The Sindh High Court on Friday extended the protective bail of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf by 15 days. Mr Musharraf appeared before the High Court in Karachi earlier today to seek the extension in a series of cases, including the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Mafia States – Organized Crime Takes Office
By Moisés Naím
The Rise of the Mezzanine Rulers
Michael Crawford and Jami Miscik
Governments across the Middle East and South Asia are increasingly losing power to substate actors that are inserting themselves at a mezzanine level of rule between the government and the people. Western policymakers must address the problem systematically, at both a political and a legal level, rather than continue to pursue reactive and disjointed measures on a case-by-case basis.
Asif cases can’t be reopened: Swiss AG
ISLAMABAD (APP)-President Asif Ali Zardari enjoys immunity under International Law and therefore no case can be reopened against him in the courts of Switzerland, Attorney General of Geneva Daniel Zappelli said this in an interview with a private TV channel on Saturday night.
When asked that when the case had been closed, can it be reopened if the State makes the request as in the case of President Asif Ali Zardari,the Swiss Attorney General said it is a big problem because under the International Law which is also applicable to Switzerland, the Head of State, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister enjoy absolute immunity on reopening of cases.
To a question by the interviewer about reopening of cases if submitted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Attorney General of Geneva said if an application to reopen the cases in Swiss courts was submitted through Pakistans Embassy it would be returned, since the Head of the State enjoys absolute immunity according to International Law. …..
Read more » nation.com.pk
Beyond the memo affair
By Raza Rumi
The memogate inquiry shows how political cases are wasting the precious time of the courts and creating one embarrassment after another for the Pakistani state. If media reports are to be believed, the military and the ISI have already backtracked on their earlier zeal to get this issue further explored. The architect of the memo controversy, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, has retired and one hopes better sense will now prevail. At the same time, the principal character, Mansoor Ijaz, has been exposed as a vacillating, and an unreliable ‘witness’ during the proceedings. Yet, our Supreme Court wants to proceed with the case and the inquiry commission has been given additional time to investigate the unsigned memo. …
Read more » The Express Tribune
By I.A Rehman
THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity for several weeks. Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms.
The issue of Hindu girls’ conversion to Islam and marriage to Muslim men, both transitions alleged to be forced and often after abduction, is not new. Indeed, it has always been high on the Hindu citizens’ list of complaints. What is new is the scale and intensity of their reaction and the large number of their appeals for justice. It seems three recent cases involving Rinkal Kumari, Lata Kumari and Aasha Kumari have unleashed the Hindu community’s long-brewing fears of loss of its religious and cultural identities.
The three cases are not identical in detail. Dr Murli Lal Karira, who belonged to Jacobabad and practised medicine at Suhbatpur, in Jafarabad district, was reported to have been abducted while travelling homeward. Some days later, his niece, Aasha Kumari Karira, who was taking lessons at a Jacobabad beauty parlour, did not return home after her work hours, and was believed to have been abducted. Her whereabouts are unknown.
Dr Lata Kumari, the 29-year old daughter of a medical practitioner from Jacobabad and employed at one of Karachi’s premier medical institutions, was reported to have married a young Muslim man after converting to Islam. Her father alleged that her conversion and marriage took place under coercion after abduction and he moved the high court for redress. The lady denies these allegations. She came to the court when her husband applied for bail before arrest.
The brother of Rinkal Kumari (18) says she was abducted by unknown persons, allegedly backed by an influential MNA. Her family had difficulty in filing an FIR. The next day she and the young man she was said to have married after conversion to Islam were presented in a court at Mirpur Mathelo, while her family had been told to go to a court in Ghotki. The family was not allowed to see her. It is said that she told the magistrate she wanted to go with her family but the latter reportedly expressed his inability to allow a Muslim girl to go to a non-Muslim house and sent her to a Darul Aman. Subsequently she is said to have modified her statement.
One suspects that these cases have provoked an unusual wave of protest because unlike the poor and voiceless victims in earlier cases of forced conversion-marriage affairs, the women now involved come of socially noteworthy families who have some access to electronic means of communication.
Several non-Muslim citizens have argued that these women have been, or are being, forced to accept conversion and marriage under threats of dire consequences to their families if they refuse to surrender.
The state of the common Hindu citizens’ mind is reflected in the e-mail Rinkal Kumari’s brother addressed to the chief justice of Pakistan (copied to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan). He says that Rinkal’s abductors have told her that “if she wants to save her parents’ life she should choose to convert [change] her religion and marry [an] unknown guy…. And yesterday [the] judge ordered that [the] girl wants to change her religion and want[s] to marry …Naveed…. [The] judge even didn’t allow [the] girl to meet … her parents or anybody from her family. There were 500-700 people in [the] courtroom all with guns and there was nobody from [the] girl’s family…. Now hundred[s] of people will take advantage of [the] 18-year-old girl and after that they will sell her to somebody”. Nobody with a reasonably sound heart will fail to be moved by the feelings of anguish and despair oozing from these words.
These cases raise several questions of a fundamental nature.
Continue reading I.A. Rehman on forced conversions – THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms
Q&A – Ayesha Siddiqa, Political Commentator
PAKISTAN IS in a political crisis, again. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is openly targeting the army. The army and ISI are digging up dirt against the prime minister on Memogate and are angry with his statements. The judiciary is adamant on pursuing corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and is charging the prime minister for contempt. Amidst all this chaos, talks of a possible coup are doing the rounds. Gilani has been summoned to appear before the Supreme Court. Controversial Pak-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the man who claimed to have delivered the controversial memo to the Americans, is to visit Pakistan on 24 January. Kunal Majumder spoke to Ayesha Siddiqa, Pakistan’s leading authority on civil-military relations, about her assessment of the changing equations between the army, judiciary and the government.
Excerpts From An Interview
A lot of commentators are suggesting that a coup is not possible in Pakistan anymore. Do you agree with this assessment?
I wouldn’t agree that it is impossible, but at this moment, it doesn’t seem likely. A coup will happen only when the army runs out of options. Now, the military has other options available. It has a fiery judiciary ….
Read more » Tehelka
– Another judge refuses to hear Afaq`s petition
KARACHI, July 25: The petition of Afaq Ahmed, the chairman of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, better known as MQM-Haqiqi, seeking protection against political victimisation and prosecution in false cases could not be heard on Monday as another judge of the Sindh High Court refused to proceed with the matter.
Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh told Mr Afaq`s counsel that he could not proceed with the petition.
Earlier, Justice Mohammed Athar Saeed had refused to proceed with Mr Ahmed`s petition that was transferred to another judge, Tufail H. Ebrahim.
However, the petition was later transferred to Justice Shaikh after the resignation of Justice Ebrahim. ….
Read more → DAWN.COM
Blood, Justice And Corruption: Why The Chinese Love Their Death Penalty
Editorial: There’s nothing that the Chinese people hate more than a corrupted official. But the government should do more to root out corruption than play to the public’s basest instincts for revenge. Still, don’t expect China’s death penalty to disappear anytime soon.
By Teng Biao
Of all the criminal cases in China, those involving corrupt officials sentenced to death arouse the greatest interest. The morbid examples abound: from the public cheering for the recent death sentences for the two deputy mayors of Suzhou and Hangzhou to the executions of the head of the State Food and Drug Administration, of the Secretary of Justice of Chongqing City, and of the vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
China is the global leader for the number of corrupt officials who are sentenced to death, and actually executed each year. But, judging by the seemingly endless “public demand” for this kind of punishment and the surging popular anger, it would seem that there is actually not enough of it. While so many people are “beheaded,” executives at all levels are still determined to brave death by trying to make the most of corruption. …
Read more : WorldCrunch
Security of ATC judge hearing BB murder case withdrawn
RAWALPINDI: An Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) judge who was hearing two high profile cases complained that his security had been withdrawn with out any reason, DawnNews reported.
The ATC special Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed in a letter to the Punjab Home Department said that his security was removed …
Read more : DAWN
Pakistan minister faces US court
A provincial health minister in northern Pakistan is facing 30 law suits in the United States in connection with the largest known outbreak there of Hepatitis C infection.
The health minister of Punjab, Dr Tahir Ali Javed, who practiced in America from 1989 to 2002, has been formally accused by the state of Nebraska in connection with the Hepatitis outbreak which has been linked to his former clinic.
Vowing to defend himself in the US court, he told the BBC that he did not receive any legal notice while he was in the United States and that the cases date back some four years.
Read more : BBC
– = – = – = –
Report Says Militants in Pearl Killing Still at Large
By JANE PERLEZ
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Nine years after an American reporter Daniel Pearl was captured and killed by operatives of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, more than a dozen of the militants involved in his murder remain at large, a testament to the lack of will by Pakistani authorities to prosecute the cases, according to a report released Thursday. …
Read more : THE NEW YORK TIMES
BIRMINGHAM: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said that graft cases against slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Zardari in Switzerland’s courts were not proven.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Express, Musharraf revealed that a letter was also written to Swiss authorities during his regime showing displeasure at the lengthy trial.
He said the rounds of negotiations he held with Benazir Bhutto were always one-on-one.
He said people on TV talk shows make noises about NRO and talk incessantly about the deal even though they know nothing about the facts.
Replying to a question, he said his meetings with Benazir Bhutto in Abu Dhabi used to span three to four hours, and they were always one-on-one. Rehman Malik accompanied the PPP leader but did not participate in the negotiations.
He recalled that when in the first round of talks Benazir asked for abolition of 58-2 (b) “I refused point blank”. He said when talking about the cases instituted against her during Nawaz Sharif government, Benazir used to become misty-eyed.
The ex-president said that the cases against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari were neither proved in Swiss courts nor in Pakistan’s, while both were acquitted in many cases.
He said he had written to the Swiss courts that their performance was even worse than Pakistani courts as they failed to decide the cases, “but the fact of the matter is that there was nothing in those cases”.
Read more >> The Express Tribune
Courtesy: Express TV (Front Line with Kamran Shahid, Faisal Raza Abdi)