Jan 13, 2012 1
For ForeignPolicy.com, I profile Imran Khan, rising Pakistani politician and chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf party. Click here to read it.
Jan 13, 2012 1
For ForeignPolicy.com, I profile Imran Khan, rising Pakistani politician and chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf party. Click here to read it.
Jan 21, 2008 5
Let’s Continue Our Conversation…in London
Shahbaz Sharif, president of the Muslim League-Nawaz, tells BBC Urdu that “If Musharraf becomes neutral and promises to hold the polls in a free and fair manner, talks can be held with him.” This is a major break with precedent. Previously the Sharif brothers have publicly ruled out any compromise with Musharraf.
It’s unclear whether Shahbaz’s statement has his brother’s endorsement, though this is highly likely. It could be that Shahbaz is playing good cop, while Nawaz plays bad cop. Additionally, Shahbaz is seen as more conciliatory than his older brother, which would provide Nawaz with some cover (i.e. creating the impression that his brother talked him down from the ledge). A less likely alternative is that Musharraf could be successfully playing one Sharif brother off of the other by offering Shahbaz, not Nawaz, a major position in the national unity government (perhaps prime minister).
Shahbaz has extended his stay in London, where he’ll meet with retired Brigadier Niaz Ahmed (they met in Islamabad over a week ago) and could meet with Pervez Musharraf, who has begun a four nation tour of Europe.
Musharraf will eventually make his way to London, but there are no meetings with government officials slated. Gordon Brown is currently in India, where he called for New Delhi’s addition to the UN Security Council. Musharraf could be avoiding Brown’s snub of Pakistan, but his trip is also designed to temper European opposition. Musharraf will also meet Niaz Ahmed. Prior to leaving Pakistan, Musharraf met with the emir of Abu Dhabi on Saturday. The emirate played host to a Bhutto-Musharraf meeting in July.
Zardari and Malik Qayyum Meet in Dubai
National reconciliation talks must, apparently, occur outside of Pakistan, and so Attorney General Malik Qayyum met with Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai on Saturday. Both left Pakistan in a curiously furtive fashion. The PPP has publicly remained open to dealing with Musharraf after the elections and strongly resist the idea of a national reconciliation government prior to the elections, as they’d delay the polls.
It’s a positive development if Musharraf is negotiating with both the Sharifs and Zardari in earnest. If he’s playing them off of each other, then Musharraf is playing with fire.
Opposition Tours the U.S.
Several opposition figures are on a tour of the United States. Sherry Rehman and Javaid Laghari, both of the People’s Party, will be speaking at the Brookings Institution tomorrow. Imran Khan will be on a multi-city tour, speaking at organizations such as Amnesty International and CSIS and in Pakistani community events, which seem to be fund raisers for his Tehreek-e Insaaf Party.
Fazlur Rahman: Saudi Challo
Maulana Fazlur Rahman was noticeably absent from the public since the news reporting serious threats against him. And he’s done what he seems to do often in challenging moments, go to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier last week, Talat Hussain returned to AAJ television to host his weeknightly public affairs program. In his first show back on air, Talat said he’s back with no strings attached. But it seems as if the show (Live with Talat) is now taped, not live (in accordance with the new media control rules). There is also little mention of the judiciary issue. Nonetheless, the show remains engaging and informative.
GEO News also returned to the air waves today sans their most popular political talk show hosts, Hamid Mir and Shahid Masood. Kashif Abbasi, another prominent television journalist, remains off of ARY One World.
Back to the Barracks
Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani has recalled a number of active military officers from cushy positions within the civilian bureaucracy. This follows his earlier move barring senior officers from meeting with politicians.
Nov 14, 2007 2
Nov 3, 2007 12
Pakistan’s ‘tumultuous two weeks‘ has begun with a bang. A state of emergency has been declared by Pervez Musharraf. He is expected to address the country at approximately 11PM Pakistan Standard Time/2PM New York.
The constitution has been suspended and the country is being run under a Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). Seven judges of the Supreme Court — along with the media, a primary target of the constitutional suspension — have declared the PCO unconstitutional. Musharraf has sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and another justice, Abdul Hameed Dogar (pictured on the left) — a Musharraf loyalist — has taken the oath to replace him. At this point, Dogar has only been joined by 3-4 other justices. Similar developments are occurring with provincial high courts.
The army has taken control of the Supreme Court, surrounded the buildings of major news stations, and arrested or detained many politicians. Cable television operators have been ordered to shut the transmission of news channels. Some Pakistani channels (such as GEO), broadcast out of Dubai and so they are available to viewers not utilizing Pakistani cable (e.g. Internet/satellite in and outside of Pakistan).
In his proclamation of emergency (full text below), Musharraf — identifying himself as chief of army staff, not president — cites the rising violence in the country as the basis for his imposing martial law. However, the text holds the judiciary most culpable for the rise in violence. It lambastes them for allegedly encroaching upon the territory of the legislative and executive branches, stating, “Whereas some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace.”
But it lists a litany of other alleged unrelated offenses by the judiciary, including: “interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth.” Here and elsewhere in the text, they are referring to the Supreme Court’s opposition to the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills, among other acts. Today’s events, therefore, extend beyond terror — even by Musharraf’s own admission. The declaration of emergency rule are a challenge to the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.
Yesterday, I wrote that by mid-November, “we might find out what lessons [Musharraf has] learned from the strife of the past year. “
I asked: “Will he conclude that the solution involves not a greater centralization of power but an efficient distribution of labor between the military, popular civilian politicians, and the judiciary? Will he conclude that his greatest threat is not the country’s civilian politicians or judiciary, but vigilantees who cut off the heads of Pakistani soldiers and incinerate civilians in the streets?”
We apparently have our answers in advance. The answers seem to be, quite sadly, “No” and “No.”
UPDATE: 2:40PM – Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has returned to Karachi from Dubai. Her plane is currently on a tarmac at Karachi’s Quaid-e Azam International Airport. Approximately 100 security personnel have surrounded her Karachi home. It is unclear as to whether she will be sent abroad, arrested or detained, or permitted to travel somewhat freely.
UPDATE: 2:42PM – List of arrested or detained political, judicial, and social figures:
UPDATE: 2:48PM – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice tells CNN that Musharraf’s declaration of emergency rule is “highly regrettable.”
UPDATE: 2:50PM – Musharraf is addressing the country on the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV). Address is simulcast on non-news channels.
UPDATE: 2:53PM – Musharraf’s address: Today’s events are the result of Pakistan’s internal discord. Says his guiding consideration for whatever action he has and will take is “Sub se pahlay Pakistan” (Pakistan first).
UPDATE: 2:55PM – Musharraf’s address: Terror attacks are widespread. In major cities across Pakistan. Terrorists don’t fear law enforcement agencies. They’re very confident. They’re in settled areas, such as Swat. Even in Islamabad, “the heart of Pakistan…the capital of Pakistan.” Militants have created a “government within the government” challenging the writ of the central government.
UPDATE: 2:57PM – Musharraf’s address: State of governance is “semi-paralysis.” Government officials have been “dishonored” by the judiciary. There are over 100 suo moto cases in the Supreme Court. Law enforcement agencies have been “demoralized.” Why? Because their officers have been charged, suspended, or convicted by the judiciary. As a result, they have been immobilized out of fear of punishment.
UPDATE: 3:00PM – Musharraf’s address: Describes three stages of his rule. First stage (1999-2002), Pakistan was a failing state when he took over. He was in total control in the first stage. In the second stage (2002-2007), he “oversaw” a transition to civilian, democratic governance. This was the first time Senate, National Assemblies, etc. lasted their entire time. Now we’re in the last stage of this transition — the third stage — in which there would be a complete return to civilian rule. He says he sought national reconciliation, but for political and other reasons, some have sought to obstruct this process in its final stages — the final few months.
UPDATE: 3:04PM – Musharraf’s address: There has been a great downturn. Foreign investors have slowed down their investment in Pakistan. The quality of life has improved over the past five years. Infrastructural development, airports, railways, mobile telephones, etc. are now spreading. In the social sector, primary and and secondary and higher education have been improving — but is afraid the advances of the past seven years will be washed away.
UPDATE: 3:06PM – Musharraf’s address: He says foreigners have been calling him in recent weeks, asking him what’s going on in Pakistan, as the uncertainty and instability rises. Says to that “some television channels” and “some television programs” have contributed to national uncertainty. He says this is the media that “I gave independence to.” “The media should be independent, but should be responsible.”
UPDATE: 3:09PM – Musharraf’s address: He asks, “Why are we in this situation?” Blames it on “judicial activism.” Says the judiciary has trampled upon the executive and legislative branches and that this began when he referenced the Supreme Court Chief Justice on March 9. Says he wasn’t personally involved in that.
UPDATE: 3:16PM – Musharraf’s address: Goes into detail about the recent rise of the militants — including into the heart of Islamabad. Says the government took action against them after patient deliberation. Says the courts subsequently freed individuals definitely involved in terrorism. Says they could have been involved in recent terror attacks. Says the courts ordered the re-opening of madrasas training militants.
UPDATE: 3:23PM – Musharraf’s address: My brothers and sisters…what is happening to this country? Where are we going? How do we curb this downside movement? Need a balance of powers between the three pillars of state — the judiciary, legislative and executive.
UPDATE: 3:25PM – Musharraf’s address: In order to complete the third phase, need emergency rule. No change in government. Prime ministers, governors, and chief ministers will remain in office. All the assemblies will remain in place.
UPDATE: 3:27PM – Musharraf’s address: Speaks in English now. Says he wants to speak to the world and “particularly to our friends in the West, the United States, the European Union, and the Commonwealth.” “I would ask you to kindly understand the criticality of the environment inside and outside Pakistan. Pakistan is on the verge of destabilization. If not arrested in time now, without any further delay, what saddens me most is that after all what we have achieved, I see in front of my eyes, Pakistan’s upsurge taking a downward trend. I personally, with all my conviction and with all the facts available to me. I consider that inaction at this moment is suicide for Pakistan and I cannot allow this country to commit suicide. Therefore, I had to take this action in order to preserve the democratic transition which I initiated eight years back…..I request you all to bear with us. To the critics and idealists against this action, I would like to say, please do not expect or demand your level of democracy, which you learned over a number of centuries. We’re also trying to learn and we’re doing well. Please give us time. Please also do not demand your level of civil rights, human rights, civil liberties which you’ve learned over centuries….Please give us time.”
UPDATE: 3:35PM – Musharraf’s address: He then reads a passage from a text on Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the civil war. Then he reads from a letter written by Lincoln, “My oath to preserve the constitution imposed on me the duty of preserving by every indispensable means that government that nation of which the constitution was the organic law. was it possible to lose the nation and yet preserve the constitution? by general law life and limb but be protected but often a limb must be amputated to save a life…i felt that measures otherwise unconstitutional might become unlawful by becoming indispensable to the right or wrong I assumed this wrong and now avow it.” Musharraf says, “We are also learning democracy. We are going through a difficult stage. It is the nation that is important. Pakistan comes first. Anyone else’s considerations comes after Pakistan. With all my sincerity, whatever I’m doing is in the interest of Pakistan.”
UPDATE: 3:37PM – Musharraf’s address: Ends address by returning to Urdu and stating that the people of Pakistan are agitated by the uncertainty will confront the nation’s challenges together.
UPDATE: 3:40PM – Benazir Bhutto has left Karachi airport and is on her way home to Bilawal House in Karachi’s Clifton area.
UPDATE: 3:47PM – Musharraf has issued two new ordinances affect the print and electronic media “prohibiting them to publish or broadcast statements that abet terrorist activities or terrorism.”
UPDATE: 3:53PM – Benazir Bhutto is holding a press conference right now. Reads Musharraf’s statement and says “this is not emergency rule” but martial law. Says martial law must be ended and the constitution must be revived immediately. Says she returned from Dubai immediately after learning that television transmission was being cut off in Pakistan. Expressed her solidarity with the rest of Pakistan’s political parties.
UPDATE: 4:03PM – Mushahid Hussain, secretary general of Musharraf’s Muslim League faction (PML-Q), tells the Washington Post of his opposition to the imposition of emergency rule, terming it “de facto martial law.” The Post says, “He said he had repeatedly tried to persuade the president against the measures in recent days but was outvoted within Musharraf’s inner circle.” Hussain says Musharraf “convened a meeting of his top advisers on Wednesday to discuss their options and that 20 of 25 were in favor of emergency rule.”
UPDATE: 4:15PM – Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and People’s Party senator, speaks to ARY One World from a police station bathroom. He refers to Musharraf as a “spoiled brat” and a “bad loser.” Says he’s arrested under a “maintenance of order” provision. [Video]
UPDATE: 8:02PM – Benazir Bhutto says, in an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “we would like to protest the imposition of martial law, and we would like to raise our voices for the restoration of democracy. So we’re going to be meeting together to discuss the most effective ways of doing that.”
UPDATE: November 4, 2007 — 12:45AM - GEO reports that opposition figure Javed Hashmi and 10 other PML-N figures have been arrested in Multan.
UPDATE: 1:04AM – A Pentagon spokesperson says, “At this point, the declaration does not impact on our military support for Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terror.”
UPDATE: 1:26AM – Out of Pakistan’s three major Urdu news channels — GEO, ARY One World, and AAJ — only the latter beams exclusively out of Pakistan. Both GEO and ARY One World, for events like yesterday’s, made the wise decision years ago to transmit from Dubai’s Media City. Their main studios are also located there. As a result, they are still broadcasting to those who can receive their signal — satellite and Internet viewers. AAJ, unfortunately, is entirely Pakistan-based and to top it off, its broadcasting studios were raided by security officials and much of their equipment was confiscated. Their Karachi studios were targeted during the violence coinciding with the Chief Justice’s ill-fated visit to the city in May.
UPDATE: 2:45AM – Imran Khan, previously under house arrest, has been taken to Koh Lakhpat Jail, according to Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf. This comes after his many interviews with the Pakistani and foreign press, including one with the AFP in which he is quoted as suggesting that Musharraf has committed treason punishable by death.
UPDATE: 3:24AM – GEO reports that former ISI Chief Hameed Gul has been arrested.
UPDATE: 3:45AM – AAJ TV is back on air (available here), but like other channels currently permitted to broadcast in Pakistan, is broadcasting non-news and non-political content. But this site states that it had Ret. Judge Wajihuddin Ahmed on the air.
UPDATE: 3:58AM – AAJ TV seems to have been taken off the air again.
UPDATE: 4:19AM – Tariq Fatemi, a retired senior Pakistani diplomat tells GEO that U.S. and Western capitals’ public reaction with feature an “expression of regret and expectation of improvement”, but privately, it will be business as usual. He says their primary interests in Pakistan are three-fold: 1) The war on terror; 2) Continuation of military campaigns along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; 3) Ensuring Pakistan’s help in a war against Iran.
UPDATE: 4:36AM – AAJ is back on the air. Another religious show is on.
UPDATE: 12:24PM – Geo reports that Asfandyar Wali, head of the Awami National Party, is under house arrest.
STATE DEPARTMENT STATEMENT [Link]
“The United States is deeply disturbed by reports that Pakistani President Musharraf has taken extra-constitutional actions and has imposed a state of emergency. A state of emergency would be a sharp setback for Pakistani democracy and takes Pakistan off the path toward civilian rule. President Musharraf has stated repeatedly that he will step down as Chief of Army Staff before re-taking the presidential oath of office and has promised to hold elections by January 15th. We expect him to uphold these commitments and urge him to do so immediate. The United States stand with the people of Pakistan in supporting a democratic process and in countering violent extremism. We urge all parties to work together to complete the transition to democracy and civilian rule without violence or delay.”
TEXT OF EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION (PDF)
ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (AFP): This is the full text of the proclamation of the emergency:
PROCLAMATION OF EMERGENCY
Whereas there is visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, IED explosions, rocket firing and bomb explosions and the banding together of some militant groups have taken such activities to an unprecedented level of violent intensity posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan.
Whereas there has also been a spate of attacks on state infrastructure and on law enforcement agencies;
Whereas some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace;
Whereas there has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular;
Whereas constant interference in executive function, including but not limited to the control of terrorist activity, economic policy, price controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government; the police force has been completely demoralized and is fast losing its efficacy to fight terrorism and Intelligence Agencies have been thwarted in their activities and prevented from pursuing terrorists;
Whereas some hard core militants, extremists, terrorists and suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated were ordered to be released.
The persons so released have subsequently been involved in heinous terrorist activities, resulting in loss of human life an property. Militants across the country have, thus, been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued;
Whereas some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions;
Whereas the Government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and holds the superior judiciary in high esteem, it is nonetheless of paramount importance that the honourable Judges confine the scope of their activity to the judicial function and not assume charge of administrations;
Whereas an important constitutional institution, the Supreme Judicial Council, has been made entirely irrelevant and non est by a recent order and judges have, thus, make themselves immune from inquiry into their conduct and put themselves beyond accountability.
Whereas the humiliating treatment meted to government officials by some members of the judiciary on a routine basis during court proceedings has demoralized the civil bureaucracy and senior government functionaries, to avoid being harassed, prefer inaction;
Whereas the law and order situation in the country as well as the economy have been adversely affected and trichotomy of powers eroded;
Whereas a situation has thus arisen where the government of the country cannot be carried on it
Accordance with the constitution and as the constitution provides no solution for this situation, there is no way out except through emergent and extraordinary measures;
And whereas the situation has been reviewed in meetings with the Prime Minister, governors of all Provinces, and with chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice chief of army Staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan army;
Now, therefore, in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of the said meetings, I, General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan.
I hereby order and proclaim that the constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance.
This Proclamation shall come into force at once.
TEXT OF PROVISIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER
Text of Provisional Constitution Order
ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (APP) – Following is the text of the Provisional Constiotution Order issued on Saturday:
PROVISIONAL CONSTITUTION ORDER
In pursuance of the Proclamation of the 3rd day of November, 2007, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the Chief of Army Staff under the Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November, 2007, is pleased to make and promulgate the following Order:-
1. (1) This Oder may be called the Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 2007.
(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan,
(3) It shall come into force at once.
2* (1) Notwithstanding the abeyance of the provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, hereinafter referred to as the Constitution, Pakistan shall, subject to this Order and any other Order made by the President be governed, as nearly as may be, in accordance with the Constitution:
Provided that the President may, from time to time, by Order amend the Constitution, as is deemed expedient;
Provided further that the Fundamental Rights under Articles 9, 10, 15,16,17,19 and 25 shall remain suspended.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Proclamation of the 3rd day of November, 2007, or this Order or any other law for the time being in force all provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan embodying Islamic injunctions including Articles 2t 2A, 31, 203A to 203J, 227 to 231 and 260 (3) (a) and (b) shall continue to be In force.
(3) Subject to clause (1) above and the Oath of Office
(Judges) Order, 2007, all courts in existence immediately before the commencement of this Order shall continue to function and to exercise their respective powers and jurisdication.
Provided that the Supreme Court or a High Court and any other court shall not have the power to make any order against the President or the Prime Minister or any person exercising powers or jurisdiction under their authority.
(4) All personi who immediately before the commencement of this Order were in office as judges of the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court or a High Court, shall be governed by and be subject to the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007, and such further Orders as the President may pass.
(5) Subject to clause (1) above, the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Provincial Assemblies shall continue to function.
(6) All persons who, immediately before the commencement of this Order, were holding any service, post or office in connection with the affairs of the Federation ox of a Province, including an All Pakistan Service, Service in the Armed Forces and any other Service declared to be a Service of Pakistan by or under Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a Provincial Assembly, or Chief Election Commissioner or Auditor General shall continue in the said service on the same terms and conditions and shall enjoy the same privileges, if any, unless these are changed under Orders of the President.
3, (l) No court including the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court, and the High Courts, and any tribunal or other authority shall call or permit to be called in question this Order, the Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November, 5007, the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 or any Order made in pursuance thereof.
(2) No judgment, decree, writ, order or process whatsoever shall be made or issued by any court or tribunal against the President or the Prime Minister or any authority designated by the President.
4. (]) Notwithstanding the abeyance of the provisions of the Constitution, but subject to the Orders of the President, all laws other than the Constitution, til Ordinances. Orders, Rules, Bye-laws, Regulations, Notifications and other legal Instruments in force in any part of Pakistan, whether made by the President or the Governor of a Province, shall continue in force until ltered, amended or repealed by the Preaidont or any authority designated by him.
5. (I) An Ordinance promulgated by the President or by the Governor of a Province shall not be subject to any limitations as to duration prescribed in the Constitution.
(2) The provisions of clause (1) shall also apply to an Ordinance issued by the President or by a Governor which was in force immediately before the commencement of the Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November, 2007.