Tag Archives: Musharaf

4th Nov & 11 May; crossing University Ave.

Yes it is about elections in Pakistan, but it about my experience also….. and it’s invitation to cross the University Ave. so read if you are interested. It is about a day some years ago.

In less than 30 minutes I must have crossed the University Ave. 30 or 40 times; whenever the traffic light turned red and pedestrian light switched on, I crossed the road. I crossed it with my other friend and there might be 100 students doing the same thing, right on the corner of Swamp Restaurant.

Just an hour or so ago,  ABC news has said polls are closed and they were ready to declare Obama President of USA; date was Nov. 4 2008 (yes I had to go back and check date, as people who know me know I don’t remember dates).

And these students excited on the prospect of something new, on promise of something different, a change, these young people just few years in their twenties (some even younger than that)  were on roads of Gainesville. It looked so easy in the end, it looked like all the worry of past so many months of seeing Sarah Palin heart beat away from becoming the most powerful person on earth, was nothing.

I think there were some exams going around and few were told about the results while they were taking tests. And in some cases teachers promised they will not going to look at the results till the end of the class. Now when results were out, as per the boring tradition, no one knew what to do, no one knew if any celebratory party was going around. Gators did what we were accustomed to do, gather at University Ave. (some new kids don’t remember old days of us winning those championships and closing down of University Ave., good old days)

I don’t know how it started, but students started crossing the University Ave. 30, 40 people on each side whenever the pedestrian light switched students will cross the road, high fiving people coming from other direction, shaking hands and talking and enjoying.

It was a monumental moment, even for me who is not American. I who came from the country where every 10 years the army takes over, where the best leaders you get are Bhuttos, I who was sad and angered when I had seen my countrymen cheering for Musharaf; I was happy this change coming in a country which is blamed for many things wrong in my country. I was happy to see the system work.

Might be because this was first time I have seen the election really working and choosing a person which I felt was far better choice than opponent. Might be because there were not cries of rigging and Mc Cain accepted results quite honorably. Might be because I saw the process giving opportunity to people to prob the candidate (unfortunately the 2012 elections were quite a disappointment in that respect)

No, I was not disillusioned like many of my American friends (living in Pakistan makes you too wise and cynical to believe in the oratory skills of a leader), but his ideas were grate. He looked like a leader willing to take charge, willing to defend his position, willing to admit his mistakes.

Yes did I have hope, of course, I had hope, did I had expectation? No I did not had any expectation of him bringing world peace or changing the America in 100 days.  Or he is going to radically change the philosophy with which the big nations run the world.

Today I am hopeful that we are going to see the same thing in Pakistan, an election after 5 years of completion of the Constitutional Assembly. Election, not because someone took 10, 20 thousand people and blocked the constitution avenue or did the train march towards Islamabad (never understood this name, because no trains go to Islamabad) and not because Army general pushed his stick on the chest of PM for announcing elections.

And I am hopeful because an outsider has ruined the party for others, Imran Khan and PTI long time in making have finally got enough muscle to push the old guard a little bit. It is not same comfortable run towards election. Again I have hope, but I have no expectation.

Why I have no expectation, because like Obama, he is new but like Obama he has Old guard around him. Like Obama he has words, courage and vision but no clear path. No expectation because he did not understood beauty of system and cried of fall of government too many times in past five years. No expectation because he and most of his supporters think, matters could be solved by just nomination of one person. I have no expectation because he will have to do on job learning, it is different than coming on television and giving policy speech on prompt.

I have hope because unlike the two parties that have their roots in being raised by the Dictators this one does not (atleast not directly). To refresh memories both Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif were part of Dictatorship. Unlike the two other parties, this party does not appear to have roots in one area or province, unlike other parties it does not have the family members nominated or “elected” to main party posts. Unlike other parties it worked for last 15 years to reach here. Unlike other parties it does have “ideas” about the situation and are willing to come out and say them. Even when this lets supported of other “silent” parties claim title of “secular parties” (interesting to see PPP do that when PPP elected President of Pakistan was absent for air waves on the killing of the Governor of Punjab or of the Minister of Minority affairs).

I have hope because hundreds of thousands of youngsters that had nothing to do with this system few years back are putting their hearts in it. I know many will have their hearts broken within few months of election.

I have hope because I am up for long run and long fight, I don’t believe in miracles that change nations (I have seen too many of those) or in revolutions that claim to burn down old cancers. I believe is long, tiring battles where grounds are won inch by inch.

So yes I have hope, and I wish my people will vote (whoever you try to vote to, it’s up to you);

So yes I will, when the elections will be over and results come in, go to the University Ave. right in front of parking lot of the Chemistry department and will cross the road. I know it is totally unrelated and non-consequential action, benefiting no one. But I will be there for myself and for my hope of Pakistan’s future.  You are welcome to join.


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Me, Pakistan and media

Yes,  I am about to block all the websites that can give news about Pakistan. How can you concentrate after reading all this. Bomb blasts, rising prices, electricity not there, and now Shehbaz making stupid remarks.

One good thing is atleast they can’t say or do stupid things and get away with them; remember Zardari & Child Born in Rikshaw both President and PM both had to do something to correct it, electricity theft atPML-N rally and now Shehbar Sharif making this statement. Credit must go to media and some form of working democracy. Few years back during dictatorship of Musharaf clothes were tore away from the bodies of prominent protesters and nothing happened.

I know there are many other cases where our politician’s and their worker’s transgressions are covered up, but then democracy is also work in progress.

You, see that’s what happens, I start thinking about Pakistan, reading about Pakistan and then oh this, oh that keep bubbling in my mind.

Right now I have to concentrate on my work, that’s what Pakistan needs more people doing their job correctly. So bye bye news for sometime


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National Attitude of “Miti Pao G”?

PML-N gave the PPP 48 to stop ‘malicious campaign’ is the headline of the DAWN news (–szh-07)

What PML-N is calling a ‘malicious campaign’ is airing of fresh acquisitions regarding the Karachi Operation and who took what during the formation of the IJI.  They are asking people not to come and say what they think is true. Instead of responding the alligations with the facts they just want to dust it under the carpet.

We as a nation shy away from History. “Miti Pao G” style is the best technique we have found to avoid escalation of the conflict.  It does avoid the conflicts but  facts are never found, issues are never resolved and myths are developed around it; plus it allows people to re-surface them when time suits.  That’s what we are doing here, we are avoiding not resolving issues.

Why don’t they ask the Govt. to release the documents? It is not the issue of one party against other, it is issue of one Govt. Agency taking matters in their hand and politicians playing in their hand. This is issue of many people who have suffered voilence over the years in Karachi.

In all this our media has and will play vital role. Till now they have been keeping bygones be bygones, it is their duty to not to let this be our national chracter in future.

Our history is full of turns and suspecious acts requiring detailed discussion and investigation. For example  10 years have passed from the Musharaf’s overtake there has been no detailed documentary. No one is investigated the timeline and claims of either party.

More than enough time has passed when about 30 people were killed on day Cheif Justice was going to address in the Karachi. No one has arranged discussion, reviewed the footage, talked to the suspects, interviewed the victims.

Why?  might be afraid from reprisal. But who is not?

Till now our Columns are filled with the That-Minister, That-General, That-time; even the most popular columists rely on the prefaces, stories extracted from history, exagerated and un-colabrated truths, camouflaged in the sufi-ism. These are examples of lazy jounalism.

It is time that they stop having daramatic talk shows and start doing investigative reporting.

Many will say what difference will it make, will any one will be proscecuted? I think no, no one will be proscecuted.

This is not get any one to jail, but trying to get the facts straight. Such programs will make it difficult for the Govt., politicians and agencies to cover up the truths. Most importantly it will be vital to destroy the Conspiracy Theorists livelihood and popularity.

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Posted by on September 1, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Wealthy Bhutto’s and their poor villagers

{This post is not to paint Bhutto’s as villains but telling that they are no different than many other leaders except that they are more educated and charismatic }

In previous post I said that their own villages are very much in poverty.  I talked to my friend who lives near the Garhi Khuda Baksh and he also pointed out that those villages are no different than other villages of Pakistan. What I was trying to say is that, I appears strange to me if being Prime Minister of Pakistan Bhutto family could not do anything for their own village.

Infact to do something for their village they dont need Prime Ministership

As for their wealth have a look at newyorktimes article

Like other foreign leaders, Ms. Bhutto engaged a public relations firm to arrange meetings for her with administration officials, members of Congress and journalists. For the first six months of 2007, the firm Burson-Marsteller took in fees of close to $250,000 for work on behalf of Ms. Bhutto. 

Or CNN’s article”Commentary: Bhutto was essence of Pakistan”

I am not saying that she was alone in this, you will see the same thing in constituencies of many big leaders, they want to keep their farmers backward and poor, thats what benefits them. But these leaders do not move in the corridors of the Capital Hill and almost none of them have got degrees from Harvard or Oxford. They are not regarded as saviors of Pakistan from Western Media.

Unfortunately this education becomes zero when they are dealing with the poor of Pakistan. Just like Musharaf who’s speech becomes sober while talking to western media and whose Urdu speech is speech of Military leader wearing commando uniform.

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Posted by on December 30, 2007 in American Media, Benazir, Democracy, Pakistan, People, Politics


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Edhi Ambulances attacked

Stupid Stupid people, attacking the Edhi Ambulances, why why?

Burning the cars of the normal people on the roads, putting train on the fire. I know most of them are just opportunists but its the system that has failed. Mobile (cell phone)  network not working, police enclosed in their stations, ambulances not able to reach anyone its worst worst situation.

Even somewhere electricity has been closed, this will only enable miscreants to do the mischief. By closing the mobile network they are allowing the people to be in chaos.  For 8 years a person has ruled the country in the name of strengthening the system and when emergency comes the system fails like flatted balloon.


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Benazir Killed! Ramifications?

Finally her killers were able to kill her, remove her from scene. Last one of the Bhutto’s children also killed like her kins. In the long list of conspiracies one more has been added but it will echo a many years.

She might have long list of corruption both monetary and political but she was viewed as great leader for so many people of Pakistan. Her removal will going to affect Pakistan in a really bad way. Pakistan People Party (PPP) workers are known for their activism. They have already taken the streets. People have started rioting. Curfew might be imposed to control it.

However it’s the small problem, the big problem is that a major leader has been removed from the scene. Frankly if the elections are held in the fair way, now it will be really really difficult for Musharaf’s ally to win. But who will be the leader? Nawaz Sharif? he can not even contest the elections.

Benazir was not as big leader as his father Bhutoo. She was helped greatly by his father’s name. But now there is no one from Bhutoo’s family that could come in front and take the charge, the PPP would be run by someone not from Bhutoo.The impact of the larger than life leaders is that it shadows away all other leaders. It will take time before people will start recognizing anyone from her party. Right now there is only one person ‘Aitzaz Ahsan’ from her party being recognized and praised. Zardari might not be able to win the majority favor but he might be accepted for sometime to allow any one of the children to come and takeover the leadership. Yes my friends the political parties are like dynasties in Pakistan, unfortunate but true.

The other effect is who will be blamed? Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Musharaf or Pakistan Army, ISI ? There many suspicious names, but she herself have ruled out that she will be attacked by Taliban or people fighting in Nothern Areas, she was more inclined that ISI might try to kill her. Where will the anger go? Musharaf will be the most clear person, target of people’s anger.

Why I am writing this? I ask my self. People who have orchestrated these events would have thought about the future, but they dont know sometimes some events are too big to be handled by the planners.

I wish this event is the event which changes the direction of the nation in the right direction.

Long Live Pakistan


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Pakistani civil society’s answers to the governments propaganda Team in USA

I received this message from a friend in US. This was written in the reply of allegations made by the Musharaf’s PR team.

  • Dr. Nasim Ashraf, Minister of State, Government of Pakistan; Chairman, National Commission for Human Development
  • Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, Minister of Tourism and Youth Affairs, Government of Pakistan
  • Ms. Kashmala Tariq, Former Member, National Assembly of Pakistan

I found this document quite powerful rebuttal of the Govt.’s arguments.
Musharraf PR Team’s Mis-statements at Asia Society in New York on Friday Nov 30, 2007
(listen to the recording at:

Background: On November 3rd, 2007, General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan and its Chief of the Army Staff at the time, declared a state of Emergency and issued a “Provisional Constitutional Order” (PCO). Under the PCO, General Musharraf suspended that country’s 1973 Constitution depriving the people of Pakistan of their fundamental rights and preventing the actions of his government to be challenged in the Courts. The justices of the Supreme Court of Pakistan were ordered to take a fresh oath to abide by the PCO. The Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and seven other justices issued their own legal order calling General Musharraf’s declaration of Emergency unlawful and urged the military officials not to act on unlawful orders. General Musharraf then dismissed CJ Chaudhry and in his place swore in a pro-Musharraf member of the Supreme Court as the new Chief Justice. It should be noted that CJ Chaudhry was earlier dismissed by General Musharraf in March 2007 but was later reinstated as Chief Justice by a special bench of the Supreme Court.
In late November 2007, President Musharraf sent a Special Delegation to makes its official case in various cities in the
United States including New York and Washington DC. The delegation comprised of Mr. Nasim Ashraf (Minister of State and Chairman of National Commission for Human Development), Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif (Minister of Tourism and Youth Affairs) & Ms. Kashmala Tariq (Former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan). What follows are rebuttals to some of their mis-statements at an event at Asia Society in New York on Friday November 30, 2007. The event was co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and was moderated by Ambassador Nicholas Platt, President Emeritus of Asia Society and US Ambassador to Pakistan from 1991 to 1992. The audio of the event was made available by Asia Society on their website:

While listening to the tape, it becomes quite apparent rather quickly that the main target of this delegation was the Supreme Court of Pakistan and its deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Several mis-statements were made specifically with regards to the person of CJ Chaudhry in order to discredit him. The main objective of the delegation was to make a case that the pre-emergency Supreme Court of Pakistan, led by CJ Chaudhry, does not deserve to be reinstated under any circumstances.

Mis-statement # 1: The Supreme Court of Pakistan was releasing terrorists
Barrister Saif and Mr. Ashraf argued that the Supreme Court was releasing terrorists. Specifically, Barrister Saif stated that “Chaudhry after being reinstated took missing person’s case in which persons were ‘allegedly’ involved in terrorist activities.” (34:05)

Rebuttal: The Supreme Court never ordered the release of any person charged with any crime. Instead, it addressed a petition filed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) with the names of 485 individuals who had simply disappeared. Barrister Saif acknowledges on the tape that these people were “alleged” terrorists. These people had been picked up by Pakistan‘s intelligence agencies and had never been heard of again. Many of these people have been held without being charged for years. Many apparently have no connection to terrorism, but have no way of proving their innocence since the government does not even acknowledge holding them. At the request of the HRCP, the Supreme Court demanded that the basic right of Habeas Corpus be observed, and that these missing people be produced in court, and properly charged with crimes or offenses. In those instances where the intelligence agencies and the government were unable to provide any charge or supply even the most basic evidence against such individuals, the Courts ordered their release. There is nothing wrong with the Supreme Court demanding that, as per Pakistan‘s Constitution, any person in government custody be charged with a crime, and tried for it.

Mis-statement # 2: The Supreme Court ordered the re-opening of the Red Mosque
Barrister Saif stated that a two member bench of the Supreme Court ordered the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) to be opened.

Rebuttal: The two-member bench of the Supreme Court that ordered the reopening of the Lal Masjid was comprised of two judges who later took the oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) after the emergency was declared by General Musharraf on Nov 3rd. It is clear that those two judges, Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi and Justice Javed Buttar, are loyal to President Musharraf and it is not difficult to conjecture that these two “government judges” were instructed to issue such orders as a way of constructing a charge sheet against the Supreme Court and CJ Chaudhry.

Mis-statement # 3: The necessary military action in NWFP province was not possible without declaring Emergency on Nov 3rd
Mr. Ashraf argued that the Musharraf government needed the NWFP provincial government’s written approval to send military troops into Swat and because such an approval was not provided the Emergency declared on Nov 3rd was necessary for the military to carry on its operations in Swat.

Rebuttal: The NWFP provincial government had resigned and the provincial assembly was dissolved prior to Nov 3rd. The central government already had full authority to send the military into Swat before Nov 3rd and it did not need to declare Emergency on Nov 3rd to do so. Even the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) told several representatives of the media at a briefing at Military General Head Quarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi soon after Nov 3rd that the Emergency was not needed for the Swat operation. The GHQ briefing was attended by leading journalists and TV anchors including Ayesha Haroon, Nasim Zehra, Talat Hussain, Zaffar Abbas, Najam Sethi, Ejaz Haider, Kamran Khan and Shafqat Mahmood. It should be noted that President Musharraf and the newly appointed Army Chief General Kiyani both held the DGMO post earlier in their military careers. It should therefore be quite clear that when it comes to military matters, the DMGO has lot more pertinent knowledge compared to a civilian like Mr. Ashraf.

Mis-statement # 4: There was a long list of charges against Chief Justice Chaudhry
Barrister Saif and Mr. Ashraf stated the there was a long list of charges against CJ Chaudhry when he was initially deposed in March 2007.

These charges had their day in court, and were dismissed unanimously by an 11 member bench of the Supreme Court. Yet Barrister Saif continues to malign the Chief Justice by bringing them up. Specifically, these charges were the subject of a several months long proceeding before a full bench of the Supreme Court. During the proceedings the bench not only unanimously rejected the charges, but also dismissed them as being filed with mala fide (i.e. malicious) intent, and as being false on face value. Indeed, the government actually tendered a formal apology to the Supreme Court for several of the accusations which were false on their face, and were remarkably fined Rs. 100,000 for making baseless allegations. The credibility of these charges and thus the integrity of the Chief Justice can be judged by the fact that, last month,
Harvard Law School awarded Chief Justice Chaudhry its highest award, the Medal of Freedom. The most immediate past recipients of this award were Nelson Mandela, and the legal team which argued Brown vs. The Board of Education. In addition, the New York City Bar Association, in another vote of confidence in the integrity of the Chief Justice, has awarded him an honorary lifetime membership. This rare honor was last given to the late Chief Justice Rehnquist of the US Supreme Court.

Mis-statement # 5: Chief Justice Chaudhry was making political speeches
Barrister Saif stated that after CJ Chaudhry was first deposed in March 2007, he went around the country making political speeches at Bar Association events. He also stated that those events were political in nature with flags of all political parties flying in one place. (52:00)

The Bar Association event organizers only allowed lawyers who were members to attend the events with CJ Chaudhry. Members of political parties were not invited at these events. CJ Chaudhry made all his speeches regarding human rights and did not touch on political matters. There is no evidence whatsoever that CJ Chaudhry made any political speeches.

Mis-statement # 6: Chief Justice Chaudhry was planning on running for President
Barrister Saif alleged that Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan, who was CJ Chaudhry’s lawyer after he was first sacked in March 2007, had stated that CJ Chaudhry was planning on starting a “Justice Party” and CJ Chaudhry would be its presidential candidate. (52:30)

: Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan or CJ Chaudhry never made any comments regarding any new party or about CJ Chaudhry running for President. Like all other public servants, CJ Chaudhry cannot run for public office till two years after his retirement from the Supreme Court, as stated in the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. President Musharraf broke that law by running for President while still in a military uniform. The legal challenges against his actions were pending in the Supreme Court when he declared the Emergency on Nov 3rd.

Mis-statement # 7: None of the Supreme Court Judges are under house arrest
Barrister Saif stated that CJ Chaudhry and other judges are not under house arrest and there is no written order for their arrest. (38:09)

: CJ Chaudhry can’t get out of his house which is under heavy police guard and his closest relatives are not allowed to see him. CJ Chaudhry’s daughter was due to take her O-Levels exams and the British High Commission arranged for her to take her exams at CJ Chaudhry’s house as she was not allowed to leave the house by the police. Even the moderator of the Asia Society event, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, told Barrister Saif that the judges were indeed under house arrest. In addition,
US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson was not allowed by the police to meet with Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan who is also under house arrest after two weeks in solitary confinement in a prison. (

Mis-statement # 8: A leading Pakistani journalist said that the Supreme Court was to blame for the declaration of emergency
Mr. Ashraf quoted Mr. Najam Sethi of The Friday Times from an article where Mr. Sethi blamed CJ Chaudhry and the Supreme Court for pushing President Musharraf to a point where he had to declare the Emergency on Nov 3rd.

Rebuttal: Najam Sethi is indeed considered one of the prominent journalists of Pakistan but he is clearly in the very tiny minority among Pakistan‘s influential journalists. The following journalists who are as widely read as Najam Sethi have strongly criticized President Musharraf for his Nov 3rd actions and lay the blame fully at his feet: Ayaz Amir, Tanvir Ahmad Khan, Hasan Askari Rizvi, Nasim Zehra, Shafqat Mahmood, Tariq Fatemi & Zahid Hussain. The overwhelming majority of respected journalists are against President Musharraf’s declaration of the Emergency, including those who were previously somewhat sympathetic to him.

Mis-statement #9: Mr. Saif is a “neutral” member of the caretaker government
Barrister Saif stated in response to a question over the internet that he is a “neutral” member of the caretaker government installed by President Musharraf because he does not belong to a political party.

Rebuttal: Barrister Saif is not neutral. He was an Advisor to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs during the previous PML-Q government supported by President Musharraf. At the Asia Society event, he made the case in defense of the previous PML-Q government and blasted several major political parties in Pakistan as well as the lawyers, Supreme Court and the media. In every country of the world, except under the emergency in Pakistan, such a person is considered “biased”. Barrister Saif should be immediately removed from the “neutral” caretaker government and so should others belonging to the PML-Q party who are considered loyal to President Musharraf.

Mis-statement #10: International observers are welcome to come monitor elections
Ms. Tariq stated that “we welcome western observers to monitor the elections.” (50:58)

Rebuttal: US government has officially raised serious concerns that foreign election observers willing to rush to Pakistan are being denied visas by the Pakistan embassies, a matter which has been raised at the level of President Musharraf and caretaker Prime Minister Muhammed Mian Soomro. US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson held an urgent meeting with the caretaker PM to raise the issue while a delegation of US Congressmen, who called on General Pervez Musharraf on Friday, also informed him that visas were being denied to election observers. (

Mis-statement # 11: President Musharraf would not have to face the death penalty
Mr. Ashraf stated in response to a question that while he agreed that under the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, a military coup or martial law is punishable by death as its considered mutiny, President Musharraf was off the hook because the (hand-picked pro-Musharraf) judiciary post the coup in 1999 had upheld the coup and a 2/3rd majority of parliament (constituted after elections in 2002 which were considered by most to be massively rigged) had also condoned his actions.

Rebuttal: President Musharraf could still face the death penalty if the 1973 Constitution is reinstated. On Oct 12, 1999 the then-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sacked General Musharraf under powers vested in him by the Constitution of 1973 and replaced him with another general. Mr. Musharraf who was no longer the Chief of the Army as a result of the PM’s actions, later that day took the unlawful step of a military coup with the help of other military generals and breached Article 6 of the 1973 Constitution. The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan can indeed be amended by a 2/3rd majority of the Parliament and Provincial Assemblies but Article 6 has not been amended or deleted even by the pro-Musharraf government and it still states that a military coup is punishable by death without any statute of limitations. Therefore, President Musharraf could still face the death penalty for his actions on Oct 12, 1999. In addition, his actions on Nov 3, 2007 when he declared an emergency and revoked the 1973 Constitution (for the second time) are also punishable by death under the 1973 Constitution. As a matter of fact, President Musharraf recently admitted in a BBC interviews that he had in fact violated the 1973 Constitution on Nov 3rd. Since the Constitution cannot be amended until after it is reinstated and only an elected Parliament and Provincial Assemblies with 2/3rds majority have the right to amend it, the question at Asia Society by a member of the audience highlighted the lack of legal protection that President Musharaf would have under a reinstated 1973 Constitution. This could be one reason why President Musharraf does not want the pre-emergency Supreme Court and CJ Chaudhry to be restored.


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