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Dec 3rd, 2007

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The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit”. – Khalil Gibran

Musharraf’s oath a standing joke – Justice Rehman
(Courtesy DAWN)
Musharraf’s oath for the office of the president under suspended Constitution and by a judge who has himself taken oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) was a joke with the Constitution, says Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman of the Lahore High Court, who was among those judges who were invited to take oath under the Provincial Constitutional Order after Nov 3 but they refused. “Such acts have no parallel in history. They can be only taken where there is a law of jungle,” he said. Justice Rehman was on the Multan bench of the Lahore High Court when the emergency was imposed. Talking to Dawn by phone from Lahore, he said though he had taken oath as a permanent LHC judge only four days before the imposition of the PCO and at a time when his retirement was still eleven years away, it was his conscience that had restrained him from taking oath under the PCO. He said had he taken oath, it would have pinched him forever that he had done something unconstitutional and illegal and against the decision of the seven-member Supreme Court bench that had directed the judges on Nov 3 not to take oath under the PCO. Answering a question about the rejection of oath offer, Justice Rehman, who is the son of Justice Hamoodur Rehman, said that his family traditions did not allow him to take oath while it was also the matter of his conscience.

Pakistan’s Moment of Truth – Sharif and Bhutto must boycott elections
December 3, 2007 When Benazir, leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) meet on December 3, their decision to participate in or boycott the January 8 parliamentary elections will impact the future of Pakistan for decades to come. It is a strange irony that Bhutto and Sharif, two former prime ministers that both failed to put Pakistan on a clear path to progress can now save Pakistan by denying themselves what they covet most-political power for themselves and their parties. For the greater good of Pakistan they must boycott Musharraf’s January 8 elections and dispel illusions of the grandeur of a false democracy. Bhutto and Sharif must shoulder the responsibility of true leadership by uniting the majority of opposition parties to demand the return of the legitimate Supreme Court and new elections in the early spring. If Bhutto, Sharif, the opposition parties and the Pakistani people have learned anything from the nation’s failed experiments with democracy in the 1990’s, it is that civil society must lead the military. Pervez Musharraf by virtue of his actions cannot be trusted. Nor will Pakistan’s salvation be realized by entering a Faustian bargain with the United States, Russia or China who all seek to subvert Pakistan’s independence for their own geo-strategic interests. Today, Pakistan is a nuclear failed state held together by a brutal and declining military dictatorship. Complicated by competing loyalties within its military and intelligence apparatus to extremist forces and torn 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

Webster Brooks

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by tension between its volatile Baloch, Kashmir and Pashtun communities, Pakistan has somehow managed to stumble to the doorstep of democracy. But the only way for Pakistan to emerge from this unique moment of challenge is for opposition party leaders to reject the crumbs of false democracy from Musharraf’s table and maintain a unified demand for true empowerment of the Pakistani majority. As difficult as it may be for opposition forces to find unity in the din of national turmoil, an unprecedented opportunity now exists for Pakistan to create its own special democratic enterprise. The ability of Musharraf and the military to maintain their despotic rule rest on two pillars; naked force and a divided opposition. History has proved that even the most barbaric regimes cannot maintain power once the people decide they are no longer willing to endure oppression. Musharraf has all but exhausted the limits of naked brutality with emergency rule and the bloody suppression of pro-democracy forces. On the other hand, the opposition has the power to overcome its divisions and not furnish the means of their own political destruction. It is doubtful that Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif will rise to the historic moment at hand. Their past history of naked power grabs at the expense of the Pakistani people does not bode well. Thus, all opposition parties and leaders committed to boycotting the January elections must do everything possible to pressure Bhutto and Sharif from capitulating to Musharraf and the military. The Musharraf regime is weak and deteriorating in Pakistan and in the eyes of the international community. The hour of truth has arrived in Pakistan. We trust that the Pakistani people will seize the moment, with or without Bhutto and Sharif. (Webster Brooks 111 is the Editor of the US-Iran Peace Project's website: www.usiranpeace.com His articles have been published in newspapers, websites and blogs across the Middle East and in the United States. US.Iran Peace advocates the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran.)

Aitzaz’s Detention orders extended
(Courtesy The News)
LAHORE: The Punjab government on Sunday extended the detention orders of Supreme Court Bar Association President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, sources in the Home Department said. They said since the Punjab government did not receive any instructions from the Interior Ministry in this regard, so it was decided to extend Aitzaz’s detention orders. Atizaz’s detention orders were issued under 3 MPO for 30 days. He was to be released on December 3, but the government extended his detention orders for another 30 days. Meanwhile SCBA Media Advisor Azhar Siddique also confirmed that the government had extended Aitzaz’s detention period. He said the Balochistan government had also extended the detention orders of Balochistan Bar Council President Baz Muhammad Kakar and Quetta High Court Bar Association President Haji Muhammad Shakil for 15 days each.

Student Protest in Islamabad on the 4th
Pakistan Youth Alliance and the Student Action Committee are jointly organizing a peaceful protest on Tuesday, 4th December at 3:00 p.m, Aabpara Chowk in Islamabad. Our demands will be: • Restoration of the judiciary ( re-wind to November 2nd ) • A complete election boycott (a more detailed article on this subject will follow) • Free media This is an open call to all those who agree with the demands stated above.

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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Call from Student Action Committees in Islamabad and Lahore
The Student Action Committee (Islamabad) has called for a country wide protest on Tuesday the 4th of December at Aabpara Chowk, at 3 PM, against the atrocities committed by the current regime. In solidarity, the Student Action Committee (Lahore) is holding a protest on the same day at the Press Club at 3 PM, in which students from over 21 colleges and universities from across Lahore will be joined by lawyers, journalists, human rights activists, and various civil society groups to stand up for justice, freedom, and the rule of law. The Committees demand immediate lifting of Martial Law, and also the restoration of the Judiciary to its pre-Martial Law state, as without an independent and unbiased judiciary, free and fair elections are not possible. The Student Action Committees invite all concerned members of society to join the students in their fight for the restoration of democracy and rule of law in Pakistan.

Letter to Benazir Bhutto from Ghazala Minallah
Ms BHUTTO, A FREE JUDICIARY, BUT DETAINED JUDGES???
Dear Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, I was absolutely shocked and amazed at your latest statement regarding the judiciary. How could you, of all people, say that you believed in an independent judiciary BUT that personalities did not matter? If personalities did not matter then why was Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry removed? Why were some judges locked up whereas others were not? If personalities did not matter then why is Musharraf waging a personal war against the CJ? You do not have to be a genius to figure out the reason. How can you separate the personalities from the institution? What you have on Constitution Avenue right now is a besieged and helpless building. The unfortunate but harsh truth is that right now we are a besieged nation as well. Ms. Bhutto, I am writing to you because your statement has shocked and disturbed me to the extent that I feel I have no option but to reach out to you in this manner. I would like to remind you, since you seem to have forgotten, that you too were the victim of a corrupt judiciary. If Justice Iftikhar had been the CJ of the Supreme Court at that time then perhaps your father would never have been hanged. Had the entire bench been like the present one then there would have been a unanimous judgment. But the judgment was not unanimous - it was a 4 to 3 split – just one judge too many on the wrong side. One more upright personality on the right side and our history would have been different. So yes, personalities certainly do matter. Ms. Bhutto, I am writing to you in desperation because I am the daughter of Late Justice Safdar Shah, who was one of the three dissenting judges. When Mr., Bhutto was the Prime Minister my father was CJ of the Peshawar High Court. Both these headstrong personalities did not get on with each other, and because of Safdar Shah's constant criticism and disagreement regarding the reforms and policies being introduced by the PM, the latter had him prematurely retired by introducing the 5 th Amendment. After the coup, when Gen. Zia took over, and Mr. Bhutto was charged and convicted of Conspiracy to murder by the Lahore High Court, he appealed to the Supreme Court. Gen. Zia wanted Mr. Bhutto dead and he did his best to manipulate the bench. It soon became obvious as to WHY Safdar Shah had recently been appointed as judge of the Supreme Court . Having the typical mind-set of a dictator, Zia was sure that he would be vindictive and take revenge. But, he was wrong and the rest is history. WHY? Because three of the judges had the courage to say NO, and did not give in to the threats and pressure exerted on them. So yes Ms Bhutto, personalities do matter. Had Justice (retd) Wajiuddin's father, the late Hon. Waheeduddin not been prematurely retired on extremely dubious medical grounds , history could have been different, No one can dispute the fact that the judgment was wrong since Justice (retd) Nasim Hassan Shah confessed on a talk show on TV a few years ago that the judges were threatened and pressurized into giving that judgment. Yes Ms. Bhutto, they were, and I am a witness to that fact. 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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Ms. Bhutto, our paths crossed briefly and both of us were victims of a corrupt judiciary which colluded with a Military Dictator. But I am not writing this letter to lament about our plight, since nothing we went through can possibly compare to the torture and torment you and your family went through .Have you forgotten the times when you visited your father in prison? Have you forgotten the humiliating tactics those heartless tyrants subjected you and your family to? Have you forgotten the last time you went to visit him in prison and were not able to hug him? Whenever I think about that grave injustice, which was nothing but a judicial murder, my heart goes out to you and what you suffered then and have suffered since. That is precisely why I am at my wits end and cannot understand WHY you cannot value the importance of independent judges. Ms.Bhutto, do you think you are invincible? Are you so blinded that you cannot or will not acknowledge the truth? Does it never occur to you that some day you might have to face those judges in the present Supreme Court.? Well let me please spell it out. With independent judges you get a verdict you deserve, whereas with the present kind of farce you get a judgment dictated by the intelligence agencies or the dictator himself. Do you honestly not know or are you honestly not aware of the grave injustice going on? Does it not send a chill up your spine that if the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court can be tossed around by Musharraf it could very well be you as well ?For God's sake Ms. Bhutto , WAKE UP .You owe it to your father as well as to the nation to defend the judiciary and fight for its independence. My father continued to be persecuted even after the judgment and we were forced to leave the country. But I will never forgive or forget those responsible for the torment my father went through during his last years. He died an unhappy man and was never able to get over the fact that he was not able to prevent the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man. And that innocent person was your father for God's sake! I have vowed that I will continue to fight for the independence of the judiciary come what may! I was confident and certain that once you were back you would definitely take up this battle and lead the nation towards sanity. Ms. Bhutto, is it not obvious to you WHY Musharraf wants Justice Iftikhar out of the way? Ask the families of the 'missing persons', who for the first time were being heard and for the first time they could see a light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone knows who is responsible but no one before this CJ had the courage to take up the matter. Ask the countless downtrodden people who had discovered that they could have direct access to the CJ through Suo Moto notices. Ask 2 and 3 yr old Aneela and Tasleem from Naudero Feroze in Sindh , ask 4 yr old Shaneela or 6yr old Munni or 8 yr old Marina from Mardan what this Chief Justice has done for them. These innocent little girls were the victims of jirga decisions according to which they were to be handed over to the enemy as a symbol of truce .It was Justice Iftikhar who took serious notice of this barbaric custom and passed strict orders to the local authorities to prevent this atrocity from carrying on. It was during the tenure of this CJ that serious environmental disasters were averted .Who took notice of the New Muree Project? Who took action in the Dungi ground case? Who prevented Shah Sharabeel from converting a public park in sector F-7 Islamabad into a multi-million commercial project? Ask the poor people living in the adjacent Christian colony what that decision meant to them. Sharabeel has taken up arms against the CJ since this decision because for that class of people the slum dwellers are a low life who do not deserve any special attention. I can go on and on about the cases in which the SILENT CRIES OF THE DOWNTRODDEN of our society were being heard by a sympathetic judge for the first time. Ms. Bhutto, these are the Suo Moto notices which Musharraf said were a waste of time in his speech justifying the emergency. If personalities did not matter then why is Musharraf so threatened by this man? On any and every occasion he gets he attacks and tries to malign the CJ with a vengeance. His abnormal hatred for the man has exposed the truth. He knows very well that this man was the biggest hurdle in his plans to destroy what is left of our country. The coup was against the judiciary, the 'emergency' was created to sack the CJ and the other conscientious judges. Musharraf needs to be told that we are not a nation of imbeciles and that everyone is aware of the truth and the depth of the situation. We all know that the 'crisis ' in Swat or the threat of terrorism had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the sacking of the CJ and the locking up of him and the other judges. Once again Ms Bhutto, I beg you to think very carefully about where you are heading. I beg you not to betray your father or the nation. I beg you not to fall into Musharraf's trap and to boycott the elections. The rigging has already taken place, so why are you allowing yourself to become a party to this farce? I beg you to realize that you are the one holding the trump card right now. If you boycott the election, THEY lose face. But if YOU 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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participate, you not only lose face, you lose the confidence and the faith the people of Pakistan have in you. Last but not least, you owe it to Bilawal, Bakhtawar, Aseefa and all future generations of our beloved country. Yours sincerely, Ghazala Minallah D/O Late Justice Safdar Shah

An Unlikely Visitor gives Musharraf Support
Marc Perelman
A few days before Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte traveled to Islamabad last week to impress upon General Pervez Musharraf the need to restore democratic rule in Pakistan, another American envoy quietly landed in the capital to chat with the Pakistani president and army chief. With the blessing of Washington, Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Jewish Congress's Council for World Jewry, traveled halfway across the globe for a face-to-face meeting with Musharraf, who he had hailed two years ago as a courageous leader and driving force in Jewish-Muslim dialogue. While nearly all major Jewish groups have altogether avoided the issue of Pakistan, Rosen has offered outspoken support for the country's embattled president. "The real choice we face is not between Musharraf and a return to an effective democratic system, but between Musharraf and the possible collapse of Pakistan,"

Pictures from Candlelight Vigil by People’s Resistance, Karachi

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