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2007 Pakistani state of emergency

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Title: 2007 Pakistani state of emergency  
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Subject: Chief Justice of Pakistan, PAF Base Mushaf, Pakistani general election, 2008, Ashok Chaturvedi, Hamid Javaid, Sardar Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Bilal Khan, Mian Shakirullah Jan, Muhammad Javed Buttar, Falak Sher (justice)
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2007 Pakistani state of emergency

A state of emergency was declared by President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf on November 3, 2007, and lasted until December 15, 2007, during which time the constitution of Pakistan was suspended.[1][2] When the state of emergency was declared, Musharraf controversially held both positions of President and Chief of Army Staff. He later resigned as army chief 25 days into the emergency on November 28.[3] The state of emergency and its responses are generally attributed to the controversies surrounding the re-election of Musharraf during the presidential election on October 6, 2007, including his holding of both offices of President and Chief of Army Staff at the time.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry reacted promptly to the emergency declaration, convening a seven-member bench which issued an interim order against this action. He also directed the armed forces of Pakistan not to obey any illegal orders.[4] Subsequently, the 111th brigade of the Pakistan army entered the supreme court building and removed Chaudhry and several other judges from the supreme court and arrested them.

It was announced early that the state of emergency would likely end in late November or early December 2007.[5] After being sworn in for a second presidential term on November 29, 2007, Musharraf immediately declared that the state of emergency would end on December 16, 2007,[6] although the emergency actually ended one day earlier, on December 15, 2007, with an announcement by Musharraf.[7]

The Pakistani general election previously scheduled to occur in early January 2008 was postponed. At the beginning of the emergency, Information Minister Tariq Azim Khan said on television that the general election could be delayed many months and perhaps up to a year.[8] Later, the election was rescheduled to take place by February 15, 2008, as announced by Musharraf himself.[9] A few days later he called for the election date to be on or before January 9, 2008,[10] before a final date of January 8, 2008, was decided. However, because of unforeseen events that occurred after the state of emergency ended, primarily the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and its aftermath, the general elections were again postponed by the Election Commission and were finally held on February 18, 2008.[11]


Leading up to the 2007 presidential elections, the Election Commissioner approved General Pervez Musharraf as a candidate for re-election. One of his opponents, retired Supreme Court justice Wajihuddin Ahmed, challenged the ruling in the Supreme Court. The dispute was primarily regarding whether a member of the military was constitutionally permitted to run for the office of the president, as Musharraf held both titles of President and Chief of Army Staff.

Responding to the challenge, on 28 September 2007, Pakistan's Supreme court cleared the way for President Pervez Musharraf to seek another five-year term when it threw out a major legal challenge to his re-election plans.[12] But barred the Election Commission from officially declaring a winner until it made its final decision. On October 6, presidential elections were held with Musharraf winning 98% votes in the Senate, Parliament and the four provincial assemblies.[13]

While the Supreme Court was hearing the case of Musharraf's eligibility as a candidate, it announced that it would likely need to delay the hearing until November 12 due to a personal engagement of one of the honorable members of the bench.[14] On November 2, the court reversed its decision to break, stating that it would now reconvene the following Monday on November 5 to attempt to resolve the political situation quickly. This reversal was in part due to criticism that the court's continuing delay was adding to Pakistan's general instability.[15] Convening on November 12 would have left a tight schedule of just three days before the end of Musharraf's previous presidential term on 15 November. Parliamentary elections were due to be held in February 2008, no later than a month after the original target date for elections.[16][dated info]

Prior to the emergency declaration, Attorney General Malik Qayyum, representing Musharraf, had assured the court that there was no planned move by the government to impose martial law.[17]

Declaration of a state of emergency

Before the court could reach a decision, General Pervez Musharraf, acting as Chief of the Army Staff, declared a state of emergency as per Article 232 of the constitution, on the evening of November 3, 2007, and issued a Provisional Constitutional Order which replaced the country's constitution.[18] The Constitution of Pakistan, Article 232, allows the President of Pakistan to declare a State of Emergency when he is satisfied a situation exists that warrants its imposition. In the case that a President of Pakistan declares a State of Emergency, the National Assembly has to approve it within 30 days. The state-run Pakistan Television Corporation issued a brief announcement saying that, "The Chief of the Army Staff (General Musharraf) has proclaimed state of emergency and issued a provisional constitutional order," at 6:10 am local time without giving any details. Under the order, the Constitution was suspended, the federal cabinet ceased to exist, and the justices were ordered to take an oath to abide by it. Those who failed to do so would be dismissed. [19][20]

Text of the Proclamation of Emergency

Following is the text of the Proclamation of Emergency declared by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Pervez Musharraf:[21]

Text of Provisional Constitutional Order 2007

Following is the text of the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) promulgated by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Pervez Musharraf:[22]

Supreme Court Validates Presidential Elections, PCO and Emergency

On 24 November 2007, a seven panel larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogor, directed the chief election commissioner and the government to declare Pervez Musharraf President for a second term by December 1, and said that President Musharraf shall relinquish the office of the chief of army staff (COAS) before taking oath as civilian president.[23] The Supreme Court also validated the imposition of emergency and the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution Order issued by the Chief of the Army Staff.[24] The larger bench held that President General Musharraf was qualified to contest the presidential election and did not suffer any disqualification under the constitution and the law. The court also vacated the interim stay of the October 6 presidential election results that had kept the Election Commission from announcing them until now. The bench was headed by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. The other members were Justice Ejazul Hassan, Justice Muhammad Qaim Jan Khan, Justice Muhammad Moosa K Laghari, Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Yousaf, Justice Muhammad Akhtar Shabbir, and Justice Zia Pervez.

Later, on 15 February 2008, the Supreme Court delivered a detailed judgement to validate the Proclamation of Emergency on 3 November 2007, the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007 and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007. This Full Court judgement was written by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. Other members of the Full Court were Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan, Justice Mohammad Qaim Jan Khan, Justice Mohammad Moosa K. Leghari, Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Yousaf, Justice Muhammad Akhtar Shabbir and Justice Zia Perwez. The Supreme Court wrote, "In the recent past the whole of Pakistan was afflicted with extremism, terrorism and suicide attacks using bombs, hand grenades, missiles, mines, including similar attacks on the armed forces and law enforcing agencies, which reached climax on 18th of October 2007 when in a similar attack on a public rally, at least 150 people were killed and more than 500 seriously injured. The situation which led to the issuance of Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November 2007 as well as the other two Orders, referred to above, was similar to the situation which prevailed in the country on the 5th of July 1977 and the 12th of October 1999 warranting the extra-constitutional steps, which had been validated by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Begum Nusrat Bhutto V. Chief of the Army Staff (PLD 1977 SC 657) and Syed Zafar Ali Shah V. Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive of Pakistan (PLD 2000 SC 869) in the interest of the State and for the welfare of the people, as also the fact that the Constitution was not abrogated, but merely held in abeyance"[25]

It further wrote, "The learned Chief Justices and Judges of the superior courts, (Supreme Court of Pakistan, Federal Shariat Court and the High Courts), who have not been given, and who have not made, oath under the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 have ceased to hold their respective offices on the 3rd of November 2007. Their cases cannot be re-opened being hit by the doctrine of past and closed transaction"[25]

Supreme Court and PCO 2007

On 2 November 2007 Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan submitted an application to the Supreme Court asking that the Government be restrained from imposing martial law in Pakistan.[26] To this application a seven panel Supreme Court bench issued a stay order on 3 November 2007 against the imposition of an emergency. The bench was headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. The other members of the bench were Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Raja Fayyaz, and Justice Ghulam Rabbani. This stay order was ignored by the Chief of Army Staff and the emergency was imposed across the country.

Supreme Court on November 3, 2007 (prior to imposition of emergency)

Name Appointed Normal Retirement Action on PCO oath
Hon. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry February 4, 2000[27] December 11, 2013[28] refused PCO oath, (Later restored on March 22, 2009)
Hon. Justice Rana Bhagwandas February 4, 2000[27] December 20, 2007 refused PCO oath, (Retired after deposed)
Hon. Justice Javed Iqbal April 28, 2000[27] July 31, 2011[28] refused PCO oath, (Later accepted a civil job in de jure days, restored on March 17, 2009)
Hon. Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar April 28, 2000[27] March 21, 2009[28] took PCO Oath on November 3, 2007, made Chief Justice
Hon. Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan January 10, 2002[27] February 9, 2010[28] refused PCO oath, (Later accepted a reappointment on September 19, 2008, during democratic period)
Hon. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday January 10, 2002[27] January 12, 2010[28] refused PCO oath, (Later on March 17, 2009)
Hon. Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi January 10, 2002[27] June 7, 2008 took PCO Oath on November 3, 2007
Hon. Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar January 10, 2002[27] April 15, 2010[28] took PCO Oath on November 3, 2007
Hon. Justice Falak Sher June 9, 2002[27] September 21, 2008[28][29] refused PCO oath, (Retired after deposed)
Hon. Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan July 31, 2004[27] August 17, 2012[28] refused PCO oath, (Later accepted a reappointment on September 5, 2008, during democratic period)
Hon. Justice M. Javed Buttar July 31, 2004[27] November 15, 2013[28] took PCO Oath on November 3, 2007
Hon. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani July 31, 2004[27] July 5, 2014[28] refused PCO oath, (Later accepted a reappointment on September 5, 2008, during democratic period)
Hon. Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad April 5, 2005[28] October 7, 2008[28] took PCO Oath on November 3, 2007
Hon. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk April 5, 2005[28] August 16, 2015[28] refused PCO oath, (Later accepted a reappointment on September 19, 2008, during democratic period)
Hon. Justice Raja Muhammad Fayyaz Ahmad September 14, 2005[28] May 31, 2011[28] refused PCO oath, (Later restored on March 17, 2009)
Hon. Justice Ch. Ijaz Ahmad September 14, 2005[28] May 4, 2010[28] refused PCO oath, (Later restored on March 17, 2009)
Hon. Justice Syed Jamshed Ali September 14, 2005[28] September 30, 2008[28] refused PCO oath, (Later accepted a reappointment on September 5, 2008, during democratic period)
Hon. Justice Ghulam Rabbani September 14, 2006[30] refused PCO oath, and retired while deposed. On April 12, 2009 he was reappointed as justice of supreme court

Speech to the nation

Early Sunday morning Pervez Musharraf addressed Pakistan for the first time since declaring the state of emergency[31] in a speech broadcast on state-run PTV. The following is a translation of Musharraf's speech from the original Urdu: [32]

Musharraf also referred to US President Abraham Lincoln, saying that Lincoln's suspension of Habeas corpus during the American Civil War in order to save the nation was analogous to his declaration of a state of emergency for Pakistan.[33]

Musharraf has said that the forthcoming election date will not be affected by the declaration.

Impact on Higher Judiciary

The judges of Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court and four High Courts were asked to take an oath on the PCO. Some of the judges opted to take the oath on the PCO immediately, while some took it over a period of time and some remained steadfast in refusing to take the oath on the PCO.[18]

Immediately after the emergency, out of 18 Supreme Court justices, only five judges took the oath on the PCO. Initially in Islamabad, Abdul Hameed Dogar who was inducted as the new Chief Justice, Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, Justice Khokhar and M. Javed Buttar took the oath under the PCO.[34] Later in the evening, in Karachi Saiyed Saeed Ashhad also took the oath on the PCO on November 3, 2007.[35] From the remaining judges, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Falak Sher, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Justice Mian Shakir Ullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Nasir ul Mulk, Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Ahmed, Justice Raja Fayyaz, Justice Syed Jamshed Ali and Justice Ghulam Rabbani declined invitation to take oath of supreme court took oath on PCO. The Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday also did not take oath on PCO nor were they offered to.

On December 3, 2007, the federal government issued a notification of removal of three justices of the Supreme Court without any retirement privileges. They were Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday.[36]

On December 3, 2007, the federal government issued another notification that in pursuance to Article 3 of the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 (Order No. 1 of 2007), 24 judges of the High Courts of Sindh, Punjab and NWFP had ceased to hold office, with effect from November 3, 2007, the day emergency was proclaimed in the country.[37]

According to the notification twelve justices of Sindh High Court were notified to cease to hold office. They were Justice Rahmat Hussain Jafferi, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Aamir Hani Muslim, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Muhammad Athar Saeed, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani, Justice Salman Ansari, Justice Abdul Rashid Kalwar and Justice Arshad Siraj.[37]

According to the notification ten justices of Lahore High Court were notified to cease to hold office. They were Justice Khawja Muhammad Sharif, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Muhammad Tahir Ali, Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Justice M. A. Shahid Siddiqui, Justice Muhammad Jehangir Arshad, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman.[37]

According to the notification two justices of Peshawar High Court were notified to cease to hold office. They were Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan.[37]

All justices of the High Court of Balochistan took the oath on the PCO.

Events during the state of emergency

Opinion polls reflected strong public opposition to imposition of the state of emergency. 67% demanded General Musharraf's resignation whereas 71% said they opposed the suspension of Constitution. More than 70% people surveyed said that they were opposed to closure of private television channels, arrest of Chief Justices and mass arrests.[38]

Islamabad:International broadcasts and local phones were blocked in some locations.[39] Additionally, barriers and barbed wires were erected at important points in the capital.[40]

Aitzaz Ahsan, a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), attorney and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was arrested at his home.:[41] Key opposition figures and senior lawyers were also placed under house arrest. It should be noted that all were released in a couple of days time.

Hundreds of students joined in protests led by faculty of Quaid-e-Azam University; they were joined by scores of civil rights activists. Police presence forced students to 'flash demonstrations' and prompt disbanding.[42]

Lahore: After the announcement of emergency, police acted swiftly to arrest thousands of lawyers, human rights activists and politicians. Crackdowns were made throughout the night of November 3 to thwart any opposition.

All members of the HRCP, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, including Asma Jehangir and Salima Hashmi were jailed. The Mall Road, where official buildings including Secretariat, Governor House, and the High Court are, remained barricaded at a number of points.

There were protests at all universities of the city, Pakistan's leading university LUMS, Punjab University, Beaconhouse National University, National College of Arts, Government College, Foreman Christian College and others. The students also led the fight on the internet where thousands of blogs unanimously denounced the State of Emergency.[43][44]

Faisalabad: Heavy contingents of police were deployed in the eight major bazaars of the city and the district courts. Hundreds of lawyers, civil rights activists, journalists, media persons and political activists protested, prompting brutal use of force and baton charging by police. Police also sealed the courts and the press club.[45]

Opposition leader khawaja mohammad asif, Member of the National Assembly (MNA), was placed under house arrest shortly after the declaration of emergency.He had been arrested, by order of the Pakistan Army, and taken to an undisclosed location. Khawaja Asif is a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML(N)), the party headed by exiled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif..He was elected for his third term as MNA from a PML(N) seat and is currently a member of Parliament of Pakistan
Army pickets were established in Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.[46] Hundreds of protesters joined processions led by the local Awami National Party forcing police to arrest all local political leadership of opposition parties to crush demonstrations.[47]
Reports from inside Karachi state that the situation remained peaceful and not entirely different than any other weekend.[48]
The police also picked up five lawyers from southwestern Quetta, who were known as staunch supporters of Chaudhry.[49]
Nationalist opposition leaders Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Qadir Magsi were detained in their home towns in southern Pakistan.[49]
  • BBC
  • By the end of 5 November 2007 over 3,500 people had been arrested. Most of these were lawyers, civil rights leaders and members of the political parties.[50] But almost all of them were soon released and by the time the emergency ended, all arrested had been released. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour also reported that a Pakistani UN official, Asma Jahangir, was among the judicial and political officials detained.[51] The vast majority of the detained were released within a two-week period and the remainder released in the following days.
  • On November 14, 2007, former cricketer and Opposition Leader Imran Khan arrived at Punjab University to take part in a protest with the students. However, Imran Khan's presence enraged some students, who felt he was attempting to take credit for their efforts and also because the students had previously made it clear that politicians were not welcome in their protests. As a result, some students of the Opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party manhandled Imran Khan soon after his arrival, locked him up in the University for around two hours, and later handed him over to the local police.[52]
  • While some Pakistani expatriates called 3 November 2007 a Black Day in the History of Pakistan, when General Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan,[53] other expatriate Pakistanis supported Musharraf's decision to impose a brief emergency rule in Pakistan and held pro-Musharraf rallies in London,[54] Toronto, Brussels, and other Western cities.

Ban on media

With the imposition of emergency a media blackout followed. National channels like ARY One World, GEO TV, Aaj tv and other channels were also blocked. General Musharraf maintained that these channels were creating discord, misrepresenting facts, were not responsible, and were contributing to the instability of the nation. The Government also cracked down on international channels like BBC and CNN. ARY reported that authorities in Dubai had asked the network’s administration to close down its operations. The network said no reason had been given for the move. [55]

The government expelled three journalists from the British news paper the Daily Telegraph after calling general Musharraf "our son of a bitch".[56] This is an allusion to Franklin D. Roosevelt's defence of Nicaragua's heavy-handed but U.S.-backed dictator, Anastasio Somoza García. However this is still viewed as an extremely severe insult in Pakistan.

On 21 November 2007 two thousand detainees under the Emergency were released, but 3,000 remained in detention, according to London's Metro newspaper. Musharraf’s Govt. also arrested moderate groups of society such as human rights activists and lawyers.[4].

Effect on the economy

The Pakistani stock market was the first to react, with the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) falling by more than 4.6% on the first day of the emergency.[57]

Investors in the United Kingdom pulled back $26.27 million while investors in the United States withdrew $51.93 million. It is estimated that more than $235 million in total were withdrawn from the KSE during the emergency.[58]

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services also revised its outlook on the long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings of Pakistan from stable to negative.[59]

The Dutch government froze development aid to Pakistan in response to the imposition of emergency rule. Deputy Minister for Development Bert Koenders decided to suspend the remainder of the €15 million (US$22 million) that had yet to be paid in 2007.[60]



Opposition leaders

The AP reported that Benazir Bhutto was greeted by supporters chanting slogans at the airport.[61] After staying in her plane for several hours she was driven to her home in Karachi, accompanied by hundreds of supporters.[62] On November 8, Bhutto was placed under house arrest by the Pakistani government.

After one day the house arrest was lifted. Bhutto said that the election date set of 15 February 2008 was "too vague" and planned to undertake a "long march" in car procession around Pakistan, as she did before, protesting against Nawaz Sharif. The Army cautioned her against this, citing the risk of further suicide bomb attacks. On 12 November 2007 she was again placed under house arrest for a week to prevent this happening. Musharraf also gave the election date as 9 January 2008. Bhutto rejected this as being too soon after emergency rule. Subsequently Bhutto was released from house arrest again, but the Daily Jang (20 Nov.07) reported the Attorney General, Mohammed Qayyum as saying that five writs were to be heard to revoke her immunity from prosecution on corruption charges, which claim that only the judiciary had the right to grant immunity not President Musharraf. Qayyum described them as "likely to succeed". Bhutto had by 25 November filed nomination papers for the 8 January elections, despite not confirming her intention to boycott them.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that "Imposing emergency is another form of terrorism."[63] The acting head of the former Prime Minister's political party, Javed Hashmi, who was arrested, stated, "People will win. Generals will lose. They have to surrender."[63] On 23 November 2007 it was announced in the Guardian that Nawaz Sharif would return to Pakistan after the King of Saudi Arabia reportedly told Musharraf that they would not keep him in Saudi Arabia and he landed in Lahore on 25 November in a Saudi aircraft, with his wife, Kulsoom and brother Shabaz. He said that he wishes to restore democracy from dictatorship, but did not say whether he would boycott the elections in January. Neither did Bhutto, but she had already filed nomination papers. Sharif filed nomination papers the day after his return, but said that he would not serve as Prime Minister under Musharraf.

Former cricket star turned politician Imran Khan was held under house arrest, which he subsequently escaped to join a student rally in Lahore. He was detained by students from Jamaat-e-Islami until arrested by police on charges of terrorism, for calling on Pakistanis to "rise up and overthrow" the Government. On 21 November 2007, he was released and his party boycotted the forthcoming elections.

The Minister of the State for Information, Tariq Azim Khan, said on television media that the elections in Pakistan scheduled for January would be delayed indefinitely.[8][63] President Musharraf later announced that elections would be held by mid-February.[64]


The new Provisional Constitutional Order required judges to retake an oath of allegiance to Musharraf. Many refused to do so, including 15 Supreme Court judges. Additionally, only a fraction of the judges in Pakistan's provinces took the new oath: in Punjab 12 out of 31, in Sindh 4 out of 27, in the North-West Frontier Province 7 out of 15, and in Balochistan 5 out of 11 retook their oaths.[65][18]

On November 6 Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who was under house arrest, spoke by phone to a group of 500 lawyers. In his statement he said that the constitution had been "ripped to shreds" and that the people should "rise up and restore" it. He added that while he is under guard, he will soon "join you in your struggle."[66]

It was alleged that the government used blackmail to get judges to take oath under the new PCO. Videos were sent out to at least three of the 11 judges as they were whether General Pervez Musharraf was eligible to run for president.[67]

Around 60 judges refused to take the oath under the "PCO", which includes a statement that no judgment can be passed against any government even if found guilty.[18]

On 20 November 2007 it was reported in the Daily Jang that a newly appointed Supreme Court had dismissed five writs challenging Musharraf's confirmation as president and was waiting to adjudicate the sixth. Another from the Pakistan Peoples Party was withdrawn as the originators do not recognize the new court. The Court has threatened to revoke the license of any lawyer not recognizing its authority. Packing the Supreme Court with supporters is not unusual. Previously Musharraf appointed Iftikar Chaudhry as his nominee and the previous prime minister Nawaz Sharif also packed the judiciary with his sympathizers.

All judges were restored after elections were held.[68][18]

Religious leaders

Qazi Hussain Ahmed called for protests in order to overthrow "the military dictator," during a speech near the outside of Lahore to 20,000 of his followers.[63] He is an Islamic leader of MMA, a religious alliance opposing Musharraf.

Lawyer community strike

Deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry called on lawyers nationwide on November 11 to defy baton-wielding police and protest President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule.[69]

"Go to every corner of Pakistan and give the message that this is the time to sacrifice," Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who is under virtual house arrest in Islamabad, told lawyers by mobile phone. "Don't be afraid. God will help us and the day will come when you'll see the constitution supreme and no dictatorship for a long time."

The President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and other legal leaders were taken into custody immediately after the imposition of emergency rule. As a result, the Pakistan lawyer community called for a nationwide strike on November 5, 2007 against Musharraf's decision to impose emergency rule.


The immediate response from most countries was critical, with the measures viewed as running counter to liberal-democratic reforms.

PCO Judges case

On July 31, 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared the steps taken on November 3, 2007, by former president Pervez Musharraf as illegal and unconstitutional under the Article 279 of the Constitution.[70][71] The judgment came after the 14-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry completed the hearing of constitutional petitions regarding PCO judges, appointments of judges of higher judiciary and November 3, 2007, steps.[72] The decision's short announcement also stated that the results of Pakistani general election, 2008, held on 18 February, will be given judicial protection and that President Asif Ali Zardari will not have to take a presidential oath again. However the court has some reservations about how the Ordinances including the controversial National Reconstruction Ordinance (NRO), were handled by the interim Supreme Court during the emergency Period, but present government was given 120 days to regularise them through parliament.[73]

Lawyers and advocates celebrated after the announcement was made by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.[74] Musharraf was summoned by the court, but his lawyers did not appear because in their opinion he did not receive the court summons.[75] The verdict was also welcomed by the spokesperson to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar who said that "The Supreme Court short order today declaring the November 3, 2007 actions of General Pervez Musharraf as unconstitutional is a triumph of the democratic principles, a stinging negation of dictatorship and is most welcome."[76]

See also

Government of Pakistan portal



  • Schoresch Davoodi & Adama Sow: EPU Research Papers: Issue 08/07, Stadtschlaining 2007
  • Anil Kalhan, Constitution and 'Extraconstitution': Emergency Powers in Postcolonial Pakistan and India, in Emergency Powers in Asia (Victor Ramraj & Arun Thiruvengadam eds., Cambridge University Press, 2010)
  • Anil Kalhan, "Gray Zone" Constitutionalism and the Dilemma of Judicial Independence in Pakistan, 46 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1 (2013)

External links

  • Movement for Rule of Law, Related to Lawyers Movement Pakistan.
  • Text of Pakistan emergency declaration
  • English Summary of the Speech
  • JURIST, November 4, 2007
  • JURIST. November 3, 2007
  • JURIST, November 2, 2007
  • [5]. November 3, 2007
  • Geo television live video broadcast

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