      power does he want? After all, for crushing the
      militants he will use those very military and
      paramilitary forces which are already doing the
      job -the Frontier Constabulary, the Frontier
      Corps, the army, the Rangers, and the plethora of
      intelligence agencies about whose incompetence
      now no one has any doubts. We state emphatically
      what has forced Gen Musharraf to declare
      emergency are the doubts about the outcome of the
      Supreme Court's judgment on his right to contest
      the presidential election. No one is going to
      accept what he is going to tell us, neither the
      people of Pakistan nor the aid-givers. Despite
      public declarations to the contrary, the voices
      demanding him 'to do more' may be the only ones
      not unhappy with these developments as they would
      expect him to deliver more effectively. But we
      ask: can a general who does not enjoy the
      people's mandate really carry the nation along
      and fight the terrorists alone?

      o o o

      The News
      November 4, 2007


      Sunday, November 04, 2007
      November 3 will go down as another dark day in
      Pakistan's political and constitutional history.
      It can be safely said that this is one of General
      Pervez Musharraf's gravest errors of judgment,
      and a sorry indication that nothing has been
      learnt from the mistakes of the past. The
      imposition of emergency rule and suspension of
      the 1973 Constitution announced on Saturday is
      only going to destroy the very institutions that
      this country crucially needs for evolving into a
      true democracy, particularly the judiciary, media
      and parliament. It will further fracture an
      already weakened federation, alienate those who
      have grievances against the centre, such as the
      Tribal Areas and Balochistan, and push whatever
      little credibility the government had down a very
      deep abyss. Such a draconian step will also have
      little effect on our ability to fight terrorism
      and extremism. It would be fair to assume that
      the emergency has been imposed only to target two
      institutions: the judiciary and the media but it
      may well have poisonous effects on another: i.e.
      parliament. Those in the ruling PML-Q will be
      foolish not to realise that the legislative
      branch of government has received a death blow as
      well since the imposition has come from an army

      The fact that the official statement carrying the
      emergency announcement used 'army chief' rather
      than president to refer to the authority behind
      the promulgation is significant as well
      indicating that perhaps what we have on our hands
      is a de facto martial law -- one in which the
      assemblies will function but only to give the
      impression that democracy has not been hampered
      in any manner. Furthermore, the timing of the
      proclamation, a few days before an expected
      judgment on a case that could have potentially
      declared the president's re-election null and
      void, is such that very few people in this
      country, or overseas for that matter, will buy
      the argument that it has been imposed to arrest
      the deteriorating law and order situation and to
      allow the government to focus on fighting
      extremism and militancy. It will be difficult to
      remove public doubts that it has only been
      imposed to target a superior judiciary that has
      finally found some spine and is carrying out its
      constitutional role of acting as a watchdog on
      the executive, which in Pakistan's case was often
      overstepping its constitutionally-defined
      authority. As for the media, the fact that
      private television channels were blacked out for
      the better part of Saturday is a grim indication
      of the government's intentions. However, here
      too, such bans are essentially counter-productive
      and will be seen by ordinary Pakistanis as a
      desperate act of a regime bent on shielding
      itself from criticism.

      Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has been
      informed that his services were no longer
      required. In any case, the promulgation of a
      provisional constitutional order would mean that
      most of the judges of the Supreme Court who had
      in recent weeks taken a brave and defiant stand
      against the government and the military would be
      pushed aside and not be invited to take a fresh
      oath; many would in all probability decline such
      an offer. As news of the imposition of emergency
      spread, eight members of the Supreme Court
      defiantly struck down the proclamation, which
      could well trigger off a new stand-off. The
      future is not looking good -- not least because
      the president's move is bound to have massive
      repercussions and a severe response from all
      segments of civil society. Such acts are
      indefensible at any time, more so in this day and

      o o o

      Daily Times
      November 04, 2007


      by Najam Sethi

      Several points are interesting and significant
      about last night's political rupture.

      1: We have a state of martial law, whatever the
      government may say and however long it may last.
      The Proclamation of Emergency (PE) and the
      Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) have been
      signed by the "Chief of Army Staff", General
      Pervez Musharraf, and not by "President"
      Musharraf or Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. In
      fact, a PCO is an extra constitutional deviation
      and only an army chief can order it.

      2: The constitution has accordingly been "held in
      abeyance". But significantly, the PCO says that
      the country will continue to be governed, "as
      nearly as possible" by the constitution. But
      where there is any other departure from the
      constitution apart from what is contained in the
      PCO and the PE from now onwards, it will be at
      the behest of the "President" and not the COAS.
      In other words, General Musharraf's presidency
      has been confirmed and upheld by the PCO.

      3: The PCO prohibits the courts from holding or
      issuing any decree against the President, the
      Prime Minister or anyone exercising powers under
      their authority. Specifically, the President
      shall now require a fresh oath under the PCO by
      those judges who wish to be included in the
      Federal Shariat Court, High Courts and Supreme
      Court. In this context, four Supreme Court judges
      have already taken oath under the PCO from
      President Musharraf and a new chief justice of
      Pakistan has been nominated, ie, Justice Hameed
      Dogar. In other words, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry
      is now to be referred to as a former chief
      justice of Pakistan. He will be in the company of
      at least seven other fellow judges who have
      revolted against the PCO. We should now expect a
      host of other judges from the four High Courts
      and possibly Federal Shariat Court to be excluded
      from the new oath taking ceremonies. If this
      manoeuvre is accomplished by General Musharraf
      relatively quickly and the high courts are
      sufficiently revamped, then we shall have a
      pro-executive judiciary soon.

      4: All ordinances promulgated by the president
      prior to this PCO remain valid. In other words,
      the National Reconciliation Ordinance is alive
      and kicking. Benazir Bhutto will be pleased.

      5: The PE lists several reasons for its
      necessity. The prime reason is the state of
      deteriorating law and order and the vanishing
      writ of the state owing to acts of terrorism. But
      the judiciary has been held to be a major culprit
      in log-jamming the executive and undermining the
      war against extremism. Indeed, out of 11
      effective clauses in the PE, eight refer to the
      negative role played by the judges and the
      judiciary in undermining the war against
      terrorism, the executive functioning of
      government and the economy. As such, the Supreme
      Court under Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry is held
      critically responsible for harming the national
      interest and exacerbating the crisis of the state
      and deadlock of the political system.

      6: The 2007 PCO does not dissolve the assemblies
      or the provincial and federal governments. Nor
      does the PE announce any extension of the term of
      parliament by up to a year as is possible under a
      state of emergency. This means that General
      Musharraf intends to allow these parliaments and
      governments to finish their terms on November 16
      (National Assembly) and November 24 (provincial
      assemblies), followed by general elections within
      a stipulated time frame.

      7: We should expect the lawyers, civil society
      groups and most, but not all, the opposition
      parties to launch a spirited protest on the
      streets and boycott the courts. But with the
      electronic media blinded, and the administrations
      freed from the oversight of the courts, the
      police and paramilitary forces will be used to
      arrest opponents and crush the protest movement.
      Two factors will play a critical role in what
      happens next: one, the extent to which the
      lawyers can continue their protest and if
      necessary sacrifice some dead bodies for their
      cause; two, the role played by the People's Party
      of Ms Bhutto and the JUI of Maulana Fazalur
      Rehman. We should also expect a surge in
      terrorist activities and bomb blasts by Taliban
      and Al Qaeda elements to take advantage of the

      8. Ms Bhutto has returned to the country in the
      midst of the crisis. The government will expect
      her not to destabilise its modus operandi in
      exchange for a power sharing deal. In all
      probability, she will oppose the PCO and PE.
      Supporting it would incur the wrath of Pakistanis
      who generally don't like what General Musharraf
      has done. But she may lend only token PPP support
      to the protest movement. Much the same may be
      said of Maulana Fazal's JUI. Instead she will
      demand that the road be cleared for free and fair
      general elections so that the people may give
      their verdict on all parties.

      9. Writ petitions will fly against the PCO. The
      new SC will agree to hear them. But no judgment
      will be forthcoming until such time the elections
      have been held and a new parliament is in place
      to indemnify the PCO and confirm President
      Musharraf as the legitimate president of
      Pakistan. In other words, the unconstitutionality
      of this act will probably be pronounced by the
      new SC after it has got retrospective validity
      from a new parliament some months hence. The
      question of whether General Musharraf will remain
      army chief for another five years or take off his
      uniform then will have to be settled by the new
      parliament in 2008 as happened in 2003.

      10. The US, EU and the international community
      will condemn the PCO and demand a restoration of
      full fledged democracy via free and fair general
      elections. General Musharraf should not have any
      problems complying with their demand in due

      o o o

      The Daily Star
      November 5, 2007



      In a highly complicated politico-military
      scenario in Pakistan with judicial activism
      playing a conscientious role and Ms Bhutto's
      homecoming briefly bolstering democratic
      aspirations, Musharraf has proclaimed emergency
      by one fell stroke. In Pakistan's chequered
      history, this is perhaps one of the worst
      uncertain phase it has had the misfortune of
      dealing with now.

      Musharraf's 's unquenchable thirst for power
      topped off by desperation for self-survival has
      had him issue a provisional constitutional order
      whereby he has replaced Chief Justice Iftikhar
      Chaudhry with Justice Hameed Gogar "who has a
      corruption reference against him." The Supreme
      Court was to issue a ruling on the validity of
      the October 6 presidential election he had
      participated in with army uniform and won. It is
      thought to be a preemptive strike by Musharraf,
      but given his weakening popularity and unabashed
      clinging to power his latest action is likely to
      recoil on him.

      The January general election is clearly thrown in
      doubt and any possibility of a power sharing deal
      with Ms Bhutto which had the blessings of the US
      and UK seems far removed at this point. In any
      case imposition of emergency is a major setback
      to the democratic aspirations of the people of
      Pakistan who have now to actually see them caught
      in a vortex of violence, conflict and
      confrontation. The reasons being touted by
      Musharraf for proclaiming emergency are, in his
      own words, "Judges were interfering with the
      government and that Islamic militancy posed a
      grave threat to the country".

      This man who ruled Pakistan for nine years on the
      card of fighting extremism has basically failed
      to contain it in the ultimate analysis. There is
      a growing belief that an elected civilian
      government with a free media can be a powerful
      bastion against ideological terrorism. Since
      democracy is central to the creation of stability
      in the country, nuclear Pakistan cannot afford to
      be anything but politically stable in the greater
      interest of regional peace and stability.

      The worldwide condemnation of Musharraf's
      imposition of emergency in Pakistan should be
      translated into strong persuasive engagements
      with him to lift emergency, step down and go for
      general election.

      o o o

      The Hindu
      Nov 05, 2007



      The imposition of an Emergency and the suspension
      of the Constitution by President Pervez
      Musharraf, signalling a return to direct military
      rule has plunged Pakistan into one of its darkest
      phases ever. The mass detentions of activists and
      lawyers, the clampdown on the Pakistani media,
      forbidden to express any opinion "prejudicial to
      the ideology of Pakistan" or its "integrity", and
      the summary removal of the feisty Chief Justice
      of the Supreme Cour t Iftikar Chaudhary who had
      been spiritedly resisting the attempts to curb
      the independence of the judiciary, are chilling
      signs that the dreaded days of military rule are
      back. The general has now been revealed in his
      true colours as a ruthless military dictator, in
      the mould of Zia-ul-Huq and all his dismal
      predecessors who had kept Pakistan in a state of
      permanent Army rule. Prominent figures in the
      movement for democracy were rounded up, such as
      the eminent lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, cricket hero
      and politician Imran Khan, human rights activist
      Asma Jehangir, and Javed Hashmi the acting head
      of Nawaz Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim
      League(N). Another dictatorial act swiftly
      following the declaration of Emergency on
      Saturday night was the cancellation by the new
      Chief Justice, Abdul Hameed Dogar, of all the
      cases being heard by the Supreme Court including
      the legal challenges to General Musharraf's
      re-election in uniform. The new martial law
      regime has placed seven of the Supreme Court
      judges, including Justice Chaudhary under house
      arrest, dealing a deathblow to Pakistan's fragile
      institutional structure.

      If there had been an attempt by General Musharraf
      to sugar-coat the intention underlying the
      October 1999 coup in claims such as that the
      overthrow of Nawaz Sharif's civilian democratic
      government was only a precursor to installing
      "genuine democracy," this time, the cold-blooded
      calculations are there for all to see.
      Pre-empting a possible refusal by the Supreme
      Court to validate the results of the evidently
      tainted presidential election which had given him
      an overwhelming victory and possibly apprehending
      the growing credibility of the movement for
      civilian democracy, especially since the return
      of the Pakistan People's Party leader, Benazir
      Bhutto, General Musharraf decided this was the
      time to strike. The general has attempted to
      justify his imposition of Emergency by arguing
      that judicial intervention had led to a paralysis
      in civil administration even as Pakistan was "on
      the verge of destabilisation" because of rising
      militancy and extremism. Such excuses ring hollow
      especially when it is so powerfully evident that
      the restoration of democracy and civilian rule in
      Pakistan which is an urgent imperative in this
      moment of crisis would represent the best
      possible insurance against the forces of
      extremism and terrorism. Ms Bhutto who has
      returned to Karachi now has a historic
      responsibility to lead the resistance to this
      sordid betrayal of her country by the deeply
      discredited general. There are heartening signs
      that the people of Pakistan are unwilling to be
      silenced by the guns of the martial law regime
      and it could well be that this is only a darkness
      before the dawn.


      [3] NEWS REPORTS

      4,000 held in Pak crackdown (Asian Age, 5 Nov 2007)

      o o o

      4 November 2007

      Pakistan PM: State of emergency to last 'as long as necessary'

      * Story Highlights
      * NEW PM says state of emergency to last "as long as it is necessary"
      * Information minister says elections, due January, suspended indefinitely
      * Witnesses, police: 1,500 lawyers, judges, activists arrested
      * President's spokesman blames emergency rule on judicial activism

      ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The state of
      emergency declared in Pakistan will be imposed
      for "as long as it is necessary," Pakistani Prime
      Minister Shaukat Aziz told reporters Sunday, a
      day after President Pervez Musharraf's

      Aziz said no decision had yet been made as to
      whether parliamentary elections scheduled for
      January would go ahead as planned, but earlier
      Information Minister Tariq Azim Khan on
      Dubai-based GEO TV said parliamentary elections
      would be delayed indefinitely.

      Earlier Sunday Pakistani authorities began a
      round up of 1,500 opponents from the military,
      judiciary and opposition parties, according to
      media and police sources, one day after Musharraf
      suspended the country's constitution and
      dismissed the chief justice.

      General Hameed Gull, the former head of the ISI,
      the Pakistani intelligence service, was among
      those arrested Sunday, police officials told CNN.
      The TV station reported that Gull was apprehended
      as he attempted to meet some of the seven Supreme
      Court judges placed under house arrest Saturday
      after refusing to endorse the president's
      decision to suspend the constitution.

      Police officials told CNN that Javaid Hashmi, a
      prominent opposition leader and acting President
      of Pakistan Muslim league, was arrested by police
      in the Multan province. The officials said the
      Additional Advocate General of Punjab, Khadim
      Hussain Qaiser, was also arrested Sunday in the
      city of Lahore.

      Other moves by Musharraf under the emergency
      powers included rules forbidding newspapers and
      broadcasters from expressing "any opinion that is
      prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan or
      integrity of Pakistan."

      U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who on
      Saturday called the emergency declaration "highly
      regrettable," on Sunday called for "all parties
      to act with restraint in what is obviously a very
      difficult situation."

      Meanwhile, Musharraf's chief spokesman defended
      the emergency declaration on judicial activism by
      Pakistan's Supreme Court, including the setting
      of airport parking fees and releasing of terror

      "Things had gone totally haywire," Khan earlier told CNN Sunday.

      President Musharraf ordered troops to confiscate
      a television station's equipment and put a
      popular opposition leader under house arrest,
      measures which Khan said would be "very

      As Pakistani police patrolled the streets of the
      capital, Islamabad, Musharraf told the public he
      was imposing martial law "for the good of
      Pakistan," stressing in a televised address that
      the nation was threatened by "terrorism and

      Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
      said Musharraf's move was likely out of fear that
      Pakistan's Supreme Court might not certify the
      October presidential results in which he garnered
      a vast majority of the votes. The court was
      considering legal challenges filed by the
      opposition questioning Musharraf's eligibility to
      hold office.

      "Now, I can understand that he might have had
      difficulty in accepting the verdict of the
      Supreme Court, but one has to accept the ruling
      of a court," she said.

      Seven of the Supreme Court's judges were placed
      under house arrest, including Chief Justice
      Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, sources said. The
      court declared the state of emergency illegal,
      claiming Musharraf had no power to suspend the
      constitution, Chaudhry said. See timeline of the
      upheaval in Pakistan »

      Shortly afterward, troops came to Chaudhry's
      office to inform him he was fired, the judge's
      office told CNN. Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar was
      quickly appointed to replace him, according to
      state television.

      "It was anticipated, the way things were going,
      when the Supreme Court and the chief justice, the
      highest judicial body in the land, try and fix,
      for example, parking fees at the airport, when
      people are let off once they've been arrested in
      serious matters like extremism and terrorism and
      they were all over the country causing mayhem,"
      presidential spokesman Khan said.

      Chaudhry's ousting by Musharraf in May prompted
      massive protests, and he was later reinstated
      after Pakistan's Supreme Court in late July ruled
      his suspension was illegal.

      Roundups begin in Punjab province
      Police sources told CNN they have a list of 1,500
      people -- mostly political activists and lawyers
      -- to be arrested. Their roundup began in the
      Punjab province with 85 people arrested in the
      city of Lahore Saturday night.

      The head of Pakistan's human rights commission,
      Asma Jagangir, sent a letter Sunday morning
      saying he has been placed under house arrest and
      that the detention order is for 90 days.

      "Ironically the President, who has lost his
      marbles, said that he had to clamp down on the
      press and the judiciary to curb terrorism,"
      Jagangir wrote. "Those he has arrested are
      progressive, secular minded people while the
      terrorists are offered negotiations and

      Musharraf's spokesman would not confirm who has
      been arrested, but he did say "some people who
      have been causing law and order situations have
      been placed under house arrest."

      "It's going to be a very temporary measure," Khan
      said. Video Watch Pakistani Ambassador Mahmud Ali
      Durrani defend Musharraf's actions »

      A senior Pakistani official told CNN the
      emergency declaration will be "short-lived," and
      will be followed by an interim government.
      Martial law is only a way to restore law and
      order, he said.

      Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan ambassador to the United States, agreed.

      "I can assure you, he will move on the part of
      democracy that is promised ... and you will see
      that happen shortly."

      Pakistan in political limbo
      Under the constitution, Musharraf was ineligible
      for run for another term while serving both as
      president and military leader. However, the
      Supreme Court allowed the election to go ahead,
      saying it would decide the issue later.

      Since then, Pakistan has been in a state of
      political limbo while the Supreme Court tackled
      legal challenges filed by the opposition that
      question Musharraf's eligibility to hold office.
      Some speculated that a declaration of emergency
      is tied to rumors the court is planning to rule
      against Musharraf.

      Musharraf has stated repeatedly that he will step
      down as military leader before re-taking the
      presidential oath of office on November 15, and
      has promised to hold parliamentary elections by
      January 15.

      A victory for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party in
      those elections would give her a chance to win a
      third term as prime minister. Bhutto returned to
      her native country in October, ending eight years
      of self-exile. Musharraf came to power after
      leading a 1999 coup against the government.

      Meanwhile, opposition leader Imran Khan told CNN
      early Sunday that police surrounded his house in
      Lahore and informed him that he was under house

      Musharraf also had Khan placed under house arrest
      during a government crackdown in March 2006. Khan
      said he was accused of public disorder because of
      his participation in public protests.

      "It was all expected," Khan said of Musharraf's
      address, before the former cricket star was
      placed under house arrest. "We expected General
      Musharraf to say that militancy and terrorism was
      on the increase and that he had no choice.

      Musharraf blasts 'negative' news
      In Britain, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said
      Pakistan's future "rests on harnessing the power
      of democracy and the rule of law to achieve the
      goals of stability, development and countering
      terrorism. I am gravely concerned by the measures
      adopted today, which will take Pakistan further
      from these goals."

      Musharraf complained in his speech that the
      media, which he made independent, have not been
      supportive, but have reported "negative" news.

      The media have been barred from printing or
      broadcasting "anything which defames or brings
      into ridicule the head of state, or members of
      the armed forces, or executive,legislative or
      judicial organ of the state." Any newspaper or
      broadcaster would face fines and license
      revocation if they violate the new order.

      The new law also forbids news anchors or
      moderators to express any opinion that is
      "prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan or
      integrity of Pakistan." Broadcast equipment could
      be confiscated by police for any violation.

      Early Sunday, two dozen policemen raided the
      offices of AAJ-TV in Pakistan's capital,
      Islamabad, saying they had orders to confiscate
      the station's equipment. There were no reports of

      Talat Hussain, director of news and current
      affairs for AAJ, said the government had just
      issued a directive warning the media that any
      criticism of the president or prime minister
      would be punishable by three years in jail and a
      fine of up to $70,000.


      [A resource page has been set up on sacw.net for updates
      www.sacw.net > Citizens respond to emergency rule in Pakistan
      http://www.sacw.net/pakistan/emergency/ ]


      Press Release For Immediate Publication


      KARACHI, Nov 3, 2007: Participants at a meeting
      of concerned citizens held to discuss a citizens'
      charter for democracy expressed outrage at the
      imposition of emergency. They condemned it as an
      unjustified step and and demanded that it be
      lifted with immediate effect.

      The group opposed the extreme measures being
      taken in the name of emergency, including the
      oath that judges have been asked to take, the
      Judges' Colony in Islamabad being sealed off and
      the television channels being taken off air. The
      meeting, attended by various concerned citizens
      from different sectors of society, termed the
      imposition of emergency as part of the
      intimidating tactics being used to pressurise the
      judiciary in light of the forthcoming judgement
      on the presidential elections.

      The group has resolved to join the lawyers and
      other citizens demanding the lifting of
      emergency, and holding of free and fair elections
      under an interim government. The meeting included
      members of Pur Aman Karachi (Uzma Noorani of
      Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Anis Haroon
      of Aurat Foundation, and artist & curator Niilofur
      Farrukh) besides several other citizens including
      businessman Nadeem Khalid, consultant Naeem
      Sadiq, Asad Umar from the corporate sector,
      political science professor Sahar Shafqat, human
      rights lawyer Abira Ashfaq, educationist Tahseen
      Hussain, student Haya Hussain, blogger Awab Alvi,
      and journalists, Shahid Husain and Beena Sarwar.

      o o o

      From Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists - website www.pfuj.info

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: mazhar abbas <abbas.mazhar@ gmail.com>
      Date: Nov 4, 2007 1:40 PM

      Press Release


      ISLAMABAD, Nov 4 : Pakistan Federal Union of
      Journalists (PFUJ), has rejected the promulgation
      of "mini-Martial Law," in the country in the
      cover of emergency, strongly condemned late night
      police raids on private tv news channels, two FM
      radios following the virtual ban on news channels
      for the last two days and decided to resist these
      action with the cooperation of other media
      organisations including International media
      watchdogs, it said in a Press Release.

      In the last 24-hours all the private news
      channels were blocked, police raided the offices
      of FM-99, in Islamabad, FM-103, in Karachi and
      Aaj, tv in Islamabad and the senior police
      official present outside Aaj tv, said they have
      similar orders for other news channels as well.
      There are also unconfirmed reports about possible
      action against journalists, anchors, reports
      collected by PFUJ revealed.

      On Sunday, morning a paramilitary officials
      stopped the ARY news teams in Quetta, when they
      were taking visuals, snatched the camera, removed
      film and after warning handed over the camera
      back. "I can even put you behind bar," an
      official present at Faizan chowk, told an ARY

      " It is nothing but martial law, media came under
      worst kind of attack through black laws on print
      and electronic media and we will never accept it
      and will resist like we did in the past. We
      expressed complete solidarity with the channels
      and radios which came under direct attack and
      assured our complete cooperation," it said in a

      PFUJ has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday
      at 4 p.m. in which President and General
      Secretaries of the affiliated Unions will attend
      while the Ujs have already held their meetings in
      different parts of the country.

      The meeting will consider joint action along with
      other media bodies and may also give call for
      "Global Action Day," during which media bodies
      around the world will protest against media curbs
      in Pakistan.

      All the International media watchdogs including
      International Federation of Journalists (IFJ),
      Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters
      Sans Frontiers (RSF), have extended their support
      to PFUJ.

      PFUJ said the ordinance-2007, to amend Press,
      Newspapers, News Agencies, and Books Registration
      Ordinance, 2002 and the Pakistan Electronic Media
      Regulatory Authority, PEMRA, 2002 added to
      already existing "black laws," against media and
      its a direct attack on freedom of expression and
      freedom of the Press.

      It rejected General Pervez Musharraf's remarks
      against the media during his address to the
      nation and said "negativism" was on the part of
      the government, which tried to corrupt the media
      and tried to misguide the people.

      Government in the last five years have taken
      action against different tv channels and FM
      radio, issued show-cause notices, raided their
      offices, confiscated their equipments on number
      of occasions. Some 24 Journalists had been
      killed, ten were kidnapped by intelligence
      agencies, over 100 cases of attack on media were
      reported, their families were target ted.
      Journalists were booked in cases under Official
      Secret Act and treason, but even these cases were
      never tried. Even in the cases where government
      was not directly involved police never pursued
      their cases and as a result no culprits were
      arrested in any of these cases.

      PFUJ has appealed to all the media organisations
      including Pakistan Broadcasters Association, PBA,
      Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors, CPNE and
      All Pakistan Newspapers Society, APNS to fight
      against attack on freedom of expressions with
      full force.

      Mazhar Abbas,

      Secretary General, PFUJ


      o o o



      Dear Friends,

      The situation in the country is uncertain. There
      is a strong crackdown on the press and lawyers.
      Majority of the judges of the Supreme Court and
      four High Courts have not taken oath. The Chief
      Justice is under house arrest (unofficially). The
      President of the Supreme Court Bar (Aitzaz Ahsan)
      and 2 former presidents, Mr. Muneer Malik and
      Tariq Mahmood have been imprisoned for one month
      under the Preventive Detention laws. The
      President of the Lahore High Court Mr. Ahsan
      Bhoon and former bar leader Mr. Ali Ahmed Kurd
      have also been arrested. The police is looking or
      6 other lawyers, including President of Peshawar
      and Karachi bar. The President of Lahore bar is
      also in hiding.

      There are other scores political leaders who have also been arrested.

      Yesterday I was house arrested for 90 days. I am sending my detention order.

      Ironically the President (who has lost his
      marbles) said that he had to clamp down on the
      press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those
      he has arrested are progressive, secular minded
      people while the terrorists are offered
      negotiations and ceasefires.

      Lawyers and civil society will challenge the
      government and the scene is likely to get uglier.
      We want friends of Pakistan to urge the US
      administration to stop all support of the
      instable dictator, as his lust for power is
      bringing the country close to a worse form of
      civil strife. It is not time for the
      international community to insist on preventive
      measures, otherwise cleaning up the mess may take
      decades. There are already several hundred IDPs
      and the space for civil society has hopelessly

      We believe that Musharaf has to be taken out of
      the equation and a government of national
      reconciliation put in place. It must be backed by
      the military. Short of this there are no
      realistic solutions, although there are no
      guarantees that this may work.

      Asma Jahangir

      o o o

      Daily Times, November 05, 2007


      * Say media unable to function due to amendments to ordinances

      LAHORE: The South Asia Media Commission (SAMC)
      and the South Asian Free Media Association
      (SAFMA) have condemned the massive crackdown on
      media and rejected the two 'draconian' ordinances
      to 'muzzle' both print and electronic media in

      In a joint statement, SAMC Secretary General
      Najam Sethi, SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam,
      and SAMC Regional Coordinator Hussain Naqi have
      expressed grave concern over recent developments
      that have alienated the institution of judiciary
      and targeted media freedom while closing down all
      private television news networks.

      The Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and
      proclamation of a state of emergency have eroded
      the legitimacy of authority, system of justice,
      rule of law, supremacy of the constitution and
      fundamental rights, said the SAMC office holders.
      They said both the print and electronic media
      cannot function because of the amendments brought
      into the PEMRA and PNNABRO ordinances, which lay
      down three years imprisonment and Rs 10 million
      fines for alleged violations. They said this is a
      terrible moment for the media and called upon all
      media bodies not to succumb to the pressures of
      an 'increasingly repressive regime'.

      The statement further said that by demolishing
      the moral authority of the state and its justice
      system, the powers that be have compromised the
      capacity of the state to fight terrorism and
      extremism. They condemned the police attack on
      the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)
      and arrest of the representatives of civil
      society in Lahore. The SAMC and SAFMA leaders
      called upon the international and regional media
      community to express solidarity with the
      struggling media in Pakistan and demanded the
      revival of all private television networks and
      withdrawal of the two 'black laws'. Imtiaz Alam
      said he would soon convene a media conference and
      an all parties conference to evolve a joint
      platform to fight for the restoration of press
      freedom and fundamental rights. staff report

      o o o

      Friends of South Asia
      P.O. Box 64389
      Sunnyvale, CA 94088-4389

      CONTACT: Ijaz Syed (408) 838-0952


      November 3, 2007

      Media Advisory


      The military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, has
      imposed a state of emergency in Pakistan,
      aborting the long-awaited return to democracy.
      With the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO),
      Mr. Musharraf has authorized himself to rule by
      decree, suspended fundamental rights in Pakistan,
      and granted himself unlimited powers. The PCO
      also prohibits the Supreme Court of Pakistan from
      passing a judgment against Mr. Musharraf. When
      the Supreme Courtrefused to ratify Mr.
      Musharraf's declaration of the state of
      emergency, eight SC judges, including Iftikhar
      Muhammad Choudhary, the Chief Justice, were taken
      into custody and Mr. Musharraf appointed a new
      Chief Justice. Other judges from lower courts
      and many lawyers, including Barrister Aitzaz
      Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar
      Association, have been detained. Regular news
      broadcasts have been suspended, independent TV
      news channels forced off the air and curbs
      imposed on the media.
      Friends of South Asia
      (www.friendsofsouthasia.org), a San Francisco bay
      area based organization, strongly condemns the
      declaration of emergency rule in Pakistan. It is
      an illegal and unconstitutional decision and an
      attempt by a military dictator to continue his
      illegal and unconstitutional rule. This
      declaration of a state of emergency must be
      universally condemned and the generals in
      Pakistan must end their stranglehold on the

      FOSA expresses its solidarity with the people of
      Pakistan in their demand for an end to
      dictatorship and for free fair and elections. We
      are heartened by the courage shown by the
      Justices of the Supreme Court who have declared
      the PCO and the imposition of the state of
      emergency illegal and unconstitutional. The
      Court has declared that no judge of the Supreme
      Court or any of the high courts including the
      chief justices would take oath under new PCO. We
      also commend civil society organizations such as
      various human rights groups, lawyers groups,
      independent news and blogger sites in Pakistan
      who continue to organize and inform the public in
      defiance of the government orders.

      FOSA rejects President Musharraf's defence of
      emergency rule as a necessary step to combat
      extremism and terrorism. We disagree that
      suspending the rights and liberties of its own
      citizens would in any way help Pakistan fight
      extremists and terrorists. This is a transparent
      ploy by Mr. Musharraf and his military junta to
      crush the nascent movement towards democracy.

      FOSA joins with all citizens of Pakistan in
      demanding an immediate end to the emergency rule
      and a speedy restoration of the constitution and
      the rule of law. To ensure working of an
      independent judiciary, all Supreme Court judges
      deposed on November 3 by Mr. Musharraf should be
      restored to their positions. FOSA demands that
      all political workers and members of the legal
      fraternity arrested in the wake of declaration of
      emergency rule be immediately released.

      [Click here for a PDF version of the above FOSA advisory]


      [5] COMMENT / ANALYSIS :

      o o o

      Inter Press Service
      November 3, 2007

      Analysis by Beena Sarwar

      Credit:US Congress

      President Gen. Pervez Musharraf

      KARACHI, Nov 3 (IPS) - By taking a stand on
      crucial constitutional issues, implicit in cases
      before it, the Pakistan Supreme Court may have
      raised the political temperature to a point
      where, in order to remain in power, President
      Gen. Pervez Musharraf felt compelled to declare
      emergency on Saturday.

      Rumours of an emergency had been persisting for
      several days, but on Saturday evening private
      television news channels were taken off the air
      and the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV)
      announced: ''The Chief of the Army Staff
      (Musharraf) has proclaimed state of emergency and
      issued provisional constitutional order (PCO).''

      According to various sources, judges of the
      higher judiciary were asked to take a new oath
      under the provisional constitutional order (PCO)
      -- which a bench of the Supreme Court bench

      The court ruled that no judge and chief justice
      of the Supreme Court and High Courts could take
      oath under the PCO and that no civil and military
      officials could abide by any order of a
      government that went against the constitution or
      the law. The prime minister and the president
      were made parties in the ruling.

      Soon afterwards, troops entered the Supreme Court
      building and 'escorted' Chief Justice Iftikhar
      Chaudhry out, his services 'terminated'. The
      president of the Pakistan Supreme Court Bar
      Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan and other members
      of the influential lawyers' body were also

      The PCO, read out on PTV, squarely blamed the
      judiciary for the imposition of emergency rule
      and accused it of interfering with the fight
      against Islamist militancy. "Some members of the
      judiciary are working at cross purposes with the
      executive and legislature in the fight against
      terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the
      government and the nation's resolve and diluting
      the efficacy of its action to control this
      menace,'' the order said.

      But this only reinforced the general impression
      that the emergency had been declared in order to
      keep Musharraf in power. Talking to television
      channels on a mobile phone, from the restroom of
      the police station where he was detained, Ahsan
      termed the emergency and the suspension of the
      Constitution 'illegal'.

      The Supreme Court is seized of a slew of
      petitions likely to have far-reaching
      implications on Pakistani politics -- including
      the validity of Musharraf holding the dual
      offices of president and army chief. Musharraf's
      term as president expires on Nov. 15.

      After Musharraf pledged to quit the army, before
      starting a new presidential term, the court in a
      short order dismissed these petitions as "not
      maintainable" and allowed the presidential
      elections to be held on Oct 6 as scheduled --
      although the results could not be announced until
      the final verdict. This in effect allowed
      Musharraf to contest the presidential elections
      while remaining army chief.

      The final verdict has been expected for some
      time, but the hearings kept getting delayed.
      "This is not a matter that should take so many
      days," said eminent jurist and former High Court
      judge Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, talking to IPS on

      The delay has been attributed to the great
      pressure the judges were obviously under.
      Musharraf's refusal to say whether he would
      accept a negative verdict from the court also
      fuelled rumours of emergency rule or martial law.
      "Musharraf is behaving like a bad loser as the
      decision was not going to be in his favour," said

      Until about a year ago, 'judicial activism' in
      Pakistan was largely limited to taking notice of
      human rights cases involving, for example,
      violence against women. But in terms of politics,
      this activism traditionally validated
      undemocratic actions rather than striking them
      down, commented Anwar Syed, professor emeritus of
      political science at the University of
      Massachusetts, United States.

      The military has staged several coups, seized the
      government, abrogated the Constitution or put it
      in abeyance (1958, 1977 and 1999). In addition,
      various presidents dismissed the National
      Assembly (1988, 1990, 1993, and 1996). The
      judiciary validated these situations by invoking
      the 'doctrine of necessity', which was not a part
      of the law, but "a rationale for evading or
      defeating the law. Resort to it is, therefore,
      clearly an exercise in judicial activism,"
      commented Syed.

      Democracy advocates argue that this doctrine
      should be buried and the judiciary under Chaudhry
      appeared inclined to agree.

      The Supreme Court has been playing an
      increasingly pro-active role over the last year,
      starting with the cases of enforced
      disappearances that have been rising alarmingly
      since Pakistan became a partner in the U.S.-led
      'war on terror'. The media has been supportive to
      this process.

      In July 2006, Pakistani journalists working for
      the BBC Urdu service initiated a ground-breaking
      special debate on Pakistan's 'disappeared'. Held
      in the capital Islamabad, the debate included
      several government officials and families of the

      "In effect, this broke the silence around the
      issue," said Mazhar Zaidi, a producer with the
      BBC in London who was involved in organising the
      event. "Once a powerful international media
      organisation takes notice of something, local
      journalists feel safer taking it on." The local
      media had held back due to fear of the powerful
      intelligence agencies that were behind most of
      these disappearances.

      The greater openness generated public awareness
      and facilitated collective action by the
      families. When two of the affected families filed
      a petition in Aug. 2006, seeking information on
      41 missing persons, the Supreme Court took the
      matter seriously. Many individual petitions were
      also filed. The independent Human Rights
      Commission of Pakistan in February 2007 filed a
      joint petition seeking information on 150 missing

      The court's pro-active stance shook up the
      intelligence agencies and led to the production
      of several missing persons in court.

      "The Chief Justice took an excellent stand in the
      missing persons case," said lawyer Fakhruddin G.
      Ebrahim. "Every time a person was found, the
      court said this is not good enough. When was this
      person picked up and why? They were pushing for

      Political analysts speculate that this
      contributed to Musharraf's decision to 'suspend'
      Choudhry in March this year.

      But this, in turn, catalysed a four-month-long
      'lawyers' movement' that came to symbolise
      Pakistan's long struggle between
      constitutionality and military rule. The
      stand-off ended in July when a full bench of the
      Supreme Court reinstated Choudhry. The court then
      returned to the cases of the disappeared with
      renewed zeal.

      Another case that analysts saw as forcing
      Musharraf's hand relates to exiled,
      twice-elected, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif
      who has filed a petition on the question of his
      right to return and participate in politics.

      The Supreme Court upheld his plea on Aug. 23.
      When the government bundled the Pakistan Muslim
      League party leader back to Saudi Arabia within
      hours of his landing in Islamabad on Sep. 10, his
      lawyers promptly filed a contempt case against a
      long list of respondents for violating the court

      The hearings soon falsified the government's
      claims that Sharif had left 'voluntarily', bound
      by his 'agreement' with the Musharraf government
      soon after the military coup of 1999. As the
      truth began to unravel, Sharif's unceremonious
      departure emerged as part of a long-standing plan
      initiated at the highest level.

      The apex court was also reviewing a petition
      regarding the National Reconciliation Ordinance
      (NRO) that President Gen. Musharraf promulgated
      on Oct. 5 a day before the presidential
      elections. The NRO cleared the way for another
      former twice-elected prime minister, Benazir
      Bhutto, to return to Pakistan without being
      arrested for the corruption charges she faced
      after being ousted from power in 1996.

      Bhutto has been criticized for this 'deal', in
      exchange for which her Pakistan People's Party
      legitimised Musharraf's presidential candidacy by
      abstaining from the vote. The opposition
      boycotted the proceedings in protest at
      Musharraf's nomination as President while still
      army chief.

      Another case relating to fundamental rights was
      that of police brutality on lawyers and
      journalists outside the office of the Election
      Commission in Islamabad when the presidential
      nomination papers were being filed on Sep. 29.
      The main TV channels broadcast the beatings in
      graphic detail. The court's suo moto notice of
      the incident resulted in the suspension of the
      top police officers involved.

      o o o

      The Independent
      04 November 2007


      For anyone marinated in the history of Pakistan
      yesterday's decision by the military to impose a
      state of emergency comes as no surprise. Martial
      law in this country has become an antibiotic: in
      order to obtain the same results one has to keep
      doubling the doses. This was a coup within a coup.

      General Pervez Musharraf ruled the country with a
      civilian façade, but his power base was limited
      to the army. And it was the army Chief of Staff
      who declared the emergency, suspended the 1973
      constitution, took all non-government TV channels
      off the air, jammed the mobile phone networks,
      surrounded the Supreme Court with paramilitary
      units, dismissed the Chief Justice, arrested the
      president of the bar association and inaugurated
      yet another shabby period in the country's

      Why? They feared that a Supreme Court judgment
      due next week might make it impossible for
      Musharraf to contest the elections. The decision
      to suspend the constitution was taken a few weeks
      ago. According to good sources, contrary to what
      her official spokesman has been saying ("she was
      shocked"), Benazir Bhutto was informed and chose
      to leave the country before it happened. (Whether
      her "dramatic return" was also pre-arranged
      remains to be seen.) Intoxicated by the incense
      of power, she might now discover that it remains
      as elusive as ever. If she ultimately supports
      the latest turn it will be an act of political
      suicide. If she decides to dump the general (she
      accused him last night of breaking his promises),
      she will be betraying the confidence of the US
      state department, which pushed her this way.

      The two institutions targeted by the emergency
      are the judiciary and the broadcasters, many of
      whose correspondents supply information that
      politicians never give. Geo TV continued to air
      outside the country. Hamid Mir, one of its
      sharpest journalists, said yesterday he believed
      the US embassy had green-lighted the coup because
      they regarded the Chief Justice as a nuisance and
      "a Taliban sympathiser".

      The regime has been confronted with a severe
      crisis of legitimacy that came to a head earlier
      this year when Musharraf's decision to suspend
      the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry,
      provoked a six-month long mass movement that
      forced a government retreat. Some of Chaudhry's
      judgments had challenged the government on key
      issues such as "disappeared prisoners",
      harassment of women and rushed privatisations. It
      was feared that he might declare a uniformed
      president illegal.

      The struggle to demand a separation of powers
      between the state and the judiciary, which has
      always been weak, was of critical importance.
      Pakistan's judges have usually been acquiescent.
      Those who resisted military leaders were soon
      bullied out of it, so the decision of this chief
      justice to fight back was surprising, but
      extremely important and won him enormous respect.
      Global media coverage of Pakistan suggests a
      country of generals, corrupt politicians and
      bearded lunatics. The struggle to reinstate the
      Chief Justice presented a different snapshot of
      the country.

      The Supreme Court's declaration that the new
      dispensation was "illegal and unconstitutional"
      was heroic, and, by contrast, the hurriedly sworn
      in new Chief Justice will be seen for what he is:
      a stooge of the men in uniform. If the
      constitution remains suspended for more than
      three months then Musharraf may be pushed aside
      by the army and a new strongman installed. Or it
      could be that the aim was limited to cleansing
      the Supreme Court and controlling the media. In
      which case a rigged January election becomes a

      Whatever the case, Pakistan's long journey to the end of the night continues.

      o o o

      Daily Times
      November 05, 2007


      by Razi Azmi

      The famous French writer Victor Hugo once said
      that history repeats itself, first time as
      tragedy, then as farce. One is tempted to see all
      the Pakistani governments from Ayub to Musharraf,
      indeed from Nazimuddin to Musharraf, in this
      light. Only it is hard to tell which phase
      constitutes tragedy and which farce





      a) Image of Poster prepared for theKarachi protest at press club

      b) Date: Nov 4, 2007 9:40 PM
      Subject: Karachi Press Club. Today's meeting and tomorrow's protest.
      To: NS [ID protected]

      Some 150 persons representing various
      organisations (Socialists, Labour, Lawyers,
      justice , Aurat Foundation , and individual
      citizens) held a protest meeting at the Karachi
      Press Club, to demand lifting of martial law (
      the so called emergency), and restoration of
      Justice Retd Fakhuruddin made a very passionate
      speech, and praised the judges who nullified the
      PCO and those who refused to take new oath under

      It was announced that Monday the 5th November
      will be observed as a Black day and a massive
      protest will be organised infront of the Press
      Club at 4PM. So please spread the word so that a
      large number of citizens could turn up.

      It was also announced that every one shoul wear a
      black arm band (till the martial law / emergency
      is lifted and the judges restored)

      Look forward to see you at 4pm on monday.(with a black arm band)

      You could download the attached one pager and
      make as many copies as possible for distribution.
      Also pl. bring extra black ribbons with you.

      n s [Name Protected]



      Published by sacw2 on Sunday, November 4, 2007 -
      20:56:30 - Filed under Pakistan, Announcements

      Protest the imposition of emergency on Monday 2 pm
      Pakistan High Commission London.
      ---- --- --- --- ---

      The Pakistan Lawyers Movement (UK) and National
      Union of Pakistan Students and Alumni (UK) will
      be holding a protest in front of the Pakistani
      High Commission in

      The imposition of this emergency is aimed against
      democratic rights, the rule of law, and civil
      liberties in Pakistan. Since the last year it is
      clear that the lawyers movement, together with
      the media, is the main force that is playing the
      role of a democratic opposition to military rule.

      The arrest of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
      and Supreme Court Bar Council President Aitizaz
      Ahsen, the black out of media coverage inside
      Pakistan, the storming of the Supreme Court, the
      abrogation of the 1973 constitution and all
      related measures demonstrate without a shadow of
      a doubt that this state of emergency is aimed
      against this democratic opposition.

      We hail the Supreme Court for denouncing the
      imposition of this state of emergency as legally
      null as a great act in defense of the civil
      liberties of all Pakistani citizens. We call on
      all democratic forces to organize boldly against
      this state of emergency.

      We hope that you will come and join us.

      Date: Monday 5th November [2007]
      Time: 2 pm sharp
      Venue: Pakistan High Commission 35-36 Lowndes Sq,
      London, SW1X 9JN

      Long Live the Lawyers Movement !
      Long Live Democracy!

      For further information contact Taimur Rahman


      [7] Announcements:



      Celebrating Revolutions and Revolutionaries

      90 Years of October Revolution!
      100 Years of Bhagat Singh’s Birth!!
      40 Years of Che Guevara’s Martyrdom!!!


      Memories and realities often have their separate
      ways. There are times when it appears as if
      revolutions and revolutionaries are fading away
      from the popular memory. That is never the case
      with reality. It can never forget that it has
      been shaped and reshaped in fundamental ways by
      revolutions and revolutionaries; that they have
      become an integral part of its existence and its
      flow in time. When this flow hits difficult
      passages, there is groundswell once again for
      fundamental changes, for radical transformations.
      History once again summons the memories of
      revolutions and revolutionaries. Dreams of a new
      world arise afresh to reshape reality.

      Twentieth century was inaugurated by revolutions.
      Imperialism was challenged by socialism and by
      national liberation struggles. Lenin led the
      glorious October Revolution that laid the
      foundation for building socialism. Bhagat Singh
      and Che Guevara, in their respective historical
      settings, became symbols of fearless and
      uncompromising war on imperialism. They inspired
      the 'wretched of the earth' to storm the heavens;
      they inspired the oppressed and exploited
      humanity to liberate itself from colonialism,
      feudalism and capitalism; they inspired the
      workers of the world to create a new future for
      the world where all exploitation and oppression
      would come to an end, where socialism would march
      ahead and humanity would scale ever ascending
      heights of equality and freedom.

      Dreams turn into reality through revolutions, but
      the flow of reality often lags behind the dreams.
      Socialism was a dream that became reality through
      the October Revolution. It had glorious
      successes. It ended the oppressive old order in
      Russia, rescued the Russian society from a deep
      crisis, turned it into a modern industrial
      society and became an inspiration for all other
      models of socialism in the twentieth century.
      But, in the end, the twentieth century socialism
      could not escape the limitations of the times and
      the societies in which it was born. The ‘wretched
      of the earth’ did storm the heavens successfully;
      they did succeed in liberating themselves from
      colonialism and feudalism; and they did challenge
      capitalism by starting on the epoch-making
      project of building socialism. But this socialism
      turned out to be a socialism of backward
      societies and of emergency conditions. It was
      success<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.