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18th Amendment, Na Manzoor

From Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa to Karachi, from Lahore to Gilgit-Baltistan and from Larkana to Queta, the entire nation is celebrating the parliamentary consensus on the proposed 18th amendment in Pakistan’s constitution.

Constitutional experts and parliamentarians belonging to diverse ethnic and political backgrounds are terming the constitutional package as a landmark step towards the supremacy of parliament in Pakistan.

Everyone is happy except a few individuals in Pakistan’s largest media group (Jang Group / Geo TV) and also in Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

What does the 18th amendment include:

The landmark constitutional reforms are being seen by parliamentarians and constitutional experts as a move to bolster parliamentary democracy. The 18th amendment, which reverses constitutional changes adopted by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, is easily expected to secure the two-thirds majority from parliament required to pass into law.

The move has been hailed as an enormous triumph for the PPP government led by President Asif Zardari.

Under the constitutional reforms, the president would no longer have the power to dismiss the prime minister, dissolve parliament — as enacted multiple times in the past — or appoint the head of the country’s armed forces. These powers were the legacy of military dictators General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf.

The 18th amendment would put no bar on prime ministers standing for only two terms in office — allowing opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, who was toppled by Musharraf in 1999, to again become premier.

“I congratulate the entire nation on this 18th amendment,” Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told the lower house of parliament. “It is historic. Some people think that the prime minister will be stronger now. But in fact these constitutional amendments will strengthen institutions.”

“This is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan,” Gilani added, before Raza Rabbani, head of the parliamentary committee on constitutional reform, unveiled the package.

“This is a bill which will ensure parliamentary supremacy,” Rabbani told the lower house of parliament.

The reforms also devolve greater autonomy to the provinces and will rename North West Frontier Province, which dates back to British colonial rule, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in a nod to its Pashtun-majority population. (Source: Dawn)

Who is unhappy?

1. The unhappiest person on the 18th amendment is the controversial Chief Justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chaudhry. Before the 18th amendment, CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry had the sole authority to nominate judges of his personal choice in the Supreme Court of the country. Now that authority has been devolved to a joint judicial commission with representation from the Supreme Court as well as from the parliament.

2. A powerful anti-democracy lobby of journalists belonging to a certain media group (Jang Group including Geo TV) is also most displeased over this development. For example, read Ansar Abbasi’s and Hamir Mir’s articles on this topic, or watch Dr Shahid Masood’s programme.

Devil’s advocate: 18th tarmeem, na manzoor

Here is a very interesting analysis (in Urdu) by our fellow blogger Bawa at pkpolitics.

نا منظور نا منظور – اٹھارویں ترمیم نامنظور

یہ کیسے ہوگیا کہ اٹھارویں ترمیم پر ساری پارٹیاں متفق ہو چکی ہیں. یہ اتفاق ہم تو ہضم نہیں کر سکتے. ہماری تو ساری گیم ہی الٹی پڑ گئی ہے

جو بھی ہو ہم تو اسمیں سے بھی کیڑے نکالیں ہی نکالیں گے. اٹھارویں ترمیم جمہوریت اور تمام اداروں کو مضبوط کرے گی لیکن ہم کیوں جمہوریت کو مضبوط ہونے دیں گے

جمہوریت مضبوط ہو جائے کی تو ہمیں کون پوچھے گا؟ کون ہمارا پروگرام سنے گا، کون ٹی وی چینل دیکھے گا اور اخبارات پڑھے گا؟

ہم تو یہ نہیں ہونے دیں گے. ہم تو اٹھارویں ترمیم کی ہر شق میں سے ایک ایک ہزار کیڑے نکالیں گے

ہم تو عدلیہ کو پارلیمنٹ سے لڑائیں گے اور تن من دھن کا زور لگائیں گے

ہمارے ڈاکٹر صاحب درست فرما رہے ہیں کہ پارلیمنٹ میں کوئی عدلیہ کے حق میں آواز نہیں اٹھا رہا

ہم اب بھی مایوس نہیں ہیں. ہم اب بھی اس خوشفہمی میں مبتلا ہیں کہ کہ اٹھارویں ترمیم پارلیمنٹ میں پاس نہیں ہوگی. اگر خدا نخواستہ ہو بھی جاتی ہے تو بھی فکر والی کوئی بات نہیں ہے کیونکہ ہم ہیں ناں. ہم اتنا شور مچائیں گے کہ اس ترمیم کے جرم میں پوری پارلیمنٹ کو ہی گھر جانا پڑیگا

ہم یہ بھی شور مچائیں گے کہ لوگ اس اٹھارویں ترمیم کے بہت خلاف ہیں لیکن انکی توجہ شعیب اور ثانیہ کی شادی کی طرف چلی گئی ہے اسلیے وہ بول نہیں رہے

ہم کیس عدالتوں میں لیکر جائیں گے اور ہم چیف صاحب سے سب کچھ الٹ پلٹ کروا دیں گے

ہم پارلیمنٹ کو سپریم نہیں ہونے دیں گے. ہم چیف صاحب کو سپریم بنوائیں گے

ہم حکومت میں شامل چند کرپٹ لوگوں کی آڑ لیکر جمہوری نظام اور پارلیمنٹ کو اتنا بد نام کریں گے کہ لوگ اٹھارویں ترمیم کو بھول جاینگے

ہم آمریت چاہتے ہیں کیونکہ ہم آمریت میں ہی پھلتے پھولتے ہیں. یہ آمریت خواہ فوجیوں کی ہو یا چیف جسٹس کی

ہم شور مچائیں کہ یہ جمہوریت کے نام پر ڈرامہ کیا جا رہا ہے اور لوگوں کو پالیمنٹ کے نام پر بے وقوف بنایا جا رہا ہے

ہم دعوے سے کہیں گے اور دن رات پروپیگنڈا کریں گے کہ اٹھارویں ترمیم قوم کو کچھ نہیں دے گی

ہم شور مچائیں گے کہ آئیں میں ترمیم کا حق عدلیہ کو ہے پارلیمنٹ کو نہیں. پارلیمنٹ میں بیٹھے شیطانوں کو آئیں میں ترمیم کا حق نہیں دیا جا سکتا. یہ حق صرف عدالتوں میں بیٹھے فرشتوں کا ہے. بے شک اب لوگ کہنا شروع ہو گیے ہیں کہ

پہلے لوگ کہتے تھے وکیل کر لو … پھر کہنے لگے جج ہی کیوں نہ کر لو…. اور اب کہ رہے ہیں چیف ہی کر لو

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  • Interesting comments by Khalid Wasti from the above pkpolitics link:

    دوستو پارلیمینٹ کو بچاؤ ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ !! ملک کو بچاؤ
    =======================
    دوستو! بڑے دکھ اور درد کے ساتھ عرض کرتا ہوں کہ قائد ِ اعظم کے پاکستان کو ایک ملاں (ملا) کا پاکستان بنانے میں جن غلیظ ذہنوں نے اپنا کردار ادا کیا اور قرارداد مقاصد کی منظوری سے لیکر اسلامی جمہوریہ بنانے تک اور عالمی جہاد کے لیئے مجاہدین کی بھرتی کرنے تک قدم بہ قدم آگے بڑھتے رہے ، آج پھر اس ملک کی جڑوں کو تیل دینے کے لیئے ایک نکتے پر اکٹھے ہو چکے ہیں – اور وہ ہے پارلیمینٹ کی بالا دستی کو ختم کرنا – قراد داد مقاصد کی منظوری کا نتیجہ آج دہشت گردی کی صورت میں ہمارے سامنے ہے – پارلیمینٹ کی بالا دستی ختم ہونے کے بعد قائد اعظم اور علامہ اقبال کا پاکستان جس طرح ایک مکمل
    تھیو کریٹک(ملاں کریسی) بن جائے گا ، اس کے خوفناک نتائج کا اندازہ بھی نہیں کیا جا سکتا –
    آج قائد اور اقبال کے پاکستان کو محفوظ رکھنے کے لیئے ہر تعلیم یافتہ ، باشعور اور ترقی پسند افراد کی
    ذمہ داری ہے کہ وہ ہر اس کوشش کو بے نقاب کرے اور اس کی مذمت کرے جو پارلیمینٹ کی بالادستی ختم کرنے کے لیئے کی جا رہی ہے –
    دوستو ! جیسے دہشت گرد آبادیوں میں گھس کر انسانی جانوں کو ہیومن شیلڈ کے طور پر اختیار کرتے ہیں ، اسی طرح جہالت ، رجعت پرستی اور انتہا پرستی کو فروغ دینے والا یہ طبقہ اسلام ، مذہب اور اللہ رسول کے نام کو ایک شیلڈ کے طور پر استعمال کرکے سادہ لوح مسلمانوں کو ایکسپلائیٹ کرتا رہا ہے –اور آج ان نعروں میں عدلیہ کی آزادی کو بھی پارلیمینٹ کی بالا دستی ختم کرنے کی سازش کے آگے ایک شیلڈ کے طور پر استعمال کیا جارہا ہے –
    آج کہاں ہیں اسلام پسند ؟ جو خدا تعالی کی حکمرانی کے قانون کا پراپیگنڈہ کرتے تھکتے نہیں تھے ؟ ہر عقلمند آدمی با آسانی سمجھ سکتا ہے خدا تعالی نے بنفس نفیس تو عرش سے اتر کر فرش پر اپنا قانون نافذ کرنے کے لیئے نہیں اترنا بلکہ خدا کے قانون کا نفاذ خدا کی زمین پر خدا کے بندوں کےذ ریعہ سے ہونا ہے –
    اور خدا کے بندوں کے نمائیندے کون ہیں ؟ بچہ بچہ جانتا ہے کہ خدا کے بندوں یعنی عوام کے نمائیدے وہی ہیں جو پارلیمینٹ میں بیٹھے ہیں اور وہی بالا دست ہیں ملک کے تمام اداروں بشمول عدلیہ ، فوج ، انتظامیہ اور ملک کا ہر ادارہ –
    دوستو ! آج پاکستان کو بچانا ہے تو پارلیمینٹ کو بچاؤ ! پارلیمینٹ کو بالا دست بناؤ !! پارلیمینٹ کو اپنے تابع کرنے اور خدا کے بندوں کا حق حکمرانی ختم کرنے کی ہر ناپاک سازش کو ناکام بنانے کے لیئے دامے ، درمے ، سخنے ، قدمے جو کچھ کر سکتے ہو کر گزرو

  • Earlier Jang Group/GEO was praising Sindhi Nationalists and then Jang Group attacked Sindhi Cap and Sindhi Culture and now they have again [without any credible proof] attacked and raise false allegation on Sindhi Nationalists. یپلز پارٹی عدلیہ کیخلاف پروپیگنڈا مہم چلا رہی ہے،حساس ادارے کی رپورٹ
    کراچی (اسٹاف رپورٹر) پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی چیف جسٹس آف پاکستان کے خلاف پروپیگنڈہ مہم چلا رہی ہے۔ پیپلز پارٹی کا میڈیا سیل اس مہم کی نگرانی کر رہا ہے۔ یہ بات ایک حساس ادارے کی رپورٹ میں بتائی گئی ہے۔ اس رپورٹ سے پیپلز پارٹی کے بعض رہنماوٴں اور حکومتی عہدیداروں کو بھی آگاہ کردیاگیا ہے۔ رپورٹ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ بعض اخبارات میں ایک قوم پرست پارٹی کی طرف سے اشتہارات شائع ہوئے۔ ”چیف جسٹس آف پاکستان سے اپیل“ کے عنوان سے شائع ہونے والے ان اشتہارات میں چیف جسٹس کے ماضی کے حوالے سے باتیں کی گئی ہیں اور چیف جسٹس کے بارے میں منفی تاثر دینے کی کوشش کی گئی ہے۔ رپورٹ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ سندھ کے کچھ قوم پرست رہنما چیف جسٹس کے خلاف سیاسی مہم بھی شروع کر رہے ہیں جنہیں پیپلز پارٹی کی پشت پناہی حاصل ہے۔ خاص طور پر میڈیا سیل کے انچارج ایک ایم پی اے خاص طور پر سرگرم ہیں۔ رپورٹ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ یہ ”انفارمیشن“ دینے کا مقصد یہ ہے کہ متعلقہ اداروں کو صورتحال کا علم ہو۔ واضح رہے کہ ایک قوم پرست پارٹی کی طرف سے 9 اپریل کو سپریم کورٹ کے باہر دھرنا دینے کی کال بھی دی گئی ہے۔

    http://www.jang.net/urdu/details.asp?nid=422449

    Sindh nationalists stand for return of judges By Shaheen Sehbai & Ansar Abbasi Monday, March 16, 2009

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=20939

    WASHINGTON/ISLAMABA D: The US capital and the world is watching for the ultimate battle on the D-Day on Monday in what has now turned into a fatal fight to the finish between two personalities — President Asif Zardari and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Only one will survive.

    Zardari has all the power that anyone can muster in any country, but he also has the biggest stakes on line. His power grab in the last few months is not helping him and he is fighting a losing battle.

    Iftikhar Chaudhry has no powers but he has the entire country behind him and that makes him the most powerful commander leading his troops to ultimate victory. His troops, Nawaz Sharif, Ali Kurd, Aitzaz Ahsan, the media, lawyers, politicians, rights activists and the people at large have been deceived so many times that no more promises or assurances of the Zardari camp carry any weight. Thus foreign guarantors are being sucked into the equation.

    The Army, the ultimate protector of the external and internal security fronts, has been caught in a dangerous bind. While it was hard pressed fighting the terrorists and their creeping coups, President Zardari has opened a much wider and a potentially suicidal confrontation which had brought the entire country to a standstill, even before the long march could start or converge at a point.

    The Army is in no position to fight such a divisive and extended war with its own people, for the interests of a few misguided and incompetent leaders who failed to grow into the large shoes they landed in, by the stroke of luck after the ultimate sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto.

    While leaders like Maulana Fazlur Rehman are, in sheer desperation, trying to give the phenomenal rising of the people for a national cause the colour of a possible threat to the federation, all those leading the movement have repeatedly said the objective of their struggle is to attain the objective of reinstatement of Nov 2 judiciary and not to dislodge the present PPP government.

    Mian Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Imran Khan and the lawyers’ leadership have said in one voice that the government must listen to what the nation demands. The Jamaat-e-Islami chief has even asked Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to use his pressure on the government to meet the public demand for the independence of judiciary instead of exploiting such a situation for a military intervention to grab power, a la Ziaul Haq or Musharraf.

    Given the public mood and the thinking of the political leaders military intervention is not possible and would be strongly resisted if foolishly resorted to. Critical mistakes have been made by Zardari-controlled war room, set up in the bunker inside the presidency.

    When Punjab was forcibly taken over by the governor to physically stop the long march and the entire transport system, official and private, was hijacked to block every road, two days before the D-Day word was sent out that the Shahbaz Sharif government was being restored in a few days.

    Given our bureaucratic mindset, the entire Punjab administration was paralysed that very moment because no officer, junior or senior, would take action against an ousted chief minister or his party, if he was to regain power in a few days.

    Hence there are numerous reports that the Punjab police and the administration was helping the Sharifs break the barriers or even smuggle them in police vehicles to dodge orders of a governor who was about to be sacked. It is simple logic.

    A senior government official, who drove to Islamabad from Lahore hours before the long march started towards Islamabad, reported the mood of the civil administration and the police in Punjab had changed altogether. He said officials were no more inclined to block the long march because they themselves had felt the change in the wind.

    He claimed if a police force of 23,000 and other security personnel deployed in Lahore could not prevent the Lahorites from coming out on the streets despite the use of brutal police force and teargas, the long march would smoothly move toward Islamabad as the other districts do not have enough force to face huge crowds.

    According to a report, high-ranking police officers, of SSP rank and above, rushed inside the Lahore High Court and made speeches, apologising to the lawyers and the civil society. They said whatever had happened was wrong and from now on they won’t be a part of it. Rich traders of Lahore also come to the high court and categorically blamed it all on President Zardari. People were not chanting ‘Zardari ko jana hoga!’, rather they were saying, ‘Zardari to gaya!’

    Asif Zardari has always been in a hurry to blow up the system that he suddenly inherited 14 months ago. He has overstretched his desire to become ‘General’ Asif Zardari, following in the footsteps of Gen Musharraf, for whom he still carries a soft spot.

    Zardari began where Musharraf had peaked in terms of power. He had everything going for him, a supportive people, a unanimous parliament, a friendly opposition, a lovable media, a world ready to help. But he could not grasp the opportunity or even fathom the critical role he had been swept in. His destructive politics has led him to the present pass.

    The last card he has, and he has been saying this in private for some time, is the ultimate “Sindh card” which had been used off and on by Sindhi leaders when they were in trouble or cornered because of their failed policies or strategies. Zardari using the Sindh card would be an ultimate joke with the people.

    Why this appears a last ditch desperate effort is obvious as his cronies and loyalists like Rehman Malik and the foxy Maulana Fazlur Rehman have started raising this bogey. Malik has been referring to the “East Pakistan like” situation whereas nothing like it exists on the ground.

    Even in Sindh all the nationalists led my Mumtaz Bhutto, GM Syed Group, Rasool Bux Paleejo, the nationalists of other provinces including the Bizenjos, Mengals, Marris of Balochistan and even the coalition partners Bilors of Peshawar have been looking at the situation as a fight for an independent judiciary and not a threat to the federation. Most have been very vocal in support of the judges.

    Zardari does not realise that he has pushed himself to the wrong side of the political, civil and intellectual spectrum. While everyone is clamouring for judicial independence, and everyone includes top judges, lawyers, politicians, journalists, even generals and bureaucrats, using the Sindh card would be nothing but an act of desperation signalling acceptance of defeat.

    The argument that the PPP was being victimised once again will hold no water as the present shape of the Zardari-led PPP is not what Benazir Bhutto’s PPP looked like and stood for. Benazir Bhutto’s jiyalas are no longer jiyalas of Zardari, they have been sidelined and it has been proved beyond doubt that Zardari does not stand for what Benazir wanted or struggled for.

    Thus all the Sindhi PPP and non-PPP stalwarts, including even Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Nawab Yousuf Talpur, the Jatois, Bhuttos et al, will not let Zardari use the Sindh card. It is in fact no card at all.

  • Jang Group/Express News VS Sindhi Community.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/04/jang-groupexpress-news-vs-sindhi.html

    There is a difference between re-publishing the past history and running a propaganda campaign [Jang Group Alleges that Sindhi Nationalists in connivance with PPP has launched a Campaign against the incumbent CJSC’s past history] to make everyone aware as to what happened in the past, these reporters are least bothered to check that whatever is published on this blog is only the repetition of what has already been published in the same newspapers about The PCO Judges under Martial Law. There is a difference between news/investigative report/column and Table Stories/Personal Opinion rather hate mongering and several key supporters of Musharraf’s Military Regime/Military Establishment [for example Mr. Talat Hussain (Aaj TV/Expressnews), Mr. Shaheen Sehbai (Group Editor of The News International) and Mr. Ansar Abbasi (Editor Investigation The News International), Mr Kamran Khan, Mr Saleh Zaafir REFERENCE: Ansar Abbasi Praised Musharraf Martial Law, Article 6 & NAB Cases http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/ansar-abbasi-praised-musharraf-martial.html are indulged in this hate mongering against the Sindhi Community and Sindhi Culture name of Analysis and Investigative Journalism.

    Now watch a very rare video of Talat Hussain [AAJ TV Host] which was recorded in 1999after Pakistan Army occupied Pakistan by imposing a Martial Law and sacking the elected government of Mr Nawaz Sharif by committing the Treason. Talat Hussain was justifying the Martial Law of Musharraf and implicating Nawaz Sharif in a fake Plane Hijacking Case which was Hijacked by Musharraf and his PSO Brigadier Nadeem Taj [now Lt General and former DG of ISI].

    People Views on Musharaf.(Saviour Of Pakistan) NOTE: Talat’s “Favourable” Comment for Musharraf is from 1:20 to 1:22
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iZQ34s0p5g&feature=related

    READ TALAT HUSSAIN RACIAL COMMENT AGAINST SINDHI COMMUNITY PUBLISHED IN 3 APRIL 2010 DAILY EXPRESS UNDERCAPTIONED “HATAMI MA’ARKA” [Final Showdown]

    Whereas Talat Hussain and the reaily of Express News Network is as under: Talat Hussain, AAJ TV, “Ghairat – Honour” & Express News http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/12/talat-hussain-aaj-tv-ghairat-honour.html ‘LIE’ with Talat & Aaj TV Pakistan. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/lie-with-talat-aaj-tv-pakistan.html

    What Talat Hussain and Ansar Abbasi ‘forgot’ to mention while praising Musharraf’s rule!! NOTE: Below mentione source is the same source from where History of on Corrupt PCOED PAKISTANI Judiciary is also quoted and if this called Propaganda then stop reading Dawn and The News International as well.

    KARACHI, March 10: One of the counsel for Nawaz Sharif in the plane conspiracy case, Iqbal Raad, and two others were gunned down by three unidentified people at his practice chambers on Friday afternoon. Shahzad Adil Khatri, son of the late Sindh High Court judge Adil Khatri, and an office peon were also killed with Iqbal Raad in his office in the multi-storey Paradise Chambers near the High Court building on Shahrah-i-Iraq. The peon, Ghulam Abbas, who hailed from Ranipur, had joined Iqbal Raad only three days ago. Iqbal Raad, from whose office a some unknown persons had stolen the fax machine and other equipment a fortnight ago, died of a kalashnikov burst while he was in his seat, and the bodies of Khatri and Ghulam Abbas lay just outside the internal door of Raad’s offices. Iqbal Raad, in his mid-50s, who has left behind his wife, three sons and one daughter, had been holding the post of advocate- general of Sindh until the Nawaz Sharif government was dismissed last year. Before being appointed AG, Mr Raad had showed interest in organizing the lawyers under the PML’s legal wing. According to witnesses, three men went up to the office of Mr Raad on the second floor, after alighting from an beige-coloured Alto car, and sprayed all the three with Kalashnikov and TT pistol shots. The witnesses said that soon after they had completed their operation, the killers climbed down the stairs and pulled up the car to flee the scene. REFERENCE: Nawaz’s counsel assassinated Sarfaraz Ahmed [11 March 2000 Dawn Wire Service] http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/2000/mar11.html

    KARACHI: Iqbal Raad, one of the counsel for deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the plane conspiracy case, was gunned down in his office at Saddar along with two others on Friday. The other two victims were identified as Shahzad Adil Khatri, son of Justice (retd) Hussain Adil Khatri, and Ghulam Abbas, an office boy of Iqbal Raad offices in Paradise Chambers, situated behind the Sindh High Court Building and near Passport Office. The killings took place at about 1:30 pm when former advocate general of Sindh Iqbal Raad had arrived in his chamber a little while ago. At that time, most of the area people had gone to Masjid-e-Khizra to offer Friday prayers. According to eyewitnesses, four commuters of a beige-coloured Alto car (ABZ-947) came outside Paradise Chambers, where Raad’s offices are located on the second floor. One remained in the driving seat with the vehicle’s engine start, while three others got off and entered the building. The gunmen stormed into the offices of Iqbal Raad and opened indiscriminate fire, killing Shahzad Adil Khatri, 23, and Ghulam Abbas, 18, in the front room. They then barged into Raad’s chamber where he was sitting on his revolving chair. The killers sprayed a volley of bullets, targeting the upper portion of his body. Iqbal Raad, the 53-year-old lawyer, sustained multiple bullets and died instantly. After completing their operation, the killers fled in the awaiting vehicle. An eyewitness, who saw the assailants rushing out of the building, told The News that two of them were wearing Shalwar Qameez and were armed with TT pistols in both hands, while the third gunman, who was wearing a shirt and trouser, was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle. Iqbal Raad received six bullets in the left of his upper thorax and hand. Five bullets pierced through his body while the sixth bullet was retrieved by a medico-legal officer from Raad’s shoulder blade. Eyewitnesses said that the prayers had concluded in the nearby Masjid-e-Khizra at the time of shooting. SP Aslam Soomro was also attending the prayers and his two police guards were standing outside the chambers of the slain lawyer. The bodies of the victims were shifted to the Civil Hospital for autopsies.

    A large number of lawyers rushed to the hospital. Due to power failure at the Civil Hospital mortuary, the postmortem was conducted with a delay of about half an hour. “Raad’s collarbone was broken,” said an MLO, who conducted the postmortem. Peon Ghulam Abbas received a single bullet below his right ear and Shahzad sustained a bullet in his skull, he added. An advocate, on condition of anonymity, told The News that he had just taken his seat in his third floor office when he heard the gunshots. “I looked down from my window and saw three gunmen getting into a a beige-coloured Alto. I had seen that car parked right in front of the building’s gate with the driver in his seat. I also managed to see its registration number as ABZ-947,” he added. Another advocate, who shared Raad’s office on the same floor, told The News that he rushed to the scene on hearing the firing and saw the victims in a pool of blood. “I then telephoned the police on Emergency No 15. But they told me to inform the concern police station. Finally I called the Edhi Foundation’s volunteers,” he added. Shahzad Adil Khatri, who was also killed in the attack, had sold his offices to Raad a couple of months ago and was preparing for his CSS examinations in another office adjacent to that of Iqbal. Shahzad, eyewitnesses said, had come to Raad’s offices because his library was still there and he wanted to take some books. The young peon, Ghulam Abbas, was hired a couple of days ago. When contacted, a senior police official said that the car (ABZ-947), used in the incident, had a fake number plate. “It was a beige-coloured Alto car carrying the number allotted to Surrayia wife of Nazimuddin,” said one of the police investigators. When contacted, SSP South Iqbal Mehmood said: “We are still investigating that to whom the vehicle belongs.” Meanwhile, the acting police chief, SSP West Akhtar Gorchani, constituted a high-level team to probe the incident. The special team comprises SSP South Iqbal Mehmood, SSP CIA Manzoor Ahmed Mughal, SP City South Zaeem Iqbal Shaikh, SDPO Clifton Farooq Awan, DSP CIA Karachi Athar Rasheed Butt, DSP CIA Karachi Rasheed Shah, DSP CIA Ayub Gabol and SHO Artillery Maidan Naeem. REFERENCE: Nawaz’s lawyer, two others gunned down – DAWN/The News International, KARACHI 11 March 2000, Saturday, 4 Zilhaj 1420 http://www.karachipage.com/news/Mar_00/031100.html

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is carrying out propaganda campaign against Chief Justice of Pakistan and media cell of PPP is supervising this campaign. This has been revealed in a report of a sensitive institution. Some leaders and government officials have been informed about this report. It was stated in the report that advertisements were published in some newspapers on behalf of a nationalist party with the title “Appeal to Chief Justice of Pakistan” which throws light on the past of the chief justice and tried to create negative impression against CJP. It was said in the report that some nationalist leaders, backed by PPP, are launching political campaign against chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Specially an incharge of PPP media cell and an MPA is active in this regard. The report said that the purpose of providing this ‘information’ is to caution the concerned departments about it. It is to be noted that a call to stage sit-in (dharna) outside the Supreme Court on April 9 has also been given by a nationalist party. REFERENCE: PPP carrying out anti-CJP campaign Sunday, April 04, 2010 News Desk http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=28164

    یپلز پارٹی عدلیہ کیخلاف پروپیگنڈا مہم چلا رہی ہے،حساس ادارے کی رپورٹ

    کراچی (اسٹاف رپورٹر) پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی چیف جسٹس آف پاکستان کے خلاف پروپیگنڈہ مہم چلا رہی ہے۔ پیپلز پارٹی کا میڈیا سیل اس مہم کی نگرانی کر رہا ہے۔ یہ بات ایک حساس ادارے کی رپورٹ میں بتائی گئی ہے۔ اس رپورٹ سے پیپلز پارٹی کے بعض رہنماوٴں اور حکومتی عہدیداروں کو بھی آگاہ کردیاگیا ہے۔ رپورٹ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ بعض اخبارات میں ایک قوم پرست پارٹی کی طرف سے اشتہارات شائع ہوئے۔ ”چیف جسٹس آف پاکستان سے اپیل“ کے عنوان سے شائع ہونے والے ان اشتہارات میں چیف جسٹس کے ماضی کے حوالے سے باتیں کی گئی ہیں اور چیف جسٹس کے بارے میں منفی تاثر دینے کی کوشش کی گئی ہے۔ رپورٹ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ سندھ کے کچھ قوم پرست رہنما چیف جسٹس کے خلاف سیاسی مہم بھی شروع کر رہے ہیں جنہیں پیپلز پارٹی کی پشت پناہی حاصل ہے۔ خاص طور پر میڈیا سیل کے انچارج ایک ایم پی اے خاص طور پر سرگرم ہیں۔ رپورٹ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ یہ ”انفارمیشن“ دینے کا مقصد یہ ہے کہ متعلقہ اداروں کو صورتحال کا علم ہو۔ واضح رہے کہ ایک قوم پرست پارٹی کی طرف سے 9 اپریل کو سپریم کورٹ کے باہر دھرنا دینے کی کال بھی دی گئی ہے۔
    http://www.jang.net/urdu/details.asp?nid=422449
    READ THE LAST NEWS Sunday, April 04, 2010, Rabi-us-Sani 18, 1431 A.H http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/apr2010-daily/04-04-2010/main.htm

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is carrying out propaganda campaign against Chief Justice of Pakistan and media cell of PPP is supervising this campaign.
    This has been revealed in a report of a sensitive institution. Some leaders and government officials have been informed about this report. It was stated in the report that advertisements were published in some newspapers on behalf of a nationalist party with the title “Appeal to Chief Justice of Pakistan” which throws light on the past of the chief justice and tried to create negative impression against CJP. It was said in the report that some nationalist leaders, backed by PPP, are launching political campaign against chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Specially an incharge of PPP media cell and an MPA is active in this regard. The report said that the purpose of providing this ‘information’ is to caution the concerned departments about it. It is to be noted that a call to stage sit-in (dharna) outside the Supreme Court on April 9 has also been given by a nationalist party. REFERENCE: PPP carrying out anti-CJP campaign Sunday April 04, 2010 (0954 PST) http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?226140

    Human Memory is short and in case of Liars Reporters/Journalists of Pakistan i.e. Mr. Shaheen Sehbai and Mr. Ansar Abbasi it is proven beoynd doubt that Allah snatch Memory from Liars because in the above news Jang Groups quotes and Intelligence Agency Report [read table story] whereas both of these Journalists indulged in Yellow Journalism to the core had themselves running an Election Campaign for Mr Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry by filing reports about the same Sindhi Nationalists, read How Mr. Shaheen and Mr. Ansar incited Ethnic Hate themselves through Daily Jang/The News International and GEO TV.

    WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: The US capital and the world is watching for the ultimate battle on the D-Day on Monday in what has now turned into a fatal fight to the finish between two personalities — President Asif Zardari and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Only one will survive. Zardari has all the power that anyone can muster in any country, but he also has the biggest stakes on line. His power grab in the last few months is not helping him and he is fighting a losing battle. Iftikhar Chaudhry has no powers but he has the entire country behind him and that makes him the most powerful commander leading his troops to ultimate victory. His troops, Nawaz Sharif, Ali Kurd, Aitzaz Ahsan, the media, lawyers, politicians, rights activists and the people at large have been deceived so many times that no more promises or assurances of the Zardari camp carry any weight. Thus foreign guarantors are being sucked into the equation. The Army, the ultimate protector of the external and internal security fronts, has been caught in a dangerous bind. While it was hard pressed fighting the terrorists and their creeping coups, President Zardari has opened a much wider and a potentially suicidal confrontation which had brought the entire country to a standstill, even before the long march could start or converge at a point. The Army is in no position to fight such a divisive and extended war with its own people, for the interests of a few misguided and incompetent leaders who failed to grow into the large shoes they landed in, by the stroke of luck after the ultimate sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto. While leaders like Maulana Fazlur Rehman are, in sheer desperation, trying to give the phenomenal rising of the people for a national cause the colour of a possible threat to the federation, all those leading the movement have repeatedly said the objective of their struggle is to attain the objective of reinstatement of Nov 2 judiciary and not to dislodge the present PPP government.

    Mian Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Imran Khan and the lawyers’ leadership have said in one voice that the government must listen to what the nation demands. The Jamaat-e-Islami chief has even asked Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to use his pressure on the government to meet the public demand for the independence of judiciary instead of exploiting such a situation for a military intervention to grab power, a la Ziaul Haq or Musharraf. Given the public mood and the thinking of the political leaders military intervention is not possible and would be strongly resisted if foolishly resorted to. Critical mistakes have been made by Zardari-controlled war room, set up in the bunker inside the presidency. When Punjab was forcibly taken over by the governor to physically stop the long march and the entire transport system, official and private, was hijacked to block every road, two days before the D-Day word was sent out that the Shahbaz Sharif government was being restored in a few days. Given our bureaucratic mindset, the entire Punjab administration was paralysed that very moment because no officer, junior or senior, would take action against an ousted chief minister or his party, if he was to regain power in a few days. Hence there are numerous reports that the Punjab police and the administration was helping the Sharifs break the barriers or even smuggle them in police vehicles to dodge orders of a governor who was about to be sacked. It is simple logic. A senior government official, who drove to Islamabad from Lahore hours before the long march started towards Islamabad, reported the mood of the civil administration and the police in Punjab had changed altogether. He said officials were no more inclined to block the long march because they themselves had felt the change in the wind.

    He claimed if a police force of 23,000 and other security personnel deployed in Lahore could not prevent the Lahorites from coming out on the streets despite the use of brutal police force and teargas, the long march would smoothly move toward Islamabad as the other districts do not have enough force to face huge crowds. According to a report, high-ranking police officers, of SSP rank and above, rushed inside the Lahore High Court and made speeches, apologising to the lawyers and the civil society. They said whatever had happened was wrong and from now on they won’t be a part of it. Rich traders of Lahore also come to the high court and categorically blamed it all on President Zardari. People were not chanting ‘Zardari ko jana hoga!’, rather they were saying, ‘Zardari to gaya!’ Asif Zardari has always been in a hurry to blow up the system that he suddenly inherited 14 months ago. He has overstretched his desire to become ‘General’ Asif Zardari, following in the footsteps of Gen Musharraf, for whom he still carries a soft spot.

    Zardari began where Musharraf had peaked in terms of power. He had everything going for him, a supportive people, a unanimous parliament, a friendly opposition, a lovable media, a world ready to help. But he could not grasp the opportunity or even fathom the critical role he had been swept in. His destructive politics has led him to the present pass. The last card he has, and he has been saying this in private for some time, is the ultimate “Sindh card” which had been used off and on by Sindhi leaders when they were in trouble or cornered because of their failed policies or strategies. Zardari using the Sindh card would be an ultimate joke with the people. Why this appears a last ditch desperate effort is obvious as his cronies and loyalists like Rehman Malik and the foxy Maulana Fazlur Rehman have started raising this bogey. Malik has been referring to the “East Pakistan like” situation whereas nothing like it exists on the ground. Even in Sindh all the nationalists led my Mumtaz Bhutto, GM Syed Group, Rasool Bux Paleejo, the nationalists of other provinces including the Bizenjos, Mengals, Marris of Balochistan and even the coalition partners Bilors of Peshawar have been looking at the situation as a fight for an independent judiciary and not a threat to the federation. Most have been very vocal in support of the judges.

    Zardari does not realise that he has pushed himself to the wrong side of the political, civil and intellectual spectrum. While everyone is clamouring for judicial independence, and everyone includes top judges, lawyers, politicians, journalists, even generals and bureaucrats, using the Sindh card would be nothing but an act of desperation signalling acceptance of defeat. The argument that the PPP was being victimised once again will hold no water as the present shape of the Zardari-led PPP is not what Benazir Bhutto’s PPP looked like and stood for. Benazir Bhutto’s jiyalas are no longer jiyalas of Zardari, they have been sidelined and it has been proved beyond doubt that Zardari does not stand for what Benazir wanted or struggled for. Thus all the Sindhi PPP and non-PPP stalwarts, including even Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Nawab Yousuf Talpur, the Jatois, Bhuttos et al, will not let Zardari use the Sindh card. It is in fact no card at all. – It is almost certain, and a senior Sindhi politician who knows the PPP and Sindh like the back of his own right hand, openly admits, that for Zardari there would be no “Sindh Card”, as it was available to Benazir Bhutto. In fact when I asked the Sindhi politician what may happen in Sindh, and the heart of PPP country, if Zardari and his 12 friends were removed from their offices, the answer was: “Only these 13 people will protest, no one else will. ” He explained that there are no PPP cadres with fires in their belly left in the interior of Sindh who would rise for Zardari. There is a growing sense of hatred because the Zardari clan has taken over all what was loved by the Bhutto jiyalas. “If today Nawaz Sharif stages a public meeting in Larkana, the country will be surprised at the turnout,” the mainstream Sindhi politician belonging to the PPP told me. – The feeling in some PPP circles is that if the NRO strikes at Zardari and his cronies, rural Sindh, where the PPP has grass root support for the Bhuttos, would not react as fiercely as many predict it would. This may be so because Zardari and his Sindhi friends, who were never part of the Benazir circle, have generated enough ill will and animosity in the last 18 months. Some have been forced to recall the funny story of the coffin thief of a village and his son. It is better not to repeat that story. REFERENCES: The contours of a changed, unwritten script Situationer By Shaheen Sehbai Wednesday, November 04, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25365
    All power players focus on constitutional knock-out By Shaheen Sehbai Friday, October 23, 2009 http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25146 AND Sindh is angry and Punjab is not helping By Shaheen Sehbai Sunday, January 06, 2008 http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=12113 Sindh nationalists stand for return of judges By Shaheen Sehbai & Ansar Abbasi Monday, March 16, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=20939

  • It is not only Iftikhar Chaudhry, Dr Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi and Hamid Mir who are displeased at the national consensus on the 18th amendment.

    Their friends Taliban are equally unhappy.

    Today, Taliban terrorists yet again expressed their displeasure by killing at least 25 ANP supporers in Timargara (Dir) and also by their attack on the US consulate and ANP leader (Billour) house in Peshawar:

    Multiple blasts and gunfire rock Peshawar

    PTI | Peshawar

    Multiple blasts and gunfire rocked this provincial capital of Pakistan’s restive northwest, close to the US consulate and highly sensitive military installations, hours after 25 people were killed when a suicide bomber struck a political gathering in Timergara.

    Three blasts occurred within 20 minutes in Saddar area, located close to the cantonment in Peshawar. Several persons were injured in the explosions.

    The first blast went off at about 1.15 pm near the building of the State Life Insurance Corporation. Geo News channel captured the second and third blasts, which it said occurred in an area near the US consulate.

    The footage showed the second blast apparently occurred in an area where several cars were parked. It was followed by the sound of heavy firing. The third blast went off about five minutes later.

    Several ambulances were seen taking the injured away from the site of the blasts, which was cordoned off by a large number of soldiers.

    The blasts in Peshawar occurred hours after a suicide bomber struck a gathering at Timergara in Lower Dir district, killing 25 people and injuring 100 others. The gathering was organised by the Awami National Party to celebrate the federal government’s decision to rename the North West Frontier Province as Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.

    http://www.dailypioneer.com/247049/Suicide-bomber-targets-ANP-meeting-in-Pak-19-killed.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8603184.stm

  • On 4 April 2010, Dr Shahid Masood’s program (Geo TV – Meray Mutabiq) was full of filthy propaganda against the PPP and President Zardari. Some apt comments by Mr Khalid Wasti from pkpolitics.com

    Khalid Wasti said:
    ڈاکٹر صاحب آپ پیپلز پارٹی کے خیر خواہ ہیں ؟ کیا آپ بھٹو کے خیر خواہ ہیں ؟ کیا آپ بے نظیر کے
    خیر خواہ ہیں ؟
    ہر شخص جانتا ہے کہ نہیں –
    کیا پیپلز پارٹی کے آغاز سے لیکر آج تک پیپلز پارٹی کو ختم کرنے کی مسلسل کوشش نہیں ہوتی رہی ؟
    کیا اس کوشش میں پاکستان کی رجعت پسند طاقتیں ، پاکستان کی ایجنسیاں ، فوج کے کچھ جرنیل اور
    بین الاقوامی طاقتیں شامل نہیں رہیں ؟
    کیا آج یہ کوششیں ختم ہو گئی ہیں ؟
    تو آج پیپلز پارٹی کے اندر انتشار اور افتراق پھیلا کر اس کی عوامی قوت ختم کرنے کی جو سازشیں ہو رہی ہیں
    کیا ڈاکٹر شاہد مسعود ان کا ایک آلہءکار نہیں ہے ؟
    ڈاکٹر شاہد مسعود کا تو تعصب ، دشمنی اور جانبداری نے یہ حال کر دیا ہے کہ موصوف کا توازن
    ڈولتا نظر آتا ہے –
    ڈاکٹر صاحب ، جاری رکھیئے ، اپنا پروگرام – شاباش

    بھٹو کی برسی پر ڈاکٹر صاحب نے جو پروگرام پیش کیا ہے ، یہ موقع کی مناسبت سے نہایت موزوں ہے –
    بھٹو دشمن طاقتوں اور ان کے آلہءکاروں کو یہی کچھ کرنا چاہیئے !
    ہنری کیسنجر ہو ، ضیاءالحق ہو ، جماعت اسلامی ہو ، حمید گل ہو یا جنرل اسلم بیگ – اور آج پس پردہ جو طاقتیں یہی کام کر رہی ہیں تاریخ ان کے نام تو اپنے وقت پر سامنے لے آئے گی لیکن پردے کے سامنے کرائے کے جو ایجینٹ کام کر رہے ہیں آپ یقینا ان کے ہراول دستے میں شامل ہیں – ویل ڈن

  • It seems that the proposed 18th Amendment, for which the government is rightfully claiming credit, has not gone down well with certain quarters. If passed, the amendment will transfer all the powers accumulated by military dictators to the office of president back where they rightfully belong: the prime minister. However, the last meeting of the PPP Central Executive Committee has given its nod to the co-chairperson of the party, who happens to be Asif Ali Zardari, taking all decisions pertaining to the running of the government, laying to rest the hopes of those who may have been thinking of playing the empowered prime minister against the relatively weakened president. The new arrangement will not change the de facto power of President Zardari. The second point of disagreement is the devolution of power to the provinces by abolishing the concurrent list. Nationalist and insurgent elements in the smaller provinces are viewed with deep suspicion by the military establishment and empowerment of the provinces will likely accrue benefits to them as well. Also, the new arrangement will take away powers from the Punjab-dominated Centre and the forces of the status quo would not like the balance to shift in favour of the provinces, although an over-centralised state and lack of empowerment of the provinces has led to the secession of East Pakistan and armed struggle in Balochistan.

    Moreover, the proposed change in the procedure of judges’ appointment has displeased the legal community. This has led to a further convergence and cementing of bonds between the powers that be and other affected quarters, creating an atmosphere inimical for the incumbent government. Speculations are rife that the noose around President Zardari and the PPP government is tightening, which are strengthened by the buzz of political change in the air.

    Such a landmark consensus achievement of all the political forces, which is going to put the constitution and the political system right back on track, hardly merits this kind of attitude by behind-the-scenes actors, assuming of course, that the rumours are true. Whatever the frictions and differences between discrete state institutions, everyone must take stock, act prudently, and do nothing that could upset the system that has still a long way to go to find a secure footing on a democratic basis and allow for attention to be focused, more than ever before, on the problems of the people, as the president said in his address to the joint session of parliament.

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\06\story_6-4-2010_pg3_1

  • A major success of the democratic forces is the deletion of the notorious article 58(2)(b), which empowers the president to dissolve parliament and sack the elected government. This article was repealed by Nawaz Sharif’s government, but was brought back by Musharraf. It was inserted by General Ziaul Haq to open a burglar’s window for unconstitutional army intervention through the president. Another favourite of the military establishment, which is being packed up by the proposed 18th Amendment, is the National Security Council (NSC). It had been created on the army’s demand.

    How come Rawalpindi is in a benevolent mood and letting its favourite amendments be deleted from the constitution? Analysts believe that the policy of reconciliation and the political parties’ consensus has mellowed the hawks in the establishment. The army is too involved in fighting the terrorist threat to the security of Pakistan to dictate to the politicians whose support it needs in the ongoing war. And the present chief of army staff (COAS) has so far shown no inclination to push the civilian government out.

    In conclusion, whatever may be President Zardari’s past and present follies, he will go down in history for being the first president of the country to slash his own powers. The Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed by his late leader and wife has been honoured. The nation wanted to bring an 18th Amendment for cleansing the constitution of all the polluting amendments made by military dictators. His government would also have the credit for making the federation stronger by accepting most of the provincial autonomy demands. By giving him due credit, I do not want to undermine the positive reconciliatory role played by Senator Raza Rabbani and his committee members. Zardari’s only problem is that the thunderous follow-up of the Swiss money laundering case against him has dampened his moment of glory. And the people are still not let off the hook of uncertainty.

    The day the 18th Amendment would be passed by the two houses would be another victory of democracy, and a defeat of its critics who support the concept of benevolent dictatorship in the country.

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\06\story_6-4-2010_pg3_5

  • کس سے منصفی چاہیں…انصار عباصی

    سیاستدان عوام سے ہاتھ کر گئے…سیاستدان ہم سے پھر دھوکہ کر گئے۔ بلند بانگ وعدوں اور جمہوریت پسندی کے نعروں کے بیچ اٹھارویں ترمیم پارلیمنٹ سے اِس انداز میں پاس کروائی جا رہی ہے کہ چند انتہائی خطرناک اور غیرجمہوری سیاسی روایتوں کو آئینی تحفظ دیا جا رہا ہے ……اٹھارویں ترمیمی بل میں کچھ ایسی بھی آئینی ترامیم کی جا رہی ہیں جو سیاسی اور جمہوری طور پر ہمیں پستی کی طرف لے جانے کا سبب بنیں گی …. نہیں معلوم کہ پارلیمنٹ کی آئینی کمیٹی کو کیا سوجھی کہ اُس نے اِس نوعیت کی آئینی ترامیم کی تجویز دی مگر اُنکے اِس عمل سے جمہوریت کو دھچکا لگے گا…..خواب تو ہمیں دکھائے گئے کہ خاندانی سیاست سے نکل کر حقیقی جمہوری سیاست کیلئے رستہ ہموار کیا جائیگا مگر جو حقیقت میں ہو رہا ہے وہ اِسکے بالکل برعکس ہے۔…..ایسا نہیں کہ پہلے یہ کام نہیں ہو رہا تھا۔ رنج اس بات کا ہے کہ بہتری کے راستوں کو بند کیا جا رہا ہے … یہ بات طے ہے کہ صرف جمہوری عمل کے ذریعے ہی ہمیں صاف، شفاف اور اہل سیاسی قیادت مل سکتی ہے جس کی اٹھارویں ترمیم مکمل نفی کرتی ہے

    http://jang.com.pk/jang/apr2010-daily/09-04-2010/col8.htm

  • Ansar Abbasi mourning the 18th amendment:

    PM to stay a puppet?

    Monday, April 19, 2010
    From party leaders to party dictators

    By Ansar Abbasi

    ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif would on Monday shake hands after months of their tense relations to celebrate the 18th Amendment, which removes one set of constitutional distortions and replaces them by a new set of distortions that would begin a new era of political dictatorship.

    President Asif Ali Zardari would give up his powers to remove the prime minister, dissolve the National Assembly and appoint the services chiefs, including the Army chief and provincial governors, but the moment he signs the 18th Amendment, he would empower the co-chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party with extraordinary powers.

    After the insertion of the 18th Amendment, President Zardari would not be able to remove the prime minister and dissolve the assembly but as the PPP-head he can remove the prime minister, get unseated any number of ministers or the members belonging to his party.

    Before the 18th Amendment, the president’s decision to remove the prime minister and dissolve the National Assembly was linked with the upholding of such a decision by the Supreme Court but in the post-18th Amendment Constitution, there would be no such check on the party head.

    President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to deliver a speech on this occasion in order to claim credit for his “sacrifices” for the sake of strengthening democracy in the country. However, he is unlikely to utter a word as to what kind of powers he is getting through the 18th Amendment as the head of the PPP.

    PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif would also be a great gainer. The 18th Amendment would debar the present constitutional bar on him to become the prime minister for the third time. There would now be no such limits in the Constitution for Zardaris, Bhuttos and Sharifs. What Nawaz Sharif is getting in bonus are the dictatorial powers that are being given to party heads.

    There is no more room left for any member to vote according to his or her conscience except at the risk of getting unseated. Even otherwise, like Co-chairperson of the PPP Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, ANP leader Asfandyar Wali, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain, JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman and their likes can now get any of their member of the National Assembly, the Senate or provincial assembly removed purely on their sweet will.

    The 18th Amendment would also secure the future of these party chiefs and their families’ hold on their respective parties, as the mandatory condition of intra-party elections in the political parties would also become history from Monday.

    Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is getting back his powers from the president, who, because of the 17th Amendment, has been using successive prime ministers as mere puppets. Previously, we had puppets like Shaukat Aziz, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Zafarullah Khan Jamali. Gilani too served like a puppet because of the same 17th Amendment but to his bad luck the 18th Amendment would push him under a new set of slavery, the slavery of the party head. Bad news for Gilani is that he would continue to stay as a puppet.

    A lot has been said against corruption and against the corrupt but the good news for such a rotten lot is that the 18th Amendment has removed the life time bar on the convicts, those dismissed from service or sentenced to jail for misuse of power or for crime involving moral turpitude.

    A sham democracy of the 17th Amendment is being replaced by the strange democracy under the 18th Amendment, which is bound to turn political leaders into political dictators. Monday’s Presidential ceremony would show to the whole world how the future political dictators would celebrate these “great moments” in the history of the country’s democracy.

    http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=28384

  • Review by Ken in Denver for Liftmaster 976LM/977LM 390Mhz Wireless Keyless Entry PadRating: Have a Chamberlain LiftMaster Professional model 2280 with “Security+” (just marketing talk for the rolling changing code that all openers have had for 10+ yrs), and an orange learn button (we’ll come back to this) on the back of the unit under the rear translucent light bulb cover. The opener manual specifies a 976LM keypad for this unit. This keypad has a 9v battery, lights up, allows an additional temporary code to be set by # of openings or # of hours, and is grayish-cream in color. Two screws to mount the unit, with one mounting hole on the top outside of the keypad and the other behind the battery cover at bottom. Contrary to comments elsewhere: 1) you do not have to hold the buttons down longer to get them to “take” … I just punch em in like any other keypad I’ve had over the years; 2) it does not take time to reset if you mistype … it just takes the last 4 digits you entered before pressing Send and reacts immediately if you enter a new set. Nice because you don’t have to close and re-open the cover or hit Send if you know you mistyped … just enter the last 4 digits correctly before hitting Send; 3) the buttons are the common “rubbery” ones on most all openers and they’re fine; and 4) you CAN set a temporary code. Now you’re going to love this … the Chamberlain website: a) doesn’t recognize a 2280 model # garage opener (I’m staring at it on the cover of the manual and it’s stamped on the opener); b) doesn’t say anything about a 976LM keypad; c) specifies the 940CB keypad if you have a red learning button, or a 940D if you have a purple learning button, or a 740CB for “older models” (which bringing up the instructions says applies to yellow, grey, green, or white learning button units); and d) … has no orange button recommendation! Unforgiveable. However, the instructions that actually come with the 976LM keypad clearly say it’s for units “with an orange learning button” … which is what I have … go figure. Keypads are all $40 on Chamberlain site, so $25 here is a good deal. In summary, simple to install (2 screws), simple to program (press & release the Learn button on your overhead opener, enter a 4 digit code on the keypad, and press & hold Enter on the keypad until your garage opener light blinks), and works fine … at least for us orange button people.