Red, White and Black


Enough?
13 March, 2007, 10:23 am
Filed under: Pakistan, Politics

I have not blogged regularly for the past few months. Besides being busy, I have not felt inclined enough to write on anything… maybe owing to a sense of desensitization or maybe the events have not been provoking enough (and that is a HUGE statement if you look at the precarious situation in the country and maybe, sadly, reflects a degree of apathy ). The events of the past five days, though, have made it imperative that a statement is made and protest is registered. Yes, I am talking about the infamous ‘sacking’ of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Lets set aside the manner and premise of the removal of the highest law-giver of the country and focus on the treatment that followed. The Chief Justice has been held incommunicado with no access to lawyers, phones or newspapers, his family’s passports have been confiscated and to top it all the government is refusing an open hearing to the deposed Chief Justice. The irony could not be starker – here you are doling ‘justice’ to the ‘Chief Justice’ with all of these impairments. Hah!

Then consider the treatment that was handed out to the lawyers. They were baton-charged, beaten up and pelted with stones. WTF! [Note that, I don’t use it often.] What sort of pathetic police state has Musharraf transformed Pakistan into?! Enroute to work today, I passed the National Assembly – Jinnah Avenue leading up to the Constitution Avenue is barricaded and lined with cordons of police ready with riot gear. And guess who are they waiting for? Yes. *drum roll* The lawyers, who will be here to protest against the removal and against the disgracing of the judiciary by our benevolent dictator General Pervez Musharraf. And no prizes for guessing the treatment that will be meted out again to the lawyer fraternity.

Incidentally, where was this maniac desire to establish the writ of the state when the government was being held hostage by mad raving mullahs?! [And oh, btw, those mullahs have established permanent morchas on the walls of that infamous madrassah – where they sit ‘guard’ – while they have their faces fully covered and I have always spotted a protruding hidden rifle-like object in one of the morchas… ha! Where is the state in this case?!]

And then of course, we have the state information minister stating on TV that only Lahore saw protests by the lawyers and the rest of the country functioned normally. Why lie? And then take two private TV channels off-air for having the guts to telecast the abhorrent treatment being meted out to the lawyers in Lahore!? Recently a journalist friend told me that the government has warned the media not to say too much about it now since the issue has become sub judice. The government has been preventing the media from making bold incriminating headlines. Wither free media too? Is our benevolent dictator finally turning into a despot?

I have always been more of a pro-Musharraf person than an anti-Musharraf one. He has been the lesser of the evils that plague the country. I still believe that he is best option when it comes to foreign policy and is probably the only leader, who at least has some vision and independent thought for the nation. The political leaders that we have are nothing more than bickering animals. But at this point, all of this is eclipsed by the increasingly despotic nature of Musharraf’s rule on the domestic arena. My confidence in his ability – and even in his intent – is gradually ebbing and I do worry for the post-Musharraf Pakistan. This sort of behavior cannot be tolerated. It is shameful and abhorrent. Fie Musharraf, Fie!

At the end of the day, I am left with the same question: what more can one do other than register one’s protest through a angry post like this one? And that feels so inadequate. Hmmph. I am reminded of Faiz’s Hum Dekhen Ge:

Jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-garaan
Rooyee ki terha urr jayen gey
Hum mehkoomon ke paaoon taley
Yeh dharti dhar dhar dharkey gi
Aur ahl-e-hakam ke sir ooper
Jab bijli kar kar karkey gi

Hum dekhen gey

*Sigh*

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23 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yes, I am also not anti-Musharraf but they way he is dealing Pakistanis is quite dramatic. Though we all are not in a position of deciding what might have actually happened and importantly why, but still any normal Pakistani is disgraced by this act.

Haroon

Comment by Haroon Saeed

Fie, Musharraf, fie!

Judiciary gone, hai hai!

Comment by kronstadter

and that is a HUGE statement if you look at the precarious situation in the country and maybe, sadly, reflects a degree of apathy

:O How can you be so apathetic!

Re the CJ issue: forget Musharraf, people should be protesting against Article 209.

I haven’t seen a word against it in the media. That’s something really sad.

Comment by BD

Every educated person (especially pakistanis) who knows of this and keeps silent should hang his head in shame.

If nothing is done – this is just the beginning.

I am appalled that someone else has agreed to be the “acting” CJ… poor sould doesnt realize that he is obviuosly diiging his own…

Well – as one sows thus one reaps…

Comment by dazzler782000

Thanks for quoting Faiz
lazam hai ki hum bhi dekhe gaye

Comment by Taimoor

I have been a pro-musharraf myself but due to the recent events and the handling of the CJ matter has tainted by belief in the government badly too.

I share the exactly the same feeling.

Comment by Aleem

The sight of rock throwing, sticks wielding and law breaking lawyers is not a pretty one either. Pakistanis, Ms. Ayesha Saeed included, are emotional people. On very little provocation they would come out in the streets and take laws in their own hands and have running street battles with the authorities. For them a bleeding scar is a badge of honour. This is the same supreme court that legitimised the military rule of General Zia-ul-huq and then that of General Pervez Musharraf. Ms. Ayesha Saeed is a child of privilege and direct beneficiary of the prevailing system of exploitation. She is part of the ruling classes and belongs to the same establishment that she hypocritically criticises in her columns. This is all smoke and mirror on her part.

Comment by AL

AL, I dont see how the author is culpable coz shes the ‘ruling class’. All people are emotional, Pakis or not. I suspect you are indian, and me being one have seen the same savage behavior in India too, citing the recent Bangla shootings for instance. The point to note is such behavior is not tolerated in countries without corruption/military rule and hence, things are nipped in the bud before such drama ever occurs.

That apart, I’d like to get a paki perspective/analysis on the recent bombings on the Indo-Pak train and also the Bombay train blasts. And about this too http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x12ilp_tvcommercial

Comment by IAmMine

The sight of rock throwing, sticks wielding and law breaking lawyers is not a pretty one either.

A nonsensical and reactionary opinion.
Change doesn’t fall from the Heavens. Political victories are won on the streets.

Pakistanis, Ms. Ayesha Saeed included, are emotional people.

Your sweeping statements about 160 million people suggest that you know very little about Pakistan.

Perhaps you would do well to acquaint yourself better with Pakistanis.

On very little provocation they would come out in the streets and take laws in their own hands and have running street battles with the authorities.

The “law” itself was threatened when its highest official, the CJP, was summarily suspended by the military government.

And I wonder why you consider this outrage to be some sort of “little provocation”. It smacks of a certain degree of callousness, if nothing more.

For them a bleeding scar is a badge of honour.

Against the accursed military junta? Yes, it is a badge of honor.

This is the same supreme court that legitimised the military rule of General Zia-ul-huq and then that of General Pervez Musharraf.

Assuming we accept that ridiculous assertion to be true, shouldn’t we try to prevent Musharraf from completely ending the modicum of independence that the Supreme Court still retains?

Ms. Ayesha Saeed is a child of privilege and direct beneficiary of the prevailing system of exploitation.

Such statements are known as ad hominem arguments. People generally come up with ad hominem arguments when they consider themselves incapable of refuting an opponent on more logically-consistent grounds.

Is that the case here too?

She is part of the ruling classes and belongs to the same establishment that she hypocritically criticises in her columns.

Excuse me? That was a pathetic attempt at using pseudo-leftist rhetoric to serve your own reactionary agenda.

The “ruling-class” consists of high-up generals, corporate moguls and other lackeys of US imperialism.

From what little I know of Ms. Ayesha Saeed, I can say with full confidence that she is not a part of that ruling-class.

Furthermore, you allege that she “benefits” from the system of exploitation currently in place. Perhaps that is correct.
But don’t you benefit from the same system of exploitation?

But the difference between Ms. Ayesha Saeed and you is that she criticizes that system and exposes it for what it is.
You, on the other hand, condemn our people for coming out on the streets today to confront the very State which perpetuates the said system of exploitation.

In other words, despite both of you coming from a similar class background, Ms. Ayesha Saeed is a progressive, while you are a reactionary.

This is all smoke and mirror on her part.

You seem really pissed over something today. I suggest that you take some time out to resolve your issues, whatever they are.

Comment by kronstadter

kronstadter:
Ms. Ayesha Saeed is a phony baloney pseudo “leftist intellectual” sitting in the lap of comforts and privileges provided by her family criticising the very establishment she is part of and then giving lip service to the causes of ‘Les Miserable de Pakistan’. Pakistani ‘English mediums’ with fake western facade which both you and she are part of, writing in English peppered with French phrases that not even one percent of the masses can understand or able to read are the most pathetic bunch. You impress no body but yourself. Keeping slaves at home in the name of domestic help and then having nerve to speak on the behalf of the poor. What a joke.

Comment by AL

Ms. Ayesha Saeed is a phony baloney pseudo “leftist intellectual” sitting in the lap of comforts and privileges provided by her family criticising the very establishment she is part of and then giving lip service to the causes of ‘Les Miserable de Pakistan’.

I wonder how you are able to speak so authoritatively on Ms. Ayesha Saeed and her life. How do you know her?

I also wonder if you’re ever going to come up with a coherent argument instead of getting personal when you have nothing to say.

Pakistani ‘English mediums’ with fake western facade which both you and she are part of, writing in English peppered with French phrases that not even one percent of the masses can understand or able to read are the most pathetic bunch.

Our blogs represent our own opinions. The stuff we publish here is intended to start an educated and informed discussion (and you have clearly shown that you’re incapable of participating in one).

We aren’t publishing pamphlets for the masses here.

If you can’t understand what we write, tell us and we’ll try to explain in whatever language you speak.

You impress no body but yourself.

Oh come on, man. What’s bothering you? Indigestion?

Keeping slaves at home in the name of domestic help and then having nerve to speak on the behalf of the poor. What a joke.

No, YOU are the joke. You’ve been bullshitting about stuff that you don’t even know about. You don’t know who I am, where I come from or what I do. Nor do you know much about Ms. Ayesha Saeed.

All you have are your stereotypes. You’ve stereotyped us, and now you’re bashing us because of what you imagine us to be.
Odds are you’re probably a rich old guy with too much time on his hands.

If you’re going to prove us wrong, go ahead.
If you’re going to entertain us with your antics, be our guest.

Comment by kronstadter

“We aren’t publishing pamphlets for the masses here. If you can’t understand what we write, tell us and we’ll try to explain in whatever language you speak.”

kronstadter:
If you have nothing to say to the poor and wretched masses of Pakistan then stop quoting Faiz and acting as pseudo socialist leftist activist. Those living in the luxury of the suburbs of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad do not speak for the rickshaw drivers, poor peasants and day laborers. It is shear hypocrisy for the rich and privileged of Pakistan to present themselves as champions of the poor. If you want to speak for them then get out of your suburbs and spend a day or two with the masses. Drink the unclean water they drink and breath the dirty air they do. The apathy of the rich and middle classes towards the poor of Pakistan is sickening. That is what makes the likes of Ms. Ayesha Saeed a hippocrate and pseudo intellectual.

Comment by AL

If you want to speak for them then get out of your suburbs and spend a day or two with the masses. Drink the unclean water they drink and breath the dirty air they do. The apathy of the rich and middle classes towards the poor of Pakistan is sickening.

With all due respect Alvi Sahab, I bet you get to experience a lot of those things in North Carolina, no? I admire your dedication to the cause of the poor masses.

Hippocrate, indeed! : )

Comment by ayesha

On behalf of Alvi (at the same time Ayesha)
Living in Usa, we haven’t experienced unclean water or the dirty breath but have atleast learnt one thing ……everyone has a right to call his lawyer( from a psychopath killer to small-time crook) …lol a right which unfortunately has been denied even to the chief justice in Pakistani( strange?)

Comment by Neried

i meant dirty air

Comment by Neried

a right which unfortunately has been denied even to the chief justice in Pakistani( strange?)

no Neried, what is strange, is that this post was made in protest to the denial of that very right and yet Alvi sahab had profound objections to that. *shrug*

Comment by ayesha

BBC:
“Justice Chaudhry was no public hero. Not, that is, until the government took action against him. In the past he was seen very much as a supporter of Gen Musharraf. Justice Chaudhry was among the half of the Supreme Court judges who validated Gen Musharraf’s 1999 military coup against an elected government. The other judges resigned in protest. Later, when the general held a referendum to install himself as the president of Pakistan, and the act was challenged in the Supreme Court, Justice Chaudhry was on the bench that decided in favour of the general.

These actions brought him closer to the military rather than the ordinary Pakistani, making him an unlikely champion of people’s aspirations…..

The alliance of Islamic parties, the MMA was the first to seize the opportunity. Joined later by Muslim League (Nawaz), and a number of other smaller parties, the MMA has spearheaded the participation of ordinary citizens in what the government is at pains to describe as a purely constitutional matter.”

Ms. Ayesha Saeed:
“I have always been more of a pro-Musharraf person than an anti-Musharraf one. He has been the lesser of the evils that plague the country. I still believe that he is best option when it comes to foreign policy and is probably the only leader, who at least has some vision and independent thought for the nation. The political leaders that we have are nothing more than bickering animals.”

General Pervez Musharraf, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and of late Ms. Ayesha Saeed. The likely guardians of democracy, social justice and human rights. Say no more.

Comment by AL

Critique was not on Chief Justice but the actions taken by Musharraf. This is about Due Process, be it for a person who has supported injustice which is now being perpetuated against him, irony of ironies. Being vociferous against an immoral and unethical act is primary, not the actions of the CJ in the past. A condemned person must not be denied Due Process, that is what we Muslims should try to strife for.
Personal attacks are in poor taste, must we be mired in the same muck that ourselves are trying to get out of? I for one shall endeavor to be better, what about AL?

Comment by Afzaal

what are your thoughts on the new CJ –
1) should he have accepted the post?
2) I believe that some laws are per the sharia – Given that he is a non-muslim, how will he interpret them?
3) do you think the other justices of the supreme court should also resign to show solidarity with the erstwhile CJ?

Comment by dazzler782000

I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do; however, it may not be apathy but a terrible sense of disappointment that you feel. A system that curbs the freedom of speech of the very person who the system had appointed for insuring that every citizen enjoys the freedom of speech; that system loses all credibility and disappoints responsible citizens such as yourself.

Comment by I Me My

@ I Me My

It would be wonderful if Alvi sahib (apparently that’s who “AL” is) were to learn something from you. Even though he appears to be of Pakistani origin, he is taking a ridiculous line.

@ AL / Alvi sahib

If you have nothing to say to the poor and wretched masses of Pakistan then stop quoting Faiz and acting as pseudo socialist leftist activist.

In addition to being autistic, it would appear that you are also on crack or hash or something. I don’t recall quoting Faiz in any discussion recently. I would be delighted if you were to point to any instance of the same.

If I have something to say to the working-masses of this country, I wouldn’t publish it on a blog, now would I?
I’d write a pamphlet in Urdu, or better, I’d hold a study circle with labor union members.

Since you have no idea who I am or what I do, its no use telling you what I do when I’m not responding to your displays of tomfoolery on Ms. Ayesha Saeed’s blog.

80 % of our nation, which consists of the laboring classes, cannot even dream of internet access.
So, only a complete nutter would post on a blog and expect the working masses of the country to read it.
Whatever I post on any blog is my own work, and it is targeted at a specific class of people…the intelligentsia. You do not wish to have anything resembling a meaningful discussion, therefore it is no use addressing you.

Those living in the luxury of the suburbs of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad do not speak for the rickshaw drivers, poor peasants and day laborers. It is shear hypocrisy for the rich and privileged of Pakistan to present themselves as champions of the poor.

And it is criminal for the rich and privileged of Pakistan (such as you) to denounce those poor people when they come out onto the streets to attack the state and the political order which is responsible for their impoverishment.

If you want to speak for them then get out of your suburbs and spend a day or two with the masses.

And what makes you assume that I’ve never done something like that?

What exactly is your problem, I’ve asked you before and I’ll ask again: what is wrong with you?

Drink the unclean water they drink and breath the dirty air they do.

Unlike you, I do not suffer from autism. I can understand the unhealthy living conditions of the urban poor without having to throw myself into the same conditions.

Perhaps you are the kind of person who burns his hand to convince himself that fire is dangerous.

The apathy of the rich and middle classes towards the poor of Pakistan is sickening.
That is what makes the likes of Ms. Ayesha Saeed a hippocrate and pseudo intellectual.

Apathy?!!

It was empathy for our oppressed and exploited urban poor which moved Ms. Ayesha Saeed to uphold their cause.

And as I keep reminding you, it wasyou yourself who objected strongly to this, and attacked Ms. Ayesha Saeed without any provocation whatsoever.

Who then has shown apathy for the cause of the exploited and under-privileged? You or her?

Comment by kronstadter

I think all lawyers should be behind bars. This will help a lot in getting things fixed on the law side for a while

Comment by Send Gifts to Pakistan

“phoney baloney” indeed LOL. Al it is because of right wing idiots like you that pakistan is in the mess its in now. Maybe we need some leftists to set things right. The only problem I have with this is that this SC issue is taking our attention away from what is happening in Islamabad which, in the long run, is much more scary.

A mullah on every lamppost is what I say!

Comment by feo




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