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Politically motived FIR against PPP workers

The Lahore police have lodged an FIR against 250 PPP workers for protesting the Supreme Court ruling against President Zardari’s executive order and for burning effigies of Nawaz Sharif and Iftikhar Chaudhry. PPP Punjab president Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan has even been included in the FIR despite the fact that he and President Zardari had both stopped PPP workers from burning effigies of Nawaz Sharif.

First of all, political protests are not a crime. And if burning of effigies of political leaders is a crime, then why aren’t PML-N workers also being charged with this offense? After all, on the same day that PPP workers were burning effigies of Nawaz Sharif, PML-N workers were burning effigies of President Zardari in Faisalabad, Sargodha and Multan.

In fact here is pictorial evidence of PML-N women’s wing workers torching an effigy of President Zardari in Multan:

Here is another picture from February 2 of protestors in Lahore burning an effigy of President Zardari:

So the question is, why are only the PPP workers being targetted?

And why, if President Zardari and Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan are pursuing politics of reconciliation, is the Punjab government constantly escalating its aggressive stance towards its coalition partner in Punjab by encouraging such petty acts of political victimization?

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Laila Ebadi


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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/lg/pakistan/2010/02/100222_lahore_ppp_case_zs.shtml
    لاہور: عدلیہ مخالف احتجاج پر مقدمہ

    عباد الحق

    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لاہور

    لاہور پولیس نے عدلیہ کے فیصلے کے خلاف احتجاج کرنے اور نامناسب الفاظ استعمال کے الزام کرنے پر پیپلز پارٹی کے رہنماؤں سمیت دو سو نامعلوم کارکنوں کے خلاف مقدمہ درج کرلیا ہے۔

    یہ مقدمہ تھانہ قلعہ گجر سنگھ میں درج کیا ہے جس میں پیپلز پارٹی پنجاب کے صدر رانا آفتاب اور دیگر عہدیداروں کو نامزد کیا گیا جبکہ مقدمے کے مدعی پولیس اسٹیشن کے ایس ایچ او خود ہیں۔

    تیرہ فروری کو سپریم کورٹ کے تین رکنی بنچ نے صدر آصف علی زرداری کے ان احکامات کو معطل کردیا تھا جس کے تحت صدر پاکستان نے چیف جسٹس پاکستان کی سفارشات کے برعکس ججوں کی تعیناتی کرنے کا حکم دیا تھا۔

    پیپلز پارٹی نے اس عدالتی فیصلے پر صدر آصف علی زرداری کے ساتھ اظہار یکجہتی کرنے کے لیے چودہ فروری کو لاہور پریس کلب کے سامنے ایک مظاہرہ کیا تھا جس میں مسلم لیگ نون کے قائد نواز شریف کے پتلے کو آگ لگائی گئی تھی۔

    مقدمہ میں پیپلز پارٹی کی رکن پنجاب اسمبلی ساجدہ میر، لاہور کے صدر چودھری اصغر گجر، پیپلز پارٹی پنجاب کے سیکرٹری اطلاعات داکٹر فخر الدین چودھری اور عزیز الرحمن چن کو نامزد کیا گیا ہے۔ پیپلز پارٹی کے رہنماؤں کے خلاف نقص امن اور دھمکی آمیز الفاظ کرنے پر فوجداری دفعات کے تحت مقدمہ درج کیا گیا ہے۔

    ایس پی داکٹر حیدر اشرف نے بی بی سی بات کرتے ہوئے بتایا کہ پیپلز پارٹی کے جن رہنماؤں کے خلاف مقدمہ درج ہوا ہے ان کی گرفتاری کے چھاپے مارے جارہے ہیں تاہم ابھی تک کوئی گرفتاری عمل میں نہیں آئی۔

    دریں اثناء پیپلز پارٹی کی رکن اسمبلی ساجدہ میر نے پنجاب اسمبلی میں خطاب کرتے ہوئے یہ دھمکی دی کہ اگر ان کے خلاف مقدمہ واپس نہیں لیا گیا تو وہ خود سوزی کرلیں گی۔ان کا کہنا ہے کہ احتجاج کرنا ان کا حق ہے اور انہوں نے عدلیہ کے کسی فیصلے کی خلاف وزری نہیں ہے۔

    پنجاب اسمبلی میں قائد حزب مخالف چودھری ظہیر الدین نے پیپلز پارٹی کے رہمناؤں اور کارکنوں کے خلاف مقدمہ درج کرنے کی مذمت کی اور کہا کہ ارکان اسمبلی کے خلاف اس وقت مقدمہ درج ہوا ہے جب پنجاب اسمبلی کا اجلاس ہو رہا ہے۔

  • its really a sad story to hear sajjada mir the cleanist woman politian punjab has ever seen has to speak in such aggressive tone in recent assembly session regarding her arrest warrant .
    its the first time arrest warrant of MP have been issued while assemby session was taking place.

  • its really sad that arrest warrant of MP have been issued while assembly session is still in progress , really sad to see Sajjada Mir the cleanist politician punjab has ever produce has to speak in such a aggressive tone in assembly on this cruelty .

  • Rs 43.55 million approved for home improvement at GORs by Anwer Hussain Sumra
    Sunday, February 07, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201027\story_7-2-2010_pg13_4

    LAHORE: The Punjab government has approved 58 requests by politicians, judicial officers and senior civil and police officers, who are residents of GOR-I and II, for renovations, alterations and repairs – work that is likely to cost Rs 43.55 million, according to sources.

    In January, the government received 121 such requests: 79 from GOR-1 residents who asked for Rs 68.09 million and 42 from GOR II residents who asked for Rs.29.7 million, said the sources.

    The sources said 44 of the requests sent in from GOR I had been approved, and work on them was likely to cost Rs 33.46 million, while 14 requests from GOR II had been approved, and work on them was likely to cost Rs10.10 million.

    GOR I: Among others, Javed Mehmood, former chief secretary of Punjab and a resident of 9-Aikman Road, would been given Rs 1.05 million for the construction of servant quarters and a boundary wall; Jalal Skindar Sultan, the S&GAD service secretary and a resident of 14-Aikman Road, would be given Rs 1,633,600 for renovations; Najeebullah Malik, former Punjab chief secretary, would be given around Rs 5 million; Finance Minister Tanveer Ashraf Kiara would be given Rs 231,800; Anwar Ahmed Khan would be given Rs 79,600; the Chief Minister’s Secretariat secretary would be given Rs 10.61 million for 5 and 7 Club Road; Khawaja Shumail would be given Rs 1.54 million for renovations at 22-Club Road; Hassan Nawaz Tarar would be given Rs 212,500; Khawaja Naeem would be given Rs 1.33 million; Suhail Masood would be given Rs 145,800, Justice (r) Khalilur Rehman Ramday would be given Rs 115,700; Jehanzab Khan would be given Rs 732,200; Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary would be given Rs 853,100 for the construction of a bedroom and a fiber shed at 14-B Golf Road; Mazhar Ali Khan would be given Rs 808,800 for bamboo fences, steel doors, tuff paves, a fiber shed and a guest bedroom; Aftab Ahmed Cheema would be given Rs 722,880; Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, a former president, would be given Rs 431,330 to install barbed wire at 1-Shanan Road; Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, an adviser to the chief minister, would be given Rs 2.7 million for new tile floors, wardrobes and kitchen cabinets at 1-A Upper Mall; the Punjab Assembly speaker house would be given Rs 1.4 million for a boundary wall and tile flooring; Tanveer ul Islam, a provincial minister, would be given Rs 77,300 for a fiber glass car shed at 4-Upper Mall; Saifullah Chatta would be given Rs 726,400; IG House would be given Rs 809,000.

  • Daily Times editorial:

    The launching of a First Information Report (FIR) against a significant number of PPP party leaders and workers has the potential to become a thorn in the side of the coalition in Punjab and the policy of reconciliation in the country generally. The almost 250 workers of the PPP and female MPAs such as Sajida Mir and Faiza Malik have been named in the FIR after protesting against the judiciary during the recent hoopla on judicial appointments that seemed to have pitted the judiciary against the executive. These PPP protests consisted of anti-judicial slogans that complained of nepotism, with the most extreme occurrence being the burning of effigies of the Chief Justice. There was no harm caused to life or property, only an expression of opposing opinion.

    The last time one checked, democracy accepted criticism and disapproval as a cornerstone of its philosophy. However, we must remember that although Pakistan has officially named itself a democracy, it is not yet a liberal democracy.

    Liberal democracies do not bar the freedom to exercise expressional dissent if there are no damaging repercussions. Here, the judiciary who, after the recent fiasco, has appointed itself defender of the democratic system, should have the tolerance and acceptance of letting those who challenge be heard. Instead, this FIR is an attempt to silence this voice. When effigies of President Zardari were set aflame, due to flaring tempers initiated by the judicial/government standoff, no such action was taken against PML-N party members. A partisan strain present within the law-enforcement regime in Punjab that does the bidding of the ruling PML-N is going to give rise to frustration on many levels. Sajida Mir’s vow to set herself on fire in the Punjab Assembly — a threat she mercifully did not carry out — is a desperate cry against this one-sidedness.

    With the PML-N adopting an aggressive stance and violating the constitutional right to protest, one should not be surprised if the PPP fights back after so many unprovoked chastisements. For the past two years, it has been the cohorts of the PML-N who have waged a show of hostility while the PPP has remained a mild-mannered receiver. What the PML-N does not seem to understand is that, with the passage of time, only those who flaunt belligerence will come out looking bad. Meanwhile, the very institution they are trying to malign, the federal executive, might gain public sympathy. Politics in a democratic era should be conducted by all actors with civilised restraint and in accordance with the give-and-take required of coalition politics. *

  • Another incident that reflects the mood of the Supreme Court is the press report that the registrar of the Supreme Court has asked the IG Police Punjab to register cases against the PPP activists that engaged in sloganeering against the chief justice and the judgement of the Supreme Court in a protest march in Lahore. The Supreme Court’s pressure on the federal government, especially the president, continues.

    Pakistan’s political history offers noteworthy lessons for the political leaders. The civilian governments have found themselves under siege if they interfere in what the military perceives to be its legitimate domain of authority. The civilian governments often ran into trouble with the military top brass during 1988-1999 on key security and foreign policy issues and the military’s internal and organisational matters.

    The present-day federal government has run into periodic problems with the top brass of the military, especially the army, on a number of issues. The military top brass have found the president to be indiscreet on some key security issues like no-first use of nuclear weapons, relations with India, and the overall control of ISI. The top commanders made no secret of their resentment on the provisions of the Kerry-Lugar Act that pertained to the military, intelligence agencies and terrorism-related issues.

    The civilian government has to engage in delicate balancing between the imperative of democratic politics and pressures of the top brass of the military. The PPP government has not always been successful in maintaining this balance, reinforcing the military’s traditionally low image of the political leaders.

    The PPP found a new challenge emerging from the superior judiciary that is using ‘judicial activism’ and its constitutional powers to expand its domain of authority and make itself as much autonomous of elected institutions of the state as possible. In the context of Pakistani politics, these efforts can be interpreted as an attempt by another non-elected state institution to restrict the role of the elected legislature and executive.

    What weakens the position of the PPP government in its interaction with the military and the superior judiciary is deep polarisation in the political class. The PML-N and some sections of the politically active circles, including the lawyers and the media, find it convenient to pursue their anti-PPP agenda against the backdrop of the pressures on the government from the military and the judiciary.

    ANALYSIS: Living on the edge —Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi