Tag Archives: Asif Zardari

Nawaz Sharif: A Statesman or a Compulsive Liar?

It was the afternoon of March 25, 2010. We were waiting for the session convening notification from presidency since the summary requisitioning the Joint session of the parliament had gone to the President at around 11:30 am earlier in the day. Normally it takes only couple of hours that the summary is approved by the President, faxed to the Speaker’s chamber / Secretary to the National Assembly who acts as the presiding officer for the Joint Parliamentary Session.

Why we were waiting for this important fascimile from president’s office was, this joint session had to be a historical one. After more than three decades, the spirit of provincial autonomy and sovereignty of the Parliament had to come back through a parliamentary committee’s recommended Constitutional Reforms Package. This package was to be passed by two third majority of the Houses separately. The reason everyone wa so sure of this much awaited development, to happen on March 25 was that every political player openly expressed its satisfaction over the constitutional package, which so surely appeared as the first ever consensus constitutional amendment document after the 1973 constitution itself.
Continuously in touch my source in the National Assembly, who appeared to be quite bored of my repeated phone calls, I stuck myself to TV Screen and laptop.When finally I contacted Speaker’s chamber directly at around 4:45 pm, for my entrance pass for the historic joint session, I got a rather unexpected answer. The official at the other end of phone line informed me that there’s was no summary for “tomorrow’s joint session” and asked me where did I get the news from, for any such session?

WHAT? Now I was sure there’s something going on in Islamabad, which none of us would be expecting. The summary was moved this morning, and was not only confirmed by our source in PM secretariat, but also couple of senior journalists who cover Parliament since long. We were, unofficially though, confirmed by all these sources that the summary has been faxed to the Presidency at around 11 – 11:30 am. And now Speaker’s Chamber tells us there was no plan for holding the session! What it could be? Despite my repeated attempts to call PML-N mid-level leadership, I could not get them. Confused and disappointed I tried to focus on what I was writing. And heck. There was the ticker going under the newscaster telling that the Session was postponed!

Whatever had happened must be disastrous, I thought. Pakhtunkhwah? But no, only this late morning, an internal meeting of PML-N had unanimously decided to vote for Pakhtunkhwah, according to a private news channel. Then what? The riddle soon was solved by Mian Nawaz Sharif, the Quaid of Muslim League Nawaz who held a press conference at 6 pm only to tell people that his party did not agree with the constitutional amendments the Committee for Constitutional Reforms (CCR) had come up with.

Little did he care for the questions he was evading, that arose from this sudden U-turn. The bizarreness of his pretexts to go back on his own words was so obvious and ugly that one was left wondering about how opportunist Pakistan’s politics had become! Thanks to the frequently coming boots, with the pet food they bring for shortsighted politicians, who are now completely unable to think beyond their petty personal interest.

What I did not understand from Mian sahib’s long face and sore argument, is not one point. Its a whole host of factors that come in.

ONE: He said he and his party did not agree with the constitutional reforms package in toto. The question arises, why couldn’t he and his party members tell this simple fact to the media and the Committee itself? They had consented in letter and spirit less than twenty hours ago and even till 11 am on the day of the press conference. Its a matter of common sense that the Prime Minister had not moved the session requisition summary to the President for the joint session, without taking into confidence biggest opposition party!

TWO: Mian sahib totally evaded the question on the name of Pakhtunkhwah and tilted the controversy towards the mechanism of Judges’ appointment issue. His own party members had on record told the media hours earlier, that the CCR had reached the consensus on Judges’ appointment issue.

THREE: Throughout the day on March 25, prior to the press conference, Islamabad’s offices were echoing with different kinds of news about the internal meeting of PML-N discussing the name of Pakhtunkhwah. There was absolutely no question about the judicial appointments that came to any discussion anywhere. Does that mean Mina Nawaz Sharif was lying with the people when he said in the Press Conference that the only major disagreement was on judicial appointments?

FOUR: In the Press Conference and after wards, Mian Nawaz Sharif kept saying that “the intent of making this committee was mala fide because we wanted to scrap the 17th amendment and the government linked it to other issues, only to delay”. May I remind Mian sahib that the Terms of Reference for the Committee were finalized with mutual consent, which was sought by the Speaker through Leaders of Opposition in national Assembly and the Senate. Secondly, why Mian sahib always choose to be dishonest with people so blatantly? Total scrap of 17th amendment was never in discussion. In fact, it was quite clear what all the parties unanimously agree to keep / remove from the 17th amendment. This amendment has many usefull clauses on which no sane person can disagree. These include reserved seats for women and minorities and voting age of 18 years among many others.

Mian sahib’s selective amnesia doesn’t even allow him to recall that most of Pakistan’s problems emanate from center’s refusal to grant provinces their rights. When he says that scrap of 17th amendment was simple just because it affects him and only him personally, but the provincial autonomy is too complex to discuss because it has no bearing on his person but has far reaching effects on people?

So, may we deduce that Mian sahib was lying to the people when he said that Committee’s linking with overall constitutional amendment was mala fide?

FIVE: Mian sahib in his landmark press conference (for which historian is never going to be able to forgive him if he doesn’t rectify it by immediate action), also said that he had major disagreement on judicial appointments. He was however, not able to tell, what those differences were, and why he did not voice those differences when he gave a go-ahead to the requisitioning of the Joint Session few hours ago? Was he lying to the nation?

SIX: Mian sahib told the media in the press conference that the government has taken out his party’s recommendations from the final document. He could not specify those recommendations niether could his party members in March 26 meeting of the Committee. Was he again, lying to the nation?

SEVEN: In March 26 meeting of the Committee, the members from other parties took PML-N to task and demanded what their reservations were, and why those reservations were not presented to the COmmittee before making them public through the Press Conference. The PML-N members had no answer. A feeble voice from Ahsan Iqbal told that the reservation was about the name of Pakhtunkhwah. Oh well. But Mian sahib in his press conference said it was due to judges appointment!

Are the people gone nuts or the PML-N and its leadership is insulting people by telling as many lies as they can?

EIGHT: Why PML-N thinks that it can override the decision of people’s representatives from the province under discussion? ANP being the overwhelmingly largest supported party in Pakhtunkhwah, had been able to complete the process of consultation at provincial level and brought the decision of the people of Pakhtunkhwah, to the CCR much earlier than March 25 press conference. What moral grounds Punjab’s PML-N has to defy so shamelessly the wishes of the people of Pakhtunkhwah? Is it because Mian sahib’s son in law comes from the non-Pakhtun area of Pakhtunkhwah? Or is it because Mian sahib’s right hand and prominent member of CCR Sardar Mehtab Abbasi is also against the name Pakhtunkhwah? Is the Royal Son In Law more important than the majority of Pakhtunkwah Province?

Is Mian sahib that entangled in personal politics in addition to being a compulsive liar?

NINE: This biggest achievement of current parliament having come up with a consensus document for constitutional reforms, was to give a huge moral boost to the President who had to address the joint session right after the announcement of the package. Was that the reason of Mian sahib’s sudden change of mind? This further is confirmed by March 26 statements of PML-N party leaders who have been asking for presidential address as soon as possible, in accordance with the constitution which asks for presidential address in the beginning of every parliamentary year. is it smart politics?

Is Mian Sahib still not able to learn from his frictional politics of 1990s?

TEN: Mian sahib had been extremely concerned about the Charter of Democracy and President Zardari’s “going back on his words” and “not keeping promises” – whereas one is at loss on making out the details of what promises Mian sahib has been talking about? If it was Judges’ issue, it was resolved as early as March 2009. What other promises he always rants about?

But keeping it aside for a moment, lets come to the charter of democracy. People would be interested to learn, which clauses of the Charter are not being observed by which party? PML-N has been insisting on the mechanism of judges’ appointment in total departure from not only the charter but from all democratic norms of Parliament’s sovereignty and the constitutional guarantee of the separation of powers. Whose agenda is he serving?

ELEVEN: And last but not the least. Mian Nawaz Sharif was much bothered about the constitutional amendment introduced by Pervez Musharraf, but is not moved an inch on the black laws introduced by General Zia ul Haq, the most ferocious of the dictators of Pakistan whose doings have assisted Musharraf in making of the Pakistan what it is today.

Mian sahib was quite passionate about the 17th amendment, and that too, its clause which deals with the presidential power of dissolving the assemblies and the clause that bars third time premiership. But the 8th amendment never occurred to him as the one introduced by a dictator. Why? Is it because that doesn’t hit him personally but hammers the people at large?

Why Mian Nawaz Sharif is doing such a blatantly personal politics? Painting himself as a pious statesmen? Putting himself at highest moral pedestal to point finger on other leaders of this country?

Is Mian Sahib a statesman or a compulsive liar? Why he should not be altogether shunned by the people?


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Filed under My Diaries

Top Secret – From the Archives of Intelligence Bureau



This is the original document from the archives of Intelligence Bureau, marked Top Secret. A mole from The Sunday Times was able to gather it and publish. The document is still available at: 


The contents are verifiable from the court record, as are the documents submitted by Asghar Khan, when he filed a petition against doling out public money by a secret agency, to the right wing politicians for the establishment of IJI to counter PPP, more than a decade ago. 

The document underneath will be an interesting read for those rejuvenating on the "Victory of Truth" in the wake of "historical judgment" by the "free and impartial" Supreme Court of Pakistan.



No. ARV/2001/01                                                                   Dated 29-1-2001

The President, 
Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 



Respected Sir,

I would like to bring it to your kind notice that I am an officer of Intelligence Bureau cadre and have been raised to the rank of Deputy Director out of my sheer hard work. I have always worked honestly, professionally and with full devotions. All my seniors will endorse the high level of my efficiency, professionalism and integrity. I have always pointed out any wrong doings irrespective of any pressure of my seniors. I have no political affiliations, whatsoever.

I, being a conscientious officer, would like to state that an extra-ordinary situation has compelled me to address you directly as I feel that this very sensitive and important matter, which may have very deep impact on the future and present functioning of the judiciary and politics of Pakistan, needs to be dealt at your level. I am constrained to inform you that during my long service career in a very sensitive organisation I have never come across of any such occasion where I was a witness to sheer abuse of state institutions including judiciary of Pakistan by any Chief Executive of the country for the mere satisfaction of his/her personal ego and vendetta. In the instant case, some important dignitaries of the past and the present are involved who have not only violated the Constitution of Pakistan but also crossed other human and legal limits. They have also violated the provisions of their oath, which they took while taking-over their high offices. They have committed such a crime, which no nation on the earth would ever tolerate.

The highly undesirable incident, which I am going to narrate below, in fact, relates to the trial of the Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister of Pakistan Ms. Benazir Bhutto and her spouse conducted by the Accountability Court headed by Mr. Justice Malik Abdul Qayyum of the Lahore High Court. The events which have really shook my conscious and will also shake you and the whole nation are being summarised below.

With the start of the trial of Ms. Benazir Bhutto and her spouse in SGS Reference in the Accountability Court headed by Mr. Justice Malik Abdul Qayyum, the then Government ordered the Intelligence Sub-Bureau, Lahore for the monitoring of all the office, home and mobile telephones of Mr. Justice Malik Abdul Qayyum in order to keep him under constant observation. Accordingly, I, being the head of the section responsible for the observation/bugging of the telephones, started tapping the telephones of Mr. Justice Malik Abdul Qayyum.




First of all Mr. Khalid Anwar called Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum and told that "Somebody is unhappy over the delay of hearing of this case. He has complained about the case to Saif that nothing has been done so far and why has it not been concluded." He informed the judge that "the gentleman [Mian Nawas Sharif] was very unhappy" and asked the judge that "Now I am thinking if you could reach the final result within the outside limit of two weeks" and "So get it done on Monday". In response, Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum informed the Minister that "It is being done on Monday. After this we have to give them some time for defence evidence and then the matter will be closed."

During his first conversation with Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum, Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman directed him that "Kindly don't do one thing. Please don't give any further date." to which the judge promised that "Now we are not going to give dates. We are going to finish it by the Grace of God. You don't worry.". In a conversation with his wife, Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum told her that "They have said, remove him" and on a further explanation by her wife, the judge stated that Nawaz Sharif has ordered for his removal because "They [Mian Nawaz Sharif] say that he has changed his loyalty." When on his advice the wife of Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum informed Malik Pervez (brother of Justice Malik Qayyum) of this development, he remarked that "But this is Blackmailing" and while agreeing with him, the wife of Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum concluded that "Yes you are right; this is the limit that justice should not be done and only what they want should be done".

In a subsequent conversation with Malik Pervez, Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum informed him that "Regarding the matter of judgement which you know, your friend the biggest boss (Nawaz Sharif) is specially sending two men, one Mehdi and other Pappu (Saif)" to the Chief Justice to ensure "that it should be done with in two days".

In a separate conversation with Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman asked Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum "… we need a place when our man can sit. Kindly permit our man to sit in the room next to your room" to which the judge told him that he "would tell Khawar Sahib". Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman then told the judge that "Then I am going to depute the man Feroz shah who will contact Khawar". When the Judge discuss this development/requirement with the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice remarked that "If we avoid it, it is better for us otherwise the noose will be around our neck if this thing is exposed". Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum in reply told him that "Khawar says that we can place the machine in the Registrar's room" like "when you did it, it was also like this".

Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman, in a separate conversation conveyed the directions of the Prime Minister to Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum and told him that "He [Mian Nawaz Sharif] has asked me to tell you for Monday" and asked him "Whatever you told me before, do exactly like that". Mr. Justice replied that "I am trying my best. You don't worry. You know how sincerely we are trying".

Besides external/political pressure, Mr. Justice Rashid Aziz, the then chief Justice of Lahore High Court was also used to pressurize Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum. In a telephonic conversation, Mr. Justice Rashid Aziz informed Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum that "Yesterday when I went there, Mr. Yasir Arafat had come. He was busy with him in a meeting. He [Mian Nawaz Sharif] said just wait for ten minutes, twenty minutes, and half an hour. We will talk after lunch" and told Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum that "He [Nawaz Sharif] is a bastard". When Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum enquired about the conversation, Mr. Justice Rashid Aziz told him that "he [Nawaz Sharif] says it has to be tomorrow" and enquired from Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum "Is everything ready?". When Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum asked the Chief Justice that "You should have told him that it would finish only after they finish (defence evidence)" the Chief Justice told him that "He was saying that just do it".

When Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum could not announce the judgement on the pre-determined day Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman called him and asked that "You were supposed to do it today". Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum replied to him that "For your sake I had to beg her lawyer. I told him that I have to go abroad, I am not feeling well but I have to finish it first". When Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman expressed displeasure over delay Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum asked him to "handle him [Mian Nawaz Sharif] and stated that "By the grace of God, this will be done and then both of us will go to him [Mian Nawaz Sharif] and seek forgiveness". Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman asked the same judge to "Give me 100% confirmation that it will be done tomorrow". In the same conversation Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum asked him about the punishment required to be awarded to which Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman told him that "whatever you have been told by him [Mian Nawaz Sharif]" i.e. "Not less than 7 years". Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum suggested to him that the maximum punishment is not appropriate as "Seven is the maximum punishment and no body awards maximum" and requested Mr. Saif to ask him [Mian Nawaz Sharif] to which he promised to le him (Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum) know. In the same conversation Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum informed Mr. Saif that "I have already done about the fine and confiscation of the properties" and "their disqualification also". Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman informed him that "Now more important is the state of madness in which he [Mian Nawaz Sharif] is" to which Justice Malik Qayyum requested him to "Beg forgiveness on my behalf". Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum assured him that "Under all circumstances it will be done tomorrow. We are going to announce the judgement".

In a separate conversation, Mr. Rashid Aziz described the madness of the Prime Minister to Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum and told him that "You can't understand. Do you know what he [Mian Nawaz Sharif] is going to say? He is going to issue warrants for both of us. He has specially called me and told to advice you that what are you doing?" In reply Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum informed the Chief Justice that "90% I will try my best to finish it tomorrow". Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum went on assuring the Chief Justice in the words "OK. Tomorrow I will, even if have to push it". The Chief Justice told the judge that he has told him [Nawaz Sharif] that"It is already written and lying with us. He can sign it for you on it and you can keep it with you".

In another conversation with Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum, Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman told the judge that he had asked him [Mian Nawaz Sharif] about the punishment to which he had directed to tell you that "Give them full dose". Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman also informed the judge that "When I inquired about five or seven, he said I should ask you whey you would not like to give them full dose". Explaining the strategy for the next day (the day of the announcement of the judgement) Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum informed Mr. Saif that "Whole day will be given. After eleven (11:00 AM) we would tell him to finish. After the interval at 11:00 AM, even if they disagree, we will not care" and "We will tell them, say whatever they want to say in their defence. It (order) is already prepared in written". The judge went on explaining and stated that "So after half an hour, we will come back and announce it". Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman then suggested to him that "Give the brief tomorrow but try to cover the maximum the brief the judgement".

When the trial of Ms. Benazir Bhutto was over, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, the then Chief Minister of Punjab rang up the judge and told that "I made a request to you" to which the judge replied that "Sir, I did finish that". Mr. Shahbaz Sharif then informed him that "thank you very much. The matter regarding Ch. Sarwar [MNA], my elder brother has asked me to tell you that Sarwar should be favoured [in his disqualification case]" to which Mr. Justice Malik Qayyum promised that "It's done, as desired by Mian sahib. As per his desire the matter is finished".

During this process of close day to day observation of his phones, I was astonished to note that the judge was being dictated to obtain a judgement of their choice against Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Mr. Asif Ali Zardari by the then Federal Law Minister Mr. Khalid Anwar, Chairman Accountability Bureau, Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman and the then Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, Mr. Justice Rashid Aziz, under the orders of from then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, to hastily conclude the trial, announce conviction of Ms. Benazir Bhutto and her spouse with maximum punishment or seven years and forfeiture of her entire property. The Honourable Judge was pressurized to the extent that once he was called by the then Chief Justice of Lahore High Court at his residence to convey that Mr. Nawaz Sharif has asked to remove him (Mr. Justice. Malik Abdul Qayyum) as he (Mian Nawaz Sharif) has become doubtful of his loyalties. The Honourable Judge ultimately succumbed to the pressure and announced pre-written judgement against Ms. Benazir Bhutto and her husband by violating all norms of Justice, provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan and fair-play.

The whole conversation of these important Cabinet Ministers and the judges was part of the official record of the Intelligence Sub-Bureau, Lahore. I am also enclosing my affidavit along with 60-minutes recorded tape and its transcription with the view to assist your kind honour to proceed against two sitting judges, one of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the other of Lahore High Court, respectively, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Chairman Accountability Bureau Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman and the then Federal Law Minister Mr. Khalid Anwar.

I would also like to state that I have taken on against the most powerful group of politicians, two corrupt and immoral judges and hence I apprehend that I along with my family members are going to be harassed and victimized besides a serious danger to my life too. I also fear that the authorities in the Intelligence Bureau may try to terminate my services on false grounds but fact remains that I am just doing my duty by exposing to you bad elements in our judiciary. I, therefore, appeal to your honour to provide me protection and security against all such dangers. The aforementioned corrupt characters have not only brought bad name to the judiciary itself but also the image of our great nation. I would also like to make it clear that I have no motives whatsoever but I just want you to know as to what kind of havoc is being played by such people who had made mockery of justice without fear of the Almighty Allah.

In the light of the above facts, I would request: to your honour to kindly take necessary and appropriate action into the matter.

In the end I would once again like to reiterate the fact that I have no motives whatsoever in exposing these bad elements as I, being a civil servant, was duty bound to bring the wrong-doings of such like undesirable characters to the notice of such authorities which I am confident would take necessary action. I would also request you to kindly keep this summary confidential till you have taken a final action against them.

Thanking you In anticipation and I am confident that your kind honour, being the custodian of the Constitution of Pakistan and a former judge of the apex court of the country, would definitely proceed in the matter in accordance with the law.

Yours obediently,



Deputy Director/IB


1. Copy of the transcript. 
2. 65 Minutes recorded tape. 
3. Affidavit.





1. Gen. Pervez Musharraf, The Chief Executive of Pakistan, Islamabad.
2. Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan, Islamabad.
3. Maj. Gen. Rafi-ullah Khan Niiazi, Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Govt. of Pakistan, Islamabad.
4. Mr. Jehangir Mirza, Joint Director General, PPHQ-IB Lahore.




Deputy Director/IB


Source: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/02/04/Affaiavit.pdf (1.0MB)

[1 page. Misspellings in original.]

[100 Rupee Certificate]



[Stamped by Advocate Notary Public.]

I, A. RAHIM S/o Mr. NAZIR AHMED, do hereby solemnly declare and affirm as under.

1. That I was working in the Intelligence Bureau directorate, Lahore since 1997. Further, I worked in other positions in I.B.

2. That according to the instructions of the Government, the residentiel, office and mobile numbers of Justice Malik Adbul Qayyum were placed under observation during the trial of former Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Ms. Benazir Bhutto.

3. The Mr. Nawaz Sharif and his associate wanted to know Justice Malik Qayyum's day to day engagements, and contacts. In fact, they wanted to ensure that Justice Malik Qayyum was following the advice of Accountability Bureau and teh Federal Law Minister to impliment the pre-determined conviction of Ms. Benazir Bhutto.

4. that the Prime Minister wanted the proof that instructions given by him to Justice Malik Qayyum through Chief Justice Rashid Aziz of Lahore High Court, Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman, Chairman Accountability Bureau and the Federal Law Minister Khalid Anwar were being followed.

5. That accordingly all incoming and outgoing calls in his office, home and mobile were monitored and regular record of day to day conversation started building. I was shocked to find that the concerned judge is being ordered to convict Mr. Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari by Saif-ur-Rehman, Chief Justice and Law Minister by hastily concluding the trial at the earliest and announcing the conviction of Ms. Benazir Bhutto with "full dose" at every cost. I found the Judge to be working as junior to the Accountability Bureau and the Federal Law Minister.

6. My conscience felt bad learning about the gross injustice being done to the defendants through the judge trampling the provisions of the constitution of Pakistan. I, being a civil servant felt duty bound to protect the Constitution and not become party to any such violations. I, therefore, decided to make a duplicate copy of the conversation and a 65-minutes long audio recorded conversation to this effect is enclosed with this affidavit. The entire record of conversation between Premier Sharif's cabinet Ministers, namely Saif-ur-Rehman (who had also investigated the case against Ms. Benazir Bhutto), personal friend of Nawaz Sharif, the then Federal Law Minister Khalid Anwar, and Justice Rashid Aziz, the then Chief Justice of Lahore High Court confirms that a conspiracy was hatched against Ms. Benazir Bhutto for getting her convicted through Justice Malik Qayyum.

7. That the above facts are correct and true to the best of my knowledge and nothing has been concealed or withheld.





Name obscured


Filed under History

NRO Actually! (1st Instalment of Truth)

NRO collage aBefore I write something about my own personal take on NRO and its legitimacy, I would like to analyze what it actually is and what it is about. While we hear a lot about in the media (generally biased against one party or the other), it is all the more necessary to look into what this word NRO means, what document it is and what it means to the politics in Pakistan. Since the writing could take many pages, and I’m doing it in detail clause by clause, I think we should make it easier for the reader to grasp the information in easiest possible way.

I would apologize from my lawyer friends for not writing this piece in a way they are used to read legislations in. And it is mainly because this piece is intended to serve lay people instead of technical professionals in the field of law. I would try my best to refrain from the legal jargon as far as it is possible. Even then, if there’s something beyond the understanding of a common person (me included), I would request the reader to kindly bring it in the comments so that we could collectively try to understand it. For the purpose of making the continuity easy, I’m calling these pieces “Instalments of Truth”, and this is the first instalment!

I often hear and read comments by lay-persons, saying that NRO was “signed” by Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Now, here’s where the folly lies! NRO is an abbreviated form of National Reconciliation Ordinance 2007, which is a piece of legislation. Legislation, as we all know, is a forte of the parliament in a parliamentary democracy like Pakistan. Pakistan, like many other nation satates, follows West Minster style of parliamentary system (UK, India, Australia, Canada to name few of the parliaments that follow West Minster). There is a corresponding system of government, commonly called Jeffersonian Parliaments, commonly called Presidential form of government (mainly USA). In a West Minster style parliamentary system like the one followed by Pakistan, President is the ceremonial head of the state, who has limited role in legislation.

According to the powers conferred upon the president, by the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, the President can issue an Ordinance as a piece of legislation when the Parliament is not sitting. Exercising the same power, General (now retired) Pervaiz Musharraf issued an ordinance called National Reconciliation Ordinance 2007, commonly known as NRO. Since it was an Ordinance, it was signed by the President of Pakistan, not by any political party sitting outside the government at that point in time. It is however, debatable, how this ordinance came into being. Without getting into the details of its origin for the time being, we’d go to what it says. The readers can refer to the original text of the NRO wherever s/he deems necessary, which I’ve already put on one of my blogs under the link: http://marvi-sirmed.blogspot.com/2009/10/national-reconciliation-ordinance-2007.html

The Ordinance has seven distinct Sections. Section I deals with the title of the Ordinance as is the usual practice of drafting a legislation.

Section II deals with an amendment in the Criminal Procedures Code (CrPC), which has been there since 1898. This Section of NRO amends section 494 of the CrPC, which empowered only the Prosecutor Generals to withdraw pending Criminal cases. After the amendment introduced by NRO, the Boards at Federal and Provincial Levels could be constituted to review the cases pending from 1st January 1986 to 12 October 1999.  These Boards will see if the accused persons in these cases have been falsely involved in these cases on politically motivated reasons. In this case, the Review Boards thus created, can recommend withdrawal of cases to the respected governments.

These Review Boards would be of two types: Provincial and Federal. The Provincial Boards will be chaired by respectable retired Judges of High Courts and will comprise Advocate General / Prosecutor General and the Provincial Law Secretaries. The Federal Board will be chaired by a retired judge of the Supreme Court and will have Attorney General and Federal Law Secretary as its member, while both of these Boards would be appointed by federal and provincial governments as the case may be.

It is noteworthy here that NRO does not bind the federal and provincial governments to act upon the recommendations of the Review Boards. So, if any of the government doesn’t want to withdraw any of the cases, there’s no binding on them to comply with the Boards’ recommendations. In other words, the status of the Boards is recommendatory, not obligatory. It should also be noted here that this particular clause was included on the insistence of MQM, who was part of discussions made on such legislation. The dates mentioned in this section provide cover to the criminal cases made on MQM during the period from 1986 to 1999.


Filed under Politics

A Citizen Cries: An Open Letter to Mr. Asif Ali Zardari

A Citizen Cries: An Open Letter to Mr. Asif Ali Zardari

Dear Mr. President,

This is a citizen, a voter of Pakistan People’s Party since she reached the voting age. I find it very hard to believe that my (along with hundreds and thousands of PPP voters’) story is a story of betrayal – a naked betrayal. May I take you to the little journey we’ve been through and ask you few questions? 


Being grown up during Zia-ul-Haq’s black era, our generation was pushed to the political oblivion. Students Unions were banned till we reached the college-going age. We heard the story of the judicial murder of Z.A. Bhutto and courageous political cruise of his able daughter Benazir Bhutto. She came and went twice at the hands of the protégés of Zia. We confess, we could never give PPP full mandate. Our fellow citizens did that for PML (now “N”) who went berserk with power’s intoxication. In their folly of being “all powerful”, they challenged those who had brought them. Not surprisingly, soon they had to be thrown out. We suffered almost a decade of darkness once again.  

But we didn’t lose heart. We continued raising our voice for the reinstating of democracy. Amidst the news of PPP negotiating with Musharraf, we did never stumble in our support for PPP. It is PPP’s right to get back to politics in Pakistan, we argued. And if the cases are based on mala fide, the only way to get rid of them would be through negotiating with the dictator. Were we wrong? And then NRO happened. We were shocked, still we did not stagger. PPP must have this as the only option to get back to politics, we again argued. Were we wrong? PPP opened negotiation window with public face of rightist forces in Pakistan, PML-N. BB must be visioning a reconciliatory politics in coming years, so she is trying to draw her lessons from the politics of 1990s. PPP must have developed respect for people’s mandate which Nawaz League enjoys, we once again argued. Were we wrong? The Charter of Democracy happens. We were happy. The Charter depicted the political maturity of both the parties who have been playing musical chairs all through last decade, we thought. Were we wrong?

The dictator gives us a blow by deposing Chief Justice of Supreme Court. We were all out for the CJ, before thinking too much about his own credibility. We stood for the institution. We were exposed to brutal police violence for doing that. It only energized us against the dictator. And finally we got the good news of CJ’s reinstating by Supreme Court. We danced in the streets and bazaars of Islamabad for the whole night on July 22, 2007. Paan wahlaas, chhaabri wahlaas, shop keepers, students, even the women from ordinary household danced with us that night. Smiles came back to Pakistan after long nights of pitch dark. Little did we know that this smile was short-lived. In September of the same year, we expected a fair judgement from now “free judiciary” on Musharraf’s re-election in uniform issue. We thought that we’ve been able to get the judiciary burry the doctrine of necessity for ever. How naive! The judiciary once again let us down. They gave a short judgement to allow Musharraf contest election while in uniform with election results kept secret till next judgement. And there we felt ourselves on ground zero! But we let the show go on. We still had hopes on judiciary.

We were enraged when the dictator imposed Emergency in the country holding the constitution in abeyance. We stood firm. We were baton charged, we were tear-gassed, we got shells on our foreheads, we were assaulted by security agencies, we were put behind the bars, and so on. But the resolve could not be defeated. Despite the NRO discussions, PPP appeared to be a panacea to us. We were all for a free and transparent elections. We were excited on seeing the elections in the offing. And our smiles were once again snatched, only to be replaced with tears when they killed BB. Our BB was taken away, it was like all hell had been let loose. And then you came. We forgave you for the past. We wanted to move ahead. You carried it with grace in the beginning. But where did it go?

Mr. Co-Chairperson sir,

Let me assure you, we always stood by you whatever you had been saying / doing since February 2008. We were there to defend you on every public forum or little drawing room discussions. You rolled back BB’s decision on premiership of the country. Despite a bad taste, we accepted it. You isolated BB’s confidantes; we took it as party leader’s democratic freedom to build her/his own team. In that bid, you accommodated new faces while compromising on the older party stalwarts. We didn’t raise an eyebrow and took it in democratic spirit. You went on broad based “consensus” and “reconciliation” while making the government at federal level and in three provinces. With a little hesitation we took it. As PPP voters, we claim to be country’s most senior and most penalized group of people who have stood for social democracy with a secular vision. This vision was disturbing us when you were going ahead with removing all opposition by hook or crook. It itched us when you handpicked people, single handed, for all important public offices. Democratic spirit was shrieking. We tolerated it in the name of democracy itself that needed a breathing space here. 

We kept watching when you appointed a controversial figure as federation’s representative in one of country’s thickly populated federating unit. We silently watched that figure disturbing balance of power in that part of our beloved country. With great pain, we were still watching when worst kind of manipulation was being done in supreme democratic institutions. With all the understanding that all this was not one sided on your part, and that the other part was also fully responsible for it, we still hold you responsible for we have greater expectations from our own party.

You kept on dominating the party through your handpicked office holders and short sighted advisors who could not give you an understanding of a dangerous trust deficit you have with PPP workers and voters. You continued to batter us with a shock every day. As innate democrats, we were traumatized when people’s mandate in Punjab was put down the drains. Before that, you had already breached Charter of Democracy, your own agreement signed with PML-N on March 9, 2008, your repeated promises with the nation on reinstating the Chief Justice, your promise to do away with 17th amendment and 58-2(b), your running party office alongside running the presidency, and the list is swelling. To add fuel to the fire, you tried to join hands with those political faces who have been directly or indirectly responsible for BB’s assassination. We understood why PML-N was not pressing upon impeachment of Musharraf. But towing this line from you as PPP’s Co-Chair, never made to our head. You, Mr. Co-Chairperson, have greatly disappointed us on every count.

We are now making a mockery of ourselves by siding with you Mr. Co-Chairperson. We have a serious feeling that our BB’s party has been hijacked by those who have no commitment to the people, to the democracy and to the socialist ideals. People have been arguing with us on your credentials to lead biggest national party of the country. They have been arguing on internal democratic structure and practices that our party lacked. They have been arguing your inability to ensure separation of powers. They have been arguing your mala fide intent in handling Punjab. Why have we put to this position Mr. President? We were still not out of BB’s grief, and you happened to us. The historian will be witness of our open heart towards you, but we’d not let the historian write in annals of Pakistan’s democratic history, that we sided with you even when you were brutally murdering spirit of democracy in this fateful country. We never voted you sir. We voted for BB’s party. We voted for democracy. We voted for political maturity BB showed in signing Charter of Democracy. 

So Mr. President / Co-Chair of BB’s and workers’ party, you have reached a pinnacle of political power whence all ways lead downwards. We don’t approve of this option for our party. We did not come this far to allow outsiders usurp workers’ rights and assault spirit of democracy. We demand as voters of PPP to immediately take following steps to restore party’s image; one: reinstate Ch. Iftikhar with executive order; Two: enter review petition from PPP for disqualification case of Nawaz and Shahbaz Shareef; Three: immediately call Punjab Assembly’s session and let PML-N form the government; Four: Kindly freeze all efforts to manipulate number game in Punjab; Five: Call back Mr. Taseer and appoint a mutually agreeable figure as governor; Six: immediately repeal parts of 17th amendment that compromise the democratic spirit of 1973 Constitution; Seven: lay off 58-2(b) right away; Eight: free all political arrestees and remove any cases registered upon them; Nine: start reforms process, structural and political both, in order to deliver for the people of Pakistan; and Ten: chose one office; President of Pakistan or Co-Chairperson of PPP.

We hope you’ll pay heed to what PPP’s voters say. Thanks.

Best wishes,
Marvi Sirmed
A Common Citizen


Filed under My Diaries