Friday, December 23, 2011

Mansoor Ijaz, Treason Case & Aitzaz Ahsan's American Influence for Judiciary!

Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan is a Barrister-at-Law by profession, Senior Advocate Supreme Court and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association. He is also a writer,human rights activist, politician, former Federal Minister for Law and Justice, Interior, Narcotics Control (1988-1990) and Education. Elected to the Senate of Pakistan in 1994, he eventually succeeded as the leader of the House and the leader of the Opposition between the years 1996 and 1999. Currently he is president of the Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association. Aitzaz Ahsan has been under arrest periodically in 2007 for his involvement in the effort to restore Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan after President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf suspended the constitution and subsequently removed Chief Justice Chaudhry from the bench. REFERENCE: Guests: Aitzaz Ahsan

Charlie Rose - Aitzaz Ahsan

While everyone in Pakistan keeps going on and on about American intervention in our affairs, those who protest the loudest are the very ones who seek it at the first opportunity. The lawyers’ campaign for the restoration of the judges is something that will succeed or fail in Pakistan, not in the US Washington has been on code orange for the last few days as temperatures soar into the upper 90s, the kind of weather that used to be considered ideal for mad dogs and Englishmen. There are not many Englishmen in this town and all mad dogs have been long sent to doggie heaven. However, despite the heat, quite a few things are going on. Thousands of Pakistani-American doctors are in town for their annual conference, a kind of “Mela Mowaishiyaan” of the well-heeled in white coats who form the upper crust of the Pakistani diaspora and keep on good terms with all governments back home, which may be a sensible thing to do since those governments neither come to power nor go out of power at the doctors’ advice. The doctors meet in a different American city every year, so this time it is the capital which the Supreme Court has just declared free of handgun control, despite this being the murder capital of the United States. Aitzaz Ahsan came to Washington, spoke to a fawning audience at Amnesty, made several calls on the Hill and sought without success a meeting with Richard Boucher, who is to be found at Foggy Bottom when he is not in Pakistan. Unfortunately for Aitzaz, Boucher is headed for Pakistan right now and if Aitzaz is lucky, he will be able to catch him in Islamabad. Aitzaz also spoke to the Pakistani doctors’ annual jamboree. When his visit to Washington on a lobbying mission was first reported by this correspondent in Daily Times, Aitzaz issued a quick denial saying, “I am planning to fly to Washington on the invitation of the Allama Iqbal Medical College Alumni Association of North America. I am neither seeking any intervention of any congressman nor ... going to solicit American support for the reinstatement of judges.” He reminded us that his friends in the US included congressmen and senators and he might meet them, adding the reprimand, “But such meetings cannot and must not be misconstrued.” His companion Munir Malik could not make it because his passport was stuck at the British High Commission. Apparently, Malik had no problem in getting a US visa but also wanted to make the obligatory stop in London on his way to or from Washington, which caused him to miss the trip. While Aitzaz may not be without his friends in the US, “including congressmen and senators,” he did not run in and out of more than one congressional office on a muggy Friday to discuss the Washington weather. The fact is that he did lobby for the judges with the US lawmakers. His argument ran as follows: The US-led war on terror can only be fought effectively with popular backing, something only possible if the judges are independent. American legislators are lobbied 24/7 and are pretty blasé about such lofty assertions. As for the linkage between the war on terror and a free judiciary, they hear that sort of thing all the time and it is in through one ear and out the other. The fact is that it is the administration which is calling the shots and not Congress. Perhaps Aitzaz should have sought a meeting with one of Dick Cheney’s sidekicks since it is the Veep who runs the Pakistan show in liaison with the Pentagon. It seems that when it comes to choosing powerful friends, Aitzaz errs as much in picking them in Washington as he does in Islamabad. Even his speeches (and there were several at the doctors’ conference) were all about the Pakistani community in the US helping the lawyers’ movement back home. Since the community can support only by giving money (which Aitzaz and his movement do not seem to need) or by lobbying American influentials, quite clearly, Aitzaz was engaged in lobbying. While everyone in Pakistan keeps going on and on about American intervention in our affairs, those who protest the loudest are the very ones who seek it at the first opportunity. The lawyers’ campaign for the restoration of the judges is something that will succeed or fail in Pakistan, not in the US. The fact is that appointments had been sought on Aitzaz’s behalf with several members of Congress before he came, among them: Sen. Russ Feingold, who serves on the Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Budget committees; Congresswoman Nita Lowey of the House Appropriations committee and chair of the subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations and member, Homeland Security subcommittee; Congressman Steve Israel of the Appropriations committee and the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee; Gary Ackerman of the Foreign Affairs committee and chair of the subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia; and Congressman Keith Ellison of the Financial Services and Judiciary committees. Meetings were also sought with Sen. Jo Biden and Sen. Richard Lugar, chair and ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee. How many of them actually took place, I do not know. What I do know is that if this is not lobbying, then the earth is flat. At Amnesty International, Aitzaz arrived more than an hour late. If he said sorry, I did not hear it. He beamed as some in the hall cheered. He may also have hit upon the long-sought remedy for a jetlag, because he said he no longer had one, thanks to the applause. He did not cover himself with glory when soon after he told the audience — who did not really know what he was talking about — that he was going to suggest to Husain Haqqani, the ambassador, that in order to monitor his, namely Aitzaz’s, movements in Washington “24/7”, Haqqani should have him tailed. Then he said, “And he should nominate Khalid Hasan for the task.” This line was not delivered with humour but undisguised ill will. After the meeting, I reminded Aitzaz that Daily Times had printed his “denial” of my report the next day, so why this. His reply came in Gujrati Punjabi, “Magar tussi chapair tay maar ditti na!” (But you had delivered the slap already). This tasteless behaviour not only showed that truth hurts, but also that all our public figures wish to hear is praise “24/7”. Aitzaz spent over an hour going over events since March 2007, which was a waste of time since everyone in that room knew exactly what had happened. At one point, and with a straight face, he called Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry “a shining prince on a white charger”. What people expected to really know, he either skirted past or glossed over. He saw no contradiction between his being in the PPP, which has no wish to see Justice Chaudhry back or President Musharraf removed, and leading the lawyers’ movement. He called it an area of disagreement with his party. Some area that! Moral of the story: it is possible to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. The question is, how long? REFERENCE: POSTCARD USA: Aitzaz’ Washington merry-go-round —Khalid Hasan Monday, June 30, 2008 COMMENT: Memogate and surrogates —Dr Mohammad Taqi Thursday, December 22, 2011

ISLAMABAD, June 5 Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry met visiting US envoy Richard Holbrooke in the Supreme Court building on Friday. “The meeting was held at the request of the visiting US envoy Mr Holbrooke who came to meet the chief justice in his chambers,” said Dr Faqir Hussain, Registrar of the Supreme Court. He said that officials of the Foreign Office were present at the meeting. “Matters relating to judicial reforms as per national judicial policy and the whole judicial structure of Pakistan were discussed,” Dr Hussain said. The meeting comes at a time when Pakistani judiciary is seized with litigations that directly involved interests of the United States. A particular case of concern to the US is that of the missing persons in which intelligence agencies have been accused of either abducting people on suspicion of terrorism or handing them over to the United States. The case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who was reportedly abducted from Pakistan and is now in US detention, is also pending in courts. The Supreme Court spokesman denied that the issue of missing persons came up in the meeting. When contacted, the firebrand leader of lawyers` movement and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Ali Ahmed Kurd, declined to comment on the meeting. PML-N spokesman Siddiquul Farooq who has a case pending in the apex court said “It was a courtesy call by Mr Holbrooke and we believe in the person of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and we believe that no one can derail him from the judicious path.” Immediately after the meeting, the chief justice went to the presidency to attend the oath-taking ceremony of newly appointed Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Mohammad Rafique. There he had a one-to-one meeting with President Asif Zardari. It was for the first time since his restoration that the chief justice visited the presidency and met President Zardari. Justice Iftikhar, it may be mentioned, did not accept earlier invitations from President Zardari. The last time the chief justice met Mr Zardari was at the Zardari House just before he moved to the presidency after becoming president. After becoming president, Mr Zardari publicly resisted the restoration of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, till the success of the long march by lawyers in March this year. One case pending before the Supreme Court and that directly affects President Zardari relates to the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) through which former President General Pervez Musharraf allowed the quashing of corruption charges against PPP leaders, including President Zardari. Under the new judicial policy reforms spearheaded by the chief justice, judges of the superior court are required to strictly follow the judicial code of conduct which, among other things, require them to stay away from public functions and not to assume executive offices to temporarily fill vacancies created by the president and governors going abroad. After his first restoration on July 20, 2007, Justice Chaudhry had stopped meeting the president or the prime minister and attending functions hosted by them. REFERENCE: CJ receives Holbrooke, calls on Zardari By Matiullah Jan June 6, 2009

KARACHI: The story of Pakistani-American businessman Saifullah Paracha’s disappearance, arrest, transfer to the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison, possible release and continued detention remains a mystery. Paracha, 64, who the US claims was involved in terrorist activities, disappeared in 2003 while travelling from Pakistan. He was arrested from Bangkok on July 8 that year through FBI efforts and was transferred to Guantanamo on September 19, 2004. Paracha was to be released in 2006 following a visit to Guantanamo by a Pakistan government official, according to a confidential American diplomatic cable obtained by Dawn through WikiLeaks. But for reasons that remain unexplained, he is still under detention there and has been declared “high risk”. According to the cable, the director of operations of the National Crisis Management Cell of the interior ministry, Lt-Col Imran Yaqoob (Wrongly named Imran Farooq in the cable), met American officials at the US embassy in Islamabad to discuss his visit to Guantanamo. Yaqoob is reported to have said that the Pakistani delegation left with the impression that most of the Pakistani detainees were individuals who were “in the wrong place at the wrong time”, not extremists who posed a serious threat. He added that the delegation discussed the repatriation of these detainees with intelligence agencies at Guantanamo and the force commander at the prison, leaving with the impression that there were no major obstacles to repatriating six of them. This group included Paracha, provided that the government of Pakistan would keep him in detention. According to Yaqoob, Guantanamo officials told the delegation that if the Pakistani government submitted a formal request for repatriation it would be received favourably. Upon his return to Islamabad, the official prepared a report for the foreign affairs ministry in support of such a request. Yaqoob did tell American officials in Islamabad, however, that for the government to keep Paracha in custody, it would need information from the US to justify his continued detention, noting that Paracha’s family had a petition against his detention pending in the Supreme Court. The US official in a note said that “Post will pursue the question of the GOP’s ability to hold detainees in custody with the MFA and other interlocutors.” Yaqoob concluded by requesting that the embassy find out from colleagues in Washington about the views of relevant agencies on the prompt repatriation of the Pakistani detainees. The American officer agreed to do so, but warned that it would be difficult to share these views frankly “when the government continues to leak stories proclaiming the detainees’ imminent release to the local press”. In his comment the US official said he appreciated word that the US government was moving forward with the repatriation and that “Post requests guidance from Department on next steps, including interagency coordination and coordination with the GOP of any press statements preceding or following the repatriation.” But nothing seems to have come of these discussions between US and Pakistani officials, as Paracha is still detained at Guantanamo. An official assessment of the detainees, which includes a December 2008 dossier on Paracha and was also released by WikiLeaks, shows that he was determined to be “high-risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies”. He is also recommended for continued detention. A similar recommendation had also been made on Oct 24, 2007. The assessment is based on what the US Department of Defence document calls the detainee’s own account and has been included without “consideration of veracity, accuracy or reliability”. It still apparently forms the basis of his continued detention. “If released without rehabilitation, close supervision, and means to successfully reintegrate into his society as a law-abiding citizen (Paracha) would probably seek out prior associates and reengage in extremist activities at home and abroad,” the assessment says. One of his sons, Uzair Paracha, had been arrested in the US and charged with providing material assistance to Al Qaeda. He was convicted by an American court in 2006. The American document termed Saifullah Paracha a “significant member” of Al Qaeda. In what the file describes as “custodial interviews” rather than interrogations, Paracha is said to have confessed to meeting Osama bin Laden twice, the first time in December 1999 or January 2000 and then again in the autumn of 2000, offering the Al Qaeda leader use of his television station to promote his message to the world. Paracha is also alleged to have had close links with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to masterminding the 9/11 attacks, and his nephew Ammar al Baluchi, another senior Al Qaeda operative. But he told his captors that his interaction with Al Qaeda “was just business”. One year after the Pakistani delegation’s visit to Guantanamo, when it became clear that Paracha was not going to be sent home, Amnesty International in October 2007 called for his release unless he was charged and given a fair trial in a non-military court. According to media reports, an American lawyer representing Paracha said in June 2008 that his client did not deny meeting Al Qaeda figures but did not know their real identities or that they were connected to terrorism. Hina Shamsi, director of the national security project at the American Civil Liberties Union, has told the media that the assessments “are rife with uncorroborated evidence, information obtained through torture, speculation, errors and allegations that have been proven false”. REFERENCES: Saifullah Paracha’s continued detention at Gitmo a mystery June 23, 2011  2006: Saifullah Paracha’s Guantanamo detention’s continuing mystery July 2, 2011

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Meeting with Richard Holbrooke

The Secretary General of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has issued a statement that the people of Pakistan, do not appreciate the meeting of the Chief Justice of Pakistan with Mr Richard Holbrooke in his chambers on Friday. We struggled long and hard for his restoration and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf does respect the Supreme Court, but for matters of dignity and norms the Chief Justice should not have met a political official of the US Government, which is responsible for kidnappings and 'externments' from Pakistan to say the least. A large number of cases were heard by the Chief Justice himself before and are still pending in which the US government has clearly been accused and implicated. Even the issue of encroachment of Pakistan's sovereignty, and drone attacks in violation of the same and of our basic rights, can come up for hearing at the Supreme Court. The statement made out by the Registrar is a clumsy effort to cover up the issue when he said that 'Matters relating to judicial reforms as per national judicial policy and the whole judicial structure of Pakistan were discussed'. Mr Holbrooke is deeply involved in the politics of the regions as per the requirements of his position and has nothing to do with the judiciary and judicial reforms. He is not a lawyer and has never held any position in the judicial branch of the US Government. In fact his entire career has been with the foreign service. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf believes that the citizens should continue to keep an eye on such indiscretions, which have serious implications regarding the dignity and impartiality of our Judiciary. While politicians and government officials including the President with scant regard for protocol can make a beeline to meet or host such officials, the Chief Justice should honor his office which has been bestowed upon him through a long, even bloody struggle of the people of Pakistan. REFERENCE: We do not appreciate meeting of Chief Justice with Richard Holbrooke: Dr. Arif Alvi By Ahsan Mansoor Saturday, June 06, 2009

Anti-American Takes a Hike whenever Imran Khan Desires:)

ISLAMABAD: It was an extremely insecure Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who met the American Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter and former ambassador Robin Raphel at the PTI central secretariat in Islamabad on Thursday, on his own, with not a single senior member of his party present. Raphael is a senior adviser to Mark Grossman, Special Representative of US President on Pakistan-Afghanistan, and she came with Munter and two other senior US officials. What was it that Khan did not want to share with his party seniors? In almost a dictatorial fashion, Khan was reluctant to include anyone from the PTI in the meeting just like the past leaders, specially Pervez Musharraf, where there is no record anywhere about his various meetings with the world leaders as he kept everyone out, including the note taker. When Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood was asked by The News, he replied that he was in Lahore and was unaware as to who was in the meeting and it was possible that Imran Khan, who returned late to Islamabad on Wednesday night, did not have enough time to gather a team around him. But central vice president on foreign policy and security issues, Dr Shireen Mazari when asked that since this was her area and why she did not accompany Khan, said, “I did approach the chairman if I was expected to attend, but he clearly said that only he would represent the PTI.” Spokesman at the US Embassy Mark E Stroh told The News that Robin Raphel was meeting Khan in her new capacity as special adviser and “It was a regular diplomatic engagement.” Maybe Khan can take a lesson from Nawaz Sharif who can be seen with a strong team whenever foreign dignitaries call on him, especially western leaders and officials. Ambassador Tariq Fatimi is always present to take notes on the occasion. Khan emerged in politics after 15 years with no known face around him, till of late when those who were already well known in their own fields, joined him and some form of recognition has come to the PTI. So will Pakistanis now have to rely on WikiLeaks to know what transpired at the PTI central secretariat on Thursday? “Mr Khan does not believe in saying one thing in public and another in private. This has been the practice of many others as the recent disclosures in WikiLeaks showed. All the meetings of Mr Imran Khan and whatever he says are and will always remain the public domain,” Shafqat said in a statement. He said that Khan reiterated his long stated stance that the problem of terrorism Pakistan faces today is because of its partnership in the American war in Afghanistan. He said that while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf believes in having good relations with all countries, including the United States, it strongly believes that this partnership cannot be at the cost of Pakistan’s national interests. If the US wants friendship with the people of Pakistan, it should stop violating its sovereignty through drone attacks and other incursions inside its territory. Mr Imran Khan also strongly condemned the unprovoked attack on the Sallala outposts in which 24 Pakistani soldiers embraced Shahadat. Other matters of ‘mutual interest’ in the region were also discussed. What matters of ‘mutual interest’? Wait for the WikiLeaks! REFERENCE: Imran meets Munter, Raphel at PTI secretariat Mariana Baabar Friday, December 16, 2011 

Mansoor Ijaz: Bangladesh Model for Pakistan & General Pervez Musharraf. (CT - 20-11-11)

Twin terrorist attacks earlier this week in Rawalpindi and Islamabad underscored the troubles confronting Gen. Pervez Musharraf as he struggles to stabilize Pakistan and hang on to whatever is left of his power there. He faces unprecedented challenges to his rule from two former prime ministers, and is attempting to co-opt one while keep the other out of power. He has picked unnecessary fights with the judiciary and is now facing the wrath of a chief justice whose power he can no longer undermine. He tries to cut deals with Islamists when others won’t talk to him. When they do, he gets into even deeper trouble with his western allies. Ever the tactician and rarely the strategist, Musharraf’s end game this time seems to have no good outcome for the people of Pakistan. The state, it seems, is inching closer to failure on his watch. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, now of the ritzy Belgravia neighborhood in London, is set to return to Pakistan on Monday after a Supreme Court ruling allowed him to come home from exile. He is hardly fit to lead Pakistan — he has support neither in Washington nor within the Pakistani army. Muslim states, most importantly Saudi Arabia, have dubbed him an unwelcome visitor for abrogating agreements to stay out of Pakistani politics until 2010. The on-again, off-again power-sharing romance with Benazir Bhutto — which now seems off again — would only bring back venal, corrupt governance to civil institutions — hardly a fix for anything. A return to a politics of greed and power is no solution to what ails this nuclear-armed state; it would serve no end but the self-perpetuation of Pakistani robber-barons. A national unity government is needed, and its leaders need to be independently minded and well-respected men and women who are prepared to serve Pakistan in the same way Muhammad Ali Jinnah, its founder, did. If the general, who so desperately seeks to cobble together patchwork solutions for hanging onto power, legitimately believes he should be president, he should appoint a caretaker administration and step down as both army chief and president. He should run for office like all other candidates on the merits of whatever record he has compiled while in office. Musharraf’s first act should be to appoint Gen. Ehsan ul Haq as the new army chief for a fixed one-year term before he retires officially on October 7. Gen. Haq, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the senior most active military officer in the army, distancing others in seniority by nearly a decade. He is a moderate who believes in making peace with India over disputed Kashmir and has much firsthand experience with the outside world on matters of counterterrorism and security. He is a apolitical military officer who would firmly march the army back into the barracks and out of civilian affairs. As former director of both military intelligence and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, his working knowledge of how these organizations can rebuild Pakistani security, rather than harming it with ill-advised adventures (such as backing Taliban forces in Afghanistan), would be a welcome change in Pakistani foreign policy and security strategy. The general’s second act should be to appoint a caretaker government before his term ends on November 15, one that has leading members of each of the main political factions so groundwork can be prepared for free and fair elections by June 2008. He should then resign the presidency and become a candidate, and he should not block any other politician or Islamist from becoming a candidate either. He should run on his record and let others run on theirs, and then trust the Pakistani people to make a choice that is in the best interests of their country. The caretaker government should be headed by Jehangir Karamat, former army chief and ex–ambassador to the United States, who has a reputation and knack for telling his bosses where to get off when they are wrong. Karamat would fuse together the support of Pakistan’s only two functional institutions — the judiciary and the army — and would carry the support of important ally countries, including the United States. Most important, he is genuinely committed to improving the lot of Pakistanis on the street. He has their trust, and he can rebuild confidence in civil institutions. He could be joined on the roster by the current prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, to maintain continuity and stability of the financial markets and economy (GDP has grown at a 7-percent annual rate and national debt has been cut from 100 percent to 60 percent of GDP during Mr Aziz’s tenure). So to should senior advisers of Ms. Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party join; Aitzaz Ashan would be an ideal candidate, being a close adviser and confidante of Ms. Bhutto, and having fought for and won the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhry late last month. The ruling faction of Mr. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League could offer former foreign and finance minister Sartaj Aziz and former Musharraf ally Chaudhary Shujaat Hussein. Mukhtar Mai, the woman who became a national hero by standing up to her rapists and tormentors — and whom Mr. Musharraf vilified for embodying all that was wrong with Pakistan — could become the representative of the disaffected and poor to ensure their voices were brought to bear on the country’s future. Pakistan’s political institutions are decimated by years of neglect and army rule. They are not yet ready for a prime time appearance that would be required by a Bhutto-Musharraf power-sharing arrangement, or by the reemergence of Nawaz Sharif. These leaders have tried, and failed, to govern the country. They seek power its own sake, and voters are only important to them on Election Day. The day after, they go back to plundering the country once more. Musharraf, an Indian-born migrant to Pakistan, has spent a lifetime trying to convince Pakistanis that he has their best interests in mind. Perhaps he does, and if so, then he should selflessly execute a game plan that could make him the odds-on favorite to recapture his leadership position, but this time with the real support of Pakistanis, not via a manufactured and artificial government that has no credibility to lead Pakistan’s industrious people away from the brink of failure. REFERENCE: Stepping Down General Musharraf needs to abdicate the throne he seized. MANSOOR IJAZ SEPTEMBER 8, 2007 12:00

1 comment:

Muhammad Azeem said...

The truth is hidden behind so many curtains.The real nexus in Pakistan is Army,Judiciary and rightist parties.They may be on different platforms but they will be one against PPP.So the time has come.The time has come for Pakistan for its global positioning also.What the Nexus visualizes about the future, in any case,it has to effect the end.