Sunday, October 19, 2008

Judiciary in Pakistan - 1

I will start with some Filthy Character within the Restore the Judiciary Movement who has got more baggage than the Three Candidates for the Post of President of Pakistan.

Introduction of the Spokesman of CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary as per his own website.

Right after the resignation of General Musharraf from the Post of the President of Pakistan, Mr. Athar Minallah the Chief Spokesman of Defunct Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary in Private Pakistani TV Channel [AAJ], demanded Treason Trial under article 6 of 1973 Constitutiuon of Islamic Republic of Pakistan while shamelssly forgetting that Athar Minallah, also served in the Musharraf cabinet for two years. Shouln't Mr Athar Minallah be brought to Justice as well because abetting in a crime is tantamount to committing a crime. Athar was appointed Minister for Law, Local Government, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights by the Provincial Government of NWFP (2000-2002) by General Musharraf Military Regime.

Introduction of the Spokesman of CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary as per his own website.


Athar Minallah joined the prestigious Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) and after serving for 10 years left the post of Additional Collector Customs to join the firm as a partner. Athar Minallah brings not only rich taxation experience but also valuable scholastic input. Athar completed his law degree from the International Islamic University (Islamabad) and his LLM from University of Cambridge, UK. And his areas of interest are taxation, judicial review, Athar was appointed Minister for Law, Local Government, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights by the Provincial Government of NWFP (2000-2002). He also was the member of the Task Force constituted by the Federal Government for revamping the Taxation regime in Pakistan. Currently he is the member of the Policy Board of Intellectual Property of Pakistan and Chairman of Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee (ADRC) for Sales Tax constituted by the Central Board of Revenue.


What about rejecting the bail to Makhdoom Javed Hashmi [MNA-PML-N]. Mr Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary didn't say no to Mr Musharraf on Javed Hashmi Case?

SC dismisses 3 appeals of Javed Hashmi for his release on bail
Tuesday October 10, 2006 (0139 PST)

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court has dismissed three appeals filed by PML -N president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi against his trial in jail and for his release on bail and suspension of jail term. A two members bench of apex court comprising chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi heard the case.

Chief Justice observed that judiciary is independent and the supreme can in no way be pressurized in any decision. " We will give decision according to law of the land. We have to see the law. No one will be allowed to politicize the case. There is ambiguity in the arguments offered by Akram Sheikh, counsel of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi. It is in the knowledge of those who hold press conference that their statements would reach the military men as well.

Earlier giving arguments, Akram Sheikh said federal government had lodged no complaint. Is there any law in place in the country under which holding the press conference in cafeteria is a crime. The apex court has taken thousands of suo motu actions on social issues. Can suo motu action not be taken with reference to an individual whose fundamental rights have been breached, he contended. Chief Justice observed that the court has to see if the appeal can be declared maintainable or otherwise. The High court verdict has also been reviewed.

Akram Sheikh told Makhdoom Javed Hashmi is in jail since October, 29, 2003 who was convicted and sentenced on April, 12, 2004. Cafeteria is part of parliament and it is legally protected. Some one had talked in upper house and action was initiated against him. Chief Justice remarked speaking in the upper house and holding press conference are two different things. Does it fall under the powers of speaker that the case should have been registered on his complaint or otherwise.

Akram Sheikh submitted that national assembly had tried to explain about the constitution but no mention was made about cafeteria in the constitution. NA speaker can register case through his secretary. But he did not do so. It was a strange press conference where in no reporter was present. Defending the government, special prosecutor general Munir Ahmad argued high court had taken no wrong decision. The man who had registered FIR had entered into cafeteria with the special permission and card. 14 witnesses were presented in the trial court who proved 7 charges correct which were leveled against the accused. The trial court had awarded punishment after it. The high court had also declared the verdict of subordinate court correct . No defence witness appeared from the accused side in the court. The appeal filed by Malik Qayyum against trial in jail was also rejected.

Nawaz criticises judiciary for rejecting Hashmi’s appeal By Our Staff Reporter

October 10, 2006 Tuesday Ramazan 16, 1427

ISLAMABAD, Oct 9: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday paid rich tribute to jailed party leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, saying that his name would become synonymous with courage and sacrifice in the country’s history. The PML-N leader’s statement was issued from London and released by the party’s secretariat here after Mr Hashmi’s bail appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court. The PML-N chief said that the entire nation saluted him for remaining steadfast on principles.

Injustices done to Mr Hashmi were evident, even to the ‘outside world’ but “unfortunately it is not obvious to our higher judiciary”, he said. “Spirits of political workers, who have dedicated their lives for the supremacy of the constitution and democracy, cannot be subdued by such decisions,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Mr Sharif said that Javed Hashmi and others, who had refused to bow before the dictatorship of Gen Musharraf, were assets for the party and society. He expressed the hope that democracy would prevail over forces of military dictatorship because of the sacrifices rendered by Mr Hashmi, adding that Pakistan would soon attain a respectable position in the comity of nations.

Javed Hashmi, PML’s acting president, is in detention for the past three years on charges of treason.

Commenting on rejection of Mr Hashmi’s appeal by the Supreme Court, PML-N information secretary Ahsan Iqbal in a separate statement said that unfortunately this had shown that the judiciary had double standards.

“We welcome the release of PPP leader Yusuf Raza Gillani by the judiciary, who was subjected to victimisation by the Musharraf regime, (but) in Mr Hashmi’s case the criteria changed,” he said.

“Mr Hashmi is a prisoner of conscience and the whole nation feels proud of him. Such decisions will not break the resolve of the PML-N but further strengthen the will of its leaders and workers to continue the struggle for victory of constitutions and democracy in the country. This has once again demonstrated that the Musharraf regime still fears the PML-N and considers it (the main threat),” he said.

Hashmi’s bail plea rejected By Nasir Iqbal

December 6, 2003 Saturday Shawwal 11, 1424

ISLAMABAD, Dec 5: The District and Sessions Judge, Islamabad, Chaudhry Asad Raza, dismissed on Friday the bail application of Alliance for Restoration of Democracy President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and fixed Monday for regular hearing of a mutiny case against him.

“By going through the record of the case, it seems the accused, prima facie has committed an offence which falls under section 124 A (Sedition) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and, therefore, cannot be granted bail,” observed the judge in his 11-page verdict.

The judge said the letter the accused read out and distributed among press reporters and others seemed to be carried by him for the first time.

“We will definitely challenge the decision before the high court and will avail all judicial avenues available to us to get a bail in favour of Javed Hashmi,” defence counsel Latif Khosa and Syed Zafar Ali Shah told Dawn.

The district and sessions judge also mentioned the statements of the witnesses which were produced by the prosecution and observed that an attempt was made to create a feeling to abet mutiny against the high command of the armed forces.

Two witnesses, Captain Jehanzeb Zahoor and Captain Nadir Saleem, in their statements before the magistrate had stated that they felt insulted while listening to the letter being read out which instigated them for mutiny against the high command of the armed forces. Two media persons, one from daily Islam and other from the government news agency APP, who had covered the press conference, had also recorded their statements.

According to the verdict, the statement of the witnesses also showed that this letter could cause treason among the army personnel and create public disturbance, hatred against the Constitution, subvert laws of the state and disturb tranquillity in society.

The issue as to from where the letter came and its veracity would also be looked into during the regular hearing of this case.

About the application of Mr Hashmi, arrested on Oct 29 on the charges of issuing statements against the army, regarding the provision of A-Class in the jail, the court directed the Adyala jail authority to submit a detailed report in this regard on Dec 8 when Mr Hashmi would be produced before the court on the expiry of his judicial remand. The court also might give its decision on his application on the same date.

Later, Mr Zafar Ali Shah, talking to reporters, said the decision was expected and accused the government of political victimization.

He recalled that special prosecutor Munir Bhatti in the challan he presented before the court had also involved other parliamentarians in the case but only Mr Hashmi was being victimised.

Late release of Javed Hashmi on the eve of his daughter`s marriage, an unwelcome gesture: Liaqat Sunday December 24, 2006 (0215 PST)

MULTAN: MMA central leader Liaqat Baloch has said MMA does not welcome government step on late release of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi enabling him to attend marriage of his daughter and demanded case be withdrawn and PML-N acting president be set free. He said this while talking to the journalists on the eve of marriage of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi`s daughter marriage. Baloch held NA speaker is custodian of house and he should have taken timely step. He did not do so nor he issued production order. Case should be withdrawn against Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and he should be released. Hamza Shahbaz son of PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif was also present on occasion but he did not talk to the journalists.

JI leader Farid Ahmad Paracha said responsibility rests with the PPP-P to play its role for formation of grand alliance. The impression about deal between government and PPP-P should be dispelled. Opposition should jointly wage struggle against the dictatorship. Transparent elections can not take place under general Musharraf. Resignations from MMA are not hurdle on the way to formation of grand alliance. He told MMA supreme council will take final decision on resignations. Time has come collective campaign should be launched and resignations be tendered, he stressed. PPP-P leader Fakhar Imam said Benazir has to decide about attending the All Parties Conference (APC) convened by Nawaz Sharif or otherwise. Former president Rafiq Tarar said general Musharraf is playing the role of enemy of country.


For the sake of record.

Human Rights Watch is often quoted on the Restoraion of Judiciary and Restoration of CJ Mr Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary. Lets read what HRW has to say about Asif Ali Zardari. I wonder where was was Mr Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary [upgraded by Musharraf during Martial Law rather Musharraf administered his OATH for the Supreme Court] and his Chief Spokesman Mr Ather Minallah who had served under the very General Musharraf during his Pure and Un-edited Martial Law Government. Where were Mr Ather Minallah and CJ Mr Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary when under their very nose below mentioned Human Rights Abuses were rampantly allowed against Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and Asif Ali Zardari. Dear Moderators, please call spade a spade.


Repression of Political Opponents

The government continues to use the National Accountability Bureau and a host of anti-corruption and sedition laws to keep in jail or threaten political opponents, particularly members of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). As elections approach in 2007, such persecution is expected to increase. Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy, who received a 23-year sentence for sedition in April 2004, a charge brought against him for reading an anti-Musharraf letter to journalists, remained in jail at this writing.

Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Political Opponents

The government continued to use the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and a host of anti-corruption and sedition laws to jail political opponents or blackmail them into changing their political stance or loyalties or at the very least to cease criticizing the military authorities.

In April 2004, the president of an opposition party, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy, was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison on sedition charges for reading an anti-Musharraf letter to assembled journalists. Meanwhile, Asif Zardari, husband of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has begun his ninth consecutive year in prison. Initially the government filed twelve cases against Zardari, most based on charges of corruption and financial impropriety. Though he has been bailed in eight and acquitted in four of these, in December 2001 a thirteenth case was filed against him on charges of evading duty on the import of a second-hand car. Zardari awaits a bail hearing.

Torture and Arbitrary Arrests of Dissidents and Political Opponents

Torture is used in Pakistan by military agencies primarily to "punish" politicians, political activists, and journalists who challenge the government's actions. Torture by the military usually takes place after the victim has been abducted; the purpose is to frighten victims into changing their political stance or loyalties or at the very least to cease criticizing the military authorities. The victim is often let go on the understanding that if he fails to behave, another abduction and further mistreatment will follow. In this manner, the victim can be kept in a state of fear for several years. Rights groups have raised the case of the detention and torture of Rana Sanaullah Khan, an opposition legislator who was whipped, beaten, held incommunicado, and interrogated for a week in police custody before eventually being released in November 1999. Apparently because Sanaullah refused to be cowed by the incident, he was abducted again in March 2003 and received similar treatment before being released. Meanwhile, Javed Hashmi, acting president of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (N), remains in custody facing charges of sedition after he criticized military authorities at a press conference.

Pakistan: End Persecution of Political Opponents

Zardari had been accused of corruption during Bhutto’s term as prime minister, but his lone conviction was later reversed because of governmental interference with the judicial process. By December 2001, Zardari had been granted bail in all cases pending against him. However, in a move apparently designed to prevent his release, the Musharraf government filed a new case accusing Zardari of evading import duty on a second-hand car. On November 22, the Supreme Court granted him bail in this case and he was released. Though Zardari’s release was ordered by the Supreme Court, government functionaries publicly stated that he had been released as part of a “deal” with the PPP that would culminate in the party’s recognition of the institutionalized role of the military in Pakistani politics. This would allow General Musharraf to hold the dual roles of army chief and president in exchange for a role in government and the dropping of charges against Bhutto, Zardari, and others.

Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Political Opponents

The government continued to use the National Accountability Bureau and a host of anti-corruption and sedition laws to jail or threaten political opponents. Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy, began a twenty-three year sentence for sedition, a charge brought against him for reading an anti-Musharraf letter to journalists in April 2004. In April 2005 thousands of opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters, including several PPP parliamentarians, were arbitrarily arrested in a countrywide crackdown. Though many of those arrested were subsequently released without charge, cases against hundreds were filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act and under Pakistan’s criminal procedure code. Scores continue to face charges and the fear of re-arrest. On May 11 Shahbaz Sharif, president of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), was forcibly deported to Saudi Arabia when he attempted to end three years of involuntary exile. Prior to his arrival at Lahore Airport, scores of PML-N leaders and supporters were arrested and released subsequently.

During the summer of 2005, Musharraf presided over a three-phase local government election marked by brazen intimidation, coercion, and pre-poll rigging. Some forty people died in election-related violence, making this the most violent electoral exercise in Pakistan’s recent history. During the campaign, many opposition candidates faced violence and intimidation at the hands of the police and civil administration. Independent observers reported numerous instances of kidnapping, mistreatment, and arbitrary detention of opposition supporters, as well as pre-election and election day irregularities.

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