Tag Archives: law

Iqbal Tareen’s Interview with AwazTV on controversial & black “SPLGO.”

Iqbal Tareen is an author of “Harvest will come – Embracing diverse Pakistani heritage”, President of Silver Lining International, Inc., Chief organizer of “Democracy, Individual and Collective Human Rights, Education and Skills Development, Fight against Hepatitis in Pakistan”, former president of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) & and founder president of Jeay Sindh Student Federation (JSSF). The language of the interview is Sindhi.

Courtesy: Awaz Tv

Mammoth rally in Karachi rejects apartheid SPLG law

Mammoth rally rejects LG law

By: Ramzan Chandio

KARACHI – The participants of a huge public gathering of nationalist and other political parties on Wednesday rejected the Sindh People Local Government Law, terming it a plot of ruling PPP and MQM to plunge the province into civil war-like situation, which may pave way for division of Sindh in future.The protest sit-in, which was organised by the Save Sindh Committee, comprised of nationalist parties. They staged sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club and demanded immediate withdrawal of the controversial local government law.The workers’ caravans of the political parties while hoisting their party flags and chanting slogans against the PPP government reached the venue of sit-in on Wednesday’s afternoon, which converted into huge public gathering.Besides Sindh’s nationalist parties,

Continue reading Mammoth rally in Karachi rejects apartheid SPLG law

It seems that a battle is unfolding between the nation of Sindh & the PPP

Another kind of war

By Editorial

Has a war involving different parties, different forces and different motives begun in Sindh? This certainly seems to be the case. Just a few days after a shooting killed six PPP activists at a rally in Khairpur, which was to have been addressed by MNA Nafeesa Shah, the homes of at least six other PPP leaders were targeted by explosive devices across the province. Pamphlets found at some of the sites attributed responsibility to the little known Sindhudesh Liberation Army, according to police officials.

Those targeted included Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani in Shikarpur and PPP lawmaker Imdad Ali Pitafi in Hyderabad. In other places, bomb disposal squads defused four bombs placed at the residences of Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmad Khuhro and Law Minister Ayaz Soomro in Larkana, lawmakers Syed Faseeh Shah in Nawabshah and Haji Hayat Talpur in Mirpurkhas. The police claim to have made one arrest and uncovered other evidence from a closed-circuit television camera.

It seems that a battle is unfolding between Sindhi nationalists and the PPP. Unless other complexities and conspiracies are involved, which is possible, the only reason that comes to mind is the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance passed recently by the Sindh Assembly amidst a huge uproar. While the law was strongly backed by the MQM and agreed upon by most of the PPP, some members dissented and nationalist forces fiercely opposed the legislation, which reintroduces city governments. The war we are now seeing is, however, an extremely dangerous one. It can quickly spread through all of Sindh, where both the PPP and the nationalists have influence and a political presence. The idea of the two, pitched against each other, is an alarming one. This is all the more so, given that subsequent violence spread rapidly in Sindh and its settlements. A solution is needed with the PPP taking the lead in finding one.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/449729/another-kind-of-war/

Local government backlash

Local government backlash: Amid song and dance, anti-Sindh mantra goes on

Excerpt;

…. Wearing red caps and holding placards inscribed with anti-government slogans, the protesters, men, women and children, staged a sit-in in front of the press club.

A sea of red flags of different Sindhi nationalist parties filled the roads from Karachi Press Club to Fawara Chowk and from Arts Council to Zainab Market.

The protest call was given by the Sindh Bachayo Committee (Save Sindh Committee). Different political parties, including Awami Tahreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jeay Sindh Tehreek, Sindh Tarraqi Pasand Party, Sindh United Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, joined in.

And almost every leader of the party vented his anger against the government for passing the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012.

Jalal Mehmood Shah, the Save Sindh Movement convenor; Dr Qadir Magsi of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party; Dr Safdar Sarki of Jeay Sindh Tehreek; Sanan Qureshi of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Saleem Zia of the Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League; Masroor Jatoi of National Peoples Party; and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Asadullah Bhutto were among those who spoke.

Sindh is our motherland and no one would let the PPP and its coalition partner to divide it, said Dr Qadir Magsi. Criticising the ruling party and its leadership, he said that people of Sindh should not expect good things from the PPP any more. ….

In his speech, Jalal Mehmood Shah announced an “unending” struggle against the new local government system and termed the rally a referendum against the system. “This large gathering proves that people of Sindh will not accept the black law, which has been imposed in the province at gunpoint,” he said.

The nationalist leader reiterated that rallies, hunger strikes and all other protests will go on in the province until the law is withdrawn. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/449844/local-government-backlash-amid-song-and-dance-anti-sindh-mantra-goes-on/

(SPLGO) 2012 is an apartheid act passed without due process

By: Khalid Hashmani, USA

My view we diaspora Sindhis should let everyone in Sindh, Pakistan, and rest of world know that (SPLGO) 2012 is an illegal act passed without due process and that it denies historic rights of Sindhis. For the time being, we should play a crucial role in creating awareness about this ill-conceived scheme among the following two groups:

1. Tell the heart-less PPP Assembly members that their action is a serious blunder which will hurt coming generations of people who live in Sindh and that they must go back to the Sindh Assembly and vote to withdraw this foolish regulation. We must make it clear to them that if they do not that as soon as possible, Sindhis will neither forget nor forgive them for this act of betrayal.

2. Create awareness in the general public of Sindh that (SPLGO) 2012 law undermines Sindh and will divide various ethnic people living in Sindh and keep rural Sindh under the shackles of poverty and dominance by urban and rural waderas/feudals. If PPP does not move fast to dismantle (SPLGO) 2012 immediately, we should play our role in encouraging them to vote for any one but PPP.

In doing so we must not align ourselves with any political party or a grouping of political parties. Our (SANA) actions should be transparent and inclusive and any appearance of supporting any faction must be avoided at all costs.

There are several actions that we can take but in the immediate future – for one we should call and write to PPP members to take immediate action to dismantle the ill-conceived action they took. We should also call other political and NGO leaders, writers, poets, teachers, student leaders, social writers, intellectuals, professors and other leading persons in Sindh and urge them to start and strengthen the movement to have one uniform system of local bodies in Sindh and restore equal rights for everyone who lives in Sindh.

I believe the above simple but focused actions will take enough of our time and encourage people of Sindh to rise on this critical occasion to force immediate annulment of (SPLGO) 2012.

Why is this revenge imposed on poor people of Sindh who elected those who said that the democracy is the best revenge?

By: Khalid Hashmani

The article of Mehtab Akber Rashdi, in Sindhi daily Awamiawaz, published on Oct. 08, 2012 definitely explains the pain and frustration being felt by Sindhis all over the world. The following are some of the key points from her article for those who cannot read Sindhi:

1. The ordinance in its final form came out of the Sindh Governor House in the late hours of the night of October 1st with only one day’s notice, the assembly of Sindh passed it within minutes and imposed on the people of Sindh.

2. Some had long suspected that the incompetent leadership of PPP would barter away something big to prolong their rule. But, nothing of this proportion and so harmful to Sindh was ever expected.

3. Indeed, generations of Sindhis will remember this revenge imposed on poor people of Sindh who elected those who said that the democracy is the best revenge.

4. Remembering Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, and Murtaza Bhutto, Ms Rashdai recites the following poem of Shah Abdul Latif:

ويا مور مري، هنج نه رهيو هيڪڙو،

وطن ٿيو وري ڪوڙن ڪائنرن جو

Gone are the principled and sincere heroes and just leaders!

Our homeland is now is in hands of selfish and unjust hoarders!

5. Instead of feeling ashamed of their actions, they shamelessly say that they had the democratic mandate to take these decisions. How can these people abuse the trust of simple, selfless and trusting Sindhi marrooars who trusted them to protect their rights and their future!

6. Once again, Sindhis have been shackled under another black law by their own representatives. Now is not the time to talk to them but to awaken men and women of Sindh to assess the damage that has been done to their future.

7. History is the witness that those betrayed Sindh ultimately fell in the list of traitors and no amount of effort in rehabilitating them.

8. The author assails the provisions that hand-over 41 of 43 provincial powers to mayors and how can one expect that equal rights will be enjoyed by every one Sindh.

I myself don’t understand as to why the PPP government that helped in restoring some provincial powers through the 18th amendment would turn around and give back most of those subjects to mayors. Do they know the consequences of what they are doing?

Bartering away Sindh Rights to remain in power is a wound that would never heal!

By: Khalid Hashmani

It is an unimaginable tragedy that the political party that Sindhis overwhelmingly voted for has turned around and stuck the most devastating dagger in the heart of Sindh. Sindhis in Sindh and else where in the world are feeling deeply betrayed and hurt by this action of PPP. They are not likely to forget and forgive this betrayal by a political party that had pledged protect and advance Sindhi rights.

I feel embarrassed to have urged my family and friends back home to vote for PPP in the last elections. I feel ashamed to have pleaded with others on this forum to give PPP some more time to deliver on their commitments when others were expressing disappointment with the PPP after few months of their government.

I must admit that I had never expected that PPP will be the main architect of laying foundations for the dismemberment of Sindh and strengthening a system that denies equal rights to Sindhis in large cities of Sindh. I know of no example where a political party so bluntly and stupidly bartered away the aspirations and rights of those who gave their 100% support.

Two other examples come to mind from Sindh’s past history – Chanesar’s support of Alla-uddin Khilji’s attack on Sindh so that he will become ruler of Sindh and the act of Sindhi members in Sindh’s Parliament in supporting the creation of one unit. History is the witness that in both cases the unjust actions and changes were ultimately defeated. Dodo Soomro gave his life and left example of sacrifice and love for Sindh for generations to come and the annulment of “one unit” within few years.

I have a belief that like “one unit”, this forced imposition of unnatural, artificial, rejected, controversial dual system that creates two governance system in Sindh will too see the same fate. Sindhis must not accept this unpatriotic division of Sindh and must continue the struggle to have one uniform system governance in Sindh. The struggle for reversion must be continued as we did against “one unit”.

We must urge our families and friends never to vote for any political party or group that has supported or will support this artificial dual system. We must encourage and foster a movement that will result reversion of this unjust division in near future.

Sindhi writers, intellectuals reject SPLGO 2012 – SAMA TV

KARACHI: Sindhi writers, poets, intellectuals, artists, civil society members, journalists and political activists staged a protest against Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 outside Karachi Press Club on Saturday.

A large number of the writers gathered here and chanted slogans against the ordinance, rejecting the dual system in one province.

Sindh Assembly Members, PML-F leaders Nusrat Sahar and Marvi Rashdi also participated in the protest and said that the ordinance was illegal and exposed PPP of betraying Sindh and its people.

The participants included Agha Salim, Fehmida Riaz, Amar Sindhu, Arfana Malah, Jami Chandio, Aijaz Mangi, G.N.Muhgal, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Inam Sheikh and others. They said that the act was aimed to create a state within state in the province. Courtesy: SAMAA TV

http://samaa.tv/newsdetail.aspx?ID=54853&CID=1

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More details » BBC

Protest against new LG law: Sindh Nationalists plan to block all highways on 16th

(Dawn) HYDERABAD, Oct 5: Awami Tehrik president Ayaz Latif Palijo has said activists of his party will block all highways in Sindh on Oct 16 to lodge a strong protest against adoption of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act by the Sindh Assembly and killings of four activists of nationalist parties by police during ongoing agitation against the LG law.

Mr Palijo said at a news conference at the press club here on Friday that his party supported all public meetings to be held by the Sindh Bachayo Committee on Oct 10, 12 and 19.

“I appeal to all nationalists and opposition parties having members in the Sindh Assembly to launch a ‘court arrest’ movement and bring a long march of one million people to the Sindh Assembly building and turn it into Tahrir Square,” he said.

“We had proposed in the Oct 3 meeting of the SBC in Karachi a long march from Kashmore to Karachi or from Mirpurkhas to Karachi or a ‘court arrest’ movement but the meeting could not reach a consensus on the proposal,” he said.

People were agitating against the bill and expecting political parties to play an effective role by launching a decisive struggle, he said.

Continue reading Protest against new LG law: Sindh Nationalists plan to block all highways on 16th

Excerpt of Naseer Memon oped published in Sindhi Daily Kawish on the issue of controversail local govt. law

Creation of Metropolitan Corporations

· Government will create Divisional Head Quarter of Karachi, Hyderabad , Sukkur, Larkano and Mirpurkhas as Metropolitan Corporations But Karachi Metropolitan will be consist of five districts [Note: only Karachi is different from all other Metropolitan all other metro will be consists of only one district while Karachi five]

According to 1998 census MQM has only majority in two districts out of five. If Karachi Metro consists of five District Councils then MQM can have control on only two district councils and they cannot even win mayor ship of Karachi Metro! So MQM knowingly using this Ordinance created Karachi Metro based on five districts instead of 18 towns.

· Union Council boundaries with in the Metro area cannot stretch into any Talku or town

Please note that this doesn’t apply to Town boundaries, there are 5 districts and 18 towns are in Karachi. 18 towns were created in dictator Gen. Musharaf period gerrymandering so that MQM elect their Mayor. It was not possible before since out five districts MQM can only elect two districts only.

This also shows that Karachi is different from other Metro areas.

· Through this ordinance Mayor and Chairman have authority to remove encroachment and maintain peace using Criminal Procedure Code 109, 133, 143, 144 and 145 under the Police act of 1861 and under section 30A-34B. Also they have section 144 under their authority.

Using this authority MQM Bulldoze any Sindhi area, do not allow any political rally and activity, remove any flood relief camps etc.

· Using their financial resources councils have authority to create any new department

Obviously only Karachi and Hyderabad has revenue to create any new department. We already had seen how MQM created city police by recruiting its entire party worker. Rest assured how will these departments server the city.

· Using this ordinance Deputy Commissioner office becomes irrelevant and all the powers are transferred to Chief Officer, who reports to Metro Government. Only revenue matters left to DC office but Karachi will be different again.

Now you can imagine how MQM will utilize Chief Officer Office.

· Financial grant of Metro based on its financial needs, revenue potential and revenue generation

In other words since Karachi and Hyderabad generate most the revenue hence they need more money and rest of Sindh will go to hell. There is no parity for poverty which considers in federal divisible pool.

· Using this Ordinance there are many departments moved to Metro area but most consequential are primary education and fisheries

If Karachi metro can regulate primary education it means the small number of Sindhi medium school running will be closed and there will be no new sindhi medium school will open. Also fisheries department transferred to Karachi Metro mean they will regulate all the harbors where majority of Balochs and Sindhi currently works. They will also not allow any new fishermen housing society in future.

· Military dictator Gen. Musharaf police Ordinance only reactivated in Karachi only, rest of Sindh will still in 1861 act

Courtesy: Sindhi daily Kawish, 05 October, 2012

Via – World Sindh Congress (WSC) facebook wall.

GRAND Civil Society Protest against notorious Black law of Divide of Sindh

By: Zulfiqar Halepoto

Hundreds of civil society leaders, human rights and peace activists writers, lawyers, intellectuals, students, women activists and concerned citizens joined first day of token hunger strike and protest by CIVIL SOCIETY of Hyderabad against the black BILL of SPLGO 2012 today on 02-10-2012 @ Hyderabad Press Club, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan. Civil society called the bill a conspiracy to divide Sindh on administrative line to pay ways for further demographic and geographic divide of Sindh on ethnic basis- It was resolved that people of Sindh are prepared to bleed to save their historical motherland from being divided. Civil society appealed to Sindh-loving Urdu speaking Sindhis to get out of their homes against the bill and rural-urban divide and be counted in the list of those who love their motherland, its sovereignty and integrity- Civil society hunger strike and protest was joined and addressed by leading civil society and political leaders including STPP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Amar Sindhu, Punhal Sario and others. On this occasion and resolved that they have planned to stage sit-ins, token hunger strikes, peaceful protests till this black bill is withdrawn. Civil society hunger strike and protest was attended by Please join us Dr Qadir magsi, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Punhal Sario, Inam Shaikh, Amar Sindhu , Mushtaq Mirani, Professor Tanveer Jnejo, Mukhtiar Abassi, Apa Nazir Qureshi, Gulshan laghari, Noor Memon, Muzaffar Chandio, Muzaffar Kalhoro, Javed Soz Halai, Jabbar Bhatti, Asghar Lagahri, Dilip Doultani, Abbas Khoso, Haseen Musratt Shah, Perveen magsi, Saleem Lashari, Niaz Chandio, Ayaz Chandio, Rbail Aziz, Hussain Bux Thebo, Advocate Inder Jeet Lohano, Ayaz Tunio, Hiader Shahani, Mr. Jamari Advocate, Nandlal Malhi and others.Civil society moot was joined by the leaders and workers of several political parties including STP, PMLN, AJP, JSQM and others

Courtesy: Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151267955529974.518472.580054973&type=1

Why Pakistanis Won’t Speak Out Against Blasphemy Law

By: Tahir Gora

The arrest of 11-year-or-so-old Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, in Pakistan in connection with the blasphemy charges has shocked the world but not Pakistan and majority Pakistanis.

For instance, a Pakistani Canadian from Mississauga, Ontario Canada wrote on the Internet in the wake of this senseless arrest, “Lets fight against the terrorism of USA and support the cause of AAFIA SIDDIQUE (a Pakistani lady convicted and jailed in the USA for assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan)”, he stated further, “I am 100% sure that nothing will happen to the girl (Rimsha) and she will be released, not to worry.”

While undermining the arrest of poor little Rimsha and provoking dispute in Aafia conviction case, that Pakistani-Canadian fellow completely forgot that a Pakistani Christian lady, Asia Bibi, a mother of five is still behind the bars. She received a sentence of death by a Pakistani court in connection of Blasphemy Law in November 2010.

Continue reading Why Pakistanis Won’t Speak Out Against Blasphemy Law

MPA wants Christian girl released, blasphemy law abolished

KARACHI, Aug 24: MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, who represents the Christian community in the Sindh Assembly, has called for the immediate release of a Christian girl arrested recently near Islamabad. She was accused of desecrating the Quran and charged under the blasphemy law.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday, Mr Khokhar appealed to the government to abolish the blasphemy law, claiming that it was being misused to settle personal scores and victimise the minorities.

Continue reading MPA wants Christian girl released, blasphemy law abolished

Christian group to hold conference on Pakistan blasphemy law

GENEVA: An influential Christian Church organisation will hold an international conference in Geneva next month on Pakistan’s blasphemy law, after an 11-year-old Pakistani Christian girl was detained on accusations of defaming Islam.

Religious and secular groups worldwide have protested over the arrest last week of Rifta Masih, accused by Muslim neighbours of burning verses from the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) said the conference was intended to give a global platform to religious minorities in Pakistan “who are victimised in the name of its controversial blasphemy law” in cases which had brought death penalties and “mob-instigated violence.”

It will be addressed by representatives of the minorities: Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, dissenting Islamic sects – including Ahmadis and Shias, and by civil society groups defending them. The WCC said officials from the United Nations, where special human rights investigators on religious freedom have often criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy law, would also attend.

Continue reading Christian group to hold conference on Pakistan blasphemy law

New blasphemy low – downs syndrome girl arrested!

We have received reports of a new and appalling low in the ongoing abuse of blasphemy laws. Allegedly, a Quran was found with some of its pages burned by Muslims in a Christian area of Islamabad – in previous cases the burning has nearly always shown to have been done by Muslims, or by mentally unstable people – and worse, they have had an 11 year old Christian girl with downs syndrome called Rimsha Masih arrested and charged with the crime.

Continue reading New blasphemy low – downs syndrome girl arrested!

I am disgusted at what Zia did to Pakistan

By Omer Kamal bin Farooq

To begin with, I absolutely loathe generals in uniform running countries. No matter how incompetent the politicians are, how relevant the doctrine of necessity is and how much of a messiah the man in the boots is, there is something very corrupt and amoral about the whole thing.

I remember watching Ziaul Haq’s martial law speech for the first time as a teenager during the peak of the lawyers’ movements. As a child who grew up in Musharraf’s martial law, I, for the first time, was discovering terms like ‘judicial independence’, ‘supremacy of the constitution’, and the ‘primacy of democracy‘. I was caught up in the romance of all that.

Then I saw his speech in which he shamelessly went on about how “Mr Bhutto’s” government has been brought to an end, assemblies dissolved and ministers removed.

What flabbergasted me was how could a man say all this in one sentence and never stutter for once. How could he tell his “aziz humwatno” (dear countrymen) that they are inconsequential and their elected institutions and people are nothing more than fragile toys left to the whims of a badly brought up child?

But he did all this, never being weighed down by the burden of his own words. Heck, he even talked about the constitution in the last part of the sentence. So the constitution, head of the government, provincial and national assemblies, ministers and governors, all went in the same sentence and the man did not even show a modicum of remorse. Despite this, we all know who was hanged in the wee hours of the morning and who got the much celebrated state funeral only fitting for a national hero.

A lot has changed in the last five years since I saw the video of his speech. The lawyers are upholding the law by banning Ahmadi-owned soft drinks and showering cold-blooded murderers with rose petals. Even judicial activism has been harbouring on the fringes of judicial martial law, but one thing has remained constant; my disgust for what Zia has done to my country and what he stood for.

Continue reading I am disgusted at what Zia did to Pakistan

Elected officials can be disqualified in Pakistan, but unelected DG ISI, MI are above the law?

Debate begins on whether DG ISI, MI can be booked

By: Ahmad Noorani

ISLAMABAD: For the first time in country’s history, the Punjab Police have registered an FIR against the chiefs of the Inter Services Intelligence (IsI) and Military intelligence in a missing person’s case in compliance with the Islamabad High Court orders.

The Punjab police action has sparked a new debate as to whether police can book chiefs of major intelligence agencies of the country.According to details, one Naveed Butt, spokesman of banned Hizbul Tehrir was allegedly picked up by the agencies on May 11, 2012, outside his home in Lahore in area of Liaqatabad Police Station. Saadia Rahat, a lawyer and wife of Naveed Butt, moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against abduction of her husband and also moved an application in the Police Station concerned.

On May 14, 2012, the IHC ordered the Punjab Police to recover the missing person and act under the law. However, Naveed was not recovered and on June 26, 2012, the Punjab Police registered an FIR based on the application of Naveed’s wife.

The FIR is captioned: ‘FIR against DG ISI, Deputy Director ISI, Lahore, DG MI, Rawalpindi, Deputy Director MI, Lahore,” and numbered 566/12 PS Liaqtabad, Lahore. Some experts say that an FIR could not be registered against the intelligence chiefs of the country while others disagree with this view.

After registration of the FIR, the Punjab Police immediately took action against the SHO Rana Khursheed of the police station concerned and made the concerned SP, Athar Waheed, an OSD, considered to be a punishment in bureaucratic parlance.

Raja Irshad, senior lawyer, who represented the ISI in many cases, when approached by The News, said that registering of FIR against the DG ISI and DG MI is a ‘wrongful and ‘illegal act’.

Continue reading Elected officials can be disqualified in Pakistan, but unelected DG ISI, MI are above the law?

Contempt law case: SC rejects federation’s request for full court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the federation’s request of a full court to hear the petitions against the recently passed contempt of court law, DawnNews reported.

A five-judge bench of the apex court comprising Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani heard the petitions against the new law.

Continue reading Contempt law case: SC rejects federation’s request for full court

The battle in Pakistan is not between executive and judiciary, but between rule of law and rule of a Judge

Know thy facts

By Feisal H Naqvi

There are moments in my academic past of which I am quite proud. Getting a distinguished Yale Law School professor of Constitutional Law to swear at me in open class is not one of them.

Continue reading The battle in Pakistan is not between executive and judiciary, but between rule of law and rule of a Judge

Pakistani Liberals Are No Leap of Faith

This beleaguered minority in the country still deserves international support.

BY SADANAND DHUME

This isn’t the best time to be a Pakistani liberal. Opinion polling shows most Pakistanis thinking of America as an enemy, democracy as an unwelcome concept and the imposition of Shariah law as a no-brainer. Meanwhile, recent news out of the country involves the judiciary taking down an elected prime minister and politicians like Imran Khan riding high by invoking anti-imperialist and Islamist ideas, even as an Urdu-language media remains saturated with hyper-nationalism.

Against this backdrop, the world can’t be blamed for regarding the Pakistani liberal as an exotic hothouse flower with no roots in the country’s unforgiving soil. As the United States enters a shaky new period of detente with Pakistan following the reopening last week of supply routes to Afghanistan, it’s fair to ask if these liberals deserve notice at all. Doesn’t it make more sense for the West to instead engage more intensely with the powerful army and assertive hardliners such as Mr. Khan?

The answer is no. It’s always tempting for the West to do business with whoever’s powerful, but this is a recipe for the kind of trouble America right now faces with its troublesome “ally.” Pakistan’s liberals are not only less weak and less of a fringe phenomenon than they’re made out to be, they’re also the only ones who hold out the promise of a better future for their country.

One recurring complaint against liberalism is that though Pakistan regained its democracy four years ago, President Asif Ali Zardari’s civilian government still can’t wrest decision-making away from the military. But no civilian government could realistically be expected to immediately assert its authority over an army that has directly ruled the country for 34 of its 65 years, and continues to command the lion’s share of national resources. As the experiences of Indonesia and Turkey show, only when democracy grows roots do politicians acquire the finesse and self-confidence to take on generals accustomed to command. This takes patience.

Continue reading Pakistani Liberals Are No Leap of Faith

CJ’s remarks

CJ’s remarks

CHIEF Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on Saturday fired the latest salvo in the perceived escalating fight between the superior judiciary and the PPP-led federal government. The Supreme Court, according to Justice Chaudhry, can strike down any legislation that is incompatible with the fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution. While this is a well-established principle, the timing of Justice Chaudhry’s comments is impossible to ignore: the chief justice’s dilation on the ins and outs of the constitution came in a week that the government proposed legislation to protect its constitutional office-holders from suffering the same fate as former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani suffered recently. Unfortunate as it is that the past judicial practice of justices speaking only from the bench and through their judgments has been discarded in recent years, the comments by the chief justice come very close to pre-empting the legislative process. Astonishingly, however, the chief justice did not just stop there: he indicated that the supremacy of parliament was ‘out of place in the modern era’, the constitution itself enjoying pre-eminence over the will of parliament. This is explosive, particularly given the backdrop of the judiciary-government battles. Start with the claim that the constitution, not parliament, is supreme, add the corollary that the SC is the final and unquestioned interpreter of what the constitution does or does not permit — and suddenly Pakistan is in the realm of a supreme judiciary, an unelected institution dictating the contract by which state and society interact. This would be a fundamental shift in the way Pakistan’s constitutional arrangement is imagined and it is quite extraordinary that a serving chief justice would see fit to make such a pronouncement outside a judicial forum. In the SC, the chief justice is the administrative head but his vote is equal to that wielded by any other justice in any given case. Surely, then, at the very least, this is a matter to be decided before a full court, if and when the matter comes before the court.

But returning to the issue of fundamental rights guaranteed in the constitution, why is it that the court keeps invoking fundamental rights when it comes to engaging with the government instead of concentrating on securing the fundamental rights of the people? Why not focus on the broken judicial system in which the average complainant has virtually no hope of ever getting justice, and none of getting it on time? Why not focus on the abysmally low rate of successful prosecution that allows criminals to walk free? Must the court be so obviously selective?

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

http://dawn.com/2012/07/09/cjs-remarks-3/

Gilani’s sentence proves no one is above the law: Chief Justice

By Zeeshan Mujahid

KARACHI: The contempt of court case against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani proves that every individual, irrespective of his position, is subject to the law, said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while addressing a lawyers’ ceremony at the Supreme Court Karachi registry on Saturday.

The chief justice added that action was taken against Gilani under the contempt of court law because the chief executive of the country defied court orders, and added that the implementation of court orders is the duty of the executive, which has been explained adequately in Article 190 of the Constitution.

Addressing the issue of immunity provided to the elected representatives, the chief justice said that if a person elected by the people violates the Constitution, then it is the duty of the courts to stop him.

Continue reading Gilani’s sentence proves no one is above the law: Chief Justice

Blasphemy: Mob burns man alive

Blasphemy: Mob burns man alive for burning Holy Quran

By Kashif Zafar

BAHAWALPUR: An angry mob lynched a man accused of burning the Holy Quran in the Chanighot area of Bahawalpur, burning him to death after pouring petrol on him on Wednesday.

The police reached the spot to control the matter but the mob refused to hand over the accused and continued to torture him.

Continue reading Blasphemy: Mob burns man alive

Questions Surround New Supreme Court Order Disqualifying Prime Minister

The Supreme Court of Pakistan removed the Prime Minister in what is known as a “short order” – essentially a court order lacking a full explanation. These orders often begin, “For reasons to be recorded later…” – a practice that seems the beg for abuse and controversy – and then proceed directly to ordering some specific action on the part of an individual or institution. In this case, though, the specific action was not given until almost two months later – and made retroactive.

On April 26, the Supreme Court issued an order “for the reasons to be recorded later” that found then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani “guilty of and convicted for contempt of court.” The Supreme Court did not declare the Prime Minister disqualified from office and sentenced him to a symbolic detention of about 30 seconds.

The Supreme Court having chosen not to disqualify the Prime Minister, the issue was then taken up by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, who ruled that Mr. Gilani was not disqualified. That was last month.

Today, nearly two months after the Supreme Court issued its controversial conviction, a new short order, “for reasons to be recorded later,” was issued by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry – this time declaring that “Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has become disqualified from being a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)…on and from the date and time of pronouncement of the judgement of this Court dated 26.4.2012…”

This raises several very interesting questions. If the Prime Minister was disqualified pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order on April 26, why did they wait until June 19 to say so? Some have suggested that the Supreme Court was giving the Prime Minister the opportunity for appeal, but this is doubtful for a number of reasons: One, the Supreme Court could have declared the Prime Minister disqualified and then stayed the order pending appeal. But more to the point, to whom would the Prime Minister have appealed? The original order was given by a 7 member bench of the Supreme Court – there was no higher authority to appeal to.

Then there is the matter of the ruling by the Speaker of the National Assembly. If the Supreme Court had determined that Mr. Gilani was disqualified as of April 26, why did they allow Dr. Mirza to proceed with deliberations and a ruling on Mr. Gilani’s status as parliamentarian? If the Supreme Court believed that Dr. Mirza did not have the authority as Speaker of the National Assembly to issue such a ruling, why did they not issue an injunction stopping the Speaker from carrying out the act?

While these questions remain unanswered, at least until the Supreme Court delivers more than the two pages made available today, they suggest very troubling possibilities. By allowing Mr. Gilani to continue serving as Prime Minister for months, the Supreme Court has created a policy nightmare for Pakistan. Making the disqualification retroactive to April 26 means that any decisions made by the government since are effectively nullified. Pakistan has, essentially, been operating without a government for over 8 weeks.

Moreover, by allowing the Speaker of the National Assembly to deliberate and issue a ruling without comment, only to nullify that decision weeks later, the Supreme Court has undermined the authority of parliament and created confusion about fundamental issues of separation of powers and constitutional authority. What government official can now carry out their duties without the fear of Supreme Court action if the Chief Justice does not like the outcome.

This gets to what is perhaps the most troubling question of all – would the Supreme have issued this new order had the Speaker of the National Assembly herself disqualified Mr. Gilani? In other words, is Pakistan’s Supreme Court acting pursuant to due process or desired outcomes?

Courtesy: http://americansforpakistan.com/2012/06/19/questions-surround-new-supreme-court-order-disqualifying-prime-minister/

Via – Twitter

Barbaric attitude of Karachi Bar Association – Zahid Bukhari, Aitzaz Ahsan barred from law bars

Zahid Bukhari, Aitzaz Ahsan barred from Sindh law bars

Excerpts;

KARACHI: Advocate Zahid Bukhari and Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan have been banned from entering all law bar associations …

The decision to bar the entries of Bukhari – the counsel for Malik Riaz – and Aitzaz was taken during a meeting of Sindh lawyers, organised by the Karachi Bar Association.

The Karachi Bar Association president, while announcing the decision, said that the step was taken to express support for the Supreme Court. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

China’s ‘Bad Emperor’ Problem – Francis Fukuyama

For more than 2000 years, the Chinese political system has been built around a highly sophisticated centralized bureaucracy, which has run what has always been a vast society through top-down methods.  What China never developed was a rule of law, that is, an independent legal institution that would limit the discretion of the government, or democratic accountability.  What the Chinese substituted for formal checks on power was a bureaucracy bound by rules and customs which made its behavior reasonably predictable, and a Confucian moral system that educated leaders to look to public interests rather than their own aggrandizement.  This system is, in essence, the same one that is operating today, with the Chinese Communist Party taking the role of Emperor.

Continue reading China’s ‘Bad Emperor’ Problem – Francis Fukuyama

Israel Has Sharia Law?

Here’s something that came as a surprise to me, but in retrospect I suppose it shouldn’t. Israel actually has official, publicly funded Sharia courts for Muslims, just as they have rabbinical courts for Jews. That makes sense, in a way, because if you’re going to allow religious courts to adjudicate certain issues, you have to allow them for all religious groups.

Not only is sharia law officially recognised by the justice system in Israel in everything regarding the personal status of Muslims, but the judges of the sharia courts are officially appointed by a joint ministerial-parliamentary committee and their salaries paid for by the state. ….

Read more » Free Thought Blogs

Imperialism didn’t end. These days it’s known as international law

By: George Monbiot

A one-sided justice sees weaker states punished as rich nations and giant corporations project their power across the world

The conviction of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, is said to have sent an unequivocal message to current leaders: that great office confers no immunity. In fact it sent two messages: if you run a small, weak nation, you may be subject to the full force of international law; if you run a powerful nation, you have nothing to fear.

While anyone with an interest in human rights should welcome the verdict, it reminds us that no one has faced legal consequences for launching the illegal war against Iraq. This fits the Nuremberg tribunal’s definition of a “crime of aggression”, which it called “the supreme international crime”. The charges on which, in an impartial system, George Bush, Tony Blair and their associates should have been investigated are far graver than those for which Taylor was found guilty.

The foreign secretary, William Hague, claims that Taylor’s conviction “demonstrates that those who have committed the most serious of crimes can and will be held to account for their actions”. But the international criminal court, though it was established 10 years ago, and though the crime of aggression has been recognised in international law since 1945, still has no jurisdiction over “the most serious of crimes”. This is because the powerful nations, for obvious reasons, are procrastinating. Nor have the United Kingdom, the United States and other western nations incorporated the crime of aggression into their own legislation. International law remains an imperial project, in which only the crimes committed by vassal states are punished. ….

Read more » guardian.co.uk

Showing the red rug to the bull!

PM contempt: ‘Govt will comply if SC orders Gilani’s disqualification’

By Web Desk / Sumera Khan

Excerpts;

…. Privilege motion against SC assistant registrar

The government has decided to move a privilege motion against the assistant registrar of the Supreme Court for writing a letter to speaker of National Assembly to initiate an action against the prime minister under recently passed judgment by the apex court.

Terming the letter ‘illegal’, Law Minister Naek said that the letter in which Speaker of National Assembly Fehmida Mirza was directed to implement the SC’s judgment was an open violation of law. Naek added that the assistant registrar of the Supreme Court is not authorised to issue directions to the speaker of National Assembly.

“We will move a privilege motion against assistant registrar as the letter is illegal which was written as a clear violation of rules and procedures. He has directed the speaker of National Assembly to implement the court’s verdict at the earliest which is we believe is an offence to the parliament.”

Naek went on to say that, “The parliament’s privilege was disparaged by the assistant registrar’s letter to the speaker of National Assembly directing her in the prime minister contempt case.”

Read more » The Express Tribune