Have you forgotten all that Musharraf did for you, Pakistan?

By Rafay Bin Ali

Rulers never have absolute power. There are millions of interests that have to be accounted for prior to taking decisions that affect nations and their citizens.

It was just another day, on October 12, 1999, in New York City where I was an undergraduate student. Little did I realise then that it was the day that would go down as one of the most controversial days in Pakistan’s history.
It was the day when the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight PK 805, was denied landing rights in Pakistan on its return from Sri Lanka. A detour out of Pakistani territory would have meant an imminent crash of the commercial airliner, due to low fuel, with its 198 passengers on board. Amongst the passengers was none other than General Pervez Musharraf – a man who was to become the country’s first-ever Chief Executive and was destined to bring about some positive social changes in the life of the average Pakistani.

In his book Hijacking from the Ground, Mr Aminullah Chaudhry, then director general Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Karachi, narrated the incident in the following words:

Hijacking From The Ground. Source: Google Books (www.books.google.com.pk)

General Pervez Musharraf was truly a blessing in disguise for all Pakistanis. Whether we dare to admit it or not, Pakistan saw some of its best years in terms of economic progress and social stability under his rule.

I, for one – an average Pakistani – have intermediate needs to worry about which my counterparts in the West often take for granted.

Social security, which forms the hallmark of the democratic and developed governance systems of the West, is absent without a doubt. In the absence of government support, issues such as employment, wages and prices take precedence over treason trials. Although it is critical and vital to get our ‘houses’ of governance in order, usually the systems follow strong social foundations. However, in Pakistan we seem to have it the other way around – a top-down approach – where we aim to develop macro systems of governance without considering the ground realities.

These ground realities are that life and living conditions for an average Pakistani are at an all-time low. Although we saw a moderate rise in living standards during the years of General Musharraf, even those indicators have fallen during the last five years.
Ask any Pakistani and I can bet that they would say that we were more financially sound from the perspective of an average Pakistan then than we are currently.

Over the last five years, the lower-middle class has slipped into further financial decline.

Still don’t believe me?

For a quick comparison, please take a look at the infographic below to put things into perspective. The graph clearly shows that the economic decline only came about after Musharraf vacated the presidential seat. A growth rate of 5.14% is only a consequence of sound economic policies that trickled down to the common Pakistani. Yes, there was probably corruption and most likely, plenty of it. But the living standard of an average Pakistani was also rising.

Now compare this with some figures from as recent as 2013 when inflation was at 11.3% in April.

Design: Ali Darab

Moving onto factors other than economic prosperity, I, an average Pakistani, care more about the fact that our literacy rate rose by approximately 11% under Musharraf than about the technical fact that the constitution was held in abeyance by him.

And I can say, without a doubt, that any Pakistani, irrespective of political affiliation, cannot deny the importance of hundreds of kilometres of highways constructed, a decrease in poverty levels by approximately 10% and the establishment of a wide network of universities.

If we look at it from a more macroeconomic perspective, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose to approximately $17 billion, and sectors such as manufacturing and IT saw unprecedented growth. A flourishing manufacturing sector and IT industry translates into jobs and employment opportunities, which in turn, means social security – one of the most fundamental requirements to lower petty crimes and thefts in a society.

Unemployment actually fell during the Musharraf years and rapidly rose during the years termed as ‘democratic’.
As facts tell us, it was nothing but a massive mirage of sorts.

Source: Economic Evaluation of Democracies and Dictatorships (http://www.slideshare.net)

Moreover, inflation was tightly controlled as illustrated in the following graph:

Source: Economic Evaluation of Democracies and Dictatorships (http://www.slideshare.net)

Still, in case you doubt statistics reported by local bodies, here is what the World Bank reports about the overall economic performance of Pakistan during Musharraf’s reign.

Source: Musharraf’s Economic Legacy (http://www.riazhaq.com)

Hence, it comes as no surprise that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared Pakistan as the fastest growing economy after China and India during his years.

I don’t know about you but I would pick progress of this magnitude over meaningless constitutional violations any day. Yes, building institutions is important. But strong institutions only result from a process of evolution – they cannot be crafted artificially with superficial doses of ‘democratic governance’.

We may not realise it or we may not want to admit it, but the Musharraf years were more ‘democratic’ – at least for the common man.

Why, you ask?

Democracy is a mindset

I believe that democracy is a mind-set where dissent from the status quo is not brutally persecuted and suppressed. Democracy is not ‘the best revenge’ – it is the best, period.

Did we not see the rise of electronic media with an unprecedented freedom-of-expression during the years that some term as ‘undemocratic’. The years under Musharraf were far from being undemocratic and the biggest testament to this is the proliferation of electronic media which even had the liberty to take Musharraf himself to task when the need arose.

Freedom to question the official narrative was officially encouraged

Musharraf also set the precedent for his successors. His years in power set the practise of both, media and people freely questioning those in power without incurring either the wrath of the rulers or censorship. This was a massive achievement in Pakistan’s context and a key pre-requisite for true democratic dispensations. And we must acknowledge General Musharraf for this achievement.
Acknowledgment of mistakes – the good and bad go hand-in-hand

Yes, General Musharraf did make some mistakes – blunders that were too massive to be forgiven or forgotten. And yes, some of those had huge repercussions for the country. But then, who does not err? Is there any human that has never erred?

Other than the divinely appointed prophets and messengers of God, there is no human on earth who is perfect; the good and bad go hand-in-hand. One characteristic trait that I notice in most Pakistanis is that they not only forget their benefactors but they also fail to realise that a system can never be 100% perfect.

However, it is crucial to measure the performance of governments in terms of what they delivered to the people. Most people would agree without a doubt that the most prosperous years of Pakistan were those of Ayub Khan and General Musharraf.

Given all these facts, the question in my opinion is not whether we should indulge in a trial or not. The more pertinent question is whether we can afford it.

It is a classic cost-benefit and Return-On-Investment (ROI) analysis that most business organisations indulge in. After all, a country and its management are not very different from an organisation.

In fact, a country is an organisation by all definitions and practical implementations.

Remember – it was a hijack

The most important thing that we need to remember is that the airliner was officially hijacked without the slightest regard for all the regular Pakistanis who were returning home. This was not a Pakistan Armed Forces aircraft and neither was it a private jet on contract. A diversion of the plane without adequate fuel to sustain the air travel would have caused the plane to crash. Hence, my only question to the people is this,

“Is a treason trial more important than the verdict of death that was officially handed to each one of those Pakistanis on board PK-805?”

Please let us invoke some sensibility and realise that even though General Musharraf did make mistakes, he also made sincere and honest efforts to transform the living standards for an average Pakistani with the little amount of ‘real power’ that he wielded.
The treatment that he is being meted out now makes my head fall in shame and rise in awe simultaneously.

Is this the way to treat a person who actually did something to make my life better?

Is it right to haul him to court under charges that are quite superficial compared to the improvements he brought in the social infrastructure of Pakistan?

What kind of a lesson are we sending to the future leaders of Pakistan – that if you dare to work towards improving the living conditions of Pakistanis, you would not only be prosecuted, but also persecuted and hounded?

While you are in the process of answering these questions, do try and recall that the plane was on the verge of a crash with approximately 198 Pakistani civilians on board.

It may be hard for some to fathom this but rulers never have absolute power. There are millions of interests that have to be accounted for prior to taking decisions that affect nations and their citizens.

Considering the sycophants that surrounded Musharraf, it is not only remarkable that he managed to bring about this little improvement to an average Pakistani’s living standards, it is also evidence that the General’s heart was in the right place.

So, on behalf of all Pakistanis who agree with me and those who will hopefully try to understand my point-of-view, this is what I have to say to General Musharraf

“Dear Sir, On behalf of all Pakistanis, I apologise to you. This is the least that I could do considering how you worked to make my life better. Thank you for your efforts.”

Dear Sir,
On behalf of all Pakistanis, I apologise to you. This is the least that I could do considering how you worked to make my life better. Thank you for your efforts.”1511554_571493566291040_6041969369819590017_n1526244_571493592957704_934018679263069029_n10177447_571493552957708_1539061532065944851_n

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Musharraf Treason Trial: Article 6, Discrimination and a Biasedness

Usman Sheikh – (APML-UK)

The below is a summary of the main issues the way I have understood them. For non-experts, it can be difficult to understand the legal issues and arguments. Barrister Farogh Naseem, on Rana Mubashir’s programme, has explained the legal issues in layman’s terms on a few occasions. The notes below are based on his lucid presentation along with material which I have gathered from other sources.

The purpose here is merely to relate the main points in a simple manner and, hopefully, demonstrate the ridiculous nature of this treason charge against Pervez Musharraf.

Readers are welcome to notify me of any possible errors.

1. Unethical Conduct of the Supreme Court

From the outset, we need to bear in mind four points:

i. Barely a month after Pervez Musharraf’s arrival in Pakistan, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, issued a challenge, daring people to step forward and bring up charges against Pervez Musharraf.

Can you imagine the Chief Justice of a country behaving in this manner? Iftikhar Chaudhry has been overly politicised and compromised for years and he views Musharraf as his arch enemy. Chaudhry wants his revenge.

ii. For a long time the Chief Justice has been demanding the Federal Government to bring forth treason charges against Pervez Musharraf. When the government politely declined – such as for instance the Caretaker Government – the Supreme Court could not take no for an answer and maintained an argumentative behaviour with the Caretaker Government, insisting the latter bring forth treason charges against Pervez Musharraf, thereby allowing the ever so eager Supreme Court to proceed with the matter.

This is very interesting given the fact that in Pakistani law, the Supreme Court has absolutely no right to request – let alone demand – the Federal Government to bring forth charges against any individual or group. The Supreme Court cannot request, demand, pressurise and incite the Government to bring to its attention any case. Thus, by constantly pressurising the Federal Government to proceed with the treason charges against Musharraf, the Supreme Court is violating the law of the land and exposing its utterly biased attitude.

iii. Now that the Sharif Government, upon the repeated unlawful insistence and pressure of the Supreme Court, has decided to go ahead with the treason charges, Iftikhar Chaudhry has handpicked three judges to oversee this case. These judges, like Iftikhar Chaudhry, are also known to be openly hostile towards Pervez Musharraf and having close relations with the Sharif and Chaudhry families. Iftikhar Chaudhry is known to have been immensely favourable to these judges in the past.

iv. It seems that the FIA was not even given the chance to complete its investigation. While the FIA was just in the very initial/preliminary stages of investigation where not a single witness had been questioned, the Interior Ministry suddenly, out of the blue, ordered them to submit their report on the treason charge. In rush, a rag tag report was hurriedly put together and submitted to the Supreme Court.

2. The Case

The case of treason against Pervez Musharraf follows this logic:

In November 2007, Pervez Musharraf imposed temporary Emergency Rule in Pakistan. As a result, some sections of the Pakistani Constitution were temporarily suspended, or held in abeyance. This is said to be treason against the State because Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that holding the Constitution in abeyance is an act of treason.

3. Three Quick Responses

A. Article 232 of the Pakistani Constitution permits the President to impose Emergency Rule under certain situations. As long as the President is satisfied that a situation or a state of affairs exists which warrants Emergency rule, the latter can be imposed.

“Article 232 (1)

If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists in which the security of Pakistan, or any part thereof, is threatened by war or external aggression, or by internal disturbance beyond the power of a Provincial Government to control, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency.
article-32
Therefore, imposing Emergency Rule is not akin to “treason” as it is permitted by the Pakistani Constitution. One may disagree with the reasons for imposing the Emergency, yet imposing it is not “treason” or a “punishable crime” even if the underlying reasons are deemed to be weak.

Counter Response to the Above: Pervez Musharraf signed the text of the Proclamation of Emergency Rule as the Army Chief, not as the President. So whilst the President can impose Emergency Rule, the Army Chief cannot.

Rebuttal: Signing off a text with the title of Army Chief does not negate the fact that Pervez Musharraf was also the President of the State at that time. Pervez Musharraf’s powers and authority as the President did not temporarily vanish or take the back seat when he signed off a document as the Army Chief. His powers and authority as the President remained, irrespective of the specific title he used in a document.

B. In 2007, Article 6 of the Constitution did not state that holding the Constitution in abeyance or suspending it was an act of “treason.” This is the 2007 version of the text of Article 6:

“(1) Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”

In 2010, however, through the 18th Amendment, the above text was altered as follows (italics added):
artcile-6-comparison
“(1)Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”

In 2007, suspending or holding the Constitution in abeyance was not an act of high treason. In 2010, however, suspending and holding the Constitution in abeyance became an act of high treason.

It is legally and rationally ridiculous to retroject this backwards to try Pervez Musharraf – or anyone else for that matter – for having allegedly committed “high treason.”

C. Those who have presumed Pervez Musharraf to be guilty of high treason convey the impression as if Pervez Musharraf was working in isolation, in a vacuum, making decisions on his own, with no other individual present in the scene. This scenario is highly unrealistic. The text of the Proclamation of Emergency Rule itself mentions the “prime minister, governors of all four provinces and with the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice chief of army staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan army” who deliberated upon the situation and then requested the President – Pervez Musharraf – to impose Emergency Rule in Pakistan. However, as far as I can tell, no one has been questioned. To successfully implement the Emergency rule, individuals (Civil Servants etc), judges and departments at all levels were required to play their part. None of them have been questioned. In fact, the Law Minister of that time – Zaid Hamid Khan – who played a pivotal role in designing and implementing the Emergency Rule in 2007 is presently a senior member of Nawaz Sharif’s party and was once again appointed as the Law Minister, only to be made to resign shortly thereafter due to the embarrassment caused on account of his role as the Law Minister in 2007!

 4. Blatant Discrimination

Violation of Article 25 & 6: By having a go at Musharraf, the Supreme Court and the Sharif Government are violating Article 25 of the Constitution. Article 25 is the equality clause – it calls for a lack of discrimination. Likewise, Article 6 is also not being adhered to.
article-25

i. Singling out an individual

 Pervez Musharraf has been singled out as if he was operating in a vacuum. According to Article 6, aiders and abettors are to be charged and are to be treated equally:

Anyone directly/indirectly involved needs to be charged: Army officers, politicians, judges, bureaucrats, journalists etc.

  • Article 6 is not applicable upon a single individual. It talks about a joint enterprise.  Everyone involved in the conspiracy – be it directly or indirectly – is to be tried. There can be no picking and choosing

ii. Restricting the implementation of Article 6 to the November 2007 Emergency

The November 2007 imposition of temporary Emergency Rule is a comparatively very minor matter – compared to the actual Military (counter) coup of 1999.  The latter is the main issue, not the 2007 Emergency.

Were it not for the fact that a Military (counter) coup transpired in 1999, the minor matter of the November 2007 Emergency would not have taken place.

In light of the High Treason Act, the application of Article 6 cannot be limited to the 2007 Emergency. The 1999 Military (counter) coup needs to be considered. Even then, Article 6 cannot be restricted to the 1999 Military (counter) coup. The dark era of the Zia regime also needs to be considered, including all prior Military takeovers.

Article 6 cannot be restricted to a regime/time period. If Musharraf is to be tried, then not only are you required to try all aiders and abettors involved in the 1999 counter coup, but you are also required to try every individual alive who aided, abetted and supported the worst dictatorship in Pakistan’s history – the Zia regime – including all Military regimes in the past.  If Musharraf was wrong, then Zia was wrong. Zia cannot be “right” while Musharraf is “wrong.” Being selective – giving a clean sheet to one regime while targeting another – is a violation of Articles 6 and 25 of the Pakistani Constitution

According to the High Treason Act, from 1958 onwards, every military coup is to be considered and all involved – directly and indirectly – are to be tried and punished.

Thus, by singling out Pervez Musharraf and by restricting the proceedings to the comparatively very minor matter of the imposition of temporary Emergency Rule in November 2007, the Supreme Court and the Sharif Government are violating both Articles 6 & 25 of the Constitution and are also ignoring the High Treason Act, which permits the trial of everyone involved in a coup – whether directly or indirectly – from 1958 onwards.

Either all are tried or none are tried. Either all regimes are considered or none are considered. There must be across the board justice to ensure fairness and transparency. Picking and choosing should not be allowed

Counter Response #1: the Parliament validated the 1999 Army coup. Therefore, one has no choice but to be restricted to the comparatively minor 2007 temporary Emergency Rule.

Rebuttal: The 18th Amendment has made null and avoid the 17thAmendment. This means that the 1999 Military (counter) coup is open to investigation and no longer enjoys protection. Therefore, if we are to abide by the requirements of Articles 25 & 6 of the Pakistani Constitution and apply the High Treason Act, we are to charge each and every individual involved directly and indirectly in the 1999 Army coup and, moreover, all previous Army coups, including the coup carried out by the late Zia ul Haq. We are to try all individuals who worked, whether directly and indirectly, to maintain/strengthen the setup which came about after all Military coups. If we, however, decide to limit things to 2007 and merely single out Pervez Musharraf, we then blatantly violate the Pakistani Constitution.

Counter Response #2: Only a few individuals involved in the previous Military takeovers and regimes are presently alive. Therefore, there is really no point in dragging them to the court.

Rebuttal: It does not matter. Even if one individual is alive who aided, abetted and supported a Military takeover and regime, then he/she is to be brought before the law. Moreover, many who supported the late Gen. Zia ul Haq and played a critical role in supporting, maintaining and furthering his cruel military regime are still alive: for example, people such as Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhry Nisar, Shahbaz Sharif and many others. They are to be brought before the court and made to pay for their crime of violating the Pakistani Constitution.

A Probable Reason for Ignoring the 1999 Military (counter) Coup:Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges who:

1. Legitimized the Military’s takeover of the Government using the “doctrine of necessity” argument

2. Was among the first judges to take an oath on the PCO in January 2000.

3. In April 13 2005, in the “Judgment on 17th Amendment and President’s Uniform Case,” Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of 5 Supreme Court judges who dismissed all petitions challenging President Musharraf’s constitutional amendments. In a wide ranging judgment, they declared that the Legal Framework Order (LFO) instituted by General Musharraf after his suspension of the constitution, the 17th amendment which gave this constitutional backing, and the two offices bill which allowed Pervez Musharraf to retain his military uniform whilst being President, were all legal.

His falling out with former President Musharraf occurred only in 2007, when a reference against Iftikhar Chaudhry was legitimately forwarded to the Supreme Judicial Council for investigation.

Therefore, it seems that the 1999 Military (counter) Coup is being ignored because investigating it would mean that a large bulk of the judges – Iftikhar Chaudhry included – and almost all politicians will then be in deep trouble given the fact that they so openly supported, defended, legitimised and strengthened the 1999 Military coup and the subsequent setup for years.

Bottom Line: Army Officers, Politicians, Judges, Bureaucrats, Journalists all need to be tried and punished if they played any part – directly or indirectly – in supporting, maintaining, defending, strengthening and legitimising a Military takeover/regime.

  • Corrupt and biased Judges such as Iftikhar Chaudhry, who legitimised the Army’s rightful counter coup of 1999, are to step down and justice should be served upon them with full force
  • The current two times failed Prime Minister should immediately resign – along with all of his colleagues who aided and abetted the dictator Zia. They must then be brought before the law for violating the Pakistani Constitution multiple times

5. Conclusion

Pervez Musharraf has served Pakistan for over 40 years in the Pakistan Army. He has fought for Pakistan in wars, risking his life on numerous occasions, and has led the elite SSG Commando Unit of Pakistan. Later, he served Pakistan as the Chief of Army Staff, as the Chief Executive and, thereafter, as the President. He boldly represented Pakistan, aggressively fought for the case of Pakistan and continued to patriotically defend Pakistan in the international arena even after retiring from the Army and stepping down from the seat of Presidency.

Can we not see how patriotically Pervez Musharraf has defended Pakistan when in India and when facing off Indian journalists on the Kargil issue? Have we not seen how Pervez Musharraf has defended the Pakistan Army and the ISI in multiple gatherings in the Western world and during interviews on CNN, BBC and a host of other channels? Are we really blind to the incontrovertible fact that there is not a single Pakistani leader besides Pervez Musharraf who has so vigorously defended Pakistan?

What happens to the morale of the Pakistan Army when its highly patriotic former Chief is labelled a “traitor?” Were Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zia ul Haq traitors? Zia ul Haq – responsible for the harshest dictatorship in the history of Pakistan – was loyally supported and aided by the likes of Nawaz Sharif who maintained the former’s dictatorial regime. Is nothing to be done regarding this?

It is shameful, to say the least, when a genuinely patriotic Pakistani such as Musharraf is accused of being a “traitor.”

It is even more shameful if the Pakistani nation remains silent and allows this travesty to pass by without a challenge.

lawyers’ movement

For two days the Pakistani channels are boring us with their never ending lectures and news reports about the 6th anniversary of the so-called “lawyers’ movement.” Their narrative can be summed up as follows: the one “no” of Iftikhar Chaudhry (err…”no” to what?) opened up the eyes of the Pakistani civil society and that the people were motivated when they saw a judge bravely standing up against an “Aamir.” This judge, they claim, was then vindicated in the court.

The above is a false narrative. The fact is that the so-called “lawyers’ movement” pretty much halted Pakistan’s development and produced the most politically compromised judiciary in Pakistan’s history. Moreover, it led to the restoration of Iftikhar Chaudhry as Chief Justice – a man against whom a detailed reference of corruption and misuse of power was submitted. The charges against him were never investigated and the reference against Iftikhar Chaudhry was merely dismissed. Neither is it true that the “masses” – the ordinary people – came out to support Iftikhar Chaudhry in the lawyers’ movement. Instead, Generally speaking, life went along as usual and only lawyers (not all) and, mainly, members of the corrupt political parties took to the streets. Remember also that on MQM’s call, many thousands also came out on the streets to protest against Nawaz Sharif’s confrontational style of politics.

The below is a summary of the main points so that you are able to discuss this issue whenever it is raised.

The main points and issues have been categorised and every section has been kept short so you can process the relevant details with ease.

1. The Reference against Iftikhar Chaudhry – Did Pervez Musharraf Act Illegally? 

2. The 2007 Emergency – Background

3. Constitutional Legitimacy of the 2007 Emergency

4. Iftikhar Chaudhry’s Background

5. Reference of Misconduct Against Iftikhar Chaudhry

6. Violation of Charter of Democracy by PPPP & PML-N

7. Nawaz Sharif’s Attack upon the Supreme Court

 

1. The Reference against Iftikhar Chaudhry – Did Pervez Musharraf Act Illegally? 

President Musharraf did not out of thin air invent the wide-ranging charges of gross misconduct against Iftikhar Chaudhry. Instead, the charges were levelled against Chaudhry by others and Pervez Musharraf merely forwarded them to the Supreme Judicial Council for an investigation once he received the reference from the Prime Minister. Here Pervez Musharraf simply followed the rules.

Thus, it was the job of the Supreme Judicial Council to conduct an investigation and to then decide whether Iftikhar Chaudhry was guilty or innocent. That’s all. Absolutely nothing “illegal” was committed by Pervez Musharraf in this instance.

That Pervez Musharraf correctly followed the guidelines is confirmed by the website of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, where we read [http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/web/page.asp?id=335]:

On a reference received from the President, the Supreme Judicial Council investigates the matter and presents its finding to the President. If the council decides that the Judge is incapable of performing the duties of office or is guilty of misconduct, and therefore should be removed from office, the President may order the removal of such judge. A judge may not be removed from service except on the specified grounds and subject to the prescribed procedure.

Pervez Musharraf did precisely the above. Unfortunately, the Supreme Judicial Council dismissed the petition based on a technicality and did not bother to investigate the wide-ranging charges of gross misconduct against Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Moreover, consider the Constitution:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Article 209

(1) There shall be a Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan, in this Chapter referred to as the Council.

(5) If, on information [from any source, the Council or] the President is of the opinion that a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court,

(a) May be incapable of properly performing the duties of his office be reason of physical or mental incapacity; or

(b) May have been guilty of misconduct,

The President shall direct the Council to [or the Council may, on its own motion] inquire into the matter.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Article 180

At any time when-

(a) The office of Chief justice is vacant; or

(b) The Chief justice of Pakistan is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause,

The President shall appoint [the most senior of the other judges of the Supreme Court] to act as Chief justice of Pakistan.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Therefore, President Musharraf simply followed the constitutional route.

2. The 2007 Emergency – Background

The Emergency imposed in Pakistan in March 2007 was perfectly legal. In certain situations, Emergency can be legitimately imposed to bring order to chaos and anarchy (see #3 below).

The background to the Emergency

Pervez Musharraf contested for the Presidency in 2007, when he was still the Army Chief. Therefore, objections were raised a) over his re-election in uniform and b) the fact that an Assembly reaching its end was electing the President for five years (elections took place on October 2007 whereas the Assemblies were to be dissolved in November). Petitions were submitted to the court to resolve this dilemma. The Supreme Court rejected the petitions and permitted President Musharraf to contest the elections, although barring the Election Commissioner from officially declaring a winner until it made its final decision. The Supreme Court now began hearing the case of President Musharraf’s eligibility as a candidate.

Notice here that the Supreme Court was in violation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court had no mandate to question the Presidential elections. According to Article 41 (Clause 6) of the Constitution of Pakistan, “The validity of election of the President shall not be called in question by or before any court or other authority.”

Bear in mind that President Musharraf was elected President of Pakistan, on 6th October 2007, by a combined electoral of the Senate, National Assembly and the FOUR Provincial Assemblies, acquiring 57% of the votes.

The court ordered that the election result would not be announced till the final decision was made on the basis of the hearing of the arguments from both sides i.e., Government and the petitioner. So even though Pervez Musharraf won the majority votes, the official declaration of the result was not made following the order of the Court.

The Supreme Court was desperately delaying the decision – the Assemblies were going to dissolve by November 2007 for the set-up of a caretaker government before the general elections of 2008.

The Supreme Court’s delaying tactics:

  •  Iftikhar Chaudhry changed the composition of the bench thrice – seven member bench, then nine and then eleven member bench;
  • One of the members of the bench applied for 10 days leave to attend the wedding of his daughter;

In short, Iftikhar Chaudhry was playing a game of nerves with Pervez Musharraf till the Assemblies were dissolved.

Realising that the court was just planning to announce an adverse decision against him, finally a daring decision was made and emergency was announced by Pervez Musharraf on 3rd November 2007 (Saturday).

This was a wonderful and glorious day for Pakistan. Besides the above, there were many other reasons for the Emergency. Actions taken by Iftikhar Chaudhry after his restoration paralysed the functioning of the government:

  • After few days of silence, Iftikhar Chaudhry began making personal bravado against President Musharraf, security agencies and intelligence agencies
  • A long list of suo moto actions were made every day to paralyse the functioning of executive, legislative and law enforcement agencies – all these suo moto cases were concerned with the executive, the government departments
  • Suo-moto action against the traffic jam in Karachi is just an example of the attitude of a person who has nothing better to do
  •  Iftikhar Chaudhry did not take any notice of the illegal activities of lawyers’ e.g.  beating of Naeem Bokhari and spraying of acid on Ahmed Raza Qasuri’s face
  •  He never took suo moto actions against those militants who were threatening the barber and CD shops.
  • Madaris involved in extremism and suspected of taking part in terrorist activities were re-opened
  •  61 terrorists who were declared black, meaning they were confirmed terrorists by the intelligence agencies, were released and were roaming around freely
  • He did not take notice of extremists who were blasting girls’ schools
  •  Iftikhar Chaudhry released Qari Abdul Basit, who was charged with the assassination attempt on President Musharraf

The above made it impossible for the government to function and carry out its day to day work. Terrorists were freely roaming around, the law and order situation was deteriorating, officers were constantly harassed and embarrassed in the courts, some were even suspended, and hundreds of suo moto actions were taken which made it impossible for the government to carry out even simple tasks. Moreover, investors were running away from Pakistan and the economy was again showing signs of going down the hill.

As a result, the Prime Minister wrote to President Musharraf and informed the latter that the government’s functioning in such circumstances was very difficult.

3. Constitutional Legitimacy of the 2007 Emergency

Pervez Musharraf did not impose temporary Emergency in Pakistan on his own or in a vacuum. Instead, it was the collective decision of all: the Armed Forces of Pakistan, the Pakistani government led by the Prime Minister, the ruling PML-Q party, Governors, Chief Ministers and the Parliament.

The Pakistani Constitution allows the President to impose Emergency in certain difficult circumstances.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Article 232 (1)

If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists in which the security of Pakistan, or any part thereof, is threatened by war or external aggression, or by internal disturbance beyond the power of a Provincial Government to control, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency.

Article 270 AA (3)

All proclamations, President’s orders, Ordinances, Chief Executive’s orders, laws, regulations, enactments, including amendments in the Constitution, notifications, rules, orders or bye-laws enforce immediately before the date on the date which this Article comes into force shall continue in force until altered, repealed or altered by the competent authority.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

There was no change in the government, Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers, all continued to function, all assemblies — Senate, National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies — continued to function.

On 15 Feb 2008, a detailed Supreme Court judgement came, following its earlier short pronouncement of 24 November 2007, validating the proclamation of emergency of 3rd Nov 2007, PCO 2007 and oath of the judges. This full court judgment was written by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

http://archive.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=11343&Cat=13&dt=11/27/2007

4. Iftikhar Chaudhry’s Background

As for those who regard Iftikhar Chaudhry a “hero,” they conveniently forget that Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges who:

1. Legitimized Mr. Musharraf’s (rightful) takeover of the Government under the “doctrine of necessity.”

2. Was among the first judges to take an oath on the PCO in January 2000.

3. In April 13 2005, in the “Judgment on 17th Amendment and President’s Uniform Case, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of 5 Supreme Court judges who dismissed all petitions challenging President Musharraf’s constitutional amendmentsIn a wide ranging judgment, they declared that the Legal Framework Order (LFO) instituted by General Musharraf after his suspension of the constitution, the 17th amendment which gave this constitutional backing, and the two offices bill which allowed Pervez Musharraf to retain his military uniform whilst being President were all legal.

His falling out with President Musharraf occurred only in 2007, when a reference against him (Iftikhar Chaudhry) was legitimately forwarded to the Supreme Judicial Council for investigation.

5. Reference of Misconduct Against Iftikhar Chaudhry

 

Let us also bear in mind that the serious charges levelled upon Iftikhar Chaudhry in the Presidential Reference were never examined to begin with! Was it not the duty of the judges to investigate them with seriousness?

Please read the detailed charges against Iftikhar Chaudhry in the Presidential Reference below:

Text of the Presidential Reference against CJ – http://web.archive.org/web/20071031130930/http://dawn.com/2007/03/21/nat2.htm

Ask yourself if you feel comfortable having such a shoddy fellow as your Chief Justice.

6. Violation of Charter of Democracy by PPPP & PML-N

The PML-N and PPPP blatantly contradicted the chief requirement of their own signed document, the so-called “Charter of Democracy” (signed by the late Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif), which states (emphasis added):

“3. (a) The recommendations for appointment of judges to superior judiciary shall be formulated through a commission, which shall comprise of the following: i. The chairman shall be a chief justice, who has never previously taken oath under the PCO.

ii. The members of the commission shall be the chief justices of the provincial high courts who have not taken oath under the PCO, failing which the senior most judge of that high court who has not taken oath shall be the member”

http://web.archive.org/web/20071210032448/http://www.dawn.com/2006/05/16/local23.htm

But lo and behold: Iftikhar Chaudhry is a PCO judge! Despite the best effort of many PML-N politicians, no amount of creative eisigesis can work here. The “Charter of Democracy” calls for the appointment of judges who have never taken an oath under the PCO. This includes Iftikhar Chaudhry. The Charter does not allow for a “second chance” for a PCO judge who, for whatever reason, expresses a sudden “change of heart” and “remorse” over their previous conduct. Iftikhar Chaudhry cannot be an exception. Therefore, the restoration of the PCO judge Iftikhar Chaudhry stands as a gross violation of the “Charter of Democracy.”

7. Nawaz Sharif’s Attack upon the Supreme Court

 

The main force behind the “lawyers’ movement” was Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz Sharif is quite fond of talking about the “freedom of judiciary” and about “punishing” those who interfered with the courts. The phenomenal level of his hypocrisy can be gauged from the fact that he is well-known for ordering a physical attack upon the Supreme Court in 1997 when he was Prime Minister. Nawaz Sharif ordered his thugs to attack the Supreme Court because he feared that the judgment of the Chief Justice would almost certainly go against him. In order to have his way, besides physically attacking the court and the judges, Nawaz Sharif also bought judges to stand as an opposition to the then Chief Justice and to openly challenge the latter’s authority. Nawaz Sharif has yet to apologise for his deplorable treatment of the then Supreme Court.

A detailed account of Nawaz Sharif’s confrontation, harassment and attack upon the Supreme Court is provided by Farhan Aslam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=v-me8Wkmp-s#!

+++++++

For the above summary, I have been heavily reliant upon these sources:

Lawyers’ Movement-The other side of story – by Nayyar Afaq

http://longlivemusharraf.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/lawyers-movement-the-other-side-of-story-must-read/

President Musharraf’s Address to the Nation: Declaration of Emergency

http://presidentmusharraf.wordpress.com/2007/06/02/musharraf-3-nov-emergency/

Chronological record of events, that validates President Musharraf’s election as President and subsequent endorsements by Supreme Court – Afreen Baig

http://presidentmusharraf.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/musharraf-validity-by-supreme-court/

Regards

Usman Sheikh

Information Secretary APML-UK

Pakistan’s Economic success: Mercy of 9/11 or Macro-economic Policies?

Afreen Baig

The 1990’s was a lost decade for Pakistan, mismanagement at its helm and corruption rampant. Formation of failed policies, coupled with sheer incompetence and lack of commitment, kept deteriorating the economy of the fragile Country. Benazir’s era was further characterized by ungoverned manipulation and personal extravagance of her husband Zardari. By 1999, not only were the $10 billion Foreign Reserves misspent without any accountability, but it also shattered the confidence of our nation. Expatriate Pakistanis kept a cautious outlook of the situation and held their foreign reserves back. In 1999, Revenue generation of around Rs.308 billion could not meet the growing expenditure requirements; with only an average of Rs.80 billion being spent on Public sector development programs (PSDP) annually, and no visible project to boast about. From this Rs.308 billion around 65% was being utilized for debt servicing. In 1988 our foreign debt was $18 billion, but at the end of 1999 it had accumulated to become $38 billion. A 100% increased burden on the already crippled economy. Public and external debt exceeded 300% of Foreign exchange earnings. Pakistan had become a highly indebted poor country. Our poverty levels also increased to become 35% according to economic survey. This glooming situation was not being dispelled. While the world was progressing, Pakistan’s economy was stagnated. Overall there was a feeling of despondency and uncertainty. It not only lowered the morals of the business community, but also affected adversely the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Foreign Investment started diverting to other promising Asian markets, especially that of India for their future prospects. Nawaz and PPP often lament that during their tenures US and IMF Aid was suspended; and that President Musharraf’s government received huge aid after 9/11 to overcome the economic problems. To set the record correct, USA and IMF aid was suspended only after the Nuclear Atomic blasts of May 1998, but that too was RESUMED later that year in November, a week before Nawaz met President Clinton in USA. Before May 1998, the governments of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto well-received worldwide aid and assistance from USA, IMF, OPEC, European countries, ODA & OOF bilateral agreements and World Bank. The inheritance of the ailing economy that took place after October 1999 was not an easy task for the leadership of President Musharraf. Pakistan needed quick reforms, resource allocation, stabilization of policies and alluring back the Foreign Reserves and Foreign Direct Investment. A misperception persists among some critics that attribute completely the turning around of our economy to: US aid or 9/11. Therefore, let it be clarified that major economic indicators had improved before 9/11, and the economy had already started showing signs of recovery and revival. In that SHORT span of 2 years BEFORE 9/11, Pakistan’s revenue increased from Rs.308 billion to become Rs.395 billion. Exports increased from $7.5 billion to become $9.2 billion. Foreign Reserves increased from $ 1 billion to become $3.25 billion. Debt servicing as a ratio to Revenue decreased from 65% to 57%. Public and external debt as a percentage to Foreign exchange earnings declined from 300% to 250%. Current account deficit decreased from $2.4 billion to become $510 million. And, Pakistan’s large-scale manufacturing grew by 11% in June 2001 against 3.5% in 1998. These facts should set aside the skeptical grumblers. Therefore, the entire credit of stabilizing Pakistan’s economy goes to the visionary decisions, sustained macro-economic policies and financial reforms of President Musharraf and the PM Shaukat Aziz. These also highlight their good intentions and ultimate honesty. Their sense of duty towards the country, honesty and the genuine resolve to address the problems does not arise from 9/11. Unlike their predecessors who swept problems under the carpet. Now countering the other most popular allegation, i.e. US aid enabled the recent achievements. The annual flows Pakistan has received during the last six years amount to approximately $ 1.75 billion from all types of US assistance – military, economic, and reimbursements for logistics support. Of these flows, the aid – military and economic accounts for $ 700 million annually. This amount is 4.5% of total foreign exchange receipts, 7.2% of total budgetary expenditures, 6.4% of total value of Imports, 4% of total Exports and 5.8% of current account receipts of Pakistan. As a proportion of GDP of Pakistan these gross flows from all sources work out to only 3%. Negligible! These figures by all means indicate the strength of Pakistan’s booming economy and establish the FACT that Pakistan is no more dependent upon US or foreign aid. Pakistan’s economy has managed to wriggle out of their clutches. Pakistan’s economy grew at 6.5% to emerge as a $160 billion economy in 2007. Pakistan’s Revenue now stands above Rs.700 billion; as they increased by over 100% in just 7 years. The FBR estimates that there are now around 2.8 million Income Tax payers. A fully functional Tax Management System (TMS) was implemented on International standards with the assistance of World Bank. Pakistan’s Public sector development program (PSDP) spending increased by over 400% to become Rs.520 billion. This has initiated major infrastructure programs throughout the country, including 7 Motorways and several Highways. Bridges erected and underpasses paved. 18 new Universities are already functioning and 9 Engineering Universities under construction. Financial reforms enabled Pakistan to emerge as the 3rd best in Banking profitability according to IMF. Pakistan globally ranks 10th most active in perusing pro-business policies. The Infrastructure Industries Index in 2007 recorded a 26.2% growth in Industrial sector of Pakistan, with large-scale manufacturing growing at 11%. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 1,135 companies in first quarter of 2007. The IT industry registered a 50% growth. Under President Musharraf, the government spent over $ 16.7 billion on poverty alleviation programs, and managed to cut poverty from 35% in 2000-01 to 24% in 2006-07. The Foreign Direct Investment that the President and the PM managed to attract back into the country is entirely due to their credibility, professional wisdom and personal interaction with the world. Their visionary plans predispose the world to trust them. FDI increased by $ 5.1 billion, for a year-on-year increase of 45.6%. We as a nation should acknowledge Pakistan’s accelerating prominence in International relations, give credit open heartedly where something is achieved and criticize positively only to achieve something better. Cynicism and despondency should be avoided. Pakistan’s National interest should be held foremost and without compromise! ++++++++++++++++++ For a more detailed essay refuting the exaggerated notion of U.S. aid being the primary cause of Pakistan’s economic recovery, see: IS U.S. ASSISTANCE REALLY SO CRITICAL FOR PAKISTAN? By: Dr. Ishrat Hussain (Former Governor State Bank Of Pakistan) For the recovery and success of Pakistan’s economy, see: Musharraf Era performance: Pakistan Flourishes Musharraf Era: Ushers in Multi-Nationals Corporations & booms Private sector Business Under Musharraf ECONOMIC GROWTH IN PAKISTAN Post-Musharraf scenario please . . . ++++++++ © Musharraf Supporters 2008 All rights reserved

Nawaz Shareef an interesting infant

The following is an excellent programme exposing some of the corruption conducted by Nawaz Sharif by the host of DM Digital, Farhan Aslam, who also used to work for ARY Digital a few years ago.

The report has been divided into six segments. I will offer a short summary of the discussion, followed by the clips themselves.

Brief summary

Nawaz Sharif’s only agenda was to make money. In order to achieve this goal, he formed/changed laws and policies for his personal benefit and expanded his business empire by misusing his authority as Prime Minister.

Interestingly enough and ironically, the PPP played a major role in exposing the corruption of Nawaz Sharif and his family. The Jamaat-e-Islami had also levelled a number of corruption allegations upon Nawaz Sharif. As we know, later Sharif and his cronies also played a role in exposing the corruption of Benazir Bhutto and her PPP. In other words, both Sharif and Bhutto have been busy over the years actively accusing each other of committing corruption.

Nawaz Sharif is widely acknowledged to be a highly incompetent person, with a mediocre I.Q. level. The brain behind him was that of his late “Abba Jee” (‘daddy’) – the mastermind and the main decision maker behind the scene.

In order to consolidate and attain more power, N. Sharif attacked every individual and institutions he felt could get in the way challenge his authority. In order to get rid of the then Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who was despised by Sharif, the later created divisions among the judges to make life difficult for the Chief Justice. A group of judges refused to acknowledge Shah as the Chief Justice and things got so bad that a number of junior judges put hurdles in the way of the Chief Justice in order to make it difficult for him to carry out his duties. Eventually, Sharif ordered his thugs to attack the Supreme Court in order to prevent the Chief Justice from giving a ruling against him.

The police did nothing to stop Sharif’s thugs as they attacked and entered the Supreme Court. The judges inside the building barely managed to escape. The thugs, led by Sajjad Naseem and Mushtaq Tahir, Nawaz Sharif’s political secretaries, entered the court chanting anti-Sajjad slogans and destroyed the furniture.

Next, consider Nawaz Sharif’s relationship with the press and media. Two examples will suffice. On 8th May 1999, Najam Sethi, a prominent journalist of Pakistan, was arrested by the police on the orders of Sharif. Sethi has committed the crime of annoying Nawaz Sharif by writing a critical essay against him. The police broke into Sethi’s house at around 2 am and beat him up in his bedroom in front of his wife, after which he was transported off to a secret location. The police trashed Sethi’s house, broke the furniture and beat him up quite bad. Sethi was only released after a lot of international pressure had built up against Sharif. Sharif also demanded the Jang Group to get rid of all the journalists who were critical of him. To achieve this goal, Sharif and his cronies used a variety of legal and illegal means to pressure the Jang Group into compliance.

There is probably no institution in Pakistan which Nawaz Sharif did not aggressively confront in order make them comply to his wishes. Besides picking on a fight with the President, the Judiciary and the already restricted/limited media, Sharif also decided to have a confrontation with the army, the only viable institution left in Pakistan. Chief of Army Staff, General Jehangir Karamat, and Nawaz Sharif had a conflict over an issue pertaining to the national security council and both entered into a heated discussion, after which Gen. Karamat had to offer his resignation. Jehangir Karamat thus became the first Chief of Army Staff in the history of Pakistan to have left the army in this prematurely in this manner.

One by one all challenges and potential obstacles were removed from the way by Nawaz Sharif. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Farooq Leghari, Sajjad Ali Shah, and Jehangir Karamat, as well as others, were all removed from the scene by Sharif.

After the removal of Jehangir Karamat, Sharif appointed Pervaiz Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff. Some analysts at the time said that Sharif made this decision thinking that Pervaiz Musharraf was an Urdu speaker and did not belong to a Punjabi army family, thus very unlikely to be a threat to Sharif!

Things became sour between Sharif and Musharraf during the Kargil episode. Later, once a relative of Sharif was removed from the army by Musharraf, that was the final nail in the coffin. Sharif then decided to take his revenge and replace Gen. Musharraf with a fellow of his liking who would be controllable (the head of the I.S.I. at the time).

Farhan Aslam also comments upon the ill-advised economic decisions of Sharif which made Pakistan’s situation from bad to worse. Moreover, he comments upon the Sharif family’s personal business empire and how it grew exponentially through questionable means.

I want to share with you some of my personal thoughts relating to one of our former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. For a long time N. Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif, and virtually all members of the PML-N, outright denied the existence of a deal between N. Sharif, the Saudi government and Pakistan, according to which N. Sharif would have to live in exile in Saudi Arabia for a period of 10 years, keeping away from politics. That such a deal existed was outright denied by the PML-N folks. Instead, they wanted us to believe that poor N. Sharif had no desire to leave Pakistan; that he was more than willing to stay in prison, but that the Pakistan government forced him to go to Saudi Arabia. I recall S. Sharif and many individuals of his party giving us this version of the event numerous times on a variety of programmes on different Pakistani channels.

Later, after spending around 7 years in Saudi Arabia, N. Sharif requested Musharraf to allow him to leave for London on humanitarian grounds since his son was undergoing medical treatment in London. Musharraf, without delay, gave N. Sharif the permission, but upon the condition that in London the later would abide by the agreement: not to indulge in politics etc.

As we know, N. Sharif, almost from day one, violated his agreement and spoke against Musharraf once he arrived in London and decided not to return to Saudi Arabia to complete the term of his remaining years of exile. Moreover, N. Sharif again reiterated the constant claim of his party members: that, in fact, he was involved in no deal whatsoever and had reached no ‘understanding’ with the Pakistan government to stay in exile in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and that he was actually forced to leave Pakistan.

Subsequently, as N. Sharif began making plans to return to Pakistan, he was contacted by members of the Saudi government and various officials who advised him to abide by his agreement and avoid going to Pakistan. As a result, a mutation occurred in the N. Sharif version of events. Instead of being forced to leave Pakistan, N. Sharif now came out with a new story: that he did have an ‘understanding’ with the Saudi government, but that Musharraf and the Pakistan government had nothing to do with it. That is to say, somehow N. Sharif, while he was in jail, managed to form an ‘understanding’ with the Saudi government – to reside in Saudi Arabia for 10 years – and managed to then come out of jail and fly to Saudi Arabia, with the Pakistan government having no involvement in the entire process. Obviously, this was an unbelievably absurd account coming from an intellectually slow individual, who perhaps thought that he could succeed fooling most Pakistanis thinking they could be as daft as him. This new version did not settle well with most Pakistanis.

Shortly thereafter, as N. Sharif began to receive more and more visits from Saudi officials, as well as a visit from Saad Hariri (son of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Hariri), another mutation occurred in N. Sharif’s story. This time he finally acknowledged that there was indeed a deal between himself, the Pakistan government, and Saudi Arabia, according to which N. Sharif would have to stay in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and stay away from politics. But, there was a twist in this version: N. Sharif insisted that the deal was for the duration of 5 years and not 10 years! In all these years it never occurred to Sharif and his followers to mention a 5 year deal; the10 year duration was accepted universally by all.

To me this shows that N. Sharif is a confirmed liar, dishonest, and utterly untrustworthy. He had to tell 3 lies to deny a single truth:

  • 1. There was no deal/understanding whatsoever; I was just forced to leave Pakistan;
  • 2. Yes there was an ‘understanding’, but it was only between me and the Saudi government and the Pakistani government had nothing to do with it.
  • 3. Well yes, I had an ‘understanding’ with both the Pakistani and Saudi governments, but it was for a 5 year duration and not 10.

 

I can’t believe how anyone with elementary intelligence can trust this guy. Think for yourself, if N. Sharif and S. Sharif can tell outright lies over something like this, can we really expect them to do any good for the country if they are ever to assume power (khudana khuwasta, astaghfirullah)? How can anyone trust these liars?

I think people would have sympathised with N. Sharif and his family if he had from the start told the truth: that 1999 was a very difficult time for him, his health was very poor and he was quite scared and worried also on account of his family. Therefore, he decided to appeal, through his family, to the Saudi King for asylum, who in turn approached Musharraf, which then resulted in the agreement between the three: N. Sharif would live in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and stay away from politics. There is nothing morally inappropriate or questionable about this scenario. But, as I explained above, N. Sharif just told three lies in order to deny the truth.

If he can so openly lie about something such as this, imagine what other lies he must be passing relating to his term in office? This would be anybody’s guess.

Consider how embarrassing, shameful and humiliating it was when the Saudi’s approached N. Sharif with a hadith of the prophet (P) emphasising the importance of keeping to ones word and promise. Can you really envisage this unworthy character as a leader and representative of Pakistan? His dishonest conduct would surely lead to the deterioration of the traditionally solid ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Not only that, I see no humbleness, humility, and critical self-reflection on the part of N. Sharif and his followers. There is only arrogance coming from him. N. Sharif is in no mood to acknowledge that he made any conceivable mistake while in office (the only ‘mistake’ we might expect him to acknowledge would be his failure to crash the plane carrying the Chief of Army!). This is a very worrying sign for me. One should expect a true leader to accept his/her mistakes honestly, and to then inform the masses that they would not repeat the same mistakes again and ask for apology. It is safe to say that we can never expect this coming from Sharif. Consider also the fact that both the Sharif brothers still deny that they did any wrong when the Supreme Court was attacked by their close thugs. Till this day they outright deny their own complicity and that of their important party members in the court attack fiasco.

In an authentic hadith, the prophet (P) said:

The believer is not stung from (the same) hole twice.(Reported by Abû Hurayrah. Sahîh al-Bukhârî, vol. 4, Kitâb al-Adab, Chapter: Lâ Yuldighu-l Mu’minû Min Juhrin Marratayn).

We have already been stung twice by both N. Sharif and Bhutto. Are we really that eager and desperate to get stung by them for the third time?

A Tribute to our president

August 18th 2008 is one of the saddest days of my life and for, no doubt, so many other people who love Pakistan. Pervez Musharraf was the best thing that had ever happened to Pakistan in decades. This honest man managed Pakistan with utmost dedication, humbleness and, through his hard work, managed to transform Pakistan’s bankrupt economy into a booming and resilient economy. The economy the size of a mere $75 billion in 1999 more than doubled in less than a decade under Musharraf. In 1999 ours was a debt ridden country with around 65% of our GDP used for debt servicing. Before September 11 2001 this figure had reduced to around 55% and, thereafter, it went down to 25%, which is a perfectly acceptable level. Our economy grew consistently at the rate of over 6% annually, having become a booming economy. In 1999 our foreign reserves were a mere $700 million, whereas by 2007 they had increased to $16.4 billion. Investment was pouring into Pakistan for the first time at a fast pace. Consider the fact that in 1999 Pakistan’s foreign investment was around $300 million whereas by 2007 they had increased to around $8.4 billion. The Karachi Stock Market rose from 700 points to reach around 16, 000 points. The National revenues of Pakistan were around RS. 300 billion in 1988-1999 period and increased massively to around 1 trillion in 2007. Likewise, public sector development stood at a dismal RS. 80 billion in 1999 and increased to around RS. 520 billion in 2007. Overall, Musharraf and his team had transformed Pakistan into the 3rd fastest growing economy after those of China and India’s in 2006, being the 3rd best in banking profitability in the world, with construction activity an all time 17 years high and large scale manufacturing 30 years high.

Consider other achievements. Under Musharraf the Mirani, Subakzai and Gomalzam Dams were constructed and Mangla dam was raised, thereby doubling its capacity. Pervez Musharraf inaugurated the dry port in the border town of Sust in 2004 and work began on the constructions of canals (Katchi, Thal, Raini canals). A number of motorways have either been completed or are under construction (e.g. M1, M3, M8, M10, M11) and the same goes for a number of highways (N5, N-25, N-35, N-45, N-50, N-55, N-65, N-70, N-75, N-80, S-1, etc.). Pervez Musharraf inaugurated the Makran Coastal Highway (N-10) project in August 2001, consisting of Karachi-Gwadar, Pasni-Gwadar, and Ormara-Liari (Balochistan) Highways. The Sialkot International Airport was completed in 2007 and work began on the Ghandara International Airport (Islamabad), which is set to be completed by Dec. 2010. Gawadar Mega seaport was constructed under Musharraf and, by 2005-2006, 49 public universities were operating in Pakistan (in 1999 we had 31 public universities).

Consider briefly Pakistan’s defence: our defence exports crossed the $200 million mark for the first time in 2006 and Pakistan underwent large-scale nuclear expansion. The safety of our nuclear assets was ensured through the implementation of an excellent command and control regime overseeing them. Our armed forces, the air force and the navy were equipped with the required modern weaponry throughout Musharraf’s term in office. One example, in 2007 Pakistan Navy Ship Zarrar, the first of Multi-Role Tactical Platform (MRTP-33), was commissioned into Pakistan Navy at a ceremony at PN Dockyard.

The above are just a few of the achievements of the Musharraf government which come to mind. For more details and references for the above, please see the links at the end of this message.

How did we repay Musharraf? By voting for known liars and corrupt individuals who looted Pakistan every time they attained power to such an extent that Pakistan had almost become a failed state and a bankrupt country. The goon of our times, Nawaz Sharif, did all he could to destroy Pakistan through large-scale corruption every time he came to power. The late Benazir Bhutto did the same. What the hell is wrong with us? Were we expecting these chors and luchakas, criminals, rascals, scums of earth, the lowest of the low and scoundrels to have done something different for the fifth time? Four times previously they did nothing but corruption and presided over South East Asia’s worst governments. Were we really expecting these people to have changed their ways? Did our people really believe that bastards like Zardari and Nawaz, who have fed their children with the fruits of corruption, would have done something good for the country this time around? How many times does a man need to make a mess of things before your thick head gets it that he will quite likely make the same mistakes again, therefore, best not to give him the same responsibilities again? Are our eyes so blind? Yes, I am saying that there is a serious moral and ethical problem with MANY of our people. You can be illiterate and still know the difference between right and wrong, haram and halal. It appears that many of our people, particularly the ones who voted for the PPPP and PML-N, have lost their ethics somewhere down the line.

Imagine the unbelievable situation: known liars, looters and robbers, such as Zardari and N. Sharif, have ganged up to take revenge against an innocent, decent and humble man, Pervez Musharraf. That N. Sharif and Zardari are corrupt individuals who looted the nation is an incontrovertible fact. This is not a mere allegation. Pervez Musharraf, on the other hand, is neither a filthy rich nor a poor man. He comes from the middle-class and he still belongs to the middle-class, upper middle-class to be precise. We know of no corruption charges levelled upon him personally. Even foes acknowledge that Pervez Musharraf is completely corruption-free. Therefore, we have unchallengeable criminals and scoundrels who are now preparing a silly “charge-sheet” against a universally acknowledged honest man! Only in Pakistan can we have criminals pointing their fingers upon an innocent man and trying their best to harm him! How dare they do this even if, for arguments, their charges were accurate given the fact they broke all corruption records in the past? A criminal has no right to put on trial another criminal! And who will do the trial of these known crooks? How dare they point finger towards anyone else?

Nawaz Sharif is large and fat physically, but he is a very small man mentally. N. Sharif tried to kill Musharraf and even hand him over to Pakistan’s arch enemy, India. This was high treason by N. Sharif for which he was rightfully found guilty and convicted by the Pakistan courts. Pervez Musharraf would have been absolutely justified in demanding N. Sharif’s execution. I so wish he had demanded it. But he didn’t. Musharraf forgave N. Sharif immediately and did not seek revenge. Later, upon the request of N. Sharif’s family and their desperate appeal to the Saudi royal family, Pervez Musharraf immediately allowed N. Sharif and his family to go to Saudi Arabia and live there in unimaginable luxury and comfort. The only restriction placed upon them was that they could not participate in Pakistani politics and enter Pakistan. When N. Sharif’s “abba jee” passed away, Pervez Musharraf offered his condolences to the Sharif family personally over the phone and allowed them to enter Pakistan for the burial proceedings. Pervez Musharraf continued to grant the Sharif family access to Pakistan from time to time on various occasions, such as weddings etc. Later, when N. Sharif’s son fell ill in London, Pervez Musharraf permitted him to go to London to be with his son. So then, despite N. Sharif’s unpardonable crime of treason and the destruction of the Pakistan economy, Pervez Musharraf always remained lenient towards him. This shows the greatness of Pervez Musharraf. In sharp contrast, N. Sharif is a small man with the mindset of a disturbed child and too much arrogance stuck up his high nose (my shoe would have looked better shoved up his nose). He has nothing more than sweet petty revenge on his mind and pure blood in front of his eyes. N. Sharif is such a good Muslim that he knows nothing about forgiving, forgetting and moving on. He cannot bring himself to forgive even though he is the one who was at fault right from the outset. The country does not matter to N. Sharif. His petty revenge and vendetta comes first … all else is secondary. So then, N. Sharif, being the small petty man that he has proved himself to be, will never rest in peace unless and until he achieves his revenge even if it harms the nation immensely.

Pervez Musharraf on a number of times invited everyone, including his opponents, to sit with him on a table, to forget the past, and to work together for the benefit and interest of Pakistan. He even brought about the NRO as a move towards reconciliation. The first ones to reject Pervez Musharraf’s offer, though immediately benefitting from the NRO, were these self-proclaimed “democrats”: N. Sharif and Zardari aka 10%. Is this democracy? Nay, is this even Islam? Islam teaches that if your fellow Muslim offers you a hand in peace, then you MUST accept it and CEASE ALL HOSTILITIES immediately. In fact, even if your non-Muslim enemy offers you a peace offering, then you are obligated to accept it. So by rejecting Pervez Musharraf’s repeated peace offers, not only did these looters, losers and corrupters expose the sham nature of their “democracy” rantings, they also demonstrated how far removed from Islam they truly are.

How on earth can we accept these evil people to bring about democracy in Pakistan when there is no democracy within their parties? Their parties are family properties and this is the way they also envisage running Pakistan.

After today, I hope and pray that Nawaz Sharif and Zardari break all records of looting Pakistan this time around. We deserve it. Since we voted for these confirmed looters, then let them do what they do best: loot. We do not deserve to have good, decent, sober-minded and intelligent rulers such as Pervez Musharraf, for whom only Pakistan comes first. No, we deserve the Sharifs, the Zardaris, the Walis, the Qazis and every other incompetent dimwit and duffer we can think of. You name the idiot and we deserve him/her.

I pray that Allah Subhana Watala punishes and humiliates Nawaz Sharif, Shabaz Sharif, Zardari, Bilawal Zardari, Asfandaryar Wali, Qazi Husain, the liar Ahsan Iqbal, the weird Sherry Rahman and Fazal urRahman (and all other associated crooks) in this world and also punishes and humiliates them in the hereafter, burning them in the fire whose fuel is men and stones. I pray that Allah always protects Pervez Musharraf, his family, friends and all loved ones, grants them courage and patience and make it possible for them to live in peace and normality in Pakistan or wherever they wish to reside. Ameen.

Always your supporters…

Pervez Musharraf hameesha paindabad!