Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two Offices: Judiciary, General Pervez Musharraf & Asif Ali Zardari.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered President Asif Ali Zardari to relinquish his post as co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) before September 5, DawnNews reported. The court has completed the proceedings on petitions of contempt of court, filed against the president for holding dual posts. A three-member larger bench headed by, Chief Justice of Lahore High court, Justice Umar Atta Bandial, was hearing the case. Various lawyers presented their arguments and said that the president should follow the court’s orders. The chief justice responded to the arguments and said that the issue under consideration has constitutional importance and the verdict will also be in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan. He further added that court has provided the president with ample time to resign from his post as the co-chairperson of the PPP and suspend all political activities in the Presidency before September 5. REFERENCE: LHC orders Zardari to relinquish PPP office before Sept 5

2012: United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Ms Gabriela Knaul: I am worried by the number and nature of reported cases of serious threats and attacks of judges. Physical security is an essential condition for judges to be able to carry out their duties without hindrance or interferences. I encourage the Government to consider setting up a special system of protection for judges in consultation with professional bodies and other associations of judges. I would like to commend the use of inherent powers of the Supreme Court in recent cases related to gross human rights violations, for instance in the case of enforced disappearance referred to as “missing persons” in Balochistan. I believe that by using this procedure in some cases, the Supreme Court is upholding human rights law and contributing to combating impunity. However, I am concerned by the lack of clear criteria guiding the use of suo moto, which can undermine its own nature and may jeopardize other pending cases from being timely considered by the Supreme Court. REFERENCE: United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Ms Gabriela KNAUL, Preliminary observations on the official visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan - Islamabad, 29 May 2012
2011: LHC tells President Zardari to curtail political activities

The News International 2007: Musharraf gets new lease of life, thanks to MMA Rauf Klasra Saturday, September 29, 2007 ISLAMABAD: The three-year-old political sins of top MMA leaders have once again given a second lease of political life to General Pervez Musharraf at a very crucial phase, as the infamous 17th Amendment becomes the basis of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow a uniformed president to get himself re-elected for the next five years from the present assemblies. For many, the most-important thing is that the verdict of the Supreme Court has justified the recent claim of Musharraf that he had made with a lot of pride and arrogance in his choking voice that “let the agitators do their job, he would have the last laugh”. Likewise, the government’s prediction that it would win the case with a majority also turned out to be right. Meanwhile, the critical role of the MMA in facilitating the rule of Musharraf in uniform is so definite and irritating that during the two-week-long proceedings on the case, some judges did not forget to remind the religious parties about their ‘deeds’. It is now widely believed in the political circles that the MMA would go down in the history as a force which used political Islam not only to validate the rule of General Musharraf since October 12, 1999, but also helped him to become president in uniform first after the general election in 2002 and now in 2007 by providing legal and constitutional excuses to the Supreme Court to extend a favourable decision to a military general.

One political observer said that if Musharraf gets himself re-elected as the president on October 6, it would be only because of the MMA leaders who had decided to vote in favour of 17th Amendment after striking a deal with a uniformed general and distorted the Constitution of 1973. Likewise, General Musharraf once again would be feeling grateful to the MMA leaders, particularly Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose single act not only gave him the crucial support when he needed it most, but it continued to yield results when he once again needed it. At the time of passage of the Legal Framework Order (LFO) in 2004 after the MMA leaders decided to betray the political forces engaged in desperate struggle against the rule of Musharraf, it was widely assumed that it might be only one-time “political sin” of the MMA leaders. But, now the SC verdict on Friday confirms the wild doubts of critics of the MMA that the country would continue to suffer from the havoc created by the decision of Qazi and Fazl.

The MMA, nicked named as a “B team” of General Musharraf, had given a false impression after the 2002 elections that it would fight for the supremacy of the Parliament when President Musharraf would push his LFO for approval from the Legislature. In the absence of two former prime ministers – Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto – Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Fazlur Rehman simply hijacked the agitation movement of the opposition parties to oppose Musharraf and his LFO in the Parliament. The movement became so aggressive and popular in nature that at one stage, it emerged that Musharraf might yield to the rising political power of these forces. The international media and community were also giving serious attention to the political turmoil in Pakistan amid the rising pressure from the Commonwealth and the European Union on Musharraf to get legitimacy from the Parliament or he might lose their vital support.

The agitation movement within and outside the Parliament against the LFO was so effective that it crippled the Jamali government. At that time, Musharraf appointed two of his top and trusted generals, Maj Gen Zaki and Maj Gen Ehtasham Zamir, assisted by S M Zafar, to negotiate a secret deal with the MMA. Qazi, Fazl and Liaquat Baloch started meeting these generals late nights. Finally, a deal was brokered between the generals and the MMA, which exclusively benefited both the parties. The first reward was the continuation of the MMA-led NWFP government, share in the Balochistan cabinet and slot of the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly. Likewise, the MMA also got the references against its MPs blocked after certain forces tried to get them disqualified on account of educational qualification. After initial dents in its lost credibility, the MMA leaders once again revived their political credentials when they used Nawaz Sharif who, too easily, accepted their role as a major opposition when he started giving them more importance despite being partners of Musharraf in the government.

The MMA got the real boost as a major opposition alliance, despite being part of Musharraf regime, when Nawaz Sharif gave them importance at London during the All Parties Conference and later formed an alliance with them. But, soon Nawaz realised that he was only being used by smart and shrewd politicians of the MMA to defuse his rising popularity as none of them turned up at the Islamabad airport on September 10 to receive him. It is interesting to note that the MMA leaders are so smart that they have not only been facilitating Musharraf in power but they have also been successfully acting as the real opposition to the regime. When contacted by The News, MNA Liaquat Baloch did not agree with the conclusion that the religio-political alliance was actually responsible for the continuation of Musharraf rule. He said the 17th Amendment had given benefits to all the parties, including all the women parliamentarians, minorities and other segments. He said that under the agreement with Musharraf, he was to take off his uniform by December 31, 2004, but he backed out. Likewise, the MMA leader said Musharraf was given concession only for one term and now he was allowed to contest the election in uniform without any valid justification. He said the doctrine of necessity was once again revived and the MMA should not be blamed at all. “What is our fault,” Baloch put a counter question. REFERENCE: Musharraf gets new lease of life, thanks to MMA Rauf Klasra Saturday, September 29, 2007

2007: Ahmed Quraishi in Worldview from Islamabad Judiciary and Musharraf's Election

Daily Dawn 2007: The day of the General: •Musharraf to run for president in uniform •Petitioners, lawyers’ leaders livid By Nasir Iqbal September 29, 2007 ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed on technical grounds petitions against Gen Pervez Musharraf holding two offices, giving a legal boost to the president to contest the election for the second term in uniform. It was a majority (six-three) verdict by a nine-member bench headed by Justice Rana Bhagwandas. The bench threw out the petitions challenging the dual offices of the army chief and the president held by Gen Musharraf, declaring that these were not maintainable. In other words, the merit of the cases which had been debated for two weeks along with the issue of maintainability, became irrelevant as the majority of judges dismissed the challenge by declaring that the petitions could not be entertained at this forum. After suffering a series of setbacks from the superior judiciary over the past few months, such as the restoration of the chief justice, acceptance of Nawaz Sharif’s right to return from exile and bail to Javed Hashmi, President Musharraf received the first good news from the Supreme Court. Government supporters termed the verdict a ‘great victory’ and said the day clearly belonged to Gen Musharraf. The verdict received an immediate adverse reaction inside the packed courtroom the moment the bench rose for the day. Though the short order was heard in pin drop silence by scores of lawyers and some political leaders, the courtroom echoed with slogans of ‘shame, shame’ and ‘go Musharraf go’ which later turned into real protest as lawyers and supporters of the petitioners walked out to join a much bigger crowd. Some of the lawyers described the judgment as revival of the doctrine of necessity in the country’s chequered judicial history. Former vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council Ali Ahmed Kurd asked lawyers to lay siege to the Election Commission on Saturday -- the day of scrutiny of nomination papers of the presidential candidates. “For reasons to be recorded later, as per majority view of 6 to 3, the petitions are held to be not maintainable within the contemplation of Article 184(3) of the Constitution (court’s original jurisdiction under the fundamental rights),” the judgment announced by Justice Rana Bhagwandas said. “As per minority view of Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, all these petitions are held to be maintainable under Article 184(3) and hereby accepted. As per majority view these petitions are hereby dismissed as not maintainable,” he said. Attorney-General Malik Mohammad Qayyum appreciated the judgment and said it was a correct decision and the dissent in the bench reflected that judges had applied their independent mind. Soon after the verdict, police escorted president’s counsel Sharifuddin Pirzada and the AG out of the courtroom to ensure their security from the wrath of a furious crowd outside. Reacting to the judgment, PML (N) acting president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said the infamous doctrine of necessity, under which all military rules had been validated by the apex court, was still continuing. “We thought the judiciary has become totally independent, but this impression proved to be wrong,” he deplored. He announced that a campaign would be launched against the regime and for complete independence of the judiciary. MMA parliamentarian Farid Paracha said the judgment did not reflect the aspiration of the people, rather it strengthened the rule of a military dictator. He said the people of Pakistan had rejected it, adding that the MMA would file a review petition. He said that the struggle for restoration of genuine democracy in the country would be intensified. Supreme Court Bar Association president Munir A. Malik said it was not a verdict which had been unexpected. “Though the July 20 judgment of restoring Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was a step ahead, we still have a long way to go for complete independence of the judiciary. Although the judgment is disappointing, our battle is not over,” he added. He said the three dissenting judges would always be remembered as Justice A.R. Cornelius and added that history would record its own conclusion regarding the other six judges. Senior Advocate Hamid Khan said judges had abdicated their jurisdiction in deciding the matter, adding that the order was a continuation of the Tameezuddin and Dosso cases (in which the concept of the doctrine of necessity was introduced). However, he said, the judgment would not dampen lawyers’ struggle which would continue till the end of dictatorship. Advocate Akram Sheikh said that by dismissing the petitions under the cover of technicality, the Supreme Court had resurrected the infamous decision in the Maulvi Tameezuddin case dismissing the petition on technical grounds. He said he had been asked by his client (Jamaat-i-Islami) to move a review petition against the decision which he would file on Monday. Earlier, Advocate Akram in his arguments before the court emphasised that it was the duty of the court to scrap the uniform of President Musharraf because it had allowed him to keep the uniform. Any validation by the court, he said, would not be accepted. Advocate Hamid Khan said President Musharraf’s holding of two offices derogated the constitutional provision of equality before the law because he was holding the gun. A.K. Dogar said that Article 63(1-d) allowed President Musharraf to hold one office, but the President to Hold Another Office dealt with the dual-office law which was against constitutional provisions. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, appearing as amicus curiae, said: “We as a nation have reached the final stage of transition where there is an opportunity to all candidates for the presidential election that they would enter upon the office of the president as civilians.” REFERENCE: The day of the General: •Musharraf to run for president in uniform •Petitioners, lawyers’ leaders livid By Nasir Iqbal September 29, 2007 Saturday Ramazan 16, 1428

2011: LHC asks Zardari to stop political activities

The News International 2007: SC saves the day for Musharraf Sohail Ahmed Saturday, September 29, 2007 ISLAMABAD: A larger bench of the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed as not maintainable six identical petitions challenging the dual office held by President General Pervez Musharraf. The verdict, according to observers, gave a new lease of life to the president. “For reasons to be recorded later, as per majority view of six to three, these petitions are held to be not maintainable with the contemplation of Article 184(3) of the Constitution,” said Justice Rana Bhagwandas, heading the nine-member SC bench, while announcing the verdict in a short order in a jam-packed courtroom here. The court also disallowed the petition filed by Professor Dr Anwarul Haq seeking permission to contest the presidential election despite being in service of Pakistan. Six judges on the bench – Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, Justice Falak Sher and Justice Javed M Buttar – declared that the petitions are non-maintainable under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. However, the three other judges on the bench – Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan – favoured the petitions as maintainable. The short order reads that as per the minority view of Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, all the petitions are held to be maintainable under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and are hereby accepted.

The constitutional petition No 63 of 2007 of Dr Anwarul Haq versus the Federation of Pakistan and another are disallowed to the extent of seeking permission to contest the election to the office of president, says the order, adding that as per the majority view, these petitions are hereby dismissed as non-maintainable. The Jamaat-e-Islami, through its Ameer, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, had filed two petitions in the apex court while Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Communist Party chief Engineer Jameel Ahmed Malik had filed identical petitions challenging the dual office of the president and his candidature for the presidential election. The Pakistan Lawyers Forum had also filed a review petition challenging the 17th Amendment while Dr Anwarul Haq had filed a petition seeking permission to contest the presidential election being in service.

Soon after the announcement of the judgment, a large number of lawyers present in the courtroom expressed their resentment at the verdict and chanted “Shame”, “Shame” and raised slogans against the government lawyers as well as Attorney-General Malik Qayyum and Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, who was appointed by the court as amicus curiae. “The decision is the continuation of the past judgments given by the apex court in cases of Maulvi Tameezuddin, Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Syed Zafar Ali Shah,” Hamid Khan, counsel for the petitioners, Imran Khan and Qazi Hussain Ahmed, told reporters after the verdict.

“The verdict has no doubt revised the decisions made by the apex court during the past 50 years which were made on technicalities instead of merit,” Hamid Khan added. However, he expressed his determination that they would continue their struggle for the independence of the judiciary. “We were of the view that the judiciary got independence after the historic verdict on July 20 this year; however, today we came to know that we were at fault,” Khan said. Ali Ahmed Kurd, former vice chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council, “rejected” the verdict and said that the judges could not digest the honour and pride given to this prestigious building on July 20 this year.

“This is not a verdict but a dictation, taken by the six judges and we don’t accept it,” Kurd said. He said today’s verdict refreshed the doctrine of necessity. Kurd, however, appealed to the people belonging to all walks of life to reach the Election Commission today (Saturday) and strengthen the hands of the legal fraternity.“I appeal to all the people, even (those) who cannot walk or see should come to the EC with black flags and extend their support to the lawyers,” he said. Earlier, after hearing the concluding arguments of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, an amicus curiae, as well as of counsel for the petitioners, Hamid Khan, A K Dogar and Muhammad Akram Sheikh, the court had announced that the verdict of the identical petitions would be announced at 2.15 pm. However, it gave the verdict at 3.30 pm. Amicus curiae Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, continuing his arguments, submitted that under the Constitution qualification and disqualification for the election of the president have been defined in a separate Article; therefore, disqualification under Article 63 could not be applied to the president.

He further contended that once he is elected as president, his election cannot be challenged and he can be removed only through the process of impeachment. Giving their replies, Akram Sheikh, Hamid Khan and AK Dogar submitted that fundamental rights have been violated; therefore, the court is competent to hear and decide the petitions under Article 184-3. They said all citizens are equal before the law and equality of right does not belong to individual, but it is a collective in nature. They said all of them have been reduced to inferiority with the participation in the presidential election by the chief of Army staff. Akram Sheikh submitted that this case is not less (important) than the case of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, but the difference is that the holder of the office of the president is also holding a gun in his hand and he is holding this office in violation of the Constitution. “This court has given uniform to President Musharraf and now it is the responsibility of the court to make him doff the uniform,” he concluded. In his reply, AK Dogar submitted that the common citizen, other than a candidate, cannot raise objections before the chief election commissioner; therefore, he is raising these objections before the court to decide the issue. “The core issue before the court is how to separate the Army from the politics of the country,” Dogar concluded. REFERENCE: SC saves the day for Musharraf Sohail Ahmed Saturday, September 29, 2007

The News International 2007: Musharraf terms SC judgment positive Saturday, October 06, 2007  ISLAMABAD: President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Friday, terming the National Reconciliation Ordinance a milestone, said it will lay the foundation for political future of the country. “It is a conviction-based document and not is general and applies to all politicians to ensure a free and transparent election,” the president said in a live PTV programme on the eve of the presidential election about the ordinance that gives amnesty to politicians and bureaucrats. The president responded to direct telephone calls and e-mails from the public, parliamentarians and professionals during the hour-long Presidential Election Special Transmission that covered the political situation, the high prices of everyday commodities and development projects. The president termed the Supreme Court decision earlier in the day as “positive” that gave a go ahead to the presidential election, but barred issuance of the official results till the announcement of final judgment. He said the judgment has also recognised that the current parliament will choose the next president. “I hope the Supreme Court will give a balanced judgment, after hearing both sides,” the president said. To a question about the need for the NRO ordinance, the president said the country faced several challenges and it was time to move ahead from the days of politics of victimisation and politics of vendetta. President Musharraf recalled the time when there was stiff confrontation between the president, the prime minister and the Chief of Army Staff and said with the threats of extremism and terrorism looming, there was a need for political consensus and reconciliation. When asked whether former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will be part of the NRO, he said: “It is a transition phase...there should be reconciliation with everyone.” He said the run-up to the presidential election and the general elections should be smooth and harmonious. “After the election, we will see about (Nawaz’s) return and reconciliation,” the president said. The president said his entire focus was on national and political reconciliation and good governance. “I will take two steps forward, if someone wants reconciliation,” the president said. To a question as to who will run the government, the president said it will be the new prime minister. “If needed I will advise, if the prime minister so desires,” he added. President Musharraf said the government was being run by the prime minister, his cabinet and the secretaries. “I have already given up my authority as the chief executive... I do not want any ‘thanedari’, I want decentralisation and give the people the authority to run their affairs.” He said as an Army Chief he had also to look after other affairs like the situation in Waziristan, etc. He said economic progress and socioeconomic development were the key elements and said he will ensure their continuation in future and would not like to see them collapse. Our priority is to sustain the economic progress, otherwise we might fail as a nation,” the president said. President Musharraf to a question said it was not only Punjab that was witnessing progress, but similar development was going on in all the provinces. “We have set up a direction...Pakistan was otherwise a rudderless ship and now we are taking it towards a direction.” REFERENCE: Musharraf terms SC judgment positive Saturday, October 06, 2007
2011: LHC orders President to stop political activities

The News International 2007:  EC gives Musharraf go-ahead Mumtaz Alvi Sunday, September 30, 2007 ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission on Saturday rejected objections to the candidature of General Pervez Musharraf for re-election as president and accepted his nomination papers along with five other persons. The opposition and lawyers staged a walkout on this occasion and boycotted the proceedings of the Election Commission. One out of 18 nomination papers filed on behalf of President Musharraf were accepted by the Commission. The one submitted on his behalf by a stranger in Lahore was rejected. The chief election commissioner made a verbal judgment on this occasion. Besides, General Musharraf, the nomination papers of Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed, Mohammadmian Soomro, Chaudhry Amir Hussain and Faryal Talpur were declared valid by the CEC, who is also the returning officer for presidential election. Hence, barring these six candidates, the papers of all other candidates were rejected.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the lawyer fraternity, after storming out of the Commission hall following the eruption of violence on the Constitution Avenue, told journalists that they would be going to the Supreme Court against the validation of General Musharraf’s papers.

The returning officer conducted the scrutiny of nomination papers and proposers and seconders of President Musharraf raised no objection to the candidature of Amin Fahim, Wajihuddin Ahmed and Faryal Talpur.

“Why they are being treated as VIPs. They are proposers and seconders like us,” Babar Awan pointed out, while referring to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Three brief interruptions hit the activity. First, when Senators Babar Awan, Farooq Naik and Abdul Latif Khosa objected to the arrival of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and PML President Shujaat Hussain from a separate entrance and giving them separate seats. Twice the journalists and lawyers tried to draw the CEC’s attention towards clashes and shelling outside, yards away from the Commission office.

Without wasting time, Premier Aziz and Shujaat joined the rest of the audience comprising chief ministers of Punjab Pervaiz Elahi, Sindh Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Balochistan Jam Muhammad Yousaf, and scores of ministers who were also President Musharraf, Soomro and Amir Hussain’s proposers and seconders. Leaders of the ruling coalition including Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Dr Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghauri were also present on the occasion.

Talking to The News after the proceedings, PPPP Senator Babar Awan rejected the CEC’s acceptance of General Musharraf’s nomination papers and said they would seek the apex court’s intervention in the matter.

Justice Tariq Mehmood, who is a supporter of Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed, also announced that they would go to the Supreme Court as General Musharraf did not qualify to contest the election for the presidential slot.

Senator Khosa, who spoke on the president’s candidature for over an hour, strongly objected to the army chief vying for a slot that was purely political and said if allowed to do so, this would undermine the constitutional status of state institutions.

The CEC gave half-an-hour to a presidential candidate Zahid Anwar Wahla to produce copies of attested identity card of his proposer, PML (Nawaz)’s Tehmina Daultana. But he never returned to comply with this order.

Responding to one of the objections over the educational degrees of General Musharraf, Senator Wasim Sajjad said that his presidential candidate had got bachelor’s degree in 1980 and then MSc degree in War Studies from the Quaid-e-Azam University in 1982, as at that time, the National Defence College was associated with it.

About the declaration of Musharraf and his spouse’s declaration of assets, the senator conceded that these documents were yet to be submitted to the Election Commission. Some parts of the proceedings were inaudible due to heavy presence of parliamentarians and aspirants of presidential election.

Khosa, Hamid Khan and Naik based their arguments against President Musharraf’s candidature and called it sheer violation of his oath according to which Musharraf was not supposed to take part in any kind of political activity whatsoever, whereas the office of president was a political one.

They asked the CEC to reject his papers, as he was not acting with neutrality and had been promoting the ruling PML. The jurists also tried to prove that already Musharraf had served two terms as president and, hence, could not qualify for another term.

They contended that his taking part in election in uniform was a total negation of the Constitution and the parliamentary form of the government and above all the political ethos and norms.

Musharraf should wait for two years as per the Constitution after quitting as the army chief, they said. The jurists also noted that how Musharraf self-appointed him first as the chief executive and then president to go to India to hold talks with then Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee by dismissing an elected president Rafiq Tarar. Then he held a referendum to justify his own appointment. “He himself had to admit in his book that there was overdoing as for as the number of votes polled in his favour were concerned,” Khosa noted.

Hamid said that under the 17th Amendment, Musharraf was given immunity for a limited period and, therefore, he could no more retain two offices simultaneously. He questioned how come an assembly mandated for five years could elect someone for ten years.

All the jurists who spoke against General Musharraf’s candidature, had thrust of their arguments on the breach of commitment General Musharraf had made to the nation and an alliance of political parties, adding he was not “Amin” and a righteous man under Article 62 of the Constitution.

Rejecting their objections, Senator Wasim Sajjad made it clear that the present was a transitional period and from November 15, democracy would be completely restored. He also justified the 17th Amendment, which he maintained, was made to take the system forward and then restore a complete democratic order. Referring to the Supreme Court judgment vis-ˆ-vis Article 63, he said that the said article could not be applied to the president.

APP/NNI add: The Election Commission on Saturday evening issued a notification for validly-nominated candidates to contest the Presidential Election 2007.Issued with the orders of the Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Qazi Muhammad Farooq, the notification declared the six candidates validly nominated.

The notification said, “In pursuance of paragraph 5 of the second schedule to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan hereby announces the names of the following persons, who have been validly nominated for election to the office of the president of Pakistan: (1) General Pervez Musharraf (2) Mohammadmian Soomro (3) Ch Amir Hussain (4) Wajihuddin Ahmed (5) Makhdoom Mohammad Amin Fahim (6) Faryal Talpur.”

Those whose nomination papers were rejected for having not been supported by proposers and seconders included Syed Iqtidar Haider, Rao Javed Khan, Khurshid Anwar Qureshi, Shaukat Hussein, Maulana Mohammad Ayaz, Major (Retd) Ramzan, Dr Fazlur Rehman, M B Khan, Nawab Amber Shahzada, Dr Zahoor Mehdi, Ashfaq Chaudhry, Shahbaz Khan, Shahzada Sardar Mohammad Rafique, Aitbar Khan, Riaz Chandio, Khalid Iqbal, Muneza Asif, Nawab Ali, Syed Sakhawat Hussein, Engineer Abdullah, Amir Ali, Shakeel Hussein, Noushad Hussein, Azam Kamal, Nafees Ahmad, Syed Habibullah, Iqbal Tiger and Haider Ali. REFERENCE: EC gives Musharraf go-ahead Mumtaz Alvi Sunday, September 30, 2007

Musharraf defends emergency rule - 03 Nov 2007

Who "Really" Pressurized the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to Resign in March 2007

2007: Affidavit filed in SC on events of March 9-13 Muhammad Qasim Wednesday, May 30, 2007 ISLAMABAD: Lead counsel for Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Ch Aitzaz Ahsan, on Tuesday filed an affidavit of his client in the Supreme Court covering four days of events that he faced from March 9 to 13, when he was rendered non-functional. The affidavit, filed in support of the constitutional petition filed by the CJ under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, reads that on March 09, 2007, he headed bench No 1 of the apex Court as chief justice and heard several cases till about 10.30 a.m. “The bench rose briefly and had to reassemble for the day except the CJ who left for the Army House, Rawalpindi, to meet the president.” The CJ arrived at the Army House at about 11:30 a.m. along with his staff/protocol staff and was shown to a waiting room/visitors room. After five minutes of his arrival, President General Pervez Musharraf, wearing his military uniform, came into the room along with his military secretary and ADC. As soon as the president took his seat, a number of TV cameramen and photographers were also ushered to the room. They took several pictures and made movie footage, reads the affidavit.

The affidavit states that while discussing the Saarc Law Conference, Saarc Chief Justices Conference and the concluding session of the golden jubilee ceremony of the Supreme Court, the president said a compliant against him had been received by him from a judge of the Peshawar High Court. The CJ replied that it was not based on facts as his case had been decided by a two-member bench and that attempts were being made to maliciously involve other members of the bench as well. On this, the president said there are a few more complaints against the CJ as well and after saying so, he directed his staff to call the other persons. The other persons, who entered the room on the president’s direction, included the prime minister, DG MI, DG ISI, DG IB, COS and another official. All officials (except DG IB and COS) were in uniform, reads the affidavit.

At this moment, the president started reading from small pieces of paper. However, he had no single consolidated document. The allegations, which were being put to the CJ had been taken from the contents of a notorious letter written by Naeem Bukhari with absolutely no substance in them, the affidavit said. The CJ strongly refuted these allegations as being baseless and engineered to defame him personally and the judiciary as a whole. On this, the president said that the CJ had obtained cars from the Supreme Court for his family. However, the CJ vehemently denied the allegation. The affidavit further reads that the president went on to say that the CJ was being driven in a Mercedes, to which the CJ promptly replied; “here is the prime minister. Ask him, he has sent me the car himself”. The CJ states that the PM did not reply even by a gesture. Surprisingly, the president went on to say that the CJ had interfered in the affairs of Lahore High Court and had not accepted and taken heed of most of the recommendations of the chief justice of the LHC.

The president insisted that the CJ should resign and in case of his resignation, the former would accommodate the latter. The president also said in case of refusal to resign, the CJ will have to face a reference, which could be a bigger embarrassment for him. The CJ states that he said resolutely that he wouldn’t resign and would face any reference since he is innocent and has not violated any code of conduct or any law, rule or regulation. “I believe that I am myself the guardian of law. I strongly believe in God who will help me”. This ignited the fury of the president who stood up angrily and left the room along with his MS, COS and the PM, saying that others would show evidence to him (the CJ). The meeting continued for not more than 30 minutes, reads the CJ’s statement. The DG MI, DG ISI and DG IB remained behind and continued to sit with the CJ but did not show him a single piece of evidence. They (except DG IB) insisted that the CJ should resign while the CJ continued to assert strongly that the allegations were baseless and for a collateral purpose.

The CJ said he was forced to stay in the same room during the subsequent hours till 5 p.m. and despite requests, he was not allowed to see his staff/protocol officer. Sometimes, all the persons would leave the CJ alone in that room but would not allow him to leave. Despite several attempts to leave the room and the Army House, the CJ was made to stay there on one pretext or the other and was kept there ‘absolutely against his will’ till past 5 p.m., says the affidavit. “After 5 p.m., DG MI came in again and told the CJ that his car was outside to drive him ‘home’. DG MI came out of the room and once outside, told the CJ, ‘this is a bad day, now you are taking a separate way and you are informed that you have been restrained to work as a judge of the Supreme Court or chief justice of Pakistan’,” reads the affidavit. The CJ’s car was stripped of both the flags of Pakistan and the emblem and his staff officer informed him that Justice Javed Iqbal had taken oath as the acting chief justice and it had been shown on TV. “The driver also informed the deponent that he had been instructed not to take the deponent to the Supreme Court while on way to the residence of the deponent.” On the way, the CJ directed the driver to go to the Supreme Court but an Army official prevented his car from proceeding further near the Sports Complex. Meanwhile, Tariq Masood Yasin, SP, appeared and ordered the driver to come out of the car so that he could drive the deponent and also asked the deponent’s gunman to come out of the car.

The CJ states that he said, “Okay, I will not go to the Supreme Court but my driver will drive my car and my gunman will escort me home’. Only then, did Tariq Masood Yasin agreed to let the car be driven by the CJ’s driver”. The CJ states that he reached home at 5:45 p.m. and was shocked to see police officials and agencies personnel without uniform all around his residence. Landline phones had already been disconnected; cell phones, TV, cables and DSL had been jammed or disconnected. The CJ and his family were completely cut off for several days from the outside world. On March 10, 2007, the CJ received a ‘Notice’ from the Supreme Judicial Council whereby he came to know that a reference had been filed by the president before the Council. There was also a copy of the order passed by the Council whereby the CJ had been restrained to function as a judge of the Supreme Court and or as the chief justice of Pakistan. The affidavit said that the meeting of the SJC was called on March 9, 2007 after 6 p.m. in an indecent haste and he was restrained to perform his functions as a judge or chief justice of the Supreme Court. “In fact, no meeting had been called by the secretary of the Council namely Faqir Hussain. No one had issued either agenda for the meeting or notice thereof.”

The CJ further states that he had been detained along with his family members including his young child of seven years from the evening of March 9, 2007 till March 13, 2007. He could not use any vehicle since there was none and he had to walk till the other end of the road when the police officer confronted him and manhandled him as has now been established by a judicial enquiry, the CJ stated. An attempt was being made to fabricate evidence against the CJ through the SC staff attached to him by coercive means and even employees working at his residence were taken and made to appear before some agency officials. The CJ’s chamber was sealed and certain files lying therein were removed and some of them handed over to the ISI under the supervision of the newly-appointed registrar. No one was allowed to meet the CJ freely, in as much as his colleagues were not allowed access to him, says the affidavit.

The CJ further states that his children were not allowed to go to school, college and university. He and his family members were deprived of basic amenities of life, i.e. medicines and doctors, etc. They were made to go through a lot of mental, physical and emotional agony, torture and embarrassment and words could never be enough to properly and adequately express that. The affidavit says all these tactics were used to put pressure on him to tender his resignation ‘but after March 13, 2007, when the CJ succeeded in establishing at least some contact with his lawyers’ team during a brief appearance before the Council, and after March 16, 2007, the ongoing pressure to resign the office was released to some extent.’ The CJ states that his children were so scared that they could not go to school or university and one of his daughters failed to appear in her 1st year exams while the other is not being allowed to take her examination (1st semester) at Bahria University due to lack of attendance. “My younger son is also not in a position to attend his school because of circumstances through which I am passing,” the CJ concluded. Meanwhile, Ch Aitzaz Ahsan on Tuesday concluded his arguments before the full court regarding the maintainability of the petition filed by the CJ. He submitted that the CJ’s petition is maintainable under Article 184(3) of the Constitution because the matter is of the highest public importance (interest) and the issues concern the fundamental rights. The full court adjourned the hearing for today (Wednesday). Later, while talking to mediamen, Aitzaz Ahsan said, “Some of the details that are necessary and relevant to the petition have been spelt out in the affidavit by the chief justice.” REFERENCE: Affidavit filed in SC on events of March 9-13 Muhammad Qasim Wednesday, May 30, 2007

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