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Dec 13th, 2007

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The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
“Few people, if any, see their indifference as a fault - their scepticism, their failure to give moral and material support to those political and economic groups that were struggling either to avoid a particular evil or to promote a particular good. Instead such people prefer to speak of the failure of ideas, of the definitive collapse of programmes, and other like niceties. They continue in their indifference and their scepticism.” - Antonio Gramsci

The DeMockery Bus

(By Fauzia Minallah)

Aitzaz Ahsan withdraws from Election Race
December 12, 2007

PRESS RELEASE:

President Supreme Court Bar Association and Senior Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan today instructed his advocates to appear before the Returning Officer withdraw his nomination papers filed by him to contest the forthcoming elections to the National Assembly. Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan had filed his nomination papers in constituency No. NA 124, Lahore as a candidate of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party. The PPP leadership has been informed of the decision. Since he is under detention it is not possible for Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan to personally appear before the Returning Officer to withdraw his papers. Advocates Shaukat Ali Javed and Mian 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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Tariq Hassan have therefore been authorized in writing by Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan to take the nomination papers back. While instructing the withdrawal of the nomination papers Mr.Aitzaz Ahsan said that although he believed victory in his elections was quite certain he was exercising the option to stand with the community of lawyers that had carried on a heroic struggle for the restoration of the judiciary and the supremacy of the Constitution. The cause of the lawyers was a higher objective than his own personal interest. He said that the lawyers’ struggle was for a tolerant, liberal, democratic and plural Pakistan in which the laws, and not men, are supreme. They wanted a vibrant and progressive modern Pakistan in which the citizen has rights and can enjoy the due process of law under an independent judiciary and a truly sovereign parliament. Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan also said that even the parties that had decided to contest the elections were already calling them sham and rigged. Even the patrons of the regime had pronounced that these were not going to be perfect, which means that it is recognized, in advance, that these will be rigged. What can thus be achieved from such elections? he asked. Rigged elections cannot solve the many and diverse problems faced by the people. Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan thanked the voters of his constituency who had shown such overwhelming enthusiasm for his candidature. He thanked the Pakistan Peoples’ Party for placing its trust in him. He also thanked the leadership of all other Opposition parties, and particularly Mian Nawaz Sharif, who had unanimously reposed confidence in him as a joint candidate of all the opposition parties. Aitzaz Ahsan’s papers will be withdrawn after his signatures have been formally verified by the Superintendent Camp Jail, Lahore. That is a necessary formality as Mr. Ahsan is in a sub-jail. Aitzaz Ahsan & Associates

Official Election results ready
M.Ziauddin (Courtesy DAWN) LONDON, Dec 10: The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), now minus the Jamaat-i-Islami, is expected to hold the balance in the next National Assembly as the January 8 elections are estimated officially to throw up largely a hung house. These estimates which the PPP and the PML-N sources here believe have been drawn up by the intelligence agencies in the first week of the current month have given the PML-Q 115 seats followed by PPP (90), MMA (45), PML-N (40), MQM (20) and ANP (12) in a house of 342. These estimates are said to have been made on the basis of the 'strength' of each party constituency-wise plus individual candidate's own 'ability' to pull voters and the political affiliation of the nazims in the constituency. The sources who did not wish to be identified alleged that the official plan was to rig the polls in such a way as to deny a clear majority to any of the contesting parties so as to place President Pervez Musharraf in a position of cobbling together a coalition of his choice which, according to the American script, is a coalition of the PML-Q and the PPP. However, if the PML-Q and the PPP wished to make their own governments without the other, which many here fear is what the two parties would try their best to achieve first, Musharraf's desire and American script notwithstanding, they would need to enlist the support of the MMA because a coalition of the PPP, PML-N and ANP would fall short by 30 votes, if the above official estimates come true, while the PML-Q would require another 17 votes to form a government even after the addition of 20 each from the MQM and smaller parties like PML-F and PPP (Sherpao) etc. But then since a coalition with the MMA would not make Washington all that happy, Musharraf would probably try his best to scuttle any such move either by the PML-Q or the PPP, sources said. This, they said, would then lead to a long drawn political wrangling and intense attempts at horse-trading 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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which they fear would finally culminate into invalidation of January 8 elections and the president calling for fresh elections in June. They, however, did not rule out the possibility of the original official estimates undergoing further changes in the remaining three weeks to the polls which could swing in favour of the PPP and the PML-N in case the two succeeded in forcing the government into accepting some of their demands included in the Charter of Demands. Or, they said, the PML-Q in panic fearing losing their voters to the PML-N could go on a spree of rigging full throttle undermining the very credibility of the elections both inside and outside the country, to be followed by a kind of Orange revolution a la Ukraine which again could to lead to fresh elections in June. Sources said that even if there was no Orange revolution the new government led by the PML-Q with a single digit majority would not last long unless of course it enlists the support of the MMA even at the cost of annoying the US.

Government continues to threaten Media
(Courtesy Associated Press) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — The government's intolerance of public dissent isn't easing ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, with TV executives warned they could go to jail and pay fines if they give the president's critics a live forum. Pakistan's regulators ordered all satellite television channels "to stop airing such live programs, talk shows and contents immediately," according to a copy of a letter Tuesday obtained by The Associated Press. The regulators warn the channels could be taken off the air, and those responsible — the network's license holder or its representative — could face up to three years in jail and fines of up to $170,000.

Self-proclaimed Master of Deception handling Musharraf Propaganda
Author of "Thesis" that US is Plotting Against Musharraf May Actually be an Intelligence-Connected Propaganda Consultant; Says on His Own Website that he Creates "Immaculate Deception…Tailored to Your Senses" By Farid Alvie Ahmed Quraishi's ''enlightening'' articles have been doing the rounds on the net of late. One can only describe him as Pakistan's very own Bill O' Reilly (with just as much credibility!). And like O' Reilly, his most used weapon of choice is the tag of 'traitor' and 'unpatriotic' for anyone who criticizes the government (or perhaps just el presidente, the now retired generalissimo), be they politicians, journalists, lawyers, academics, human rights activists, former army officers et al. It seems Mr. Quraishi gets his inspiration (along with his fake American accent) from Fox News. Even a cursory look at his website might help one understand Mr. Quraishi's "unbiased, journalistic, analytical, and professional" approach to issues he so passionately addresses in his articles. Mr. Quraishi's website is studded with countless gems that reflect the luminosity of his brilliance, breadth of vision, and intellectual maturity. For instance, in the 'biography' section of http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/ (also known as the ''tooting one's own horn" section) we are informed that "Starting in the year 2003, Mr. Quraishi has lent his expertise to Furmaanrealpolitik http://www.furmaanrealpolitik.com.pk/a political consulting firm originally based in Dubai." 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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A look at the website of http://www.furmaanrealpolitik.com.pk/ (who came up with this subtle name, one wonders?) helps answer questions people might entertain regarding Mr. Quraishi's credibilty, motives and unique understanding of national and international affairs. The 'services' offered by furmaanrealpolitik include "Intelligence, Research & Analysis;" "Surveillance & Confidential Investigations;" "Mobilization & Campaign Development;" and (my personal favorite) "Immaculate Deception Creations Tailored to Your Senses." This 'service' is not only my favorite for the brilliant title it boasts but also for its content: 'Immaculate Deception Creations Tailored to Your Senses'? Immaculate Deception... Are we talking about peddling untruths in order to deceive? Oh dear! So how do Mr. Quraishi and the boys at furmaanrealpolitik serve their clients? The website says: "Anyone can do TV. But we go a step further -- we create...Our production can be tailored to business, political and military requirements." So whether it is Benazir Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif or Pervez Musharraf or the ISI or Coca Cola or Tapal Danedar Chai, the ''passionate'' team at furmaanrealpolitik will sell its services to the highest bidder and come up with ''immaculately deceptive'' techniques ''tailored'' to their respective ''senses'' (and by senses I am guessing Mr. Quraishi is not talking about a sense of decency here!). Is Mr. Quraishi telling us that as part of a political consulting/lobbying firm that proudly lists on its website its expertise in conjuring up lies and deceptions, that he actually makes his living by peddling lies and untruths? Or as he calls them "immaculate deceptions?" As an analyst and a journalist, what does this say about his work, his credibility? Are we to understand that every word Mr. Quraishi pens is written on the behest of a client? Could it be that Mr. Quraishi's 'insightful and unique take on national and international affairs is as faux as his American accent and can vary depending on who bids the highest for his immaculately deceptive words? In case Mr. Quraishi has misunderstood the meaning of the word deception and used it by mistake (and with the same casual attitude and effort with which he throws conspiracy theories and allegations about in his articles), let me offer the services of my humble thesaurus. Alternatives for the word deception are listed as: dishonesty, trickery, fraud, con, sham, trick, ruse, cheating... etc. Forget about out the rest of the world, I wonder how seriously his own son, little Al Waleed, would take daddy dearest the next time he is instructed not to lie and to always tell the truth! Farid Alvie is an academic based in the U.A.E.

Upcoming Protests
Thursday, December 13th:
Rawalpindi: Where: Rawalpindi Bar When: 11 am, To bring: banners and placards. Call by: LAWYERS, STUDENTS, Imran Khan and Qazi Hussain will be there in solidarity. Islamabad: Where: HOUSE NO. 10, STREET NO 16, F-6/3 ISLAMABAD When: 3:30 pm 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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To bring: Candles, flowers, banners and placards. Call by: LAWYERS, STUDENTS, DOCTORS, BANKERS, CIVIL SOCIETY, PENSIONERS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, MEDIA, BUSINESS COMMUNITY, LAW ABIDING CITIZENS Lahore: Where: LAHORE HIGH COURT When: 10.30 AM To bring: Banners and placards. Call by: Lawyers and judges of Lahore High Court, District Courts and Concerned Citizens of Pakistan Peshawar: Where: University of Peshawar (Between UOP & Town Stores) When: 10 a.m To bring: Banners and placards. Call by: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) & Civil Society groups

Friday, Dec 14th:
Lahore: 4:00 pm - Meet at Regal Chowk, end at Press Club - Protest to demand the Restoration of the Judiciary & the Media and Revoke the PCO. (Organized by People's Resistance)

A Lonely Walk Now
Kamila Hyat (Courtesy The News)
The few lingering hopes that the country's political parties would stand for right, and in defence of the country's ruthlessly mutilated Constitution, have now been quashed. Abandoning earlier promises, and refusing to look beyond the possibility of short-term gain, all the major parties have opted to participate in an electoral exercise which will act chiefly to grant legitimacy to a set-up that has consistently shown contempt for the law of the land and for all those who have attempted to uphold it. This includes particularly the deposed judges of the superior courts, who had declined to participate in the kind of contortions of law that many before them opted to undertake in order to facilitate rulers in their various unlawful acts. The reports that, in their decision to participate, key political players including the PML-N and the PPP had come under pressure from foreign capitals, notably Riyadh and Washington, are even more disturbing. The fact that these parties believe there is more to be gained by following instructions issued from distant quarters, rather than building a stable future for their parties by putting the interests of Pakistan's people foremost on their list of priorities, explains why there is so much cynicism regarding their role in the affairs of Pakistan. The situation that has now emerged means that the lawyers, who have spearheaded the struggle for the people's basic right to justice, now stand essentially alone. The political parties have opted to walk away from their principled stand. The proposal put forward by Aitzaz Ahsan, the detained president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and PPP leader, to find a way for the parties to take part in balloting while retaining the central demand of judicial independence, has been largely ignored. Aitzaz had suggested that each candidate take an oath swearing he or she would work to restore the pre-Nov 3 judiciary, if elected to parliament. This formula has already been rejected by harder-line lawyers, who continue to seek a boycott, while a PPP spokesperson has emphasised that the scheme is Aitzaz's personal initiative, and not one that reflects the party's own line of thinking. 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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The question of what kind of democracy political parties hope will emerge after polls has not been adequately answered by them. Another period of parliamentary subservience to autocratic rule, as has been seen since 2002, will after all serve little purpose -- beyond constructing the façade of a democratic set-up. This is all that Pakistan's powerful western allies are interested in seeing. The issue of administration of justice, crucial to the interests of the people of Pakistan, can after all mean little to them. It should however mean a great deal to the groups that claim to represent these people, and who speak, so often, in their name. The question now is how the lawyers and the other civil society groups that have joined them in their struggle can most effectively continue their brave effort. It is true that, without any backing from the larger political parties, their quest becomes a harder one. But it is also true that their perseverance has created a small, but significant, movement -- which could have an important impact on future events in the country. This may prove to be true, no matter what the immediate outcome of the struggle is. Certainly, despite the harsh measures adopted by the State and its security apparatus, the movement started off almost spontaneously by lawyers following the wave of anger that followed the "suspension" of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in March has refused to die out. A recent interview with former SCBA president Muneer A Malik, given from his hospital bed, suggests that even where the body has been broken, the spirit lives on. The increased involvement of students in the effort, and indeed of many other people across civil society, is also important. The fact that in Lahore this weekend it was thought necessary to put on a "pro-government" student rally, involving about 100 persons including drivers and other personal servants, shows how much desperation this sustained outpouring of anger is generating. Students leaders at the LUMS campus, which alongside the Lahore Press Club and the bar rooms has emerged as a focal point of protest, denied the claims of the persons staging the rally that they were a part of the student body at the university. LUMS students, and faculty members, have also so far refused to give in to the intimidation by police, including the registration of cases and threats of imminent arrests. Regardless of what happens in the weeks and months ahead, the sequence of events seen recently has underscored certain facts. It has been proven that, as many had feared, political parties lack integrity, commitment or the good sense to see that by refusing to stand up for what is just, they are further discrediting themselves in the eyes of people. The door of opportunity flung open before them -- offering a chance to the parties to show that they are capable of rising above self-interest or letting so-called "allies" know they will not be dictated to -- have been slammed shut by leaders. And by doing so they have further convinced people that little can be expected in the way of principle from these groups. Instead, new heroes have arisen. They include leaders of the legal community, journalists and media owners who have refused to make unethical compromises, the energetic student leaders who after years of silence on campuses have spearheaded many of the recent protests, politicians such as Imran Khan, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and others who have stuck to principle -- and, perhaps the most unlikely figures of all to play such a role, the judges who refused to take oath under the PCO. For any society, such heroes are important. They provide models to look up to -- now and in the future -- and offer a reminder that even within the increasingly immoral society in which we live, they are still people unwilling to sell their souls in the way of expediency. Already, there are indications that the actions of these persons have at least put a view of Pakistan that differs from the "official" picture before the world. They have also shown that agitating for right can have an impact -- and, in the longer run, this movement may yet play a part in bringing to the forefront the kind of leaders Pakistan so badly needs to help its people find a way out of the crisis into which they have been plunged time and again by the acts of megalomaniac dictators and the political forces that have repeatedly struck unholy deals with them.

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