Tag Archives: PML-N

A Letter to an Editor

Response to “Pakistan in Turmoil,” March 15, 2009, by Barbara Crossette in The Nation

Ms. Crossette’s article is strong on explaining political rivalries, but misses an opportunity to reveal the new gains of Pakistani civil society.
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Opinion: Marching for democracy in Pakistan

Viewpoint: Marching for democracy in Pakistan

By Sahar Shafqat

The Baltimore Sun (online)
March 12, 2009

Imagine this scenario: What if a U.S. president, in blatant contravention of the U.S. Constitution, fired every Supreme Court justice because he didn’t like their decisions, and filled the court instead with his own cronies? What if a new president was elected on a promise to restore the rightful judges to their legal positions after he was in office? What would you do if he didn’t follow through on that promise?

That is the position that Pakistan’s people find themselves in today.
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Opinion: Democracy movement in Pakistan

U.S. has chance to help real democracy in Pakistan

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, March 12, 2009

By Sanjeev Bery, Wajiha Ahmed

Today, a major Pakistani movement for democratic reform will challenge Pakistani President Asif Zardari with a call for government accountability. Known as the Lawyers Movement, this coalition of civil activists will give America a chance to voice support for the strengthening of Pakistan’s democratic institutions.

Members of this movement will begin what they are calling the Long March —- a multi-day walk across the nation that will end in the capital, Islamabad. They are marching to demand a restoration of the independent judges that the former U.S.-backed dictator Pervez Musharraf removed. Continue reading

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Arresting Freedom

LongMarchCrackdown

Plain-clothes police officers detain a PML-N protestor outside the Punjab Assembly building in Lahore.—AP/File

Pakistani President Asif Zardari has given his orders, and compliant law enforcement officers in Pakistan are arresting rival politicians and activists.  Team Zardari is taking pre-emptive measures to block Pakistan’s Lawyers Movemnt and allies from pursuing their Long March. Continue reading

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Pakistan’s Long March is an Important Step to Democracy

(Post co-written with Samad Khurram,  a Pakistani citizen who participated in the 2008 Long March.  Samad is currently a student at Harvard University.)

There is something about marching for democracy that captures the imagination.  Perhaps it is because walking is the simplest of human activities.  One foot goes in front of the other, and a movement takes shape.

On March 12, democracy activists in Pakistan will breath new life into this old tradition.  In what is being called the Long March, potentially hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens will walk hundreds of miles to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city.

Their rallying cry?  The restoration of Pakistan’s independent judiciary.

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