Original Articles

The LUBP Archive on Aitzaz Ahsan

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Several friends have expressed concerns about Aitzaz Ahsan’s conspicuous absence from the recent SCBA elections, and his decision to not to openly support Asma Jahnagir against Ahmed Awais who was supported by the godfather of the lawyer community, Hamid Khan, and also by the ISI.

Previously, many questions have been raised about Aitzaz Ahsan’s role in the movement for the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

We have, at the LUBP, from time to time published a number of articles and posts in support as well as critical of Aitzaz Ahsan’s political policies and decisions.

This is a quick archive, we aim to build over time, in which we have collected some relevant articles on Aitzaz Ahsan’s politics. Please feel free to provide your perspectives in the comments section or suggest any article that you would like us to add to this archive.

Aitzaz Ahsan, PPP and Long March: A critical perspective – by Abbas Ather

PPP suspends Ch Aitzaz Ahsan as member of Central Executive Committee (CEC)

Welcome back, Aitzaz Ahsan

You too Aitzaz Ahsan, the leader of the legal community?

Pakistan’s left tilts towards right: Partners in crime? Deconstructing Tariq Ali and Atitzaz Ahsan

Adalat ho gi ma kay jaisi – by Honest People

Judiciary in Pakistan: A movement wasted

What was General Kayani’s message to Aitzaz Ahsan? How independent is the Supreme Court of Pakistan?

Aitzaz Ahsan explains his decisions: Association with the PPP; the pace of the Lawyers’ Movement; the Long March Dharna, and the war in FATA

We support Aitzaz Ahsan of PPP; not Hamid Khan of Imran Khan’s PTI in the Lahore Bar Elections

In defense of Aitzaz Ahsan: What do ordinary Pakistanis think?

A tumultuous year – by Aitzaz Ahsan

Aitzaz Ahsan calls dear army to Karachi

About the author

Abdul Nishapuri

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  • But what appears to be more important is the defeat of a mindset that is largely been viewed as the real beneficiary of the restoration of the deposed judiciary in monetary terms. This mindset had been held responsible for the boycott of the 2008 general elections by the legal fraternity, by none other than Aitzaz Ahsan, the former SCBA president and the man who anchored the lawyers’ movement with the help of stalwarts like Asma.

    Aitzaz Ahsan was out of the SCBA election run this time and sided with Asma’s rival camp, the Hamid Khan group. He appeared to have lost many friends in the bar politics like he did in his party, the PPP.

    The sane voices, including those of Fakharuddin G Ibrahim, Justice (r) Tariq Mahmood and Ali Ahmed Kurd, stayed steadfast in her support and refused to budge to the general talks in bar rooms that supporting Asma would amount to a suppressed legal practice.

    Human rights icon elected to champion constitutional rights

    By Muhammad Akram
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\10\28\story_28-10-2010_pg7_21

  • Two diverse perspectives:

    Left wing:

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/27736/comment-page-1#comment-39077

    Qais Anwar says:
    October 31, 2010 at 4:47 pm (Edit)
    عاصمہ بی بی کے الیکشن نے اقبال حیدر ہی نہیں اعتزاز احسن کے نام نہاد لبرل ازم کو بیچ چوراہے ننگا کر دیا ہے

    Qais Anwar says:
    October 31, 2010 at 4:52 pm (Edit)
    دو کشتیوں کی سواری اعتزاز احسن کا خاصہ رہی ہے لیکن پاکستان کی سول سوسائٹی کی رجعت پسندوں کے خلاف اس سب سے بڑی جنگ میں اعتزاز کی مصلحت پسندی اس کے چہرے سے رہے سہے نقاب بھی اٹھا گئی ہے

    Qais Anwar says:
    October 31, 2010 at 4:59 pm (Edit)
    اعتزاز صاحب ، جب تک چیف صاحب کی ریٹائرمنٹ کے دو سال پورے ہوں گے ان کا اصل چہرہ عوام کے سامنے آ چکا ہو گا جسٹس پارٹی کا خواب خواب ہی ره جائے گا پھر دھوبی کا کتا نہ گھر کا نہ گھاٹ کا

    آخری فقرے کے لیے معافی چاھتا ہوں

    Qais Anwar says:
    October 31, 2010 at 5:23 pm (Edit)
    عبّاس اطہر صاحب نے ایک بار اعتزاز احسن کی سیاسی قلابازیوں پر تفصیلی کالم لکھا تھا جس میں انہوں نے تفصیل سے بتایا تھا کہ اعتزاز احسن نے لاہور میں پیپلز پارٹی کے سب سے مضبوط انتخابی حلقے کو کس طرح تباہ کیا اور پھر مسلم لیگی ووٹوں کے حصول کے لیے میاں نواز شریف سے راہ و رسم بڑھائی یہ بھی دائیں بازو کے پریس کی پھیلائی ہوئی غلط فہمی ہے کہ جناب اعتزاز احسن جیالوں میں بہت مقبول ہیں

    Right wing:

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/27242/comment-page-1#comment-38538

    Shahabuddin Khilji says:
    October 29, 2010 at 11:33 am (Edit)

    QUOTE
    Aitzaz Ahsan ,a ‘Pakistani’ politician in the garb of a lawyer has started making mockery of the system. By demanding restoration of Judiciary by an executive order, he has started showing signs of desperation. His Indian friend Ashok Chaturvedi Indian Intelligence Chief is in hot water and Aitzaz has been tasked to show some results as soon as possible so that Ashok can continue as RAW Chief.

    After spending over 500 million dollars since March 2007, when lawyer movement started, Democracy could not be derailed in Pakistan. Aitzaz who enjoys aged long relations with Indian Establishment since the time he was founding V Chairman of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. He has retained that relationship and as Interior Minister he had handed over list of Sikhs separatists to Indian government.

    In March,2007 when Justice Iftikar Chaudhry was ousted as Chief Justice, he was tasked with an initial tranche of eighty millions which was handed to Asma Jehangir another Human Rights activists in London by RAW officer Sushil Trevidi in London in Indian High Commission.

    Aitzaz Ahsan and Asma Jehangir were tasked to create anarchy in Pakistan and derail democratic process and at the same time undermine the respect and honour of Pakistan’s armed forces. . At the same time create differences between Musharraf and Bush administration. The amount which was spent for separatist movements in Baluchistan were also guaranteed for Aitzaz Ahsan.

    The objectives were partially achieved. Musharrf’s move to remove his unform and imposition of emergency foiled the designs and holding of elections further strengthened Musharraf’s position. These developments unnerved Indian Intelligence and Ashok Chutervedi came under fire. Aitzaz has to make another desperate attempt otherwise his Indian connection will stop nourishing him. Lets wait and watch, who wins in this intelligence war.

  • جناب عبدل نیشا پوری

    اعتزاز احسن صاحب پر تفصیلی بحث کا موقع فراہم کرنے کا بہت شکریہ
    عاصمہ جہانگیر انقلابی نہیں ہیں بلکہ وہ سرمایہ دارانہ جمہوریت کے تحت بنائے گئے انسانی حقوق کے نظام کی علم بردار ہیں ، وہ جس انداز میں انسانی حقوق کے کمیشن کو چلاتی ہیں اس پر بھی بہت اعتراضات اٹھائے جا سکتے ہیں لیکن وہ ایک عرصے سے رجعت پسندوں کے نشانے پر ہیں اس سارے عرصے میں عاصمہ چٹان کی طرح کھڑی رہی ہیں ان پر جو ذاتی الزامات لگتے ہیں میں وہ کم از کم بس سال سے سن رہا ہوں یہ عاصمہ کی ہمت تھی کہ وہ عدالت پارٹی اور رجعت پسندوں کی بڑھتی ہوئی یلغار کو روکنے کے لیے سپریم کورٹ کے بار کا الیکشن لڑنے کا خطرہ مول لینے کے لیے تیار ہو گیں یہ ایکشن عاصمہ کے قد سے بہت چھوٹا تھا وہ اکیلی عورت ایک بار پھر جمہوریت کی جنگ لڑنے کے لیے کھڑی ہوئی تھی جو ہم سب کی جنگ ہے اس جنگ میں عاصمہ کو اکیلے چھوڑنے کا گناہ صرف اعتزاز احسن ہی کر سکتے تھے میرا نہیں خیال کہ پاکستان میں رجعت پسندوں کے خلاف کام کرنے والا کوئی اور بائیں بازو کا کارکن یا کوئی روشن خیال یہ گناہ کر سکتا ہے

  • ghar ko aag lag gayee ghar kay chiragh say

    By YLH

    I read Aitzaz Ahsan’s “Indus Saga” and instantly became his fan. Here was our answer to Jawaharlal Nehru. Here was a secular liberal Pakistani nationalist who believed in Jinnah’s Pakistan and a democratic civilised polity. Indus Saga remains in my view one of the finest books on the creation of Pakistan written by a Pakistani politician.

    When Aitzaz Ahsan took on the cause of the Chief Justice, I followed him for he appeared to be the voice of reason and sanity. I believed that so long as he was there , we could hope that Pakistani liberals would prevail on what increasingly looked like a reactionary movement. So we kept supporting him.

    Now Aitzaz Ahsan has let us down. He was the chiragh of our house and now he has burnt down the last citadel of hope as well. As a lawyer and as an author I am today truly broken.

    ——–

    Blasphemy law should remain intact: Aitzaz

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: The blasphemy law (295-C) should remain intact, and if Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer committed any mistake or blasphemy, instead of killing him he should have been punished under the law of the country, Pakistan People’s Party senior leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan said.

    While talking to reporters at the Supreme Court building, Aitzaz said no amendment of any kind should be brought in the blasphemy law and it should remain intact at every cost. He said that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had given assurance for implementing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif’s agenda, and therefore the PML-N chief should also support the government.

    To a question, Aitzaz said that he had not been offered the governorship of Punjab. “Better and more eligible people than me are waiting for the governorship,” he added. Aitzaz further said that President Asif Ali Zardari as the co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party would decide the appointment of the Punjab governor.

    http://pakteahouse.net/2011/01/11/ghar-ko-aag-lag-gayee-ghar-kay-chiragh-say/

  • The real leader of the PPP is Aitzaz Ahsan who gave so many sacrifices by sidestepping any occasion that called for standing by the party in hard times. He proved his loyalty to the party by ditching that fashion nightmare, Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and then by ditching that other Hindu agent, Asma Jehangir, in last weeks SCBA elections. Asma’s stand for secularism and democracy puts her at odds with the Judiciary, who are Aitzaz’s current party. Besides he a Punjabi and unlike Sindhis and Balochis, can be trusted. His great head of hair and his recitation of Marxist poets while parading with the Jamaat Islami is the stuff of legend and puts the icing on the PPP cake that civil society wishes for. Aitzaz has proved his neutrality by staying away from the SCBA elections (which he once headed) as he does not believe in taking sides between a candidate who espouses secularism and democracy versus one who supports Imran Khan and Hamid Gul. Moreover, unlike the other corrupt feudals of PPP, Aitzaz is an honest man who does not even want to appear in front of the judges that were restored. He simply uses 2-3 law firms as front companies to “negotiate” with the judges towards his Rs. 10 crore per client fees; a true Marxist of the 21st century.

    The Civil Society Bulletin – by Abbas Baloch

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/28303

  • But what appears to be more important is the defeat of a mindset that is largely been viewed as the real beneficiary of the restoration of the deposed judiciary in monetary terms. This mindset had been held responsible for the boycott of the 2008 general elections by the legal fraternity, by none other than Aitzaz Ahsan, the former SCBA president and the man who anchored the lawyers’ movement with the help of stalwarts like Asma.

    Aitzaz Ahsan was out of the SCBA election run this time and sided with Asma’s rival camp, the Hamid Khan group. He appeared to have lost many friends in the bar politics like he did in his party, the PPP.

    The sane voices, including those of Fakharuddin G Ibrahim, Justice (r) Tariq Mahmood and Ali Ahmed Kurd, stayed steadfast in her support and refused to budge to the general talks in bar rooms that supporting Asma would amount to a suppressed legal practice.

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/27267

  • Why no lawyers movement against dictators? Warraich asks Aitzaz
    Published: October 29, 2011

    Reference for late Nusrat Bhutto becomes heated.
    LAHORE:
    A condolence reference organised for late Begum Nusrat Bhutto by the People Lawyers Forum at the Lahore High Court Bar Association became a battleground as some speakers tried to use the stage for the Supreme Court Bar Association election campaigning and for personal attacks against rivals.
    Advocate Khurram Latif Khosa, the Punjab governor’s son, while addressing the participants announced that Yasin Azad, their presidential candidate for the SCBA, was present and all lawyers should vote for him.
    PPP Punjab president Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, gesturing towards Aitzaz Ahsan, said lawyers like him had initiated a movement for one judge but never a movement to oust dictators. He said the elected governments of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were toppled by dictators but no lawyers initiated a movement against the dictators.
    Ahsan said in his speech that if Azad was present at the venue, so was Rasheed A Rizvi, the other SCBA presidential candidate. He said Begum Nusrat Bhutto was a non-controversial figure and the condolence reference for her should have avoided controversy.
    He said lawyers had initiated the movement against Ayub Khan.
    He said lawyers had also struggled against Ziaul Haq. It was also the lawyers’ movement which ousted Musharraf, Aitzaz said. He said that lawyers were an important part of the country and the PPP should not become distant from them.
    Former presidents of the SCBA Ali Ahmed Kurd and Asma Jahangir also addressed the gathering.

    Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2011.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/284258/why-no-lawyers-movement-against-dictators-warraich-asks-aitzaz/

  • We are presenting the following News items published in the Time in partnership with CNN of Jan 29, 1990 for the viewers
    to expose Aitzaz Ahsan and his real face to the entire world
    TIME IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CNN
    Monday, Jan. 29, 1990
    Pakistan The Undoing of Benazir
    By EDWARD W. DESMOND ISLAMABAD
    (2 of 2)

    Even then, the government could still have performed if Bhutto had chosen her Cabinet well. But she has shown little ability to pick talented — not to say honest — ministers. Important decisions often catch Bhutto by surprise, like Interior Minister Aitzaz Ahsan’s move to harass and expel Christina Lamb, a British correspondent who wrote a controversial story about army officers plotting a coup that was embarrassing to the minister. Corruption scandals hit the papers almost daily, but Bhutto insists that the reports are mainly opposition propaganda, especially the attacks on her family. But one of her closest advisers is worried that the allegations are starting to stick. Says he: “If anything takes us down, it will be this perception of corruption and indecision.”
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,969271-2,00.html

    We are presenting the following News items published in the Daily Mail of April 26, 2007 for the viewers
    to expose Aitzaz Ahsan and his real face to the entire world

    DAILY MAIL
    26 April 2007
    Parliamentary Secretary criticizes Aitzaz Ahsan

    By Saad Ahmed

    ISLAMABAD—Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Affairs Division and a leader of Pakistan Muslim League, Sheikh Waqas Akram, Wednesday questioned Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan’s professed commitment to upholding the honour of judiciary and freedom of the press.

    Addressing a press conference here, the young politician from Jhang said that Aitzaz Ahsan had become a ‘two-in-one’ personality by politicizing the judicial matters.
    “This is the same Aitzaz who was expelled from Tehreek-e-Istaqlal by his party on December 16, 1985 on the charges of self-promotion and self-projection,” the Parliamentary Secretary said.

    “This is the same politician who appointed 20 workers of his party as judges when he was Federal Minister for Law. Those judges were later dismissed by the judiciary as most of those had never appeared before the court,” he said and added that those also included Ahmed Saeed Awan who was a convict in a murder case. “Why he did not resign when a criminal was made judge?” Waqas Akram asked.

    The Parliamentary Secretary said the court slashed those appointments and gave a 350 page decision. He asked as to why Aitzaz Ahsan had not resigned in protest when PPP chairperson publicly said that she wanted to appoint her party’s Secretary General as Chief Justice of Supreme Court.

    Waqas Akram and said he was questioning the so-called “custodian of the judiciary” who had questioned all the young MPs of the parliament terming them ‘under-19 politicians’.
    “We are proud to be young politicians as we have no bleak past as Mr. Aitzaz does,” he said.

    Waqas Akram referred to a report in ‘Sikh Times’ alleging involvement in handing over the lists of Sikh freedom fighters to Indian authorities when Aitzaz Ahsan was Interior Minister and demanded an answer.

    He said the daily Nawa-i-Waqt had reported that Aitzaz Ahsan resigned from PPP in 1977 when Bhutto regime was facing a difficult time due to the PNA movement.

    “The nation remembers that this is the same person who when he was Interior Minister, was involved in harassing and deporting a women journalist named Christina Lamb,” Waqas Akram said and added that why this worthy lawyer has not answered the allegations leveled against him by the renowned journalist Christina Lamb in her book, ‘Waiting for Allah- Struggle for Democracy’. Sheikh Waqas said that he suspected Aitzaz Ahsan’s complicity in attackon the office of Senator Dr. Khalid Ranjha as he had in the past “attacked the office of the then Chief Justice Lahore High Court Rashid Aziz Khan.”

    http://dailymailnews.com/200704/26/news/dmcitypage06.html

    THE REAL FACE OF AITZAZ AHSAN

    We are presenting the following letter published in the Daily Dawn of July 18, 2004 for the viewers to expose Aitzaz Ahsan and his real face to the entire world

    The price of loyalty

    WITH reference to Ms Anjum Niaz’s piece The price of loyalty (June 20), after topping the CSS examination held in 1970, Aitzaz Ahsan did not join the service. This he did to demonstrate his competence, capability and intelligence. His action of topping and not joining the elite service impressed Z.A. Bhutto who wanted young people to join his party.

    When Chaudhry Anwar Samma, a PPP MPA from Gujrat, was murdered in March 1975, Aitzaz Ahsan was elected, ‘un-opposed’ to the Punjab Assembly and inducted in the provincial cabinet. He was given the portfolio of information, planning and development.

    But the more interesting fact is that the ‘Chaudhry from Gujrat’ left the party at the most crucial time. When the PNA staged demonstrations against PPP government in 1977, on the allegation that elections had been rigged, Aitzaz was third to leave the party; the first being Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan, followed by Sardar Ahmad Ali, father of Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali, a former foreign minister.

    One can understand the betrayal by Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan and Sardar Ahmad Ali, as both had joined PPP from Muslim League. Changing loyalties by Muslim Leaguers, at the behest of the establishment, had started immediately after Partition and still persists. Formation of the Republican Party is a classic example. But Aitzaz was one, whom Z.A. Bhutto had brought from oblivion to limelight, from an upcoming advocate to a provincial minister, thus his action was absolutely unjustified. Maybe he had information that the establishment had written off Z.A. Bhutto from the politics of the country. So when he left the party, he practically supported the cause of the PNA.

    He remained dissociated with the party, till Bhutto was hanged. Later when he wanted to join the party, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, chairperson of the PPP, refused to accept him, asking him to beg pardon from late Z.A. Bhutto, whom he had betrayed.

    Afterwards he crept in the party through his professional services to the PPP and managed forgiveness via Benazir Bhutto. I have written these lines to put the record straight.

    HAFEEZ AKHTAR
    Lahore
    http://www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/archive/040718/dmag22.htm

    http://www.mqm.org/English-News/May-2007/real_face_of_aitzaz_ahsan.htm