Posted on January 24, 2012 by beenasarwar
I. A. Rehman, Director HRCP:
National Dialogue on Challenges to Democracy and Role of Civil Society in Pakistan
Joint Declaration: Any attempts to dislodge parliament will be resisted
LAHORE, January 23, 2012: Civil society representative and concerned citizens (Intellectuals, legal activists, journalists, women, students trade union activists, religious minorities and academia) of Pakistan from all over the country shared their deep concerns over the current political situation and crises, while talking at a national consultation held in Human rights Commission of Pakistan’s office in Dorab Patel Auditorium, Lahore today. Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Activism, democracy, Hina Jillani, HRCP, I.A. Rehman, Khawar Mumtaz, memogate, Pakistan, SAP-Pk | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 6, 2012 by beenasarwar
Journalists are welcome to use this note, based on a statement made public on Jan 5, 2012.
Media note: Citizens express concern about Pakistan, safety of human rights defenders
Updated Jan 7, 2012
Prominent writers, doctors, intellectuals, lawyers, artists and journalists from all over Pakistan and around the world have endorsed a statement expressing “grave concern” at the threats to “Pakistani human rights defenders for their stance in the ‘memogate’ case” and “at the danger this crisis poses to Pakistan’s democratic political process that had taken a step forward with the elections of 2008”.
Nearly 200 endorsements from Pakistan and around the world, including some very prominent names, came in within hours of the statement being posted online on Jan 4, 2012.
Well known Pakistani signatories include Pakistan Bar Council Vice President Latif Afridi Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan | Tagged: Abdullah Hussein, Ayesha Jalal, Ayesha Siddiqa, democracy, Latif Afridi, memogate, Pakistan, Pervez Hoodb | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 4, 2012 by beenasarwar
Citizens’ statement of concern about the democratic process in Pakistan democratic and safety of human rights defenders, to be released to the media on Jan 5, 2012 (to endorse, please enter your information in the form at this link)
We, the undersigned, express our grave concern that Pakistani human rights defenders are being threatened and intimidated for their stance in the ‘memogate’ case. We are also concerned at the danger this crisis poses to Pakistan’s democratic political process that had taken a step forward with the elections of 2008. Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan, Progressive politics | Tagged: Activism, agencies, Asma Jahangir, democracy, Human rights, Husain Haqqani, judiciary, memogate, Pakistan, security establishment, supreme court | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 4, 2012 by beenasarwar
Husain Haqqani: Pawn in a larger game?
There are numerous issues besides ‘Memogate’ that directly affect the people, like the shortage of gas, electricity, clean drinking water, housing, healthcare, employment and so on. But the issue gains significance because so far, no democratically elected civilian government in Pakistan has ever been allowed to complete its tenure and hand over power to the next one through democratic elections (as I outlined in this paper). There were hopes that this government would be the first to do so – a critical step towards the continuation of a democratic political that is necessary to move the country away from the military-dominated politics of the past – something, as it is now all too apparent, is not a thing of the past after all. In this context, it’s important to understand the current situation and its dangers. Myra MacDonald sums it up in an analysis for Reuters. Some insights were posted to this blog earlier (here and here). Additional facts are laid out in a document received today (reproduced below) that outlines some facts about Husain Haqqani and ‘memogate’. Also read this important article, ‘Treason? Under what Constitution? in the New Pakistan blog, which dissects the ‘memo’ contents and notes that each item in the document falls under the constitutional purview of the federal government…
Filed under: Pakistan | Tagged: Asma Jahangir, democracy, Husain Haqqani, memogate, Pakistan, supreme court | 6 Comments »
Posted on January 3, 2012 by beenasarwar
The equation as it should be: Army following policies set by the civilian elected government, not the other way round. (Reuters file photo)
What is ‘Memogate’? The ‘memo’ in question is a letter allegedly written at the behest of Pakistan’s President by the Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani, asking USA to prevent a possible military coup in Pakistan after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011. Haqqani denied the allegations, sent in a letter offering to resign in order to facilitate an impartial inquiry, and returned to Pakistan to clear his name. Instead, he found his resignation letter accepted. The Supreme Court barred his exit from Pakistan. He has been forced for his own safety to confine himself first to the Presidency and then to the Prime Minister House. On Dec 30, 2011, The Supreme Court in response to a petition against the ‘memo’ formed a three-member judicial commission to look into the matter that the media has dubbed as ‘memogate’.
Asma Jahangir, counsel for Husain Haqqani and former Supreme Court Bar Association President, has refused to appear before the commission saying that she does not trust the judiciary. She has said that instead of forming a commission to create or produce new evidence the Supreme Court should have looked into the evidence placed before it to decide whether there was a prima facie case and whether the court could proceed to enforce any fundamental rights by making a binding order. Continue reading
Filed under: Pakistan | Tagged: Abbottabad, article 184, Asma Jahangir, due process, Husain Haqqani, judicial activism, judicial commission, marvi sirmed, memogate, obl commission, obl killed, pakistan constitution, rule of law | 6 Comments »
Posted on January 2, 2012 by beenasarwar
Asma Jahangir: Speak out for democracy
Husain Haqqani: scape-goated and threatened
Former Pakistan ambassador Husain Haqqani’s counsel Asma Jahangir sounds a sombre warning about the danger Haqqani is in from the military and intelligence agencies that are capable of picking him up and ‘twisting his limbs’ to make him say what they want to hear. Talking to Dawn TV’s Matiullah Jan in a detailed interview of Jan 1, 2012 she says that she took up the case because she found it a travesty that an individual was being condemned on the basis of a media trial without due process or representation. However, she will not represent him before the Judicial Commission that has been formed as she does not trust the process. The interview, posted in six parts (about 5-6 min each), is worth listening to in full as she makes some crucial points about the significance of this judgement to Pakistan’s politics. She sums some of these points up in this earlier brief interview with Al Jazeera English:
Filed under: Pakistan | Tagged: al jazeera, army, Asma Jahangir, dawn news tv, democracy, Husain Haqqani, isi, matiullah jan, memogate, Pakistan, torture | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 30, 2011 by beenasarwar
Dec 30, 2011, Human Rights Watch press statement received today: “As the “Memogate” case proceeds, all arms of the state must act within their constitutionally determined ambit and in aid of legitimate civilian rule. In this context, justice must both be done and be seen to be done. Pakistan desperately needs a full democratic cycle and a peaceful transfer of power from one civilian administration to another. Should this process be derailed, the constitutional safeguards and legal rights protections created since 2008 may suffer irreparable damage. Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights, Pakistan | Tagged: army, democracy, HRW, hrw pakistan, judiciary, memogate, Pakistan | 5 Comments »
Posted on December 18, 2011 by beenasarwar
Chief Justice of Pakistan: over-enthusiastic about some issues?
Today’s headline and report in Express Tribune ”Citizen’s letter prompts notices to president, ISI chief” prompts advocate Asad Jamal in Lahore to ask, rightly, who is this “Canada-based Pakistani” Shafqatullah Sohail ‘who has written such a passionate letter that the CJP immediately converted it into a petition? Continue reading
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Asad Jamal, fifi haroon, mansoor ijaz, memogate, Pakistan, Shafqatullah Sohail, yasser latif hamdani | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 18, 2011 by beenasarwar
Ad pubished in The Daily Times, Dec 23, 2011
Please note, the names on the signatories list will be updated as more endorsements are coming in.
PRESS RELEASE, December 17, 2011
Civil society terms “memogate” scandal an attempt to thwart democracy; Says threatening the representative system tantamount to attack on sovereignty of people. Read on for the text of the statement and the signatories’ list Continue reading
Filed under: Progressive politics | Tagged: Activism, civil society, democracy, memogate, Pakistan | 10 Comments »