Tag Archives: Malik Riaz

For Zardari, five years of lost opportunities

The PPP regime huffs and puffs past the finish line, leaving behind a toxic legacy

By Ayesha Siddiqa

BUT DON’T you think we are getting over-excited about the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) government and the Parliament completing its tenure?” It is almost as if every journalist who calls to seek comments on the state of democracy in Pakistan wants you to be sceptical. They would rather have people talk about all the unfulfilled dreams and promises of what was once Benazir Bhutto’s party. However, it is positive to see a transition from one civilian government to another taking place for the first time in the country’s history. The critics perhaps forget that the censure the ruling party has received is the real beauty of democratic rule. If you are unhappy with a party, you can seek to replace it with another. At least, the government is not being booted out. Yet, it would be too quick to call this the perfect run to the finish line because of two reasons.

First, the Parliament has completed its tenure but not the Cabinet. Prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was sacked through extra-political manipulation. This makes it similar to the fate of the 2002 Parliament that completed its term but saw three prime ministers. Such changes indicate pressures on the civilian government and the fact that it is still not free to operate. Moreover, the PPP government was unlucky due to the media being unleashed on it from very early on, giving it the reputation of the most corrupt party in the country. It is said about the PPP that it “drinks less than it spills”. It is far less adept in hiding its mismanagement than other parties in Pakistan, especially the urban-based Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif ). The inability to think strategically in hiding its corruption does not bode well when the media is trained to target one particular party or group.

Recently, in response to whether I could write an opinion piece that may be slightly critical of the ethnic party, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), the editor of an English daily told me that it was their policy not to criticise the MQM, the real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and the PML-N. This basically leaves out the Pakistan Army and the PPP. While the armed forces are not really affected by criticism, the PPP definitely is.

Second, the end of the government has left people feeling that the PPP lost out also because of its inherent inefficiency and lack of personalities who have Benazir’s natural capacity to lead the party. Asif Ali Zardari may be a past master at brokering deals and saving a moment, but he may be unable to save the party from collapse or becoming an entity of the past rather than the future.

Indubitably, things were not on the side of Benazir’s party, which is suspected much more than any other political party by the army. Things were not easy in the past five years because Zardari had changed the top leadership and brought in people of his own choice, a development that created more sceptics and enemies. In the past five years, Zardari certainly earned the reputation of being a great survivor. He resisted and circumvented all pressures that might have materialised in greater military intervention. However, this survival was done at the cost of inaction in many areas, starting from the inability to manage the party and market it properly. His media team proved fairly ineffective in selling policies for which the government could take credit, such as the passing of the 18th amendment to the 1973 Constitution, allowing for greater provincial autonomy.

Continue reading For Zardari, five years of lost opportunities

Fisherfolk Rally Against Sale of Twin Islands of Sindh

Fisher folk protest against deal to sell islands

* PFF threatens to block port channels if projects not cancelled

KARACHI: Fishermen of Karachi coast on Friday threatened to block the channels of major Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim if the government did not cancel the deal to hand over twin islands located near Ibrahim Hydri to Bahria Town.

A large number of people from the fishing community, both men and women, staged a protest demonstration, which started at the Sindh Assembly building and culminated at the Karachi Press Club.

The people, hailing from different coastal villages along the 129-kilometre long coastline, also staged a sit-in and demanded the government to realise that these islands are traditional fishing routes to the open sea. Hence, any development may harm their sources of livelihoods.

Chairperson Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) Mohamed Ali Shah, Saeed Baloch, Majid Motani, Tahira Ali, Yousif Kadani and Shujauddin Qureshi of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) were leading the procession.

Continue reading Fisherfolk Rally Against Sale of Twin Islands of Sindh

Malik Riaz ‘nabbed’ ? Dream Island crashes-X

zardari saleBy Amir Mateen

The good news is that the NAB finally woke up to stop Port Qasim Authority from giving further concessions to Malik Riaz of Bahria Town to build, if at all he plans to do that, the alleged Island City, 3.5 km off the Karachi coast.

Of course, Malik will continue to publish ads showing fabulous pictures of Dubai’s man-made islands besides announcements about building the world’s biggest Mall and the tallest building. No explanation is given about the equity; who will put in how much money and how. And this is about a whopping sum of $ 45 billion. But Malik Riaz keeps changing his figures as pennies in his pocket. After the Abu Dhabi Group backed out, Malik Riaz brought the figure down to Rs 15 billion investment through a news report from his ‘chosen’ editor and newspaper.

The figure was ballooned to $ 15 billion in six hours and then to $ 20 within 24 hours–interestingly propagated by the same media groups. Bahria rose the figure back to its original claim of raising $ 45 billion in its ads published by almost all mainstream newspaper. Only this time there was no name and face of the investor, except the promise that a consortium of Arab and Europeans will descend upon Pakistan soon to pledge the $ 45 billion just because “Bahria commits, Bahria delivers.”

Thousands of cases exist where Bahria has not delivered at all with people running from pillar to post to recover their life-savings– Awami Villas (DHA phase-2 extension), Bahria Town Phase 9, DHA Valley, REHC, just to name a few.

What we have on the table is the grand arrival of controversial US investor, Thomas Kramer, whose net worth is $ 90 million. How will he bring in the promised money is yet to be seen. Malik Riaz shows a loss of Rs 107 million in his personal income declaration for the last three years (2010-12). He owes another Rs 107 billion in taxes as documented by the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) and much more to investors whom he is yet to ‘deliver’ despite taking billions in advance illegally. Yet he keeps buying jet planes, the latest being a $ 20 million worth hawker Beech craft that he bought last month, perhaps to facilitate the electoral candidates that he is supposed to ‘deliver’ from every political party. The likelihood is that he may not declare this as he has not declared the Rs 850 million that he declared on TV to have spent on Shahbaz Sharif’s Ashiana Scheme or the Rs 2 billion that he claims to spend on feeding people.

So the only concrete thing on ground is the dubiously acquired State land for which he invites investors.

The NAB, we are told, took notice of complaints under the Prevention of Corruption Initiatives regarding the award of contract by the PQA. This was done after several complaints from Transparency International, consumer watchdogs and nationalists. The Sindh Assembly opposition lodged explosive protest against the sale of the ‘motherland.’ It got provoked because nobody consulted the Assembly about giving the project, which, among other things, entails building the world’s tallest building on its soil. Sindhi nationalists got incensed over Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf receiving the US tycoon who is accused of rape, child-molestation and many other traits that he shares with his hosts here.

He was also received by the MQM contingent including Governor Ishratul Ibad, who went a step forward by offering him 4500 acres over and above the 1200 acres ‘delivered’ by the PQA. Malik seems everybody in his pocket. Who else can bring an alleged rapist and make the high and the mighty of this land receive him without any notice. “What is going on here?,” asked Sindhi activist Zulfiqar Halipoto who led a protest rally in Islamabad. A placard in the rally asked: “How stupid can we become?”

Endlessly, we think. The NAB surprised everybody by advising “the PQA not to sign any concession agreement in violation of RFP, government rules and regulations.” It bragged that it has made mandatory for the PQA to get the contract vetted by a panel of experts also “give a presentation regarding compliance of all terms and conditions of agreement by the Bahria Town.”

The bad news is that nobody trusts the NAB, which is accused as “Bahria’s laundry shop” where they like to take their difficult cases to get a tag of piety. NAB Chairman Fasih Bokhari had his daughter working for Bahria Town earlier. Bokhari, who served in Pakistan Navy when Bahria was in partnership with it, was accused of having clandestine arrangements with Malik Riaz in a court of law. Many think that the NAB shows the interest to take the charge and give a clean chit t Malik Riaz. Only in movies, you might say.

Interestingly, Malik Riaz identifies himself with movie characters. His web site actually shows a long note in his own writing comparing his life with the hero of Bollywoods movie Guru (Abhishek Bachan). He writes, the chapter is titled “Guru or king-maker,” that as Guru he also grew against all odds. He particularly mentions the climax, where Guru thunders before an inquiry board that “I tried to play it straight but I was obstructed because nothing happened without bribery and corruption.” He goes on to describe that, as Guru, Malik Riaz also had to “open the doors” whatever it took from ‘sifarish’ to bribery to violence. In the process, he says, he made himself rich and everybody else. The crux is that, as Guru, that the ordinary courts could not judge him as it is for the people to decide.

Continue reading Malik Riaz ‘nabbed’ ? Dream Island crashes-X

Twin Islands Dingi and Bhandar (Bodha Island) are the property of Sindh

Another hitch pops up for foreign investment

By: Ramzan Chandio

SINHD: KARACHI – The controversy over the ownership of twin islands near Karachi has been resurfaced between the Sindh government and Port Qasim Authority, which allotted islands to the UAE-based company for establishment of Island city here.

The Bahria Foundation and UAE firm inked an agreement of US$20 billion to establish Island City on twin islands-Bundal and Buddo in sea near Karachi.

The controversy over the ownership arose during the PML-Q-led Sindh government of former Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Port and Shipping Ministry of federal government in 2006, when federal government unilaterally allotted the islands to the Emmar Company of UAE.

Then opposition and present ruling party PPP, nationalist parties and fishermen had launched a protest campaign against the allotment of twin islands to the foreign firm, which compelled the foreign company from taking over the control of islands.

However, the issue resurfaced between the Sindh government and Port Qasim Authority when foreign company and local company Bahria Foundation of Malik Riaz inked a deal just two days ago. Sources said that Sindh Board of Revenue has moved a summary to the Sindh chief minister, urging him to take a position not to allow the allotment of islands to the foreign company as federal government sealed a deal with the foreign company even without asking from the Sindh government, which is the owner of the islands. Sources said that the Sindh government had taken notice of the recent deal between the foreign firm and Bahria Foundation and decided to take up issue with the federal government.

The Sindh PPP ministers led by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah met with President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday evening at Bilawal House and urged the President to resolve the matter.

It may be recalled that a committee comprising of then Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan from federal government and Sindh law secretary Ghulam Nabi Shah and officials of Board of Revenue Department held meetings in 2006 as both sides remained stick to their views and issue could not be resolved. The Board of Revenue Department through their documentary proof has been argued that the area of sea was given to the Port Qasim Authority during the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for operational purpose but ownership rights were reserved with the Sindh government. The PPP-led Sindh government while pleading same arguments raised the issue with President Asif Ali Zardari.

Meanwhile, the PPP ministers and MPAs have shown strong reaction over the sudden deal on the Sindh government’s property of twin islands-Bundal and Buddo near Karachi.

Continue reading Twin Islands Dingi and Bhandar (Bodha Island) are the property of Sindh

Arbab declares twin islands property of Sindh.

Business Recorder | February 28, 2007 – After consulting with legal advisers, Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim on Tuesday declared that 300 islands, including Dingi and Bhandar (Bodha Island) were the property of Sindh. “The national as well international laws support our contention, therefore, I declare ownership of Sindh over these Islands,” he said.

Talking to electronic-media after holding meeting with former federal law minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, advocate; former Sindh law minister Justice E. Abdul Qadir Halepota, and Dr Amjad Bukhari at the Chief Minister House here, Arbab Rahim said: “Such issues used to develop between the center and the provinces, therefore, there was no need to approach the court, however, if required, wewould certainly do it.”

“We have consulted with our legal experts and they have unanimously opined that all islands seen above the sea level were provincial property while those submerged in the sea were federal property,” the chief minister said.

Continue reading Arbab declares twin islands property of Sindh.

Burma’s Parliament ‘impeach supreme court judges’

Burmese MPs force out constitutional court judges

MPs in Burma have forced out all nine judges of the constitutional court, in a row pitting the government against the parliament created as part of political reforms. State media said that President Thein Sein had accepted the resignations.

Continue reading Burma’s Parliament ‘impeach supreme court judges’

Justice in Uthopia – Nadeem F. Paracha

In April 2007, one of my favorite cousins who was then a student at the prestigious LUMS in Lahore visited me on the evening of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s “historic” procession in Lahore (during the Lawyers Movement). She said she was joining many of her colleagues who were already at the event.

Knowing my past as a former student activist, she was taken aback when I told her I’m not all enthusiastic about the commotion.

Responding to my lukewarm reception to her youthful idea of “bringing a revolution,” she said the principle behind the tumult is vital.

“What principle?” I asked.

“Justice and democracy,” she said.

“But you don’t even vote!” I smirked. “90 per cent of the middle-class people I’ve heard passionately supporting the cause of the CJP (who was fired by the Musharraf dictatorship on corruption charges), have never bothered to vote. What democracy are you talking about?”

However, I did add that she should go to the rally to learn.

“Learn what?” She asked.

“Learn how the most vivacious leaders are better at hijacking movements than they are at initiating revolutions,” I replied.

“So why were you guys so gung ho about Benazir Bhutto in the 1980s?” She asked.

“Because Benazir inherently represented so many sides that were a natural anathema to whatever Zia’s dictatorship stood for” I said. “First of all, in an era of Hudood laws, chauvinism and mullah politicians, she was a woman; an educated and outspoken woman. Benazir shone brightly like the country’s finest hope for a democratic system.”

Continue reading Justice in Uthopia – Nadeem F. Paracha

Arsalan Iftikhar case: Asma voices concern over one-man commission

LAHORE: Former president of the Supreme Court Bar, Asma Jahangir on Monday said that the officer tasked by the SC to investigate the Arsalan Iftikhar case has close ties with the chief justice’s son and cannot be trusted to conduct a transparent investigation, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to media representatives at the Lahore High Court (LHC), Jahangir remarked that the UK’s Scotland Yard should be called in to probe the Arsalan Iftikhar case if Pakistani institutions are deemed unreliable.

Jahangir alleged that Shoaib Suddle, the investigating officer, is also known to regularly attend Arsalan Iftikhar’s events, she said, adding that he could not be expected to conduct a transparent investigation into the case.

Pakistan’s apex court is investigating allegations of a Rs342 million business deal between Dr Arsalan, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, and business tycoon Malik Riaz.

On Aug 30, the Supreme Court had accepted a review petition against its own earlier order, appointing Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr Mohammad Shoaib Suddle as the one man-commission to probe the controversial case. The commission is required to complete the task in a month.

Criticising the court’s decision, Jahangir said that if there were any questions over the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) investigating team, then the team could have been changed instead of changing the whole verdict.

Continue reading Arsalan Iftikhar case: Asma voices concern over one-man commission

Judges should not govern country: India’s chief justice

NEW DELHI, Aug 25: Asserting that judges should not govern the country or evolve policies, the chief justice of India said on Saturday he wondered what would happen if the executive refused to comply with the judiciary’s directives.

Justice S.H. Kapadia asked judges if they would invoke contempt proceedings against government officials for not complying with their decisions and disapproved a recent Supreme Court judgment which said “right to sleep” was also a fundamental right.

“Judges should not govern this country. We need to go by strict principle. Whenever you lay down a law, it should not interfere with governance. We are not accountable to people.

Continue reading Judges should not govern country: India’s chief justice

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry is a Mullah Omar of Pakistan; says Senator Faisal Raza Abdi

Language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: ARY News Tv (Talk show ‘Agar‘ with Aamir Ghori Faisal Raza Abdi – 24th August 2012)

Via » ZemTV » YouTube

Open letter to Their Lordships

By Kamran Shafi

My Lords of the Supreme Court,

With due respect, I write for the second time in two weeks about a most horrific matter: that of a former member of our National Assembly and many times minister, calling upon My Lord the Chief Justice of Pakistan to commit murder.

I know we have plumbed the depths in this God-given but now surely God-forsaken country over the 66 years of its existence: from the unjust and cruel way in which we treated our East Pakistani brethren; to the killing of innocents by the ‘bad’ Taliban and the genocide of minorities by self-same Taliban and their cohorts that we see every single, tortuous day; to the fact that we are now an international pariah, the mere sight of our green passport sending immigration agents across the world into an almighty tizzy.

We have seen generals and politicians and bureaucrats violate the Constitution and misrule and steal; we have seen some of our great national treasures like the railways and PIA steadily driven into the ground; our archaeological treasures and rare books stolen and sold abroad for a pittance by members of our so-called ‘elite’. We have literally seen this country rent asunder by adventurists and carpet-baggers. Indeed, we have seen a senior retired air force chief-turned-politician say that he would personally hang an elected prime minister from the Kohala Bridge.

We have seen, too, a prime minister shot in broad daylight and his assassin conveniently shot dead by a police officer who ‘happened’ to be standing by him; an elected prime minister hanged in what the world believes was a complete miscarriage of justice, nay cold-blooded judicial murder; and another jailed in Attock Fort by a usurper general and then exiled.

Continue reading Open letter to Their Lordships

Judicial supremacy or Judicial dictatorship?

By Khaled Ahmed

We have to wait till the Chief Justice and his fellow judges overreach themselves and finally come to the conclusion that moderation is the only path to tread in this imperfect Third World environment

On 7 July, 2012, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that Article 8 of the constitution empowered the Supreme Court to strike down any legislation which encroached upon the basic rights of the citizens. He said this while speaking at a ceremony for newly enrolled advocates at the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry.

Continue reading Judicial supremacy or Judicial dictatorship?

Sheikh Rashid, ex-minister & now Imran Khan’s ally, exhorts Iftikhar Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan, to “kill” President Zardari

Courtesy: Duniya Tv » YouTube

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Twitter

SC asks PEMRA if it has taken notice of TV programs defaming judiciary

By Web Desk

We will show you advert­isemen­ts, you tell us if they are obscen­e or not, says chief justic­e to PEMRA

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan, hearing applications filed against “obscene content” being aired on television channels, asked Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) if it had taken any notice of programs defaming the judiciary.

The applications were filed by ex-Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, and Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed of the Supreme Court, who has recently joined the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

The three-member bench hearing the applications rebuked Pemra’s performance in this regard, while Justice Jawad S Khwaja remarked that the regulatory body never does anything concrete.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said to Pemra that the bench will air TV advertisements and Pemra will be made to decide if they are obscene or not.

Continue reading SC asks PEMRA if it has taken notice of TV programs defaming judiciary

Spain’s Chief Justice Quits Over Claims of Misusing Public Money

 

By RAPHAEL MINDER

MADRID — Spain’s image suffered another blow on Thursday when the chief justice of the Supreme Court resigned after being accused by a fellow judge of claiming vacations as business expenses.

The court’s chief justice, Carlos Dívar, also quit as leader of another institution, the General Council of the Judiciary, which acts as the administrator of Spain’s judiciary.

Chief Justice Dívar’s expense scandal came to light while the judiciary was being strained by several corruption cases against politicians from the country’s main parties. The monarchy has also been tainted by the investigations, with the son-in-law of King Juan Carlos I becoming the first member of the royal family to appear in court, in February.

Continue reading Spain’s Chief Justice Quits Over Claims of Misusing Public Money

Dismissal of new PM would tantamount to breaking country: Gilani

LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that if anything happened to the new prime minister, it would tantamount to breaking up the country. He said that the court decision against him was also unconstitutional. Gilani said that writing a letter to Swiss authorities would go against the constitution. The former prime minister also said that if elected officials were to be dismissed by court decisions, then there would be no use for elections. Gilani said that the system should be allowed to continue. He also said that the judiciary is not a political party and that it should not have any agenda.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

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

For sure, as a family member Justice Chaudhry cannot elude such questions

Ward of the Court

By Saroop Ijaz

Finally, all of us can go to sleep in peace with the newly acquired knowledge that My Lord, the Chief Justice remains vigilant as ever to ensure that no vulgarity slips through the cracks on our television channels on his watch and the Pemra chief can no longer slack in his duties. My Lord, with customary wisdom, has observed that there are certain programmes and advertisements that one finds unbearable to watch alongside with the family. This exercise of the “paternal” jurisdiction of the court and the fact that the Chief Justice is a “family man” is infinitely comforting. It might be interesting to mention that My Lord is not always the brilliant, stoic, sober statesmanlike, paragon of justice and has a human, lighter side to his personality as well as indicated by his remarks in court that the parodies of politicians are in “good humour” and “are enjoyed”.

As we swoon in relief on the consolation of being under the eternal, paternal gaze of My Lord, one is also conscious of a slight unease. Dr Arsalan Iftikhar is hard to banish from the mind. The latest, although unconfirmed news report about Dr Arsalan using the address of the Chief Justice House for commercial purposes is unnerving to say the least. One sincerely hopes that the unconfirmed report is a complete fabrication. Nevertheless, many other questions still remain regarding the Young Doctor. What serious person has not indulged in some juvenile frolics behind their parents’ back at one time or another, however, Master Arsalan seems to have taken this mischievous streak of youthfulness well into his adulthood.

Continue reading For sure, as a family member Justice Chaudhry cannot elude such questions

Kindness of Supreme Court – Realistic Voice

By: Humza Ikram

Excerpts;

….. But in contrast to the hopeful symptoms, when I listen to the constitutional experts, none of them is optimistic. All are arguing that in the presence of SC’s judgment expecting something different is reckless because the previous decision was given by 17 judges, but now the bench has been reduced to mere five, so it is impossible to defy the verdict of 17 over 5.

In this regard, Former CJ, Saeed u Zaman Siddiqui says there cannot be any change possible in the previous judgment; they eventually have to write the letter, there is no possibility of any other option. And then we heard another remark from the CJ to the public exclaiming that whatever the court has said, it will happen, nothing can be done against it. It seems as if he is dictating the Supreme Court sitting bench.

After listening all of them, it is obvious that there is no option left for the Government to provide any middle way, then why the Supreme Court has done this gag with the nation? Aren’t they aware of it? What was the need of giving 15 days hope to the nation? If it was not just a gag from the SC, then now it is the responsibility of Supreme Court to offer a possible solution. So, after a lot of contemplation that what will be the Government’s stance on 8th of August, seeing the evident thinking of CJ. There is no other possible way for the Attorney General that in spite of submitting any argument in the court, he should straight away sing a famous song from Dillip Kumar’s golden film Devdas before the honorable court:

Continue reading Kindness of Supreme Court – Realistic Voice

PAKISTAN PERISCOPE – The case of exploding lawsuits

As the Supreme Court ups the ante against the new prime minister, the battle between various stakeholders in Pakistan is likely to get intense

By: Ayesha Siddiqa Independent Social Scientist

Excerpts

…. the most challenging act seems to be the case against Chief Justice Iftikhar’s son Arsalan Iftikhar. Allegedly, Arsalan blackmailed real estate tycoon Malik Riaz into paying him more than PKR 36 crore in bribe for getting favourable judgments in cases being heard in the Supreme Court. Although nothing has been definitely proven against him as yet, the glitterati of Lahore talk about Arsalan’s extravagant lifestyle, which comes as a surprise since he didn’t have a job three years ago. The Chief Justice comes from a humble background and claims to have no property, a statement that adds to the complexity of his son’s fortune. Riaz, who is considered as being close to both the military and Zardari, has continued to point fingers at Arsalan, his father and the entire family for extorting money and favours out of him.

The Arsalan-Riaz case is now being heard by the Supreme Court and probed independently by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising members from the country’s prime anti-fraud agency, the National Accountability Bureau, the Islamabad Police and the Federal Investigation Agency. Clearly, this is a card in the government’s hand that Chief Justice Iftikhar and his team of close aides seem to try to destroy by casting aspersions on the JIT’s credibility. It is not a coincidence that after every hearing by the JIT, there is an effort by the pro-Chief Justice wing of a certain media group to point fingers at the credibility of JIT. The effort increases around every hearing by the court or the investigating team.

The yet-to-be-proven case of extortion and the players involved in it make the head spin at the complexity of the case. According to sources, Riaz, who is reputed to be an “ISI asset”, could not have taken the risk of so brutally challenging the Chief Justice without taking the security establishment on board. The question is how does one juxtapose this assumption against another that the higher judiciary has the army’s support to destabilise the government?

Continue reading PAKISTAN PERISCOPE – The case of exploding lawsuits

Dictators and the Supreme Court

by: Mohammad Khan Sial

SINDH – KARACHI: The attorney general of Pakistan told a five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on August 2, that the Supreme Court has always exonerated military dictators by targeting democratic governments. The attorney general’s comments are based on facts irrespective of intentions. I would humbly suggest that all the judges who have validated military dictatorships in the past should be tried for their decisions under Article 6 of the Constitution.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/417939/dictators-and-the-supreme-court/

Senator Faisal Raza Abidi demands Chief Justice’s resignation

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By Sidrah Moiz Khan

Abidi held Justice Chaudhry responsible for the alleged financial impropriety done by his son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar

While hurling fiery allegations at Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Faisal Raza Abidi on Sunday demanded a resignation from him and other judges who were reinstated under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO).

During a press conference in Islamabad, Abidi held Justice Chaudhry responsible for the alleged financial impropriety done by his son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.

The senator said that if the chief justice does not tender a resignation, then he will “force him out from the same way he had been restored as a judge.”

“He [Justice Chaudhry] says that he did not have any idea where his son got all that money from…I ask, when the case emerged, did you ask him where he got Rs900 million from?”

The senator produced bank account statements of Dr Arsalan and said that the person who used to “work under somebody else” now owns billions of rupees. He also showed that the billing address mentioned was that of the Chief Justice House in Islamabad.

“You [Justice Chaudhry] are to be blamed for this. This happened right in front of you. You cannot pretend to not know anything. Who gave Dr Arsalan the right to use government’s property for running his own businesses? Could he not rent out an office in some other area?

Continue reading Senator Faisal Raza Abidi demands Chief Justice’s resignation

Marvi Sirmed on Judicialization of Politics in Pakistan

Round table on Judicialization of politics organized by School of Political and Strategic communication (SPSC) Islamabad.

Courtesy: SPSC » YouTube

Supreme Court of Pakistan sets aside notification of Samosa prices

LAHORE, July 24: The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal by the Punjab Bakers and Sweet Federation and set aside a notification by the Punjab government through which the price of a Samosa was fixed at Rs6.

In 2009, the City District Government of Lahore on the instruction of the Punjab government had fixed price of a samosa at Rs6 and the magistrates had imposed fine on shopkeepers for selling samosa at higher rates.

The Punjab Bakers and Sweets Federation through its president Muhammad Afzal had challenged this order before the Lahore High Court. Their petition was dismissed and then an appeal was filed before apex court against the dismissal of the petition.

The appellant argued that a Samosa was not an item notified under the Punjab Foodstuffs (Control) Act of 1958. He said the government had no power to fix by the price of a Samosa.

On the other hand, Punjab government’s counsel argued that the government had the jurisdiction to fix prices of all items being sold to the public at large. After hearing both sides the Supreme Court set aside the impugned notification.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

http://dawn.com/2012/07/25/sc-sets-aside-notification-of-samosa-prices/

Arsalan Iftikhar and NAB

By Editorial

The crux of the Supreme Court’s cases against various PPP leaders has been the unassailable assertion that no one should be above the law, no matter how powerful they are. By not appearing before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, has now gifted the PPP with the same argument. Arsalan contends that he did not receive any summonses from NAB, an excuse that will not wash, since all he had to do was pick up a newspaper to know that he was expected to appear before the body. Arsalan seems like the typical son of privilege, a man who has sailed through life by using his father’s name. He has to answer for his misdeeds and his stonewalling is merely delaying the inevitable.

Continue reading Arsalan Iftikhar and NAB

Supreme court order on Swiss letter ‘unconstitutional’ – Govt can’t carry out court orders

* AGP tells court ‘PM can’t be asked for implementation of an un-implementable direction’

* SC returns federation’s reply, says only remedy available is to file review

By Hasnaat Malik

ISLAMABAD: Declining to implement Supreme Court’s (SC) December 16, 2009 judgement on the NRO case, the government on Tuesday said the premier is not authorised to write letter to Swiss authorities …..

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Independence and accountability

By: Yousuf Nasim

Over the last two decades, a significant amount of work has been done in Pakistan on the Constitutional subject of Judicial Independence. While the Al-Jehad Trust Case set the stage for this development by limiting political interference in the process of judicial appointments, the doctrine – as it exists in Pakistan today – reached its nadir with the Supreme Court’s order in Nadeem Ahmed v Federation of Pakistan, which precluded perceived nascent threats to independence through the proposed 18th Amendment. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which followed shortly thereafter, crystallised the predominance of the judiciary insofar as fresh appointments were concerned. Today the process is overseen by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, which is composed primarily of sitting judges. The JCP nominates individuals for consideration to a Parliamentary Committee, whose decision is open to judicial review.

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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.

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Justice Louise Arbour Concerned About Direction of Pakistan’s Supreme Court

Justice Louise Arbour has a distinguished career devoted to promoting the principles of justice. Currently serving as the President of the International Crisis Group, Justice Arbour is the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario and a former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. As such, she knows a thing or two about the importance of an independent judiciary in developing countries and emerging democracies. That’s why, when Justice Arbour expresses concerns about the looming constitutional crisis in Pakistan, her concerns merit serious consideration.

An ardent supporter of Pakistan’s 2007 “Lawyer’s Movement” to restore judges deposed by Gen. Musharraf, Justice Arbour had hoped to see a new era for the Court, one that broke with its past of supporting military dictators and their mangling the Constitution and the rule of law. Today, she fears that those same justices have become “intoxicated with their own independence,” and that the current direction of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Justices threatens to upend the very democratic order that restored them to the bench.

Speaking to a crowded auditorium at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, Justice Arbour noted that the current tension between Pakistan’s Supreme Court and its elected officials might seem like a political soap opera were it not for Court’s history of collusion with the military to suppress democracy. Judges “who took an oath to a military dictator are not well placed to make the decision” to remove democratically elected officials, she observed, referring to Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s 1999 oath under Gen. Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). While not inevitable, Justice Arbour said, it is possible that Pakistan’s Supreme Court could end up dissolving the democratically elected government with the help of the military, putting in place an extended caretaker government in what would be, for all intents and purposes, another coup.

During her visit to Pakistan, she assured the room, she met with no government officials. Her interest was in the views of the legal community, whom she found deeply divided, seemingly on political lines. This troubled the former Justice, who worries that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has become increasingly politicized, threatening its credibility. She pointed to the memo commission, which she said “reflected very poorly on the judiciary,” and added to the appearance of growing politicization.

The present case, in which the Supreme Court has ordered the Prime Minister to write a letter to Swiss authorities requesting that criminal cases be reinstated against the President, adds to the appearance of an increasingly politicized judiciary. From a legal perspective, the issue centers on one of separation of powers. In fact, Pakistan’s Chief Justice has repeatedly stated recently that “parliament is not supreme.” In questions such as these, where the Supreme Court has a vested interest in the outcome, Justice Arbour suggests that it is all the more important that court show self-restraint and frame its decisions in a way that “advances the authority of all institutions,” not only its own.

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What is wrong with our judiciary? By: Imran Kureshi

In the darkest days of dictatorship, because of the previous role of some courageous judges, their respected and somewhat inviolable positions, the public has always considered the judiciary as a ray of hope

Primarily what is wrong with our judiciary is that apparently it is corrupt. No! This is not a jaundiced personal opinion; this is according to the rating of Transparency International. Among the primary 10 institutions in the country previously, the judiciary was very low in the ‘corruption’ ratings. In 2008 and 2009, it rocketed up to number three, in 2010, it was number six and in 2011, it was number four. Such an increase in corruption is understandable because of the inadequacy of the judicial accountability regime.. A vocal section of the public and media influence public opinion considerably, and in the eyes of this section, the judiciary with its newfound independence can do no wrong. It is about time somebody revealed the other side of the picture. In this country, it has always been a problem of who will check the corruption of those who are checking corruption.

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