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- Part of the documentation for Emergency 2007
Emergency--A Personal StoryEdit
On Saturday 3rd November, 2007, General Pervez Musharraf declared emergency, suspended the constitution and promulgated PCO (Provisional Constitution Order). This happened in the wake of the expected decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan against General Musharraf’s entitlement to contest presidential elections in uniform, which is against the constitution. Moreover it was also apprehended that Supreme Court will declare NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) null and void, hence it was a big threat for Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf-Benazir alliance as dictated by the U.S.
Soon after the declaration, cable operators were ordered to stop the independent news channels. Cable operators took off their dish antennas. Now only people sitting outside Pakistan can see these channels, hence are more aware about the developments in Pakistan than the people living in Pakistan (except for those who have dish antennas).
Today I saw one taxi taking dish antenna—Pakistanis are reverting back to that era. State-run PTV is the only news channel available; it is praising the king and his courtiers and is on a spree of brainwashing, so that people of Pakistan would realize how lucky they are that emergency has been promulgated and has saved them from suicide bombers, and some are believing this as they don’t read and think.
The next step was to stop the agitation, therefore the crackdown started on the most vocal section of the society i.e. the lawyers. Thousands of lawyers have so far been arrested across Pakistan, along with various political leaders, media persons and journalists. Majority of the Judges were removed as well as they refused to take oath under PCO.
As you are aware that the seven member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaoudhry has already given their verdict about the illegality of Musharraf’s action.
Saturday 3rd November’s night at around 11.00 p.m police came to arrest my father and when did not find him took away my brother-in-law Masroor Alvi; he was detained, threatened and harassed. He is a patient of blood pressure and hypertension, hence his health started deteriorating. At around 2.00 a.m police dropped him back at home. But at 9.00 a.m picked him up again, to pressurize my father to come out of his hideout.
November 4, 2007Edit
My father reached home at around 10.30 a.m, Police came at 11.00 a.m and took him to Mobina Town Police Station. There we waited for around 4 hours and then someone brought the MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) as under:
Thereafter police took him to Central Jail, Karachi. We had prepared a bag, but the jail staff allowed only medicines, toothpaste/brush and a shalwar suit.
We requested to give him the book also, but they did not agree. So we dropped him there at around 5.00 p.m and came back.
From Mobina Town Thana, my father had spoken to Mr. Rizwan Siddiqui, Deputy Attorney General, Sindh for provision of proper class in jail, who had promised for that. My father could not be contact Khawaja Naveed- Attorney General of Sindh. I talked to Khawaja Naveed in the evening--first he showed his astonishment over my father’s arrest and then promised to do efforts for giving him proper class.
We had already taken my father’s mobile phone, otherwise that would have been taken over by jail staff. So whoever called we informed them of the situation. My father had asked me to give copy of MPO to bar’s committee.
In the night I talked to Mr. Yasin Azad, he called me himself and asked me that whenever I need his help, just tell him the place and he will reach there. That was very nice of him.
Late in night Obaid Ur Rahman called from the U.S. and guided me to file application for not only provision of proper class, but also for meeting and provision of food from home. He rightly guided that a formal application is a must.
November 5, 2007 Edit
So in the morning, first I called Yasin Azad at around 9.00 a.m, he informed that he is in bar room, but police has cordoned off the whole area and is not allowing lawyers to enter, so if I want to come, I should come from the barracks side. Moreover he also apprised me that because of the strike, no application can be moved in High Court and guided me to submit it with the Home Department.
Therefore I reached office, as I had to take my father’s NTN (National Tax Number) Certificate; prepared the application there and went to the Home Department and submitted the application. I printed the application on plain paper instead of Letter Head, so that they don’t become apprehensive and refuse to take the application. I went there and submitted the application with the despatch department. The clerk there received it, entered it into the despatch register and acknowledged my copy. The application is as follows:
At first, I had a plan that after submitting application, I will try to meet the Secretary to the home department. But then I thought that he might order for return of application and take back the acknowledgment, so I quickly left the place.
After that I made copies and reached to Farid Dayo’s office along with Masroor Bhai. Farid Dayo is at good terms with Imtiaz Shaikh a politician of Pir Pagaro’s group, so that he may push for the order on the application.
From there Farid Dayo and Masroor Bhai went to Imtiaz Shaikh’s house and I along with Mujeeb (my father’s clerk) and my father’s driver Riaz Hussain reached office, but quickly took lap top, printer, papers, letter heads etc., closed the office and came home.
We closed office, because Police had baton charged at High Court and District Court and had taken many lawyers in custody and they were still looking for many lawyers. From the sweep at District Court, they also arrested Aqil Hussain (a lawyer who works at my father’s law firm). So far we know that Mustafa Lakhani, Iftikhar Qazi, Rasheed Rizvi, and others have also been arrested.
From home I took lunch for my father, called Nasir and asked him to meet me outside jail, as I did not want to take the lunch as it was our first visit there and as police was searching for lawyers, so I thought to abstain from going inside so that I may file petition and pursue other matters for my father. My uncle also reached there. The meeting time at jail is from 8.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m, for which entry is made from 8.00 a.m to 2.00 p.m. On Friday the meeting time is from 8.00 to 11.30 a.m but with prisoners in B class. To meet an application along with copy of ID card is given.
But because my father was detained under MPO, hence there was no permission to meet him.
However in the morning the jail doctor had met him (found out through a government doctor in our family) and had provided water, biscuits to him. Later on we learned that my father has been kept in a room with two other people: President of Malir Bar Association and a leader of Tehrik-e-Insaf.
In the first phase, they refused to allow food. But then Farid Dayo talked to someone, who called jail superintendent, who permitted the food, which was taken by a constable and he did not allow for meeting.
From jail I went to my father’s home to look for his medical file, which I did not find but took his testimonials file.
My mother also came with me.
On our way home, I sent the application submitted with Home Department to the Superintendent Central Jail through TCS.
November 6, 2007Edit
Alhamdolillah all factions of civil society are condemning illegality of the emergency rule and the tyranny. I felt a joy that LUMS students have also protested against this.
We must write to all professional organizations in Pakistan as well as world over, apprising them of the situation going on in Pakistan and asking them to pass resolutions against this, give it to press and show their resentment through boycotts and refusing to cooperate with supporters of such illegal acts.