Government of tyranny? A comparison of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari

Govt. of ‘Kufr’ could carry on, but not that of tyranny: Nawaz

March 01, 2009

LAHORE: Muslim League-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif has said that the country was beset with several problems, which led him to enter into an agreement with President Zardari.

Addressing Jamia Naimia here, Nawaz Sharif said that the people earlier used to fear President Musharraf and now President Zardari. He said that earlier Musharraf was afraid of US and now Zadari does so. He never agreed with the Bush policies. He said that our problems could be solved through an independent judiciary only. He said that if we retreat, then the posterity would never excuse us. He said that Pakistan was moving ahead to a dark era and the sincere and able people should come forward for wiping out injustice.

Nawaz Sharif quoting Hazrat Ali said that the government of non-believers could continue, but not that of tyranny. He said that if someone was appealing for himself, then he should not be supported, but if anyone appealing for the nation, then support must be given to him. Nawaz said there was skyrocketing inflation and injustice everywhere. He said PPP had got more seats and, therefore, he didn’t aspire for premiership. (The News)


A page from histroy

Bhutto’s husband hospitalised

Supporters of Mr Zardari gathered outside the CIA on Tuesday

Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, has been moved to a hospital, a day after the police said he had attempted suicide.

The BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones: “Ministers say Asif Ali Zardari staged a drama to take focus away from charges against him”

Farooq Naik, a lawyer representing Mr Zardari, said his client had been bleeding profusely from the mouth.

However the Karachi police chief claimed Mr Zardari had bitten his tongue to avoid answering questions about his alleged role in a murder.

A spokesman for Ms Bhutto, Akbar Mirza, said Mr Zardari was taken from a local Karachi police station, where he was being questioned about his alleged role in a murder, to the emergency ward of Aga Khan Hospital.

[ image: Mr Zardari is facing a number of legal cases]
Mr Zardari is facing a number of legal cases

He said the ward had been surrounded by dozens of security forces and that Mr Zardari’s relatives and supporters had not been allowed to see him so far.

“We don’t know his condition. No one is permitted to see him,” the spokesman said.

Pakistan police said that Mr Zardari had suffered neck and wrist injuries in a suicide attempt on Tuesday. But his family denied the suicide allegations and accused the police of torturing him in custody.

The BBC’s Islamabad correspondent, Owen Bennett-Jones, says that Pakistan Information Minister Mushahid Hussein has rejected the police version.

The minister says Mr Zardari never intended to kill himself but wanted to stage manage a drama to divert attention from the murder and corruption allegations against him, our correspondent reports.


The BBC’s correspondent in Dubai, Frank Gardner, says the source said that Mr Zardari was tortured in custody on Monday night and that Ms Bhutto feared for his life.

Ms Bhutto is currently in Dubai – she faces arrest and jail if she returns to Pakistan after her conviction on charges of corruption.

Denied food and drink

Zardari’s lawyer Azizullah Sheikh: “I am the only person allowed to see him.”

Mr Zardari’s lawyer, Azizullah Sheikh says his client has been denied food, water and sleep for three days and is now in a weakened state with severe neck injuries.


a.. Senator Zardari was confined in Judicial custody of different Courts at Central Prison Karachi as an under trial prisoner. On 16th May 1999 that is Sunday he was taken out from the Central Prison, Karachi by DSP Amanat Jawaid and others and was taken to CIA Civil Lines, Karachi. Senator Zardari was informed that he has been taken into custody for investigation of murder of Justice (Retd) Nizam Ahmed which took place in June 1996 and registered vide FIR No. 357/96 of P.S. Ferozabad, Karachi. He was refused consultation with his lawyers and/or family members. He was continuously interrogated by different teams for different cases and was severely tortured, maltreated by the police. They tried to extract confessional statement of their choice so much so that they tried to compel him to make inculpatry statements by implicating his wife Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. On his refusal police extended threats to kill him and to prove this the police on the night of 17th and 18th May, 1999 tried to cut out his Jugular Vein and as a result he received injuries on his neck.

b.. On account of illegal detention of Senator Zardari in police station. Habeas Corpus Petition on his behalf was filed by his sister Faryal Talpur bearing Cr. Misc. No. 221/99 before High Court of Sindh at Karachi. The Court ordered on 18th May 1999 that in view of various ailments of Senator Zardari and immediate need for operation of removal of cyst on his right hand and in the light of the order dated 17th May 1999 of another Bench of High Court he should be admitted to Agha Khan Hospital today i.e. 18th May 1999. However the Government of Sindh and the police headed by Inspector General Police. Rana Maqbool, a close associate of Nawaz Sharif family and especially transferred to Sindh from Punjab to crush PPP and Bhutto family refused to obey the orders of the High Court.

c.. On 19th May, 1999 the police officers during interrogation again sought to compel him to make and sign statements of their choice and informed him that they have instructions from Rana Maqbool, Inspector General of Police, Sindh who was acting under direct order of Mian Nawaz Sharif, (Prime Minister of Pakistan), Mian Shahbaz Sharif, (Chief Minister of Punjab) and Senator Saifur Rehman to kill him showing police encounter. In pursuant of their objectives to obtain confessional statements from him they cut his tongue with a sharp edged weapon to prove that there are capable of carrying out their threats to his life. Senator Zardari started bleeding profusely. His clothes got soaked in blood. One police officer risking his job took Senator Zardari in his own car and got him admitted in Agha Khan Hospital where he was treated and then admitted to the Hospital pursuant to the order of the High Court.

d.. The order of remand whereby the police shifted Senator Zardari from prison to police station was also challenged by filing Revision Application No. 50/99 before the High Court of Sindh at Karachi which declared the order to be corum non-judice and illegal and set it aside vide order dated 26.5.1999. An application has been filed before the Sindh High Court for registration of cases against all concerned and award of damages in favour of Senator Zardari in view of unlawful acts.

e.. After international protests over the Zardari matter, the Nawaz regime ordered a low level judicial inquiry. The Pakistan Peoples Party rejected the low level Judicial Commission constituted to inquire into the incident of murder attempt on Senator Asif Ali Zardari by the police in the notorious CIA Centre Civil Lines, Karachi. It demanded the constitution of a high level judicial commission appointed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan headed by a judge of the Supreme Court and including two judges of the Sindh High Court.


Bhutto appeals to Clinton to protect her husband


ISLAMABAD, May 20, 1999: Former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto today appealed to US President Bill Clinton to protect her jailed husband, whom she said the Government is trying to kill.

In a letter to Clinton, Ms Bhutto also complained of widespread human rights abuses by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accusing him of targetting the press, judiciary and her party supporters.

She appealed to Clinton to spearhead an international campaign “against these gross violations of basic and fundamental human rights, and dispatch immediately your own investigative and medical teams.”

These teams, Ms Bhutto said also should investigate the condition of her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, whom police said attempted suicide earlier this week.

Mr Zardari said he had been tortured and the attempted suicide report was fabricated by the authorities.

Yesterday Zardari was admitted to hospital after he cut his tongue, said police.

Zardari, who was investment minister in his wife’s Government, has been in jail since Ms Bhutto was dismissed from power in 1996. He faces two charges of murder, including the 1996 shooting death of Ms Bhutto’s estranged brother, Murtaza.

He also faces several charges of corruption and abuse of power as does Ms Bhutto.

Last month a special court convicted both Zardari and Ms Bhutto of corruption, sentenced them to five years in jail and fined them 8.6 million dollars. Ms Bhutto, who was said to be in London, has refused to return to Pakistan unless she is guaranteed she won’t be arrested.

Yesterday, Ms Bhutto’s party workers in Southern Karachi displayed blood-stained clothes they said belonged to Zardari. They said the blood was the result of torture.

“We have good reason to believe that Mr Zardari’s life continues to be in imminent danger,” Ms Bhutto said in her letter to Mr Clinton. She also asked that an investigation be launched by the US Embassy in Pakistan to “determine the state of his health and safety.

Next week, Ms Bhutto is to be in Washington to make personal appeals on behalf of her husband and to lobby for international condemnation of Sharif’s Government.

In her letter to Mr Clinton Ms Bhutto accused Sharif of state-sponsored terrorism.

She also warned Mr Clinton that Sharif “must not be allowed” to head the world’s newest nuclear state.

In light of the deteriorating situation in Pakistan, and the already demonstrated penchant by the Nawaz Sharif regime to use illegal force, threats, torture and even assassination as tools of his state … It gives me little pleasure to again warn you, for the world’s own security, that a man as brutal as Nawaz Sharif must not be allowed to steward the world’s newest nuclear arsenal.

Sharif’s Government has dismissed Ms Bhutto’s accusations and has said she should return to Pakistan. (AP, 20 May 1999)


Detained journalist allowed to see family twice a week

ISLAMABAD, May 20, 1999: Pakistan’s Supreme Court today ordered the authorities to allow the family and lawyers of detained journalist Najam Sethi, accused of anti-state activities, to meet him twice a week and give him medicines and newspapers.

“I am very happy that some of his human rights have been restored and I will be able to see him,” Sethi’s wife, Jugnoo Mohsin, told reporters.

“But the fact remains that a dignified man was humiliated. They tortured him for eight hours, tore his clothes. . . He could have died during all this,” she said.

Ms. Mohsin submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court saying her husband was beaten “black and blue” for eight hours by the agents of a domestic investigation agency after he was taken from his home in the Eastern city of Lahore on May 8.

Ms. Mohsin met her husband on Monday for the first time since his arrest. In her affidavit Ms. Mohsin gave details of her husband’s torture during interrogation.

Since his arrest, Mr Sethi has been in solitary confinement and has not been told what crime he is alleged to have committed, said one of his lawyers Khalid Ranjha.

“He has lost weight and is ill,” he said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Government says Sethi, an owner and editor of the weekly english-language magazine, the Friday Times, of suspected links with RAW, India’s intelligence agency.

But Ms. Mohsin dismissed the charges and said her husband’s arrest is a “blatant attempt to curb press freedom.

“The Government wants to close down the friday times. . . It is a press freedom issue,” she said.

Opposition parties, human rights groups and journalists have assailed the Sharif Government for repeated attacked on journalists and newspapers.

Sethi’s arrest, whose magazine is a bitter critic of Sharif’s policies, is the most recent case.

Many of those targetted in the recent crackdown on journalists, including Sethi, assisted a British Broadcasting Corp, television team prepare a documentary on Government corruption.

The United State, the European Union and International Journalists Organisations have expressed their outrage over Sethi’s arrest and demanded his immediate release. (AP)

Zardari case

Lawyers ask rights groups to intervene

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (AP, UNI) — While newspapers in Pakistan displayed front page pictures today of an injured Asif Ali Zardari, lawyers for his wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, asked human rights groups to probe his condition.

Ms. Bhutto said the police has tortured her husband and she feared they wanted to kill him.

The government had denied the charges of torture, but Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had ordered a judicial inquiry into the allegations. Mr Sharif had ordered the inquiry results within two weeks.

Mr Zardari, is currently in Aga Khan Hospital in southern Karachi, where he was being treated for a cut tongue. Photographs of the injured Zardari showing his lacerated tongue were on the front pages of newspapers today.

Police officials said the wound was self-inflicted in an attempt by Mr Zardari to go to the hospital. Mr Zardari however said, it was the result of torture.

In a letter to Pakistan’s widely respected human rights commission of Pakistan, Ms. Bhutto’s lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, said Mr Zardari’s family and colleagues feared for his life. He asked that the organisation launch an investigation.

Anasr Burney Trust Refutes Police Version In Senator Zardari Case

May 24, 1999: The Ansar Burney Welfare Trust has issued the following statement from its office in Karachi today:

The human, fundamental and civil rights organisation “Ansar Burney Welfare Trust International” has refuted the police version of the suicide attempts by Senator Asif Ali Zardari as “made up” to cover up the brutal and inhumane torture he was put through. ABWTI declared it as attacks on Senator Zardari’s life (husband of former Prime Minister Mrs. Benazir Bhutto) in Police custody at CIA centre Karachi, Pakistan on Monday night, May 17 and again on 19th May.

Mr. Burney, before beginning added that neither him nor his organisation has anything to do with politics. “We do not support or oppose any political party, either it be the government or the opposition parties”. He added, that even a criminal, being a human deserves rights and “a law protector should not become a law breaker”. Mr. Ansar Burney also added to this regard
that “whatever Asif Zardari may have or not done wrong is for the courts to decide and the police have no right to take away the rights of a prisoner or punish him by means of torture; this is the reason ABWTI has taken this matter in to it’s hands to make sure that everyone is given the most basic of rights”.

The Chairman of the Trust, Ansar Burney, Advocate today issued his Trust’s investigative report and rejected the police version, calling it “a pack of lies”. “They were not suicide attempts as alleged by the government; after harassing the press, judiciary and NGO’s, this was an attempt to murder a sitting Senator during police custody to further harass Opposition parties in Pakistan”, he added.

Mr. Ansar Burney said that the two somewhat different versions of the first event by Police has created very serious doubts in the minds of law abiding citizens; (1) In the police’s first version, Mr. Asif Zardari was said to have become enraged and broke his drinking water glass with which he tried to cut himself (2) In the second version, during interrogation, Asif Zardari was said to have become enraged and broke the window glass with his hand with which he tried to cut his throat.

On 19th May at 12:30 hrs, another report came out about another alleged suicide attempt by Mr. Zardari, but this time he was said to have cut his tongue with his own teeth in the bathroom and had come out bleeding.

According to facts gathered by ABWTI in Pakistan, the first incident occurred soon after the Opposition Leader Ms. Benazir Bhutto’s appealed to the Supreme Court to look in to the tempering of evidence held with the lower court. She suspected tempering of evidence and so wanted it placed on record before her appeal against the Accountability conviction.

Husband of the former Prime Minister, Senator Asif Ali Zardari was removed from the judicial lock up without the court’s permission. He was already on bail in the murder case of Justice Nizam Ahmed and could not have been remanded in police custody without the permission of the court. “He was illegally and unlawfully taken to the CIA police station from the judicial jail custody on Sunday, a holiday, which was itself illegal and nobody, not even his lawyers were allowed to see him”, Ansar Burney added. The authorities justified his shifting by accusing him in the Justice Nizam’s murder case, which is so far not supported by any substantial evidence.

Mr. Burney maintained that it was an extra judicial attempt on the life of a sitting Senator who was being treated worse then a convicted criminal. He said that Zardari had already been granted bail before his arrest in the case in which he was taken illegally to police custody. Sources said that Asif Zardari received a two-and-a-half inch cut to his throat and neck.

While in the custody of authorities, he was tortured; which is in no way lawful for interrogation under any law. During the interrogation, Mr. Zardari’s wrists and neck were cut.

When the word of his torture came out, he was shifted to another place, unconscious and bleeding. Despite such grave conditions, he was not shifted to a hospital but was subjected to sign further confessions.

After the second alleged suicide incident, amidst extremely tight security, detained Senator Asif Ali Zardari was shifted from the CIA Centre to Agha Khan Hospital on May 19 at around 2 pm with a severely bleeding mouth due to tongue injury. The injury looked to have been caused by a sharp weapon. Sources also suggested that the bleeding from his mouth started from around 11 am though he was taken to hospital hours later at 2 pm and admitted in room 307.

According to the police version, the accused had cut his tongue with his teeth to avoid investigations into the murder case of Justice Nizam and his son. A doctor of the hospital (name with held for his/her security reasons) told ABWTI that “the version of the police is foolish and unbelievable, it is not possible to cut the throat like this’. ‘The cut was not self inflicted but by someone else with a sharp weapon’, the doctor added.

Hakim Ali Zardari, father of Asif Zardari, Ghulam Mustafa Khar, Agha Siraj Durrani and political secretary of Benazir Bhutto Naheed Khan were allowed to meet the injured Senator. Hakim Zardari came out from the room with tears and avoided talking to anyone including the representative of the Trust.

Waving the bloodstained green ‘shalwar kameez’ of Asif Zardari, Sindh PPP chief Nisar Khuhro said: “We saw him in a bad shape as blood was bleeding from his mouth which had stained his clothes and he was unable to speak.”

According to Zardari, Deputy Superintendent Police Amanat Javed made a cut on his (Zardari) tongue after threatening him ‘we would cut your tongue off so that you cannot narrate the ordeal being meted out to you’. Zardari alleged that police officers were getting instructions directly from Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Saifur Rehman.

The authorities failed to give any satisfactory justification and no evidence in support of their assertion of attempted suicide was given. It is nowadays customary that interrogations are video taped and these tapes are released onto TV. However in this the authorities refrained from giving any tapes showing him attempting a suicide. This single effort could have had vindicated the authorities of any accusations of the maltreatment of a Senator.

Ansar Burney Trust report confirmed that police tortured Asif Zardari during interrogation and registered a fake and concocted case of suicide attempt against him to avoid the court orders that directed the authorities to shift him to hospital.



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