LAHORE: Karachi police have arrested 12 suspects allegedly planning an act of terrorism in the city on May 12, Geo television reported. According to police officials, the 12 suspects had confessed they planned a terrorist attack in Karachi on May 12, when the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) is due to visit the city. The suspects allegedly planned to shoot at the CJP’s procession on Shahra-e-Faisal. They were arrested from Lines Area, Shah Faisal and Maleer and were carrying a large cache of arms. Police said this was why the chief justice of Pakistan had been asked to postpone his visit. Earlier, Aaj television quoted the Karachi police chief as saying that there was a risk of a terrorist attack on May 12. He said security would be tightened before the chief justice of Pakistan’s arrival. daily times monitor
Sindh govt asks SC to delay CJP’s Karachi visit
LAHORE: The Sindh government has asked the Supreme Court to delay Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s visit to Karachi on May 12 to prevent a clash between government and opposition parties, Geo television reported. Sindh Interior Secretary Brigadier Ghulam Muhammad Mohtram wrote to the SC registrar asking him to delay the CJP’s visit, since the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and opposition parties had scheduled rallies on the same day, which might result in clashes between them. Mohtram wrote that intelligence reports warned that terrorists might use the occasion for subversive action. He said the CJP’s rally would also cause traffic jams on a working day.
Online adds: Karachi Bar Association President Iftikhar Javed Qazi rejected the request and said the CJP’s visit would go ahead as scheduled. daily times monitor
ARD asks MQM to defer rally to avoid excuse of ‘emergency’
KARACHI: ARD leaders asked the MQM Wednesday to defer its May 12 rally as it should not give the regime a reason to impose an emergency in the country.
“It is shocking that the MQM, a leading partner of Sindh’s ruling coalition, has announced a rally on May 12 when the opposition parties will be receiving the chief justice of Pakistan,” said Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, the ARD’s secretary general, while speaking at a press conference.
He said that the MQM is based in Karachi and they will still be there after May 12. “There should be some sense. The MQM can stage their rally on May 11 or May 13. Why May 12,” asked Jhagra.
He warned that any attempt to disrupt the opposition parties’ rally on May 12 would be deemed a government-hatched conspiracy. “The MQM is part of the government here and it is its responsibility to maintain peace,” said Ahsan Iqbal, secretary information of the PML-N.
He said that the MQM’s decision to stage a rally on May 12 was an indication that the ruling party wanted a confrontation and was insistent on disrupting the peace. “President Musharraf’s regime is looking for a lame excuse to impose an emergency and it seems that the MQM is becoming a part of that conspiracy,” he said. “I hope that the MQM leadership will change its mind and if it doesn’t then the people of Pakistan will consider it the B-team of President General Pervez Musharraf.”
The PML-N leader brushed aside the impression that the struggle for the reinstatement of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has become a political struggle. “It’s absolutely wrong. The CJP has not addressed the political parties nor has he attended any of their meetings so far. However, political parties, such as civil society members, will participate in the CJP’s reception,” he clarified.
Jhagra and Iqbal said that the opposition parties were all struggling for the judiciary’s independence from the executive. A reporter asked what the opposition parties’ strategy will be if the president takes back the reference against the CJP and he is reinstated. “Our struggle will continue for the restoration of true democracy but an independent judiciary is a guarantee to the rule of law hence the ongoing struggle is the most important in Pakistan’s history,” he replied.
The ARD vowed that the reception on May 12 in Karachi will be much bigger than those which have been held so far.
The ARD leaders denied differences among the opposition saying that they were united on a single point that is ‘Go Musharraf Go.’ He said that the restoration of the Constitution and fresh elections under an impartial caretaker government of national consensus were the unanimous demands of all the opposition parties.
Jhagra said that the opposition parties had all signed the declaration of the All Parties Conference that was hosted by the PML-N in London. He also said that no worker of any political party would accept a deal with the government and whoever does, would politically die.
Iqbal said that politicians are not like general. “Politicians don’t need to wear the same uniform and act upon the order of one commander,” he said.
MQM to unveil rally plan today
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain has said that there will be no area of Karachi where its supporters will not be present for its rally in support of the presidential reference against the non-functional Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary, when he arrives in the city on Saturday. The MQM will hold a press conference on Thursday at the Karachi Press Club at which its Rabita Committee will announce the party’s strategy for the rally. This report was substantiated by Saif Abbas from the Nine Zero newsroom. Sources said that MQM will organise its rally in different parts of the city, including the route that will be taken by the CJP.
“On May 12, the whole universe, the media and the entire world will see that supporters of Altaf Hussain and the MQM will not be on just one road or passage of Karachi, they will be every where in the city,” Hussain declared in his telephonic address that was broadcast Tuesday in 17 zones at once. The MQM has already begun campaigning for the Saturday rally. Members of the Rabita Committee, MPAs, MNAs, senators and nazims who belong to the MQM are busy rushing invitations throughout Sindh. According to a press release issued from the MQM headquarters in Karachi, the party was receiving a favourable response for its rally from people from all walks of life. staff report
PML-Q Sindh worried about violence
KARACHI: Sindh government’s ruling party, PML-Q, has expressed its concerns over the law and order situation on May 12, when the non-functional chief justice of Pakistan is expected to come to Karachi, as the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has also announced a rally on the same day as has the opposition.
“The MQM is our coalition partner in the Sindh government. However, it has decided to hold its own rally on May 12, thus leaving us worried about the law and order situation,” said the secretary general of the PML-Q Sindh and the provincial minister of the irrigation department, Nadir Akmal Leghari, while talking to Daily Times, Wednesday. Leghari said that the home department was controlled by the MQM and therefore the party was responsible for keeping law and order under control. He added that he hoped that the MQM would choose a different route than the one being taken by the non-functional chief justice. Earlier, the PML-Q Sindh had organized a rally in Karachi in support of President Musharraf on May 1 following which the MQM had also organized its own rally on May 5. staff report
Student wings to welcome CJP, APMSO to go the other way
By Mashiur Rahaman
KARACHI: With the exception of the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO), almost all political and non-political students organizations have planned to welcome the non-functional chief justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in Karachi on May 12.
The parties preparing to welcome the CJP include the Islami Jamiat Talba (IJT), Peoples Students Federation (PSF), Jeay Sindh Student Federation (JSSF), Punjabi Student Association (PSA), Sindhi Law Students Welfare Society (SLSWS), and the Sindhi Shagird Terhreeq (SST). APMSO will, however, participate in its parent party’s (MQM) rally on the same day to be held in favour of the presidential reference against the CJP.
IJT Karachi president, Abdur Rashid, told Daily Times that his party will stick to the CJP’s rally to right from the airport to the end.
A general meeting was held to plan all preparations. It was decided that a rally would be organized from S. M. Law College, from where participants will bear torches. A fireworks display has been scheduled for Friday night.
The IJT has also planned to set up stalls at every educational institute in the city. Students will be able to drop cards and flowers at these stalls, to show support for the CJP, Rashid said.
“A general body meeting has been called on Thursday to finalize the schedules. Camps will be set up all the way from the airport to the Karachi Bar Council for participants,” PSF Karachi president, Arshed Naqvi, told Daily Times. “Moreover, party workers will abandon classes, and institutions will be decorated with black flags in protest.” Students from the S.M. Law College and various law students’ organizations also expressed solidarity with the CJP’s rally on Saturday.
The APMSO, on the other hand, has planned a different sort of rally with the MQM. A member of the organizing committee, Arshed Shah, said that all APMSO members had been ordered to participate in all activities organized by the MQM.
Student organizations have also expressed concern over the chances of violence on May 12. They have asked all parties to demonstrate their feelings and thoughts in a peaceful manner.
Commuters stranded without public transport
* Transporters fear seizure of vehicles for May 12 rally
By Shahzad Malik
ISLAMABAD: The commuters of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad faced hardships to reach their destinations on Wednesday as a majority of the transporters took their vehicles off the roads fearing that the government would seize them for the public rally called by the ruling party on May 12 in the federal capital.
A great rush of commuters was observed at bus stops in various parts of the twin cities due to shortage of public transport. They had to hire taxies for reaching their destinations and the cab drivers overcharged from them exploiting the situation.
Sources told Daily Times that the government had asked the Rawalpindi Transport Authority and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration to seize 1,500 and 300 public transport vehicles respectively for pick and drop to the participants of the rally to be held at the Pakistan Day parade venue in front of the President House.
A commuter Ansar Mahmood, an employee of a private firm, told Daily Times that he had to wait for two hours at Faizabad bus stop to get a public transport vehicle for reaching his office in Sector F-8 Markaz. He said that he faced the same situation reaching back home in the evening.
It is surprising that the government is holding a rally just to express confidence in President Pervez Musharraf without taking in consideration the problems of people, he said.
Fehmida Bibi, an employee of a private university, said that she had to wait for the public transport for an hour at the District Courts Bus Stop and ultimately had to hire a cab to reach her home. She criticised the government for impounding the public transport vehicles for the public rally and said that such steps create problems for the common man.
Haji Nawab Din, general secretary of transporters association said that the representatives of the secretary regional transport authority of the federal capital had asked the office-bearers of the association to provide them with more than 200 vehicles for pick and drop to the participants of the public rally.
He alleged that the concerned authorities had paid a small amount to the public transporters for providing the buses and vans for the public meeting addressed by President Musharraf at Liaquat Bagh.
It has been learnt that teams had been constituted to seize the vehicles. A member of one of these teams on the condition of anonymity said that the regional transport authority had paid the amount in advance to the owners of public transport for the public rally. He said that the owners of 600 public transport vehicles had been paid in advance. He said that they had been paid Rs 3,500, Rs 2,500 and Rs 1,500 per day for buses, mini busses and vans respectively.
Tariq Mahmood, secretary regional transport authority Rawalpindi said that the owners of the public transport would be paid for hiring their vehicles.
He said that the owners of the public transport whose vehicles had been hired during the Liaqat Bagh public meeting had been paid the full amount.
5,000 law enforcers to be deployed for rally
ISLAMABAD: More than 5,000 police and law enforcement personnel will be deployed for the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) rally at the Pakistan Day parade venue on May 12. The PML is organising the rally to express confidence in the leadership of President General Pervez Musharraf. Police and district administration officials have been directed to keep an eye on Lal Masjid and Jamia Fareedia during the rally. The decision was taken at a meeting of the police and district administration chaired by Chief Commissioner Khalid Pervez. Punjab Additional Secretary Najeebullah Malik was specially invited to attend the meeting.The meeting directed the police departments of Islamabad and Rawalpindi to send teams to madrassas in their respective areas and get information about the students studying there. They were also directed to visit guesthouses and get information on the people staying there. Sources privy to the meeting told Daily Times that it was decided that the Punjab police would guard the venue while the Islamabad police would be deployed in all sectors of the city and on the outskirts. They said that the Frontier Constabulary would be deployed at sensitive places, while police commandoes would be deployed in the adjoining hilly areas of the capital. The meeting also directed police officials to check vehicles of the participants of the rally. The sources said that officials of the bomb disposal squad would be deployed in the areas close to the venue of the rally. The venue would be thoroughly combed 24 hours before the rally. The chief commissioner directed the assistant inspector general of the Islamabad Police Special Branch to compile information about the people residing in plazas adjacent to the venue and arrest those with criminal records. staff report