Monday, March 10, 2008

Musharraf meets aides after opposition coalition pact

ISLAMABAD, March 10 (AFP): President Musharraf was meeting key aides Monday after Pakistan's main opposition parties agreed to form a coalition and reinstate the judges he sacked last year, officials said. Government officials said Musharraf was 'meeting legal aides' at his office in Rawalpindi but did not give details on what was being discussed. Private television channels said it was a 'strategy meeting' including legal and constitutional advisers.


Sibghat Kadri QC, Rabia Zia (UK PTI)

Today on March 9 2008 in front of the High Commission of Pakistan, London, the Pakistani community in the UK responded to the call of the Supreme Court Bar Association to show solidarity with the lawyers movement in Pakistan to restore judiciary and to ask Musharraf to step down immediately with Go Musharraf Go chanting. This is as mandated by the people of Pakistan based on the result of the recent elections.

There was also a clear demand for immediate release of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and others who are under house arrest and strong condemnation of violence used against the lawyers, civil society activists, students, political party members in Islamabad today who were trying to meet with the Chief Justice.

In the protest today, we had representation from the civil society including students, UK Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Justice for Pakistan, Sibghat Kadri QC, political parties ie PPP, PML-N, PTI etc.

Based on the recent events today, we are very pleased to hear that a pact has been signed between the two mainstream parties to restore judicairy to the pre Nov 3rd state within 30 days and the London protest today shows how strongly the UK Pakistanis see this as a primary pillar for a democratic Pakistan.

Aftermath of a proxy war

EVERY conscientious and concerned Pakistani would be alarmed at the recent increase in suicide bombings aimed at high government officials and personnel of law-enforcement agencies, wherein innocent civilians become unwilling victim.

This state of indiscriminate and wholesale brutality on the part of terrorists has made an ordinary citizen suspicious about the government’s will and ability to provide him security of person and property. In this regard, the government’s policies, specially those related to the so-called war on terror, have continuously been grilled by the intelligentsia.

Tuesday’s bomb blasts – which the authorities have hurriedly called a suicide attack — at the Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore; the successful suicide attack on the surgeon-general of the Pakistan Army; the carnage seen at the funeral of a deputy superintendent of police, who himself was a victim of one such attack; the gruesome butchery of the policemen deployed to ‘guard’ the lawyers’ rally in Lahore; and several other gory incidents of the similar nature testify to the fact that the so-called war on terror being fought by Pakistan has become increasingly unpopular, especially in the Frontier region, which ‘hosts’ this war, and from where most of these suicide bombers purportedly hail.

The government may be hinting at the involvement of a foreign hand with particular reference to India, but all evidence, empirical as well as nominal, support the theory that the terrorism being faced by Pakistan is home-grown. Besides rampant poverty and illiteracy, it’s the desperation after a dear one is brutally killed by a ‘brother’ soldier that forces these suicide bombers to indiscriminately blow up the fellow citizens.

Had President Musharraf declined to join this war, Pakistan would not have been facing such macabre consequences which threaten to tear its very fabric apart. In any case, the threat to “bomb Pakistan to the Stone Age”, which was only meant to bring Pakistan into compliance, would definitely not have materialised, given, inter alia, the nuclear deterrence we possess.

However, what the Americans would have found difficult to achieve, the unabated suicidal bombings and the resulting lawlessness, which are direct the consequence of the war we are fighting for the Americans, would definitely be able to accomplish. That is to say that if necessary measures are not taken forthwith to curtail these terrorist acts, Pakistan would definitely be going towards bombing itself to the ‘Stone Age’. The government, therefore, should reconsider its role in the ‘war on terror’, in which Pakistan’s services have not even been acknowledged as day in and day out our ‘allies’ in the West repeat the mantra of ‘to do more’. The only solution to the current crisis is pulling the Army out of the estranged Frontier regions, without which the so-far unsuccessful political dialogue is not possible.

I do not buy the idea of trying both the stick and the carrot at the same time; to try the carrots one must put the stick in the cupboard.

In this ‘fight’ between the terrorists and the government, an ordinary citizen of Pakistan is the victim. Like the political uncertainty surrounding the country for the last one or so year, this continuing sense of insecurity along with the lack of availability of basic amenities of life brought the patience of the masses to the brim, as they gave their verdict in the general election against the Musharraf regime.

Now the ball is in the court of the new government, which should better take cognizance of the aspiration of the ordinary citizens or else be prepared to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Events for 10th March.

Events for 10th March. Please check out the upto date events at:



Flag Hoistings:

3:00 pm >> Hotel Jabees, Saddar
Islamic Lawyers Movement (ILM)
People's Resistance and all other friends are invited to join

5:00 pm >> Iqbal Haider's House
D-25, Block 4, KDA 5, Clifton
Just after Abdullah Shah Ghazi's Mazar, off 26th Street
Behind Designers.


1. Black Flag will be hoisted 10:30 A.M.
3. G.H. Meeting of L.H.C. 10:30 A.M.
4. Address of Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan (President SCBA ) 11:00 A.M.
5. Rally of LBA 11:30 A.M.

6. Black Flag Rally at Liberty Roundabout - 5.00 -5.45 pm


Car Rally with nearly 50 cars with black flags, taking a round of almost all of the busiest areas of Islamabad, honking all the way, starting from Suharwardy Road at Fire Brigade (4 pm), and going through Aabpara,then welcoming Ali Kurd's arrival at the Rawalpindi International Airport at 5 15-5 30 pm and then going around Islamabad again. The rally will have a public address system to also address public at busy intersections.