Archive for the ‘Chaudhry’ Category

Pakistan’s Tyranny Continues

December 23, 2007
December 23, 2007
Lahore, Pakistan

THE chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his family have been detained in their house, barricaded in with barbed wire and surrounded by police officers in riot gear since Nov. 3. Phone lines have been cut and jammers have been installed all around the house to disable cellphones. And the United States doesn’t seem to care about any of that.

The chief justice is not the only person who has been detained. All of his colleagues who, having sworn to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, refused to take a new oath prescribed by President Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army remain confined to their homes with their family members. The chief justice’s lawyers are also in detention, initially in such medieval conditions that two of them were hospitalized, one with renal failure.

As the chief justice’s lead counsel, I, too, was held without charge — first in solitary confinement for three weeks and subsequently under house arrest. Last Thursday morning, I was released to celebrate the Id holidays. But that evening, driving to Islamabad to say prayers at Faisal Mosque….

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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/opinion/23ahsan.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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Pakistan’s One-Man Calamity

November 17, 2007

 By Nawaz Sharif
The Washington Post
Saturday, November 17, 2007; Page A17

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia — My country is in flames. There is no constitution. Judges have been sacked on a whim and arrested, political leaders locked up, television stations taken off the air. Human rights activists, lawyers and other members of civil society are bearing the brunt of a crackdown by a brutal regime. Extremism has assumed enormous and grave proportions.

All of this is the doing of one man: Pervez Musharraf. He first struck at the core of democracy on Oct. 12, 1999, when he dismissed my government at gunpoint. My government was chosen by the people of Pakistan in free and fair elections. But Musharraf so feared my popularity that he banished me from the country and won’t allow me to return. After Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared this year that I have a right to return, I flew into Islamabad in September. But Musharraf brazenly refused me admittance to my own country.

Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif

On Nov. 3, Musharraf struck again at democracy. He abrogated the constitution and declared a state of emergency. For Musharraf, the constitution is nothing but a piece of paper that can be crumpled and discarded. After the Supreme Court stood up to him early this year and attempted to restore the fundamental rights of the people, he dismissed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry. Stung by the successful civil society movement that led to Chaudhry’s reinstatement, Musharraf acted quickly after suspending the rule of law. The Supreme Court was considering Musharraf’s eligibility to be elected president despite being the army chief, but before the court could rule, Musharraf dismissed the entire judiciary. 

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Crisis in Pakistan: Musharraf, Bhutto and Sharif At Odds

November 3, 2007

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) (November 4, 2007)- Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule on Saturday, deploying troops and sacking a top judge in a bid to reassert his flagging authority against political rivals and Islamist militants.Nuclear-armed Pakistan’s internal security has deteriorated sharply in recent months with a wave of suicide attacks by al Qaeda-inspired militants, including one that killed 139 people.

State-run Pakistan Television said Musharraf had suspended the constitution and declared an emergency, ending weeks of speculation that the general who seized power in a 1999 coup might impose emergency rule or martial law.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a visit to Turkey, criticized the measures as “highly regrettable” and said she hoped Pakistan would have a free and fair election in January as promised.

Witnesses said troops were deployed at Pakistan Television and radio stations, and most phone lines were down. Other troops sealed off the thoroughfare where the presidency building, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court are located.

Shots were heard in several neighborhoods of Karachi, where there is strong support for former opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister.
Television channels said that Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, whose earlier dismissal in March marked the beginning of a slide in Musharraf’s popularity, had been told that his services were “no longer required.”

Chaudhry had been reinstated in July.

Musharraf had been awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on whether he was eligible to run for re-election last month while still army chief. The court had said on Friday it would reconvene on Monday and try to finish the case quickly.

Chaudhry and eight other judges refused to endorse the provisional constitutional order issued by the president.

LAWYER ARRESTED

Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, told reporters at his home he was being arrested.

“One man has taken the entire nation hostage … Time has come for General Musharraf to go,” he said. Fellow lawyers shouted “Go Musharraf Go” as Ahsan was taken away by police.

The move is expected to put off parliamentary elections due in January, although Pakistan Television said that the cabinet, national and provincial assemblies would continue to function.

A senior security official told Reuters that Musharraf would seek approval for the move from the cabinet later, after which there were expectations he would address the nation.

The cabinet was due to start meeting at 7 pm (1400 GMT).

Musharraf had said he would quit as army chief if he was given a second term, and he had allowed Bhutto back into Pakistan to lead her party into the national elections.

A suicide bombing killed 139 people on Oct 19 when thousands of supporters flocked to the streets to welcome Bhutto when she returned to Karachi from eight years of self-imposed exile. She had flown to Dubai on Thursday.

Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari said she was already on a flight back to Pakistan from Dubai. He described Musharraf’s move as “definitely not pleasant news.”

“We’re hoping to build institutions, not destroy them.”

Exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, deposed by Musharraf in the 1999 coup, described his decision to invoke emergency powers as a form of martial law.

“We are heading towards a chaotic situation, heading towards anarchy,” Sharif told Indian news channel CNN-IBN in an interview replayed by Dawn Television in Pakistan.

Musharraf’s troubles began in March when he suspended Supreme Court Justice Chaudhry on allegations of misconduct.

Critics accused him of trying to put pressure on the court not to block his re-election and Musharraf’s popularity plummeted as lawyers rallied to support the top judge.

In July, after a week-long siege, Musharraf ordered troops to storm the Red Mosque in Islamabad to crush a Taliban-style movement based there.

At least 105 people were killed in the raid and a wave of deadly militant attacks and suicide bombings followed.

(Additional reporting by Simon Cameron-Moore, Simon Gardner and Zeeshan Haider)

Musharraf rebuffed as Pakistan judge back in office

July 21, 2007

by Danny Kemp

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan’s top judge began his first full day back in office after a court rebuffed his suspension by under-fire President Pervez Musharraf, a verdict hailed by key ally Washington.

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s Supreme Court victory on Friday sparked scenes of jubilation in several cities, with lawyers dancing and shouting “Go, Musharraf, go” outside the house of the man who has become an opposition hero.

The decision piled pressure on Musharraf ….

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070721/wl_sthasia_afp/
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Pakistan Court Reinstates Top Judge; Musharraf Under Fire

July 20, 2007

By STEPHEN GRAHAM, Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Supreme Court on Friday reinstated Pakistan’s top judge, ruling that his suspension by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was illegal and dealing a major blow to the authority of the staunch U.S. ally.

The ruling to reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry is probably the biggest challenge to Musharraf’s dominance since he seized power in a coup in 1999. It could further complicate his bid to win a new five-year presidential term this fall and comes at a time when Islamic militants are on the offensive.

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Aktn1FYkRvkBPabCXbarzbGs0NUE