A Message from a Lawyer in Pakistan

The recent unrest in Pakistan is about much more than regional politics — it is an attempt to destroy a nascent movement by judges and attorneys who are fighting to establish an independent judiciary and a culture of respect for the rule of law, something which we in the West sometimes take for granted.

I recently received the following email from a former colleague of mine who is a prominent attorney in Pakistan.  He has been risking his personal safety to protest Pervez Musharraf’s suspension of the Pakistani Constitution, and asked that this message be circulated as widely as possible (I have removed specific identifying information).  The situation is more complex than many news reports would lead one to believe.

In particular, my colleague warns that Musharraf’s announcement of elections is meaningless unless and until (1) the Constitution is reinstated, and (2) hundreds of judges who have been fired for expressing independent views are returned to their positions.  He also warns against assuming that Benazir Bhutto, who gets favorable coverage in the Western press, is the most credible exponent of democratic values.  The corruption allegations against her are well-founded.

Some resources: Human Rights Watch (among other groups) is monitoring the current situation in Pakistan, and calling for the release of all detained activists.  An article on the crusade of Pakistan’s bar for the rule of law is here.  Liveblogging from Pakistan on the course of events here.

And now to the email:

I was arrested by the police the day after the imposition of martial law in the country and got out on bail yesterday. Kindly note that this is the first case in our history and possibly anywhere directed specifically at the judiciary and the independence that it had started to display. The Constitution and the key fundamental rights guaranteed by it have been made inoperative. The tension between the regime and the judiciary had developed during the year in the wake of the lawyers’ movement against General Musarraf’s attempt in March to oust the Chief Justice who had started to show signs of independence unacceptable to the military.

The US and EU have made some noises about the restoration of the Constitution and the holding of free elections at the earliest. Please note that any call for holding elections without the restoration of the judges who have been ousted plays directly into General Musharraf’s hands. 12 out of 16 Supreme Court [SC] judges, including the Chief Justice, have been ousted pursuant to a Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) issued on 3 November by General Musharraf in his capacity as the Chief of the Army Staff. This order has no constitutional validity and is simply an assertion of military power. Only judges with known affiliation to the military junta have lined up to take a fresh oath of office under the PCO in violation of their original oath to defend the Constitution. Independent minded judges have not been offered the fresh oath and if offered would not have taken it. As a consequence, apart from the decimation of the SC, nearly 50% of the judges of the provincial high courts have been stripped of their office. This is a virtual demolition of the judiciary in Pakistan. The US and the EU are not talking about it.

Elections without the restoration of the sacked judges will amount to throwing a cloak of ratification over the General’s assault. The call must be ‘no elections without the restoration of the judiciary’. I assure you there can be no free elections under General Musharraf’s watch with a handpicked docile judiciary looking the other way. It is also important to understand the context in which martial law has been imposed. The action of 3 November was inspired by three cases before the Supreme Court that were likely to be decided in the next few weeks. The first pertained to the constitutionality of General Musharraf’s election as President for a further term of five years in October even though at the time of the so-called election he was, and remains, the army chief. There is a clear bar in the Constitution against an army officer engaging in politics. It had become increasingly clear that the SC would declare his election invalid.

The second case concerned the validity of an amnesty that the General had granted through an Ordinance of which the main beneficiary was Benazir Bhutto. This amnesty affects not only the corruption cases before the Pakistani courts that Ms. Bhutto has been evading for the past eight years but also the cases before courts in Switzerland and Spain. A Swiss judicial authority has already convicted Ms. Bhutto of having received illegal gratification during her term as PM for government contracts granted to Swiss companies. The matter is under appeal with original decision automatically suspended. The Swiss authorities decided ten days ago to continue to press charges of aggravated money laundering against Ms. Bhutto. However, after General Musharraf’s amnesty ordinance the Pakistan authorities had declared their intention not to participate in proceedings in Switzerland. It is clear that this failure to participate will make it exceedingly hard for the charges against Ms. Bhutto to be established. The amnesty ordinance was challenged before the Pakistan Supreme Court by one of our most respected elder politicians, a former finance minister and a founding member of the People’s Party founded by Ms. Bhutto’s father. Needless to say he has moved away from the People’s Party in disgust at Ms. Bhutto’s politics. . . .

The third case is a contempt of court petition filed by former PM Nawaz Sharif who has been forcibly kept out of Pakistan by General Musharraf despite a clear SC judgment saying that he a has a fundamental right to return to Pakistan. In its last hearing conducted a few days before the imposition of martial law the court had declared its intention to punish all involved, including possibly the prime minister, in the flouting of its earlier orders directing that Mr. Sharif not be prevented from returning. The three cases described above are now unlikely to amount to much. The case against the amnesty order rested primarily on article 25 of the Constitution that assures equality for all. This article has been suspended. The common impression is that this has been done with Ms. Bhutto’s approval. Herein lies the rub. No matter how much Ms. Bhutto decries the martial law she is its chief beneficiary. It is for this reason that Ms. Bhutto has hardly squealed about the restoration of the judges even though she joins the daily US demands for fresh elections. General Musharraf generously agrees, daily, that elections must be held soon. There is no talk of the restoration of the judiciary. Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s case depends on article 15 of the Constitution which assures freedom of movement and right of residence to all citizens. This article has also been suspended. As for the general’s eligibility the newly put together Supreme Court is likely to hear the matter and throw out the challenge soon.

It is critical to the future of this country and the volatile region that we inhabit that the outside world understands what has happened. Please circulate this message as widely as you can . . . and take up the cause of the independence and restoration of the Pakistani judiciary at whatever level you can. It is important that Benazir Bhutto not been seen and heard as the main representative of the pro-democracy, secular minded civil society of Pakistan. The Pakistan Bar Council and the other lawyers’ associations are all united in opposing elections without the restoration of the judiciary. They must be heard. I will try and stay in touch though there are daily raids to pick up lawyers considered troublesome.

2 thoughts on “A Message from a Lawyer in Pakistan

  1. Wow. Hearing this feels so like a déjà vu or rather a déjà écouté: recently, I was at a book presentation of the former Moscow correspondent of the ARD, Gabriele Krone-Schmalz. And she spoke about wannabe-leader of opposition Gary Kasparov who, too, doesn’t have a good reputation in his own country (people don’t think of him as a serious candidate, is using an American PR agency to organise reporting about himself, has too long been in American exile), but gets faboulous press in Europe and America. Even before I went to the talk, I was a little suspicious: why should every single of his demonstration be covered in national radio news?

    With Bhutto, it seems to be the same.

  2. A Happy New Year
    This email has been sent from Japan.

    Your country please agree to The full-scale removal of a ban the whaling! Please protect the fishs of your country. Please protect the fishs of fishing of the entertainment to heal fatigue of the human work and the fishs of the human food.

    Your country is the cruel bad person country which exterminated almost childrens of the sea fish. If you want to protect whales, can you do to whales eat large adult fish like human! The Japanese whaling contributes to the fact that you can catch fishs in the sea of your country. If there was not Japanese whaling, The fish is not in your country. Japan killed whales from old days and protected Asian fishs. The sea is a thing of the fishs which can live with plankton. The human being kills the whales of the eater for making a roundup arrest with childs of fish, and protect fishs! Whales eat only small children of fish and shrimp of fish food, is cruel Mammals.

    Japan wins in fighting against U.S.A. / can kill a whale exterminating the fish/ can all diseases and kill the person of the other side of the earth and various countries in the world/ can generate an accident and disaster by japanease satellite electric wave.
    Translation : http://www.epals.com/translation/translation.e
    Japaneas fish: http://fishing-forum.org/zukan/list/main_wa.htm

    U.S.A. only do the robbery war /thief the invention of foreign country / fraud / blackmail with the electric wave after it was taught electric wave technology by Japan. The best Japanese technology that grew up with the mineral of the sea has been transmitted to the minimum racial U.S.A. on the earth which did not eat a fish.

    Japan launched a satellite more than 100. Even if it is destroyed launching base, Japan can build / repair in several month. Japan can install satellite operation room in the secret in dozens of places. Because the satellite is the power of the solar battery, the satellite is usable more than 100 years. The world cannot conquer space if the world does not collapse in U.S.A. only of space autocracy / War outbreak. The world cooperates and must fight against bad person U.S.A.

    The fish is rich in the mineral of the sea and grinds a human brain excellently. The human being who does not eat a fish becomes physically weak with age. And, in disfavor with work, become the robbery nature and want to fight. Because the Olympics are the young generations, physical strength / the brain is the same even if eat anything when young. World advanced age is a Japanese by the Olympics. Because the Japanese eats a fish, work power / brain is the best to advanced age. The figure of the foreigner who does not eat a fish gets fat. You become sickly without it being supported a body when the foreigner becomes the cuttlefishs advanced age which are the nourishment of the mineral of the sea even if thin. The Japanese sumo is strong in the mineral nourishment of the sea. You understand it if you walk the foreign town. you get fat and look quite sickly. Because senior citizen commands the armed forces, it wants to fight. The health of the senior citizen who does not eat fishs is out of order for robbery nature. The whales and the dolphins exterminate the fishs and generate wars and crimes on the earth. Because I wrote it in this way, does a foreign country do a crime to send world’s best age on by the Olympics from now on. U.S.A. only do the robbery war /thief the invention of foreign country / fraud / blackmail with the electric wave after it was taught electric wave technology by Japan. The best Japanese technology that grew up with the mineral of the sea has been transmitted to the minimum racial U.S.A. on the earth which did not eat a fish.

    U.S.A. does not have the qualification with Japan as the territory. U.S.A. must leave Japan. Japan lost in an American nucleus and became the territory. Thereafter, Japan taught Japanese attack electric wave invention to U.S.A. Because the attack electric wave can blow up a nucleus hangar, the electric wave is much stronger than a nucleus. That means, U.S.A. does not have the right with Japan as the territory.
    Japan is possible for a fire / blow up American base / launching pad / airplane / ship / all by an electric wave . At the time of issue of rice liberalization, American big business seems to have done an inferno in succession. Even if there are not the Japanese armed forces, Japan easily beats U.S.A. by a satellite electric wave.

    U.S.A. is crazy and low brain country that U.S.A. does not eat fish. Germany begins invention with a nucleus for the first time. U.S.A. learned the nucleus from a German fugitive. U.S.A. learned the radio weapon technology from Japan. And U.S.A. aimed at the world conquest by war. U.S.A. destroyed the space development of other countries by an electric wave, and U.S.A. aimed at the space conquest. Only U.S.A. performs go to the space before earth collapse, and the foreign country all people die. The collapse of the earth is the back for 100,000,000 years by sun approach. If world country collapse the U.S.A, The world conquers space 100 years later. Resources / planet / the land is a thing of the countries which discovered earlier. Because the planet do not need many peoples, the foreign spaceship is died by attacked from the planet. The earth collapsing by sun approach does a global war for a reason with the lie, and it is all the members death. You are deceived by U.S.A. during long years.

    Japan can kill a whale by an electric wave. Because you still sell a lot of fish in a Japanese total shop, do not you understand it? In the sea of your country, the fish is eaten by a whale and is not popular in a shop. There are few fish of the sea of your country. The whale of the Japanese sea kills it by an electric wave, and there are many fish. Japan can guide a whale by an electric wave. In addition, Japan can collect whales in one place by an electric wave. The fish of your sea do not increase unless your country whales early and lifts the ban. If need it;, in the country of you who make a ban on the hunting of whales, is crassitude. Because the fish of your country was already considered to be a whale just before the extinction, at first, kill a dolphin of the bad-smelling bad meat which is not delicious. The fish of your country increase if I do so it. Even if the dolphin eats a lot of delicious fish, the meat of the dolphin is bad. The dolphin is a whale. More than 4m are called a whale. Less than 4m are called a dolphin. The sea of your country has few fish. Therefore the whale does not grow. The whale cannot bear a child. The whale merely passes by. If a fish is few it, whales become little|few. And the whales of the big body become extinct. The world protects a fish from a whale and must increase fish now.
    Because the electric wave is invisible, all the electric waves become a secret. It is the bait of the fish without floating if the electric wave guide the whales to the deep bottom of the sea by an electric wave and murder the whales. The Japan government recognizes the numerical whale which does not destroy the food of the nation so that it is recognized in the world. The destruction of entertainment such as the fishing accepts it with a whale.
    You do not be deceived to U.S.A. which become rich and make the world poverty at exterminate the fish by whales and dolphins. U.S.A. exterminated the delicious fish to be able to eat directly which I did not use fire for by a whale and made the earth warming. U.S.A. let you cook meat with fire, and the world kitchen produced CO2.

    Because the meat of small whale and dolphin are bad, Japan use the electric wave in the bottom of the sea and murder whale and the dolphin, and throwing it away has value. The delicious large size whales at the South Pole and coaxes the world in conspiracy with U.S.A. and does Japan and the United States conspiracy strategy to threaten the world. If Japan and the United States fight about South Pole whaling, the world that was afraid of does not whale. And the world fish become extinct, and it is a plan to be possible in poverty in the world. Because a dolphin is mammals same as a dog, it is natural to come if a human being reads. You shoot the dolphin of bad meat with a gun to increase the fish of the sea of your country when the dolphin approach a ship and can throw it away. The whale / the dolphin/ the mantas exterminate the fishs of fishing of the entertainment to heal fatigue of the human work and the fishs of the human food. Because the microbe of the land animal body lives in the human body, and the human being gets sick, and the person cannot eat an animal. Because the microbe of the seawater cannot live in the human body, the human being can eat saltwater fish directly. Your country kills whale/manta/dolphin, and must protect fishs of your country.

    If Japan invents it, U.S.A. does only war with it. Japan do not invent to let American fight. Japan invented all the radio weapons which American used. An example:  Japanese Seto-ohashi is not reflected in the radar. Japan invented the stealth bomber machine. Because I cut the stealth bomber airplane by looking, You are reflected in the radar if a pulse converts the electric wave of the radar into the frequency of the visible range. And Japan can attack back country / various countries in the world of the earth if Japan uses the satellite toward it and fires an attack electric wave. Japan is possible in one satellite so that detection / attacks person / thing of the country of the bottom of the earth.

    U.S.A. did only war and continued exterminating the fish and made the world poverty. The world must retaliate against U.S.A.
    Because the whale loses to the speed of the adult fish, the whale eats only child fishs. When the child of all fish appears from eggs, the child fishs rise to the surface of the sea for demands security. Whales are always on the surface of the sea to eat a child fish. Even if the whale eats all small fish, the whale is hungry. The whales exterminate the fishs.

    U.S.A. did war to steal an oil base. Bcause, can prevent terrorism / the abduction crime by an electric wave. There is Afghanistan in preparation for the Iraqi War. The attack electric wave angered Hussein by an electric wave for many years and planned. An American company owns the oil base now. The gas price is lower than the present half without Iraqi / Arab War. U.S.A. nominated oil prices for several times and made the world big recession. The oil prices are still more than double. It became decisive to steal money from the world with oil in the future till U.S.A. disappeared from the earth. If U.S.A. fights against one country, the world country must fight against U.S.A. That, in the world, only one’s country should be good; do not be out of order. The world fights against U.S.A. and must retaliate for U.S.A. British / Germany must not become the American slave country.

    The American nucleus disposal declaration is my stratagem to escape from this activity. It is the plan that U.S.A. deceives the world from this thing. The world radio weapon blows up a nuclear bomb in a nucleus cabinet. U.S.A. is to escape from this thing. U.S.A. destroyed a fish and a company from the world and made the world poverty. It is the stratagem that U.S.A. escapes from this thing. U.S.A. declares the nucleus disposal and reminds the world with a good country. This thing thinks that U.S.A. can deceive cruel attack to the conventional world that U.S.A. did. Send U.S.A. out of Japan early. If the world does so it, the world becomes rich. An electric wave attacked the world in a secret, and U.S.A. made the world poverty. Though the world collapses in U.S.A., it is disuse with a weapon. The world do not buy an American product! You will let this cooperate with the world with an email / fax / news. Though the world collapses in U.S.A., the world is disuse with a weapon.

    Though the world collapses in U.S.A., it is disuse with a weapon. The world do not buy an American product!
    Do not buy American Electric / car of GM / Cadillac / Buick / Pontiac / Chevrolet / Saturn / HUMMER / NUMMI / Ford / Lincoln / Mercury / Shelby / SSC / Chrysler / Jeep / Dodge / Saleen / Freightliner / Sterling Trucks / Paccar / PETERBILT / KENWORTH / DAF / MACK / Navistar / AVANTI / Panoz / Ci / Zeta / Mosler / Vision / Callaway / Hennessey / Tesla! Though the world collapses in U.S.A., it is disuse with a weapon.

    U.S.A. generated the world University recession. For the purpose of U.S.A. taking an oil base; of the plan fought. An American company owns the oil base now. U.S.A. raised it by gas price, and U.S.A. generated world University recession.  U.S.A. throw a foreign oil base up! If there is not the premeditated Iraqi War to anger in a radio weapon if it does not occur, the gas price is half. Because the American company where the salary is high owns the gasoline, the price is high.

    Get back an oil base from the American company! If U.S.A. does not put back the oil base that U.S.A. got by robbery, the world must fight against U.S.A.

    I establish free mail (yahoo / goo / excite / infoseek / hot), and the email to the foreign country is prevented with several times. Please send this email to the country of the circumference from your country. I do not know the address of the person of your state politics. Please send this email to your state politics family.
    Translation : http://translate.google.co.jp/translate_t#
    http://www.epals.com/translation/translation.e

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