Police used batons and teargas on Saturday to disperse hundreds of lawyers protesting against President Pervez Musharraf’s candidacy in next week’s presidential election, officials and witnesses said. The police also targeted the media and several journalists were injured. Violence erupted outside the Election Commission in Islamabad after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz arrived. Aziz officially proposed Musharraf for president, and was at the commission in case he needed to defend the nomination during scrutiny. Police fired tear gas and used batons to break up a group of about 900 lawyers and activists who tried to march from the Supreme Court, across an avenue, to the Election Commission. At least a dozen lawyers were seen with bloody heads and several people were overcome by tear gas. An official claimed 12 police had been hurt. “It was a peaceful protest but police beat up women lawyers. Policemen were laughing and enjoying it as they were beating lawyers,” said prominent human rights lawyer Asma Jehangir, wearing a blood-stained white scarf. Police later fired more tear gas, apparently to keep protesters bottled up in the Supreme Court compound. Cable news channels went off the air in Islamabad but it was unclear if authorities had blocked coverage of the protests.
Supreme Court of Pakistan today in its epoch-making short verdict dismissed all the constitutional petitions declaring them not maintainable and, thereby, President General Pervez Musharraf could contest the presidential election.
One of my acquaintances got a bad experience with Motor-way police on Lahore-Islamabad motorway.
I am quoting the letter to the editor that he wrote (which can also be found here).
(Motorway) Police State
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I am a graduate of GIKI and presently working in a US-based oilfield services company in Islamabad. Please note that I am a heavy tax payer to Government of Pakistan. My brother, Ali Farooqi, is a second year student at GIKI.
I and my brother were travelling on the M-2 Motorway on September 24. We entered the Lahore interchange at around six am. The duty inspector, Malik Liaquat, in car with registration IDP 2337, asked me for a lift on behalf of his colleague/friend. I politely declined and parked my car near the motorway office at the Lahore interchange and went to the washroom. When I came back, my brother told me that inspector has taken away the entry card and wanted to see me. I did that and was told that my car was wrongly parked. I told him that there were several cars parked along side my car and that there was no “No parking” sign in front of the office. Thereafter, he told me that I have a sun shade on the back screen of the car which is illegal.
The sun shade is completely transparent and I also showed him at least three cars parked there with similar sun shades. Then, he asked me for my driving licence, for which I declined since I was not carrying it at that time. I asked him that he can fine me for that. By this time at least four other police officers also came to the scene. I was then accused of driving a stolen car but this was resolved after showing the vehicle’s registration papers. While processing the fine, Malik Liaqat started using disrespectful words. In response I asked him to be polite and behave appropriately but he paid no heed and continued in the same vein.
I told him that he was a civil servant and should at least show respect to common people. The police officer then proceeded to slap me on my face and abused me – while my sister was nearby. The other four policemen then held me and my brother physically while Malik Liaquat took off his police boots and hit both of us at least four to five times.
I was also accused of hitting Malik Liaquat and of tearing a button from his uniform. This was a false allegation since I had not even touched him. One of the police officers took me to aside and suggested that I shouldn’t stretch the issue since Inspector Malik Liaquat was “really angry” and had even called the nearby police to come and arrest me. I then went to my car. I telephoned my cousin who is a lawer. Meanwhile, the police also came but the officer who had taken me aside kept them at bay. I was then persuaded to write an apology letter clearly stating that I had used abusive language against the inspector and that I was sorry for that. Furthermore, I was told to write that Inspector Malik Liaquat had done no harm to me.
In the meantime, my lawyer cousin arrived at the scene. He told me to reject writing any such letter and advised me to take legal action. This worried the police officials and they then became engaged in discussions with my cousin. After some time, these discussions ended and the motorway police allowed me to leave.
This is a case of pure harassment case involving several uniformed motorway police officers. I was insulted and beaten up on the road side and I was pressurized to write (almost) an apology letter when I had done no wrong. This incident has put me in a state of mental shock and has shattered my image of a cooperative and helpful motorway police. If people like me are treated this way then what to talk of people who have no support from friends and family. Clearly, had my cousin not been a lawyer and had he not arrived at the scene in time I might have been sent behind bars or beaten further.
With expectations of a positive feedback and the expectation of not having such incidence in the future.
That will be great.
needless to say further…!
ECP will be getting the presidential contest applications today … !
Trouble the commuters between Islamabad and Rawalpindi will face is large … as Jang updated on its site …~
A few days in the evening I found a castle looking at Islamabad from the skies. It was an awesome view that I captured instantly …!
Title of this post suggests the true feelings of Pakistanis, especially the Cricket fan(atics) 24th’s eve.
I was deflated too but that lasted for few minutes only. Even if it was INDIA (PTV always refrer to them as Rawayiti Hareef and Thanks God not Parrosi Mulk) … so what … overall India Played well in the match. From our batting side; Imran suffered because of his injury and then only one Man stood by and lifted the already dead spirits of Pakistanis and he was Misbah. So why blame him for the ending shot – He actually saved us from an embarrasing defeat … Three Cheers for him. It was a good show, in fact a superb show. A game I truly enjoyed after so many months, maybe years.
A friend of mine, Syra, was today telling about her experience of watching the match in Jinnah Super (large screens were erected in Jinn, Super, and F-10 markaz for the cricketing nation) … I wish I can post the Video of her interesting description … goes like this:
The customers, the shopkeepers, families, kids, everybody who had come out for shopping had gathered outside Gol Chakar in front of the huge screen placed (in mid air). The crowd was simply dynamic and electrifying! Every run scored was celebrated. Almost everybody was praying for the win. There was thrill and excitement in the air. THEN, there was a huge roar when Misbah ul haq hit that sixer in the last over, and a sudden dead silence on the very next ball when he was caught behind. Heads down all around.
Nevertheless, watching the match with complete strangers all around you, cheering for Team Pakistan, praying together, jumping around for the same cause was a splendid experience.
So will you be cheering for our young Captain and talented boys (miss the some lousy drops ;-)) or going to feel bad and in IF state for ever??
Things usually are One Shot Away but it takes one to Play that Shot :-)
Ramadan is supposed to teach us Taqwa and self-control.
The other day I was coming from my home to office and I saw two people fighting near F-7/2 girls college.
Another day two people were fighting in the green-belt between H-8 and I-8 so badly that one of them was bleeding.
It’s a real pity to see people following exactly the opposite of what Ramadan is all about.
From the looks of it, it’s more of a dieting by day and crash-food at evenings.
But Ramadan is only to be gauged by Almighty Allah, so I probably shouldn’t be commenting much.
Have a blessed Ramada.
In case you missed the Out-of-Temper rant by Ahmad Raza Kasuri on Geo’s Program The Great Debate … here’s a clipping.
In my opinion, Ahmad Raza Kasuri did mention some valid points but he lost worth of all his words when he started abusing and Man, some serious abusing it was.
On Sunday the show was telecasted and on Monday a fellow-professional-Lawyer of his helped himself to a good black coating on Kasuri’s face. Kasuri is defending the case of Musharaf as Army Chief and President in Supreme Court.
Resisting from spraying …. on Flickr.
In wikipedia, an interesting entry was made, in relation to the Kasuriites offended by his use of Kasuri word with his name and acting such like …
Heads of Kasurites have bowed down because of nefarious language used by Ahamd Raza Khan Advocate in “The Great Debate” on GEO TV at 1905hrs at GEO TV on September 23, 2007. The last portion of the first episode of the programme “The Great Debate” shows Pakistani Public the ugly face of the Presidential Camp. Pakistani & International media should avoid using word “Kasuri” with the name of Ahmad Raza Khan Advocate.
You Say What?
I recently had the chance to visit Melody Food Park to get myself some Iftar stuff. I usually don’t buy stuff off make shift shops because of the hygiene conditions and all the “efforts” that go into preparing the meals. However, as I had no other option that day so I decided to risk it and reduce the damage by avoiding any street side shops. I saw some fruit on a fruit stall but all my enthusiasm to buy stuff from the vendor evaporated when I saw a dead rat lying a few yards away squat in the middle of the pathway. People were so callous about it that most of them did not even notice or bothered to take notice. One guy stepped on the rodent and I had to bring it to his attention that sir you just stepped on a dead animal with your slippers and have dragged it along with you over a few feet. Flies on rats were joyfully changing positions with the pakoras, samosas, and all the fruit on the stalls nearby. I talked to one of the shopkeepers that there is a dead rat lying right in front of your shop and are you going to do anything about it? Needless to say he gave my rant a cold shoulder, so I had to ask for a couple of plastic bags which I wore on my hands and removed the dead rodent from the spot myself.
A concert of Sufi Qalam by Arieb Azhar held in Lok Virsa, Open Air Theater earlier this month.