Friday, June 20
The most interesting pictures are those showing the response of hitherto un-interested citizens... one gets the feeling that a lot of people were at least thinking about letting hope back into their attitude towards a collective life.
Yes, it failed in its superficial objectives. But just to see that spark of hope again, to dare to think that these kids might grow up in a better - a fairer, a more humane - society, just for that, it's worth doing ten times over:
Wednesday, June 18
As the video shows that Samad Khurram is called on stage to receive the award and simply walks past the US Ambassador in defiance and to the podium where in his 30 second speech, he simply hits out on the American Government for supporting this illegal military ruler and severely condemns the recent American attack within the borders of Pakistan. It reminds me of the photograph from China when a lone man stood in front of a tank. The United States is also a similar juggernaut all muscles and no brains. They are not used to seeing people who can stand up with dignity and protest boldly and publicly.
What really make us proud that our leaders stumble over their feet trying to please the American leaders and an unknown student has the courage to defy this hegemony and chooses to stand up for his country
I personally had a telephonic discussion with him barely and hour before when he was going to the event - at that time he mentioned that 'someone' might not be ready to take the award and he is going to the event to support him, little did I know that the 'someone' was he himself. Bravo Samad you make us proud
Video uploaded by Jaaf - Thanks
ONLINENEWS: A Pakistani student, Samad Khurram vociferously refused his Harvard University scholarship award presented to him by the American Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, which simply awed her into a terrible confusion. The said student refused the award, which was presented in an event held by a private collage at the National Art Gallery, as a protest against the recently carried out American attacks on Mehmand Agency. The American Ambassador greatly regretted these attacks, terming them as a "terrible misunderstanding", and stoutly refuted the notion that the student was refusing the award, maintaining that currently there were 5400 Pakistani students studying in America. The entire hall resounded with thunderous clapping for the student, who was later on restricted by management to talk to any media member.
THE Asif-Musharraf axis has won; the warrior judge has lost; and the black coat will not go down in history as a symbol of revolution. The transition is back on, and the country is better off for it.
We now know how the judicial crisis will end: the PCO judges will stay; Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar's powers and tenure will be cropped; and Dogar will be CJ again one day. It's been Asif's roadmap for a while now, but he hadn't figured out how to get his partners to compromise. Turns out they had no real stomach for confrontation.
Nawaz is the media's latest darling, delighting them with his fulminations against Musharraf. But the significance of his sound and fury was lost on many. By refusing to send his workers over the
barricades and the coalition government into oblivion, Nawaz demonstrated a degree of political maturity many doubted he had. Sure, he will continue to try and prise Musharraf away from the presidency, but a bright red line has been drawn – political rhetoric aside, the fate of the president will not be decided by the street.
Legend has it that Governor Jilani, Zia's henchman in Punjab, went to the Sharif household in search of an adoptive son of the army, a figure who would become the civilian facade of the military establishment. The governor wanted the younger, more capable Sharif brother, but 'Abbaji' offered Nawaz instead. The country suffered the foolishness of that decision for a quarter of a century as a lethal combination of dullness and ego reduced national politics to a zero sum game. Until last weekend. Nawaz is clearly obsessed with removing Musharraf but by stopping short of hijacking the long march as a vehicle to finish the job, he signalled a new pragmatism.
Structural ambivalence is the new game in Islamabad. The N-League will keep its foot on the president's neck even as it learns to live with an Asif-Musharraf axis. It's a messy arrangement, but Asif must be happy. His perma-grin could only have widened as the marchers dispersed peacefully. After the Bhurban gamble failed, Asif must have wondered if his government's last rites would be read on Parade Avenue. Instead, things have moved back inside the relatively sober walls of parliament where the numbers are in his favour.
Pakistan being Pakistan, political theatre and brinkmanship will rear their heads ever so often, though hopefully nothing that can't be smothered by Asif's cheerfulness. He has a plan in hand to deal with the judges, now he must execute it quickly and let the cabinet get on with the business of governance. The problem with Asif's attritional approach to resolving the judicial crisis is that it creates time and space for events to overwhelm his plan. Right now there are winners on many fronts; Musharraf keeps the presidency, Asif keeps the centre, Nawaz keeps Punjab and Aitzaz keeps alive the hope of a triumphant return to party politics. This particular configuration may not last long, so the constitutional package needs to be sliced up. Get the judicial amendments out of the way first and return later to correct institutional imbalances.
The big loser of the long march is Chief Justice Iftikhar. His dream of returning to the Supreme Court to vanquish his nemesis, Musharraf, is gone. The biggest threat in the lawyers' arsenal – the long march – has been deployed and it didn't even quell talk of paring the CJ's powers or tenure. In fact both seem more likely than ever, as Aitzaz and Nawaz have all but yielded to Asif's roadmap.
The problem for Chief Justice Iftikhar was that he needed to play politics while appearing not to be politicised. His strategy was to allow Aitzaz and later Nawaz to take up his cause, using the bar
associations and the N-league party workers to swell the numbers protesting for his reinstatement. It was a strategy born of necessity and suffered from an inherent weakness: he was at the mercy of the political calculations of Aitzaz and Nawaz. And in the rough and tumble world of Pakistani politics, it's best not to be at the mercy of others.
Assessing the legacy of Chief Justice Iftikhar is premature at this point. At the very least he will be remembered for his heroic defiance of an army chief. However, to enter the pantheon of greats he must do something more. The problem is that since last July, he has decided that the something more is to send an unpopular president home. Compounding that problem is the fact that he lined up the Supreme Court against parliament, much of the political firmament, the army, the establishment and a superpower. These were simply institutional strains the Supreme Court was never designed to withstand.
This hardnosed assessment often rubs Chief Justice Iftikhar's supporters the wrong way. To them it equates power with legitimacy, for illegitimate power must be rejected at the earliest and
Musharraf's power is patently illegitimate. From this perspective, the Chief Justice's earlier sin of validating Musharraf's first coup can be forgiven because it was too early to challenge Musharraf's illegitimately acquired power. But with Musharraf's popularity sinking and the people behind the chief justice, 2007 was the year to aggressively challenge illegitimate power.
Chief Justice Iftikhar's supporters are only two-thirds correct. Yes, illegitimate power must be rejected and it must be rejected at the earliest. But illegitimate political power must be opposed
politically. If Nawaz harangues Musharraf into resigning or Zardari quietly slips a knife in the president's back while embracing him, then let the nation rejoice.
There was another, more practical reason for the chief justice's Supreme Court to step back from its catastrophic challenge to the president. The chief justice and his band of avenging judges had an array of small devices at their disposal to systematically reduce the president's sphere of influence. As army chief, Musharraf had only one tool to cut a recalcitrant judiciary down to size: a second coup.
In the battle between the warrior judge and the warrior president, the country was always going to suffer collateral damage. It is good that the politicians have stepped back from inflicting further damage of their own.
a letter to activists of the People's Resistance by Dr. Awab Alvi
One issue which we all have dodged to question ourselves, is to decide what is acceptable when the powers-to-be talk about the 'conditional' restoration of the judiciary, either in the form of the much trumpeted 60-point constitutional package or separately.
For me, this movement (People's Resistance) has been for the unconditional restoration of the Nov 3rd Judiciary (which also has included condemning the Martial Law & the restrictions on the media) When the powers-to-be talk about 'middle ground' compromises in the restoration of the Judiciary, it is sadly FAR from our own objectives. The irony is that we, in PR all seem to be preparing for a celebration the day Zardari restores the Judiciary in whatever way he thinks its best 'for-him'. Is this 'whatever-way-possible' acceptable to PR. It sadly is not my wish, and I may venture to say that it might also echo the sentiments of other like-minded friends in this group
In my opinion the only reason to make a circus of the constitutional package is to show the judges that the powers-to-be have given them grace, and they should remain grateful to have received this gift-from-god. It is just another facade to the traditional appointment by the President / establishment which ensures that the buck stops at the supreme authority thereby ensuring the status quo. I hope we, in PR, are not fooling ourselves to believe that the 'Zardari form' of restoration comes without any strings attached. Had they been sincere then all this hoopla was not necessary and the legal way, via an executive order, was not too difficult to pull out of the bag. As opinion makers in this resistance we should be clear on our position, and be willing to call a spade, a spade and not worry otherwise.
Monday, June 16
Title: Rawalpindi giving reception to Pasban's Rally on Long March
Title: J Salik chanting anti-Musharraf slogans at Long March
Title: Children chanting slogans against Musharraf at Long March
Title: Qazi Hussain Ahmed speed at Long March
مہلت نہیں رہی !
پہلی بات یہ کہ پاکستان کا عام آدمی اس قابل ہوگیا ہے کہ وہ عوامی نمائندگی کے روایتی دعویداروں کے اشارہ ابرو سے بے نیاز ہوکر خود بھی اپنے گھر سے نکلنے کا فیصلہ کرسکتا ہے اور اپنی قیادت خود کرسکتا ہے۔
دوسری بات یہ ثابت ہوئی کہ یہ آدمی تمام تر مایوسی، لاچاری اور روزمرہ مسائل میں گھرے رہنے کے باوجود پرامن طور پر ایک اجتماعی سفر کا حصہ بن سکتا ہے اور حکومتیں اگر اس پر اعتماد کریں تو وہ اب بھی حکومتوں کو کچے پکے ، آدھے پونے وعدے وفا کرنے کی مہلت دے سکتا ہے۔
تیسری بات یہ کہ عام آدمی نے ساٹھ برس میں آج تک روٹی، کپڑے یا مکان کے لیے پانچ دن کا لانگ مارچ نہیں کیا۔بلکہ مارے غیرت کے اپنا تماشا بنانے کے بجائے گھر کے اندر بھوکے رہنے یا خودکشی کرنے یا بچوں کو مار ڈالنے کی کوشش کی۔البتہ حصولِ انصاف کے لیے اسے جون کی دوپہر میں سفر کی صعوبتیں گلے لگانے سے ھچکچاہٹ نہیں ہوئی۔شائد اسے آج بھی امید ہے کہ انصاف کی مملکت ہوگی تو ایک روٹی میں سے بھی اسے اپنے حصے کا ٹکڑا مل جائےگا۔اور جنگل کا قانون ہوا تو طاقتور اسکا فاقہ ، تن کا ننگ، بے گھری اور عزت بھی بیچ کھائے گا۔
لانگ مارچ میں جتنے لوگ شامل ہوئے ان میں سے کسی کو بھی توقع نہیں کہ سپریم کورٹ میں سترہ کے بجائے انتیس جج بیٹھ گئے تو سب ٹھیک ہوجائےگا۔وہ صرف اسے لیے اس سفر کا حصہ بنے کہ زندگی پر ڈاکہ ڈالنے والے اب انکے خواب بھی ریپ کرنے پر تلے بیٹھے ہیں۔
عام آدمی کو اب اقتصادی و قانونی موشگافیوں، دلداریوں اور مجبوری کی کہانیوں سے قائل نہیں کیا جاسکتا۔اس پر سب کچھ کھل چکا ہے۔اسے معلوم ہوگیا ہے کہ چودہ اگست انیس سو سینتالیس کو محض بیرونی آزادی ملی تھی۔اندرونی آزادی اب بھی ایک سراب ہے۔لیکن وہ پھر بھی فراخ دلی دکھا رہا ہے۔
ایسے لشکر سے ڈرنا چاہیے جو ہدف تک پہنچ کر لوٹ جائے۔ایسے لشکر کے صبر اور اعتماد کو کمزوری سمجھنے کا نتیجہ تاریخ میں جگہ جگہ بکھرا پڑا ہے۔ایسا لشکر سٹیٹس کو یا جاری نظام برقرار رکھنے کے حامیوں پر ایک مرتبہ اعتبار کرتا ہے۔دو مرتبہ اعتبار کرتا ہے۔لیکن تیسری مرتبہ اپنا نظریہ، اپنی قیادت اور اپنا نظام ساتھ لاتا ہے اور ریاست کے ستونوں کو اپنےساتھ لے جاتا ہے۔
لانگ مارچ کے پرامن اختتام پر حکومت کو سکھ کا سانس لینے کے بجائے تشویش ہونی چاہیے۔یہ اختتام نہیں مہلت ہے۔سو دن کی ترجیحات مکمل کرنے کی مہلت۔عدلیہ کو خودمختار کرنے کی مہلت۔بھوک،ننگ، جہالت ، بیماری اور عدم تحفظ کے خلاف ترجیحات وضع کرنے اور قومی حقوق دینے کی مہلت۔اگر اب بھی مسخرہ پن جاری رہا تو پھر یوں بھی ہوسکتا ہے کہ
مہلت تھی جب تو دل کو تھا بے کاریوں سے شغل
اب کام یاد آئے تو مہلت نہیں رہی۔
The long March ended with some disappointment, almost like the famous cliché from Macbeth 'Full of sound and fury; Signifying.... Nothing'
What a disappointment. I was on a TV channel for 4 hours, and I said there are 3 demands (oust Mush and PCO judges, restore Pre Nov 3 judiciary) and few very clear outcomes of the Long March. My conclusion was simple:
- The organizers should not make people stay for long beyond the morning (the crowd would erode) e.g Hizbollah's rally surrounding the parliament in Beirut eroded in a few days. They had food water etc. and were much more organized. (Orange and Purple revolution succeded because they wanted to change the government).
- The lawyers etc should make fiery speeches and say that as the NA would be in session tomorrow show your strength to the Parliamentarians. 'Tomorrow we will table the bill for restoration of the judiciary, some of you must stay to ensure and take receipt (oratory), then go home and we will fight the battle in parliament, and we will call upon you for 'civil disobedience'.
- Give an ultimatum to the Government of ten days (15-20 or whatever), and say that if the judiciary is not restored and PCO judges out, there will be no next march but we will paralyse the government and gherao the parliamentarians.
- Give a timeline and say if Musharraf does not go by the month of July we will bring the 'Phansi ka phanda' to Islamabad and drag him out.
All the above would have been satisfying to the people (though some would have been rhetoric, it would have kept spirits high). What should have been a historic day is mere history now. Some rising stars turned out to be only shooting stars (mere asteroids).
I talked to lawyer leaders and said that I could have more easily accepted the set back to my party, but it is more difficult to accept the setback to civil society. I have spent 12 years enticing civil society and people to come forward and play their role, and this incident is a setback. Most politicians have disappointed the people who thought that this time some
leaders would emerge with a spine. Little did they realize that it may not come true yet.
However there is a silver lining. Now we know the potential of the people of Pakistan, the Civil Society, the Lawyers and of some politicians who still are still steadfast to the cause.
Dr Arif Alvi
Sunday, June 15
Long March NROed
The Post June 13, 2008
Ninety-year-old Aziz Begum is perhaps the senior most participant of the 'Long March' in Islamabad. She is determined to be around till the show is over.
She has come all the way from Wazirabad to take part in what she says a noble cause for reinstatement of deposed judges and packing up of President General (r) Pervez Musharraf.
Aziz Begum is happy to be in Islamabad at this juncture and says she will go back triumphantly as will the lawyers, who have gathered here from all across the country.
"I have braved sweltering weather at this age just to see that the nation gets out of the troubles as a result of the legal fraternity's unprecedented sacrifices. Free judiciary is the panacea for all ills," she says in a thoughtful manner while trying to comfort herself with a handmade fan (pakkhi), she brought with her from Wazirabad.
The old woman says she does not fear anyone. And counter-questioned this correspondent, why should she hesitate from speaking the truth and alleged Musharraf and Chaudhrys of Gujrat had not done any good to the country.
Ambassadors of law are here
Missionaries of justice are here
Messengers of virtue are here
Emissaries of due process are here.
They seek no seat of power
No umras at state expense
They demand no foreign junkets
They long for no bullet-proof limos;
All they seek is justice
Justice for all their only call.
They carry no guns, no bombs
They threw no stones, they hurt not a soul;
They danced to the dhol, they danced to the chimta
They danced to the tumbi, they danced to the tabla
They sang baliyaan, they sang kafis;
They sang all night long
They danced all night long.
Alternative power centres are here
Media and the civil society are here
Geo and Aitzaz are here
Here to stay they are
Here to take care of autocracy
Both military and civilian;
Here to reform
Both state and society;
This is historic and monumental
Substantial and consequential.
For 60 painful years
Justice has been standing still
No justice no peace
No justice no sanity
No justice no progress
No rationality, stability or economics
No justice no balance
No justice no future
No justice no reason to live.
Why is their chaos, I say
Disorder, anarchy and turmoil
Inequity, poverty and illiteracy
Hunger, lust and frustration
Shame, sorrow and discontent;
Lack of justice the root of all evil.
Lithuanians had neither guns nor bullets
Their songs their guns and hymns their bullets
They sang for four long years
At the end, guns lost songs won.
The world has seen Rose Revolution
Orange and Tulip too
Wait, here comes Bhangra Revolution
Has neither a parallel nor an equal
They danced in wajad (ecstasy)
They danced in qabd (despondency) / They danced in bast (happiness) / And, they danced in sahu (awakening)
Imagine: peak summer Punjabi heat
Imagine: a hundred thousand roar
'Go Musharraf go'
Imagine: the PPP getting caught
Caught on the wrong side of history.
Geo here to hold governments accountable
Now that's truly meaningful and plentiful
Tangible and valuable
Considerable and weighty
Historic and monumental
Substantial and consequential;
Pakistan will be the same never again.
we r back in our city Khi after attending long & fruitful journry of lawyers long march.
I m really greatful to all those who extended their support during long march; though they were physically not with us but they were all the time with us through phone calls & sms.
I reahed today early in the morning.
We at SAC are proud to have been a part of it,
The Bush in Mush
No fooling around - straightforward demands
The caption reads, "The nation awaits this day"
Fists raised, spirits high!
Musharraf laments in Punjabi, "Now where do I go?"
The caption reads simply, "Article 6." This is the article of the Constitution which prescribes the penalty for subverting the Constitutiuon of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The posters illustrates a charged Aitezaz Ahsan presenting arguments in court with Musharraf cowering behind bars and a hangman's noose suspended in the air above him.
"Restore the suspended judges - These cruel laws, we do not accept (a popular slogan) - South Waziristan Welfare Society ISlamabad - Musharraf, stop being a pain in the neck for us Pakistanis - Go Musharraf Go"
Saturday, June 14
Our effort here is to ensure full coverage of the long March and soon many stories from people who may choose to perseve their experiences for eternity
Hence a lot more to follow on the long March blog - until the stories start coming in Lala Husain reports that the SHCBA bus has entered into the Sindh Province - looks like they are making good time and should be home in a few hours
Pakistan looks forward to a better and brighter future
We are in Rawalpindi right now. Last night we went to Islamabad.
A huge number of people in Rawalpindi/Islamabad are disappointed at the decision to cancel the Dharna.
We asked 50 people and 80% of them disagreed with Aitzaz.
Many young lawyers and civil society members were dumbstruck. They were ready for further action but were let down by the leadership.
When Aitzaz started his speech many students and activists, fearing that the Dharna would be cancelled, started agitating.
People present there were not consulted at all before the cancellation. If cancellation was done because of logistical reasons then proper arrangements could have been done and funds could have been raised to help those willing to sit in front of the Parliament. It was done in an undemocratic fashion.
This does not suggest by any means a betrayal nor this can be reduced to the vacillation of the middle class. But one very important reason for such a decision could be the fact that around 6 AM, 80% of the people present were lawyers.
When we left Pindi for Islamabad, it was phenomenal. There was huge public support. various people (old, young) responded to the slogans that we were shouting from the roof of our bus.
From central Punjab onwards, mainly youngsters openly abused Musharraf, in very foul language.
From Pindi, when the convoy started, it was 8 km long.
Till Zero Point, nearly 1.5 to 2 lac people stood on the sides to greet the procession.
From Aabpara onwards, we had to walk towards the main stage. It was nearly a 4km walk. While we were walking nearly 20,000 people were walking ahead of us.
At the main area there were not less than 1 lac people. There might even have been more but certainly no less than that figure.
The overwhelming majority of people were either from middle class or were lawyers.
The general feeling there was that something BIG is happening or rather has happened. And this feeling was that (at least in the short run) politics will not be done in the ways of the past.
The Karachi delegation of IS [International Socialists] is thankful to Messrs. Rasheed Rizvi, Noman Qadir and Salahuddin Ahmed for taking care of us during the journey - coordination, accommodation and ensuring that we are treated well by the host bar associations.
Over all our International Socialist comrades sold 390 socialist Urdu magazine and 415 booklets, over ten thousand leaflets during stopovers of the IS bus and at bar council rallies throughout the Long March. On June 13, 39 copies of Socialist and 82 booklets were distributed as well as over two thousand leaflets. On June 14, during the Dharna, 32 socialist were sold and 1,500 leaflets distributed.
Earlier, only the lawyers' protests were seen as respectful, but after this civil society shall also gain respect and will be seen as "agents of change".
Another transformation was that such a huge number of people can be gathered by a national call.
It’s now imperative to organise a national conference of activists belonging to various shades in the movement. We have to discuss the next call for long march mobilization to strengthen the movement from below.
The Long March has become a milestone for generations to come, it has shown that we can mobilize and organize but still it also shows that the movement, its leadership, has to look towards the forces that would like to forge a compromise between national capital and international capital. A number of times during the Long March, the lawyers' leadership had to look towards political support of Nawaz Sharif, Jama'at-e-Islami and Tehrik-e-Insaaf so as to mobilize masses. It’s these forces of the national capital who can’t fight imperialism on their own but they always like the professionals and the working classes to fight their wars of liberation. The professionals and working classes will surely learn from this historic mobilization.
Burhan and Riaz Ahmed.
Int'l Socialists Pakistan
Lala Hussain reports
Moraal high but disappointing views as they were returning without restoration of judges, actually hopes were hi while going 4long march but i think work done
- He lambasts people who accuse him to have sold out to Musharraf
- He says that he is in this movement on principal despite having been offered a confirmed election seat
- Largest gathering of over 500,000 people
- Will talk about Dharna last
- Refers to Musharraf as a broken radio of a car which was traveling at 70 km per hour crashes and breaks down in to pieces - all is left is an broken but barely functioning radio. Musharraf is a broken radio
- Wants a fair and just system in Pakistan
- Condemns the blockage on Geo shows of Hamid Mir and Shahid Masood
- The decsion is not to have a Dharna - since the movemnet is stretched to its limits
- People who want to sit in are welcome to stay - but leadership will not issue a call for Dharna
- Congratulates the people on participating in the extremely successful Long March
- Is ready to continue the struggle for the movement, even if it means coming to Islamabad for Dharna repeatedly
- Insh'Allah Judiciary will be restored
Long march is going to end…
Tariq Mehmood stance is also same…
so wait for Aitezaz Ahsen speech..He will declare that we worn Parliment and if parliment will not reistate then we will set Dharna…
Imp: YOUTH PASSES THROUGH THE BARBED WIRE SETUP BEYOND THE STAGE TO PREDIDENCY HOUSE CHANTING, ADLIA BAHAL AJ HE HO GI. HEAVY POLICE DEPLOYMENTS.
The lawyers have maintained that they will remain peaceful
- Applauds the judicial movement and civil society movement
- Musharraf must be thrown outre
- Will not offer Musharraf a safe exit - he must be held accountable
- Musharraf must accept the Feb 18 election decsicon which was to ject his rule
- Appluads the attendees of the Long March to have pulled one of the Largest rallies in history of Islamabad
- Shares his optimism that this Judicial Movement is one of the historical movements that will change Pakistan for the better
- Nawaz Sharif talks about innocent lives lost in Lal Masjid. where Musharraf ruthlessly used White Phosphorus grenades to burn 5 year old girls alive
- Wants a inquiry on the 12th May massacre
- Wants fulls investigation of all corrupt practices
- Condemns Nov 3rd Martial law - calling it unconstitutional
- Nawaz Sharif talks about the Murree declaration which promised restoration of judiciary in 30 days, worried as to why Zardari is jumping around in circles and not following the promise to the letter - there were not ifs and buts in the promise then, why should there be any now
- Promises that the parliament is due to meet the next day and hopes they look at this massive rally and make a good and intelligent decision
- Applauds GEO.tv and other media channels who have shown resistance to the tyrannical regime
Hum dekhain ge echoing in isb. Ns yet to come.
Ather claims 5 lac. Bbc reports 3.5lac, which is close to my estimate. Ale