Daily Archives: April 4, 2008

Asif Zardari Ticks Off Aitzaz Ahsan??

I have no comments on this news-item published in the Daily Times. Since it is still not verified by either of the parties, it remains uncertain whether this incident ever happened?

NAUDERO: PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari is reported to have ticked off Aitzaz Ahsan in an after-dinner gathering of the PPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) members in Naudero on the subject of the restoration of the judges, independence of the judiciary and the threatened long march by Aitzaz and his supporters. According to sources present on the occasion, Zardari took Aitzaz to task for constantly threatening to launch a long march to force parliament to restore Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and the other deposed judges. Zardari advised Aitzaz to go ahead with his long march if he was so keen on it instead of constantly threatening the PPP about it. He told Aitzaz that he was wrong to think that the lawyers movement had forced General Pervez Musharraf to take off his uniform or hold the elections. He said that honour belonged to Benazir Bhutto who had compelled Musharraf to do so and paid for it with her life. He said the entire credit for restoration of democracy went to Ms Bhutto and Aitzaz and the judges and lawyers could not rob her of her victory. Zardari also reminded Aitzaz that while he was incarcerated for eight long years none of these heroic judges had given him justice, even when he had asked for one day’s reprieve to attend a funeral of a close relative. Zardari is reported to have said that Justice Chaudhry had politicised himself overtly and ruined his case as an advocate for an independent judiciary. He also cited other instances when some of these judges had not conducted themselves with any degree of integrity or independence in the past. Aitzaz tried a feeble defence but could not deflect Zardari’s irritation. “I thought Aitzaz would get up and leave but he just sat there,” said the source. staff report


Filed under Activism, Benazir Bhutto, Democracy, Media, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics

Disputed heritage in Nowshera

Taj Building in Nowshera is a case of weak and seriously flawed heritage legislation in NWFP

By Dr Ali Jan

Taj Building is an architectural jewel on the main Grand Trunk Road in Nowshera, NWFP. Built in 1920s, this imposing structure has endured the ravages of time despite lack of any concerted attempts in the past to preserve it. The facade of the three-storey building is highly decorated with floral and vine patterns in intricate stucco. The sweeping round arches and numerous embellished columns represent a charming architectural blend of Roman, Gothic and Oriental. An arched gateway on the side of the building with beautiful jharoka-styled (elevated window balcony) features leads into the main compound. The wooden balconies at the back are also very attractive.

The building was constructed by Khan Bahadur Taj Muhammad Khan OBE MLC of Badrashi Village, Nowshera. He was a famous colonial-era contractor and landlord whose father KB Abdul Hamid Khan had been in the service of the British Empire as well. He was a wealthy man and was particularly fond of racehorses. He used to travel extensively in India and had built several grand mansions for his own comfort. The present National Defence College building in New Delhi, India was also his personal mansion. (See: http://www.ndc.nic.in/history10.asp) Besides this he had also built a residence in Lahore (‘Rose Palace’) which was recently pulled down. His other garden palace at Village Badrashi in Nowshera spreads over several acres.

Khan Bahadur sahib’s son Taj ul Mulk who is a businessman by profession was previously settled in Lahore. He got the custody of the Taj Building and has recently moved to Nowshera. In his absence a court case with the shopkeepers lingered on for many decades which was finally decided in his favour a couple of years ago. Continue reading


Filed under Conservation, Heritage, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Contibution from Mohammad Taqi
Today, is, the death anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
The judicial murder of ZAB 29 years ago, still serves us as a reminder that a tamed judiciary in the hands of the junta, is a lethal weapon that can be unleashed against popular leaders and the will of the people.
One also needs to remember the brave judges like KMA Samdani,Safdar Shah and Dorab Patel,who stood their ground in the face of a brutal martial law but declined to accept the fabricated evidence and hang ZAB.
Justice KMA Samdani has been an inspiration all along. He encouraged us to participate in the pro-judiciary movement in Pakistan last year. He was the first judge to release Bhutto , as he found the evidence flimsy, and in the process had to resign from the Lahore High Court.

Bhutto’s famous book If-I-am-Assassinated by Bhutto can be accessed here

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Filed under Books, History, Pakistan