Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Court’s dignity by stamping out corruption would have to be restored: CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has said that the real judiciary has been restored after a long time and now the dignity of the court and institution would have to be restored besides the judiciary would have to be cleaned of corruption.

At Room # 1 of the Supreme Court during hearing of a case, the Chief Justice in his remarks said that irregularities would not be tolerated in dispensing justice and added that the stories of corruption from civil judge to supreme court was common besides he urged upon the lawyers to co-operate with him in stamping out corruption.

He further said if there was any complaint of irregularity, then a petition could be filed in the Registrar Office. He said he was thankful to the people on their struggle for restoration of judiciary.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Flag hoisting ceremony at CJ's residence tomorrow: Athar Minallah

ISLAMABAD: Senior lawyers leader Athar Minallah said flag hoisting ceremony will be held at Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry’s residence tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference here, Athar Minallah said entire Pakistani nation is invited for the ceremony. He said lawyers and civil society played significant role in the restoration of judiciary.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

President Asif Zardari reinstates Justice Iftikhar as Chief Justice of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has endorsed the reinstatement of Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry as Chief Justice of Pakistan, the spokesman of Aiwan-e-Sadr said on Tuesday.

The spokesman said the restored judges include judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and High Courts. The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry will assume charge on March 22.

The formal notification regarding the reinstatement of the deposed judges of the superior judiciary, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, is likely to be issued today (Tuesday).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pakistani People’s power restores Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani early Monday morning announced reinstatement of the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other judges.

“I restore the deposed chief justice and others according to the promise made by me and the President,” Gilani said in a televised address to the nation.

The announcement, in light of the directive of President Asif Ali Zardari, met the main demand of the political parties and the lawyers’ community.

He said, “A notification to this effect is being issued now.” He said Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would replace Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, who retires on March 21.

Gilani said and pledged to “continue the politics of reconciliation.” The deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was removed from service by former President Pervez Musharraf on March 9, 2007, sparking a wave of protest that led to his resignation from his office on August 18, 2008.

The prime minister also announced reinstatement of other judges of the Supreme Court and said the number of judges for the apex court has already been increased through legislation to accommodate the reinstated judges.

The prime minister also announced that the federal government would file a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking reversal of the order of disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, and addressing all issues in light of the Charter of Democracy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

'Collective efforts' paved way for Musharraf’s exit: Nawaz Sharif

RAIWIND: Pakistan Muslim League-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that his party forced former President Pervez Musharraf to step down and the PPP or President Asif Ali Zardari did not do it all alone.

In an exclusive interview with Geo news senior correspondent Hamid Mir, Nawaz termed the NRO a big obstacle in the country’s progress and judicial independence. The PML-N chief said he has great respect for an independent judiciary but would not support the biased judiciary.

Nawaz said the nation holds deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry in high esteem. He expressed hope that the long march would be successful despite a massive crackdown by the government.

Nawaz said the country is passing through hard times and he was struggling for a greater cause.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nawaz Sharif says :Pakistan going through its worst crisis ever

ABBOTTABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif has asked the nation to get ready for offering sacrifices for a revolution in the country.

Addressing a charged rally here on Wednesday, Nawaz said time had come that the people should come on streets to change their destiny. He asked the people to take part in the long march of lawyers, if they wanted to change their fate.

Nawaz said President Asif Ali Zardari has again introduced the politics of horse-trading in the country. He lauded the efforts of Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Sardar Mehtab Khan and Pir Sabir Shah for the restoration of deposed judges and supremacy of constitution.

"Today is a defining moment in Pakistan's history. We can change the destiny of this country. Pakistan stands at a crossroads today and it is your duty to save it," Nawaz said.

"We want to change this outdated system because it poses a danger to our existence and they want to charge me for sedition," he told the rally of thousands of supporters, who cheered and waved party banners.

The PML-N Quaid said the people were facing a grim situation, because they had not learnt to rise up against the system. He said the PML-N would not go nation’s sacrifices unnoticed. He said the society was facing unrest, turmoil and anxiety because of the wrong and inconsistent policies of the previous and incumbent governments.

KANUPP restores power supply to KESC

KARACHI: The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) has restored electricity supply to KESC on Monday. KANUPP was shut down on January 24, 2009 for routine maintenance work. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Spokesman Tariq Rashid said that KANUPP was started and synchronised with the KESC grid at 8:50 am on Monday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pervez Musharraf for reconciliatory politics in country

KARACHI: Former president Pervez Musharraf Monday said that there should be politics of reconciliation in the country which is passing through a critical juncture.

He was addressing a press conference held immediately after his arrival at Karachi airport from India.

Pervez Musharraf said Sharif brothers are themselves responsible for whatever is happening with them.

Commenting on dealing with terrorist elements in the country, he said Pakistan must use iron clad hand to crush terrorists.

The former president extremist elements exist in our society but he ruled out success in war on terror only through use of force.

He expressed satisfaction to the kind of security being provided to him in Pakistan and added that he knows how to take care of himself.

Pervez Musharraf said he went to India as a common citizen for delivering lecture where he was provided security protocol of a former president. This kind of visits help remove misunderstandings, he added.

The scholars with whom I interacted during the visit questioned me with an open mind and also listened attentively to what I had to say.

He said he felt that India has more misperceptions.

Pervez Musharraf said good progress was being made on Kashmir issue during his regime.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pir Sahib Pagara sees ‘revolution’ coming

KARACHI: Chief of Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) Pir Pagara Saturday said a ‘revolution’ is on its way to the country.

Talking to newsmen here at Kingri House, he said just like Chaudhry brothers the political future of Sharif brothers is also bleak.

“If people would say wrong things and commit wrong deeds, it automatically paves way for a marshal law,” Pir Pagara predicted.

He observed that the lawyers’ work is to fight cases and not to hold long marches.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sri Lankan cricketers attacked on Pakistan's darkest hour in sports history

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

March 3, 2009 will go down in Pakistan’s sporting history as the darkest day. It was for the first time in Pakistan when the sportspersons were directly targeted. The visiting Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked when they were on their way to the Qaddafi Stadium on what was to be the third day of the second and final Test.

Half a dozen Pakistani policemen sacrificed their lives in the process of protecting the lives of the Sri Lankans, five of whom were among 19 wounded, in the daylight attack.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene, his deputy Kumar Sangakkara and the mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis received minor injuries but star batsman Thilan Samaraweera and opener Tharanga Paravitarana were seriously injured.

The Test match was abandoned right away and the tour was called off. The Sri Lankan squad, having endured nightmarish moments earlier in the day, must have heaved a sigh of relief after safely landing in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan captain was quick to point out, upon his arrival in Colombo, that it was their own terror background that helped them in saving their lives when the bus carrying them to the stadium was ambushed.

"We have been brought up in a background of terrorist activities. We are used to hearing, seeing these things - firing, bombings. So we ducked under our seats when the firing began. It was like natural instinct," he was quoted as saying.

Jayawardene, very sportingly, also said that the attack on the team could have happened anywhere and could not be pinned down to Pakistan.

The other teams might have panicked in such circumstances that would have obviously caused greater damage. The Sri Lankans handled the situation very well during and after the attack.

Sri Lanka, after having piled up a total in the excess of 600 in the first innings for the second Test running, must have believed that they had a realistic chance of winning the game which would have also given them the series.

Thee march towards victory was in their thoughts when they boarded the bus at 8.30 am. As Sangakkara wrote in his diary they were all looking forward to the third day's play and trying to win the series.

He added: The bus was full of the normal banter. Players traded stories, mostly about Lahore shopping, and cracked jokes. Others chatted about the cricket and the crucial first session. Then, as we approached the large roundabout before the Gaddafi Stadium, we suddenly heard a noise like a firecracker. The bus came to a halt and some of the guys jumped out of their seats to see what was happening. Then came the shout: "They are shooting at us!"

“The truth is we owe our lives to the courageous Mohammad Khalil, the driver. I will forever be grateful to him. The tyres of the bus had been shot out and he was in grave personal danger, exposed to gunfire at the front of the bus. But he was hell-bent on getting us to safety and, somehow, he got us moving again. Had Khalil not acted with such courage and presence of mind most of us would have been killed,” Sangakkara acknowledged like a true sportsman.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pakistan's World Cup hopes under threat

Pakistan cricket is facing a bleak future, with visiting teams certain to boycott tours to the troubled nation for the foreseeable future in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attack in Lahore. As international cricket pondered the ramifications, it became almost certain that Pakistan would be stripped of its status as the co-host of the 2011 World Cup.

Asked about plans for the World Cup, ICC president David Morgan was blunt in his assessment. "Things will have to change dramatically in Pakistan, in my opinion, if any of the games are to be staged there."

The chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, was less blunt but the message was the same. "It is pretty, pretty serious and it is very obvious that the landscape and the thinking has changed dramatically," Lorgat told Cricinfo. "We are going to have to reevaluate what we do and where Pakistan plays its cricket."

Those views were echoed by Sharad Pawar, the ICC vice president and former head of the Indian cricket board, a close ally of the Pakistan Cricket Board. India had been forced to abandon their tour of Pakistan in January following a government directive after the attacks on Mumbai.

Visting teams have experienced brushes with terrorism in the past but only now, with the Sri Lankans directly targeted by militants, is Pakistan faced with a blanket boycott. Even those who urged international teams not to abandon Pakistan have now accepted the inevitable.

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, said Pakistan hosting the World Cup in 2011 was now a "distant dream".

"How do you expect a foreign team to come to Pakistan now? We took pride in hosting our guests," Akram told ESPN Star. "This image has taken a beating. It's sad for Pakistan."

Waqar Younis, Akram's bowling partner, said the chances of foreign teams coming to Pakistan were now remote. "We have to agree with whatever the ICC decides," he said.

Ramiz Raja, another prominent voice in Pakistan, said he had never thought there would be a situation where sportspersons would be targeted in Pakistan.

The series against Sri Lanka was cancelled immediately after Tuesday's attacks, and similar announcements regarding other tours are expected in the coming months.

Australia, India, New Zealand and the West Indies are among the teams to have postponed or cancelled tours to Pakistan in recent years, and New Zealand will almost certainly call off their scheduled series there in November. The Black Caps experienced first-hand the dangers of touring Pakistan in 2002, when a bomb exploded outside their Karachi hotel, and NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan hinted strongly that the team would not return in the near future.

"It's very frightening that for the first time a cricket team appears to be the specific target of terrorist action," Vaughan told NZPA. "That's never happened before - all previous incidents have been about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a very different proposition and I think just a very frightening one for world cricket. You'd have to say this would throw further doubt over that tour but we don't make those decisions off the cuff like that. This is really serious."

Reg Dickason, the security consultant contracted by the ECB and CA, said he had long feared that terrorists in Pakistan would target cricketers. "A lot of the concerns we raised during the Champions Trophy have unfortunately come home to roost," Dickason said. "The notion of sporting teams being a protected species was held by many, but it was not a view that we shared, unfortunately.

"There were a number of factors we considered, including the global exposure an attack on an international sporting team could have. (Tours of Pakistan) are highly unlikely for the forseeable future given the present environment. How could you go there now? The Australians were supposed to have played there in March. This, unfortunately, is the realisation of many of the things we thought, and it is a terrible way to find out."

Geoff Lawson, who served as Pakistan coach until last October, feared the team would suffer from being cast into a nomadic existence. "Cricket won't be played in Pakistan for the foreseeable future," Lawson said. "Pakistan look like they will become a wandering cricket team now. They will be playing at neutral venues, because you can guarantee that there won't be games there [at home]. Obviously, there is no chance of the Champions Trophy or the World Cup going ahead there."

In a small vote of confidence, Cricket Australia confirmed its intention to proceed with an ODI series against Pakistan which, due to security concerns, had already been shifted to the United Arab Emirates.

"We do not expect this to affect the series (in the UAE)," CA spokesman Peter Young said. "We are due to complete a security inspection tour at the end of the week, and that is expected to go ahead as planned." (Cricinfo Report)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmed agree to participate in long march

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmed have agreed to fully participate in lawyers’ Long March.

Addressing a news conference with PML-N chief at Mansora, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that November 2 judiciary should be restored without any delay. He termed present situation in the country a constitutional deadlock.

JI Amir said that his party would fully participate in lawyers’ long march; he also thanked Mian Nawaz Sharif for visiting Mansora.