Thursday, 12 March 2009
The issue of an independent judiciary remains unresolved. The duplicitous Pakistan People’s Party (PPP, founded by a Berkeley alumnus), which once promised to restore Iftikhar Chaudhry to the position of Supreme Court Chief Justice while General Pervez Musharraf was president, is thought to have pressurised the courts into ousting from power the PPP's erstwhile democratically elected coalition allies in the province of the Punjab. The weaker coalition partner has continued to call for the reinstatement of Iftikhar Chaudhry to the position he was removed from by Gen Musharraf. To stifle popular dissent, the PPP has now, like Gen Musharraf, banned protests in the Punjab. More from my brother in Yahoo News/CS Monitor report.
Friendly acquaintances Shahram Azhar and the band Laal (‘Red’; the band’s members belong to the Punjab chapter of the Communist Kissan Mazdoor Party) mark their protest against President Asif Ali Zardari’s anti-democratic actions with their euphonic song Umeed-e-Sahar, Hope of a New Dawn, the lyrics of which were penned by the late revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
Depicted in the music video is a common scene in the city of Lahore, the Punjab's provincial capital: traffic held up to make way for a politician's cavalcade. The protocol endangers a mother's life. Her ambulance is unable to advance to the hospital. In despair, her son runs on to the street to protest this abuse of state power to save his mother's life. Like Pakistan's deposed Chief Justice, the son inspires others to stand with him in protesting injustice.
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