Tag Archives: amendement

Pakistan is beautiful – and it’s mine

By Shehrbano Taseer

2011 was a bleak year for Pakistan — even by its own harrowing standards.

My father, Governor SalmaanTaseer, was assassinated by his own fanatical security guard in January for his stand on Pakistan’s cruel blasphemy laws, and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the federal cabinet, was gunned down in March allegedly by the Punjabi Taliban for holding a similar view. In April, five of the six men accused of gang raping village woman Mukhtar Mai on the orders of a village council of elders were set free by the Supreme Court. Since the sexual assault on her in 2001, Mai has braved death threats to have her victimisers punished. She has appealed the verdict, but the court, it is widely believed, is unlikely to reverse the acquittal.

In May, Pakistanis around the world hung their heads in shame as Osama bin Laden was found and killed in sleepy, sedate Abbottabad, a stone’s throw from our premier military academy where Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani spoke just weeks earlier declaring that the “terrorists’ back” had been broken.Then the tortured body of journalist Saleem Shahzad was discovered and suspicion fell on the country’s intelligence services. Pakistan had yet to recover from the devastation wrought by the 2010 floods when the August monsoons inundated Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and especially Sindh affecting tens of million of people. My older brother, Shahbaz, was kidnapped on August 26. It’s January 2012 now and he is still missing.

These are just some of the highlights from a ruefully eventful year. All of these events played out against the cacophonous discord that we have become accustomed to: target killings, routine disappearances in Kashmir and Balochistan, suicide bombings, riots decrying the overall economic condition of the country, protests mourning the loss of Pakistan’s sovereignty, the unsettling hum of rote learning at poisonous madrassas.

But there’s nothing that’s bad about Pakistan that can’t be fixed by what’s good about it. The narrative of lost hope is a tired one.

After the Arab Spring, the first question I was asked by journalists and interviewers was “When will it be Pakistan’s turn?”. General Zia tried hard to convince us that we’re Arabs, but we clearly are not. Watching Muammar Qaddafi’s bloodied and bullet-riddled body paraded up and down streets as protesters cheered, and seeing desperate dictators inflict violence on their own people, I realised that in many ways Pakistan is far ahead. Our transition from a dictatorship to a democracy was relatively smooth — no bloodshed, no political prisoners, no violence. And in 2010 — long before the Arab Spring — Pakistan’s nascent democracy returned the powers usurped by dictators back to parliament with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, passed unanimously in parliament. As a people, we are more critical, more engaged. We believe in peaceful evolution of existing structures, not revolution. A record number of people have registered to vote in the upcoming elections and the deadline isn’t even up yet. We’ve snatched our democracy back and we’re not letting it go.

Continue reading Pakistan is beautiful – and it’s mine

HEC injustices: The weak PPP govt. has cowed down again on HEC issue

HEC: Story Of Gross Injustices To Smaller Provinces

HEC injustices: Out of the total of 61 scholarships, no scholarship was awarded to any university in Balochistan while only one scholarship was awarded to a student from the University of Karachi, Sindh. 36 scholarships went to Punjab, 19 to Islamabad and 5 to Pakhtoonkhwa.

By Aijaz Ahmed

Islamabad: The country witnessed a high drama in the past few weeks as certain people with vested interests, some pro-establishment media hawks, bureaucrats and few so-called intellectuals created uncalled for hype and misgivings against the government decision to devolve the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan & hand over some of its powers to the provinces according to the 18th Constitutional Amendment. The opposition has cowed down the present government, weak as it is, and it may delay the devolution of a federal agency, which doesn’t have any justification to exist anymore. The education is a provincial subject and all the relevant subjects need to be transferred to the provinces, sooner the better.

Higher Education Commission like all other federal departments and agencies has been widely accused of following policies detrimental to smaller provinces. It is also accused of gross injustices in awarding scholarships and carrying out other projects completely ignoring the smaller provinces.

Read more :  Indus Herald

Establishment is preventing De-centralization. How long and how far the fraud schemes will continue to be perpetuated in the name of Pakistan and Islam to usurp the rights of people of Sindh and other units of Pakistan?

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

Indeed, with such lies the Pakistani establishment is preventing De-centralization of many other subjects in accordance with the recent amendments to the Pakistani constitution. How long and how far the fraud schemes will continue to be perpetuated in the name of Pakistan and Islam to usurp the rights of people of small units /States/ provinces. This federal Education Minister and other ignorant high government officials like him who want to preserve centralization in the Education department and other jurisdictions should be condemned. They should not be allowed to serve since they took oath to abide by the constitution of Pakistan. If anything, Pakistan needs further De-centralization to become a true federation with adherence to strict provincial quotas in jobs including in the whole of Defense ministry and enactment of strong affirmative action programs to ensure proper representation of people from small states/ province whose employment lags their population proportion.

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While talking against the devolution of federal ministry of education, Pakistan’s federal education minister Mr Assef Ahmed Ali said:

“There will be only Sindhis, Pushtun, Punjabis and Balochs and not Pakistanis in 10 years if timely measures are not taken,” he said. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Bangladesh Supreme Court bans religion in politics – when will this happen in Pakistan?

Bangladesh SC bans religion in politics

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has reinstated a ban on Islamic political parties in the latest blow to ‘religious hardliners’ in the impoverished South Asian country, a minister said on Thursday.

In a detailed, 184-page verdict released late on Wednesday, the Supreme Court scrapped the bulk of the 1979 fifth amendment, including provisions that had allowed religious political parties to flourish and legalised military rule.

“Secularism will again be the cornerstone of our constitution,” law minister Shafiq Ahmed told AFP on Thursday.

After independence, Bangladesh’s first constitution made secularism a key pillar. Following a 1975 coup, the army-led government amended the constitution’s guiding principle to “faith in Allah” in 1979.

Religious parties, which were banned in the original 1971 constitution but legalised by the 1979 amendments, are now banned again as the above provision has been thrown out, said Ahmed.

“Islamic parties cannot use religion in politics any more,” he said.

In 1988, a second military-led government made Islam the state religion in the Muslim-majority nation.

“But following the scrapping of the fifth amendment, these later amendments can now be challenged in court,” Ahmed said.

In the verdict, which was issued in January but became trapped in an appeals process until Wednesday, the Supreme Court also declared the 1975-1990 military rule illegal, and recommended punishing military dictators, Ahmed said.

“This means that, in theory, any Bangladeshi citizen could initiate a lawsuit against a former military dictator,” he said, adding that the repeal of the amendment would also limit the possibility of a future military coup.

“It is a landmark verdict,” Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik, who is also dean of law at the private BRAC university told AFP, adding that lawmakers would now have to clarify how the verdict would be applied by law.

Since the Awami League’s landslide election win over the Islamist-allied Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in 2008, the government has cracked down on Islamic groups and parties.

Read more >> The News