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

Harsh Kapoor aiindex at
Sun Nov 4 21:52:53 CST 2007

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.



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 for updates > Citizens respond to emergency rule in Pakistan ]


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

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: mazhar abbas <abbas.mazhar@>
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
mail at

CONTACT: Ijaz Syed (408) 838-0952
syedi at
mail at


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 
(, 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]



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\11\05\story_5-11-2007_pg3_2




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 
successful in rescuing these societies from the 
deep crises of the old order and it was 
victorious in the difficult conditions of wars 
and civil wars. But it could not inflict a final, 
world historic defeat on capitalism. It could not 
become such a model of creativity, prosperity, 
democracy, equality and freedom that would 
inspire the workers of the entire capitalist 
world to overthrow capitalism and build 
socialism. Eventually twentieth century socialism 
ended with the end of the twentieth century.

The capitalist and the imperialist world would 
like to think that socialism itself has ended. It 
likes to boast that there is no alternative to 
capitalism. It likes to proclaim that history has 
found its final resting place in the lap of 
capitalism. It is incapable of feeling the 
groundswell underneath; it is incapable of seeing 
the gathering storm above. It refuses to look at 
what it is doing to the humanity and to the world.

Under capitalism, a handful of billionaire and 
multi-millionaire capitalists are appropriating 
the immense wealth created by the labour and 
creativity of workers. While there are shameless 
boasts of the dollar billionaires in India and of 
having the richest family in the world, one third 
of Indians go to bed hungry, eighty percent do 
not have any social security, do not have access 
to proper health, education and clean water and 
live on “less than a dollar a day”. Despite all 
proclamations of modernity, equality and 
democracy, women continue to suffer under both 
the modern and pre-modern forms of patriarchy, 
Dalits face inhuman social oppression and 
discrimination and other minorities and 
indigenous peoples live as aliens in their own 
land. Conditions are no better in rest of the 
third world and in fact much worse in Africa and 
in many other countries of Asia. Even in the 
advanced capitalist countries most of the wealth 
is appropriated by a handful at the top, working 
and living conditions are deteriorating, social 
security is shrinking, salary differentials are 
one to a thousand or more.

By winning over a section of the workers who look 
upon themselves as professionals, managers and 
intellectuals, capitalism projects itself as the 
most productive, innovative and creative system. 
It does not realize that all creativity belongs 
to those who work and create. It does not look at 
the growing potentials of the 'wretched of the 
earth' fusing with the 'workers of the world' to 
overthrow the system of capitalist exploitation 
and all structures of social oppression.

Revolutions never repeat themselves in the old 
forms. They appear with new visions, new 
strategies, new forces. Revolutionaries never 
expect to be remembered in rituals of 
anniversaries and centenaries, nor do they expect 
to be mechanically imitated by the posterity. 
They expect that their memories would become 
inspirations for future revolutions.

Humanity stands at the threshold of a new era. 
New revolutions are appearing on the horizons of 
world history. For the first time they would take 
place under conditions of capitalism and directly 
against capitalism. This time workers will be 
ready to fuse with all the oppressed to overthrow 
the old order. This time they will be ready to 
win over all sections of their class to build 
socialism that will be an inspiring model of 
democracy, equality and freedom as well as of 
productivity, creativity and prosperity. This 
time they will be ready to inflict the world 
historic defeat on capitalism.

We celebrate past revolutions and revolutionaries 
in this spirit and anticipation. We celebrate 
them to prepare for the coming revolutions. We 
celebrate them to commit ourselves to the dreams 
of a new socialist era.

Long Live Revolution! On to a New Era of Socialism!!

Tuesday, 6 November, 2007, 1 p.m.
Venue : Tagore Hall, Delhi University (North Campus) Delhi

Seminar :
A World For The Workers !
A Future For The World !!

Speakers :
Ravi Sinha, Scholar-activist
Mudra Rakshas, Writer and Litterateur
Mukul Manglik, Historian-activist

Cultural Program :
Cultural Team of P.Y.S and other Cultural troupes

Organised by :
PSU ( Progressive Students Union), Stree Adhikar 
Sangathan, PYS ( Pragatisheel Yuva Sangathan)


Buzz for secularism, on the dangers of fundamentalism(s), on
matters of peace and democratisation in South
Asia. SACW is an independent & non-profit
citizens wire service run since 1998 by South
Asia Citizens Web:
SACW archive is available at:

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not
necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.

More information about the SACW mailing list