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Dec 2nd, 2007

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The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” – Euripedes

Protests, rallies, Sit-ins banned
President Pervez Musharraf has directed the provincial governments to ban protest demonstrations, rallies and sit-ins to ensure the ‘peaceful holding’ of the Jan 2008 general elections. Chairing a high-level meeting at his Camp Office in Rawalpindi, the president also urged the political parties to do away with confrontational politics and prepare for the elections. The governors and the caretaker chief ministers of the four provinces also attended the meeting. The meeting discussed preparations being made for the holding of elections and the law and order situation in the country.

Fazlur Rehman refuses to Support Judiciary
ISLAMABAD: MMA Secretary General and JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, on Saturday, refused to support the reinstatement of deposed judges of the Supreme Court and high courts including sacked chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. At a ceremony hosted by the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), Fazl said that he supported the independence of judiciary, but would not favor the reinstatement of the deposed CJP and other judges, as they had taken oath under a PCO in 1999. His remarks created uproar in the hall, with a large number of participants shouting “Shame! Shame!” Replying to an angry participant’s comments that he wanted to become deputy prime minister, Fazl’s reply was, “I want to become the prime minister! What do you mean by deputy prime minister?” (If anyone wishes to relay their polite feedback regarding this stance to the honorable Maulana, his numbers, as mentioned in yesterday’s issue as well, are 0345-8506684, 0345-9872244 and 0333-5279999.)

Boycotting Elections
Dr. Faisal Bari
Ms. Bhutto and Maulana Fazlur Rahman have hinted that they are not convinced that elections should be boycotted as that would leave the field open for Muslim League-Q, and Musharraf will again have a Q-League government and without any effective opposition in the assemblies even. They have also hinted at the fact that they learnt their lessons about boycotts from the 1985 non-party election. But this seems like a very strange argument to make. The two of them seem to be saying that even though we know that there is a martial law in the country, there is no independent judiciary or an independent election commission, there are no basic rights, there is no constitution, the whimsies of one person, backed by the military might of a standing army, is the law, and there is no hope even of things changing before elections, we should still go for elections. The hope that Ms. Bhutto is expressing, is of course, that though she knows she will not get a fair deal, but she would rather fight this election and then come into power and change the system from within. This seems like a really bad and far fetched argument. If Musharraf is not willing to give all parties a fair shot Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

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at the polls now, why will he allow anyone to change anything if he is able to get quite a few Q-Leaguers in the assemblies? And if the hope is that Musharraf will become toothless once he gives up his uniform and then, only as a President, he can be dealt with, the hope is unfounded. What is going to stop the next General from playing the same game? Even regarding the 1985 elections, it is not clear what lesson has Benazir learnt from it and if this was even the right lesson to learn. The boycott of the 1985 election did reduce the credibility of the election and it was only in 3 years that we were at polls again. And not only that, it was partially the 1985 boycott that allowed Benazir to make a significant comeback in the 1988 elections. But even more to the point, Benazir won in 1988, but came into power after making quite a few compromises, was she able to change the system then? Fighting elections under the present situation, when the system is totally stacked against politicians, even if she wins, will she be able to do anything at all? Right now the world has seen and knows very clearly that this entire issue of imposition of martial law was wrong and misguided. And even though the US needs Musharraf to do its dirty work and kill more Pakistanis, it still cannot justify what Musharraf did 3 weeks ago. They, even if for form sake only, have to continuously say that martial law should be removed, and the constitution and basic rights restored. For the rest of the world, as expressed by the Commonwealth and even some individual countries, what Musharraf did was completely wrong. Surveys show that the majority of Pakistanis also think that the imposition of the martial law was unwarranted and unjustified. Under the circumstances if the bigger parties of Pakistan, PPP, PML-N, the Jamaat, JUI and so on, boycott the elections, and if elections go ahead under these circumstances, there will be no credibility for these elections anywhere in the world. Musharraf might succeed in bringing his selected group back in power, but it is very unlikely that that arrangement will work beyond a few days or a few months. On a matter of principle too, if the aim is to get democratic rule established and entrenched in Pakistan, a boycott of the elections, under the present conditions, is the only choice open for political parties. If political parties agree to contest the elections under martial law, with the judiciary as it is, they will only legitimize what Musharraf has done. As it is, just the fact that most parties have chosen to file nomination papers before deciding about the boycott, has led many people in the administration and the Q-League to say that this act of filing nomination papers implies that these parties have accepted the legality of what was done by Musharaf on November 3rd. If the parties go ahead and fight the elections, they will definitely legitimize the martial law. In fact, one of the first acts the incoming parliament will have to do, even before it can start functioning properly, will be to indemnify all actions taken by Musharraf. And they will have to do it because their own elections will also only be valid if they indemnify all other actions as well. This has been done by dictators before too, and it will be tried by other dictators in the future too. And as long as they can find enough collaborators, they will be able to get away with this. Do the current political parties want to give Musharraf this way out of the crisis? A lot of people think that politics is 'the art of the possible' and it is all about expediency. But it is not clear what is meant by expediency here. If expediency just means that the sole aim of the game is to be a minister or a prime minister or to have some such title, then clearly, expediency dictates that all parties collaborate with Musharraf and not just contest elections but actually do so in coalition with Musharraf. If people know that a certain party has the backing of the agencies, the chances of that party winning seem to increase significantly. And what Q-League, Patriots and others did in 2002 was then the height of expediency and a pretty smart move. What MMA did to help pass the 17th Amendment also then makes sense: MMA had two governments in the provinces as well as the position of the leader of the opposition. But if this is the game, why do we need elections even? Why not have a Shoora of selected people? If expediency is anything other than the very narrow objective of being in power tomorrow then certain principles will have to make their way into the calculus as well. If the objective of the politicians is to establish a system that creates a reasonably well functioning representative system that allows people some power to articulate their demands and some ability to elect people on that basis, then the foundational principles of Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

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such a system will have to be established for all and will have to be grounded beyond question. Rule based on a constitution and judiciary that can effectively check to ensure that the constitution is being followed are the bare minimum for such a system. If these two are compromised, how do you know when some ground rules have been altered unfairly, and who would you appeal to for arbitration? This is the situation right now. There is no constitution, there is no rule of law, there are no judges one can appeal to and there is not even a free media around that can make the voices of the weak heard. How can going for elections under these conditions be taken as a way of strengthening democracy? Forgetting principles, even expediency, which is not just based on the aim of being in power, would dictate that boycotting the elections is the only way out of the current crisis. If all political parties do not boycott the elections, and it is clear that Q-League and MQM are not going to boycott, those who do might have to pay a price for it for some time. Maybe this is not too high a price to pay for principles. If the larger parties, especially PML-N and PPP boycott the elections, the credibility of the process will suffer and the cost might not be very large for all. Even this cost seems to be high for some parties (Ms. Bhutto and the Maulana). But if the larger parties do not boycott the elections and accept the current conditions and then go to polls in January, the country will definitely lose big-time and for years and years to come. The choice for the politicians seems clear. Let us see how the game unfolds.

Interview with Muneer A Malik
The following is an interview with Muneer A Malik, by Hissaan, a student of LUMS. It was taken before he was shifted to Karachi. 1. How are you feeling, Sir? I think I’ve turned the corner. My kidneys have started to function and I’m off dialysis. Tomorrow, (28/11/07) I will be discharged from PIMS and will leave for Karachi. 2. I know that you have been asked this question a number of times, but now with the student community and other members of the civil society also joining you, let’s clarify any ambiguities and set the record straight. What are the aims of the lawyers movement? We wanted to bring apart from lawyers other segments of the society like students, doctors, teachers and other professionals together. We looked for the largest common denominator and then decided that there are three aims of this movement and we are clear on this from the beginning. Rule of law, Independence of the judiciary and ‘Cause and Effect’- to elucidate causes and implications for the periodic intervention of army in the politics. Every society has people with different political ideologies. They may be secular, leftist, communists, Taliban and so on. Yet there is another significant segment who would strive for personal gains and try to force themselves into limelight to achieve just that. By sticking to our raison d’être and the fact that the lawyers movement has no political affiliation, we have been able to bind the legal community together until now. We need other members of civil society who have no political affiliations, like students, to be in this movement. We do not want student politics of yore like NSF to muddle our focus. We want institutions like LUMS to come forward, which represent the cream of this society and also have the intellect for a positive input. 3. At this present moment, I would ask, what do you think this movement has achieved and what more is on the agenda? We have managed to make 2 irreversible changes in the country. Number one, we have made the meaning of justice clear. We have shown that judiciary is a not a pawn to be used by the establishment for reaching their nefarious goals, a practice inherited from our colonial masters. With this, we have changed minds forever Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

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Minds of both the judiciary and the people. This is reflected by the pro-activity of the judiciary which is unprecedented in the history of the country! It is the first time that a majority of the judiciary has refused to do bow down to the rule of the army boot. We have supported the judiciary in their endeavor to find their rightful place in the state. Now our target is to make the political parties realize that Pakistan’s fate must be governed by the masses and not from anywhere else. We realize that there is a capitalistic mafia, which would resist our efforts but we are ready to slog on. 4. It has often been claimed that you are politicizing this movement. What do you have to say about that? The governing clique, whether its army or civilian is a matter of politics and it does concern me. What I am not involved in, is partisan politics. 5. How do you see the 1973 constitution and its effectiveness considering the numerous amendments? Do you think that the revival of judicial activism would make any difference in improving the situation? What we have to understand is that the constitution is an organic document. This means that it is open to interpretations at different levels. For example let’s look at the 14th amendment in the USA constitution. The blacks and whites in the United States drank from different waters, went to different schools, had segregated motels but were considered ‘separate but equal.’ Later, it was said that the notion that ‘separate but equal’ is inherently unequal. The problem in Pakistan is that the interpretations have been done by the army and they have used the doctrine of necessity at their whim. In an article I wrote, late Justice Durab Patel was skeptical, that how could few judges stand against military might. But we feel that we have turned a corner and unlike previous judges the present judiciary would be able to interpret the constitution in its spirit. In the Ramday case, the doctrine of necessity was buried forever. This is why the government has resorted to extraconstitutional measures.

6. Musharraf has said that elections will be held under the emergency. This means that there is a possibility that the legitimate judiciary might not be restored. How hopeful are you about the reinstatement of the judges? I feel that participating in this charade would be giving a lifeline to this tottering regime. Let me tell you that this is a defining moment for Pakistan. If the legal community remains together, supported by the students and if the political parties can play their cards intelligently, this might be over. There has to be an end to this. How can a brigadier, who replies only in yes sir and no sir, be a vice-chancellor of an educational institute that seeks to find the truth? How can people who refer to non army people as ‘bloody civilians’ rule the very same people? They may use all the tricks like the martial law but it behooves us not to let them succeed. There has to be an end to this and I repeat that this is a defining moment. 7. Lawyers movement is being supported by the student community. LUMS, QA, FAST and other various institutions have joined the struggle. This might be the revival of moribund student politics. How can this nascent movement become more mainstream and effective? I believe that it is the repression of the student unions that has been a source of strength for the student unions. The student unions should not be an extension of the political parties but should be a vanguard of the political parties. They are bright people. They are clean people. They don’t have vested interests. They are selfless. Look at Indonesia. Suharto’s regime was toppled by the students. You people have a lot of potential. (Muneer A Malik also said that he was proud of LUMS and the student community. He said that he is grateful for their support and expressed his wish to visit LUMS someday. Interviewed on the 27th of November 2007 by Hissaan Butt)

Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

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US Human Rights activists stage 24 hour vigil in front of Aitzaz’s residence
When: 12 noon, December 2 until 12 noon, December 3 Where: 5 Zaman Park, Lahore Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry, members of the U.S. human rights group Global Exchange and the women¹s peace group CODEPINK, came to Pakistan to learn about the political situation since emergency rule was declared on November 3. One of the people they are most anxious to meet with is prominent lawyer/politician Aitzaz Ahsan, who was jailed by the Musharraf government from November 3 to 25, when he was then placed under house arrest. Pakistan government representatives in the US have said that the lawyers arrested under the emergency law have been released. But when the visiting human rights activists tried to meet with Aitzaz Ahsan on December 1, they discovered that his home is still designated a 'sub jail' and he remains hostage in his own home, unable to go out or to receive visitors. For that reason the U.S. activists decided to stage a vigil outside his home. "Pervez Musharraf is telling the world that he is committed to democracy. So it is outrageous that the head of the nation¹s Supreme Court Bar Association, Aitzaz Ahsan, remains under house arrest," said Tighe Barry. "We have come a long way to meet this man who we have heard is one of the great heroes of the struggle for democracy in Pakistan," said Medea Benjamin. "We will sit patiently in front of his door and sleep overnight in front of his door, asking his jailers to allow us in."

Pro-democracy protest in Dublin, Ireland
Uzair Kundi
Dublin: (Dec 1) A big pro-democracy protest was held outside the Irish Parliament House on Saturday afternoon. It was organized by a group of conscientious Pakistani citizens which drew a large number of protestors who came to express solidarity with the deposed judges and called for their immediate reinstatement. The speakers on this occasion demanded lifting of Martial Law in Pakistan. They included important members of the Irish Parliament as well. The speakers called to boycott, what they called 'fraudulent' elections under a dictatorship, while rejecting the controversial PCO and called for restoration of the country's constitution. The protestors chanted anti-Musharraf slogans and held placards decrying dictatorship under President Pervez Musharraf and opposed his repressive and tyrannical rule in the strongest terms. They called for lifting of curbs on media and release of all judges, lawyers and political prisoners and urged the Pakistan government to respect democratic norms. This was the largest political protest held in Dublin by the Pakistani community. The last rally in Dublin took place on November 9. With the increase in number of protests and world-wide condemnation of Pakistan's unpopular dictator, it appears that pressure is now building up on President Musharraf to force him to finally step down from office.

Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com