Now to our nation’s shame we learn that not only has our Chief Justice been incarcerated illegally but he and his wife have been physically roughed up by Musharraf’s security personnel. (for more details on this click here)
Today’s Dawn Editorial (‘Spectacle of shame’) laments:
YESTERDAY’S brutal manhandling by the Islamabad police of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, whose clothes were torn as he was forced into a car by the police for taking him to the Supreme Court, casts the government in a terrible light. Never before has a chief justice been treated in such a callous and disrespectful manner, with little regard for his position, exposing the full extent of the government’s muddling of the whole affair since Friday. Restrictions placed on the Chief Justice who, together with his family, was virtually kept under house arrest shattered all illusions about any democratic credentials that anyone expected this government to have. Since the CJ’s illegal, virtual confinement, lawyers, politicians and senior media persons who wanted to meet him were turned away by the security personnel.
After the so-called ‘plane hijacking’ case in 1999 Musharraf publicly whinged that Nawaz Sharif had treated him, the Army Chief, worse than a chaprasi.
According to our constitution the office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan is much more senior than the office of an Army Chief (who in theory is junior to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff,who is meant to report to the Minister of Defence who then reports to the Prime Minister).
Taking note of the treatment meted out to the Chief Justice of Pakistan by Musharraf, all one can say is that the General’s hypocrisy is quite unparalleled.
And yes, the Press has been under considerable pressure not to report the reality and instead simply publish/transmit Islamabad’s shameless fabrications to the general public.
Early on the regime forced off two TV news channels off the air. As BBC reported:
Pakistan's Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday reprimanded TV channels for showing live footage of protests by lawyers' supporting Mr Chaudhry.
Two channels, Aaj and Geo, were forced off air for some time. When their signals were restored, they did not show any of the same footage again.
At one stage the pressure from PEMRA was so immense that Hamid Mir, who anchors the popular Capital Talk programme on Geo TV, told PTI.
"I am mentally prepared that today is the last day of my show as I am personally aware of the pressure being exhorted on my management.”
I have seen many barefaced liars in my life but Mohammad Ali Durrani, the regime Minister for Propaganda, takes the cake. Last night millions of Pakistanis witnessed him on TV invoking the name of God and asking the All-mighty to punish all liars with ‘burning fires of hell’ while simultaneously feeding us cock-and-bull stories which blatantly contradicted everything we had all previously seen with our own eyes live on TV.
Then there is that coarse lout Wasi Zafar who yells abuse at the drop of a hat and is publicly known to physically assault low-ranking employees, such as restaurant waiters. Unlike the slick Durrani he drowns out contrary opinion by aggressively braying out falsehoods at the top of his voice. Last Monday Wasi once more took leave of his senses by abusing journalist Ansar Abbasi during a live interview on VOA and even threatening to do harm to the journalist's family.
As the same Dawn editorial commented:
The sheer deception indulged in by the federal information and law ministers, who kept denying that any restrictions had been placed on the freedom of movement or of speech of the Chief Justice, is a matter of further shame.
It is a pathetic reflection on Musharraf that he requires the services of such undisguised reprobates.
The goofiest (but decidedly accurate) statement recently made belongs to the head of PML(Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who refused to comment on the presidential reference against Chief Justice, by saying:
Pray tell us Chaudhry under the laws of Pakistan what right does the Army possess to take away the authority of the Chief Justice of Pakistan?.