Daily Archives: February 15, 2010

Mumbai’s message: let the talks go on

Published in The News Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Jyoti Malhotra

It doesn’t really matter whether or not the impending talks with Pakistan at the foreign secretaries’ level will be part of a “composite dialogue” or simply a dinner conversation in Hyderabad House – that is, if the conversation is held in Delhi. Or whether the Americans gently persuaded the Indian and Pakistani establishments to climb down from their soaring, antagonistic rhetoric of the past year or so, and break bread with each other.

Few will care whether the impending dialogue will yield a dramatic breakthrough or give way to a modestly-sized initiative with modest ambitions. Even diehard diplomatists with fine-tooth combs are keenly aware that when people start talking and travelling to each other’s countries, they considerably shrivel up the size of the bureaucratic pancake. Continue reading

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Two Indian bloggers in Isloo


When London-based writer Peter Mayle rented a cottage in the south of France, he came out with a passionate memoir full of wine, cheese, truffles and the mistral. In October, 2007, two Delhi-based writers rented a house in the north of Pakistan. They have come out with a passionate blogsite that is… not full of Kashmir, Taliban, Zardari or anything else that you read on Pakistan in most websites and blogs.

Set up in February, 2010, by an Indian couple in Islamabad, The Life and Times of Two Indians in Pakistan is a diary of how two intelligent and sensitive people – in possession of some gentle humor – are making sense of a country, which many of their countrymen think is the root cause of all evil. The bloggers – Lamat and Rezaul Hasan – have no agenda to propose except to share the little nuggets of daily life in Pakistan’s capital. One of them is the Pakistan correspondent of an Indian news agency.

In an e-mail interview Lamat said, “We started this blog because we wanted to document our experiences which we think are unique. It’s also a fun way to connect with friends and family, who always worry about us having to “live in (arguably) the most dangerous part of the world”. We also want to shatter stereotypes about Pakistanis, their lives, and fill them in on the pluses and minuses of being Indian in Pakistan.” Continue reading

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The alarming crisis in Pakistan – Is democracy under threat?

Bilal Qureshi’s rather strong position on the current judicial crisis. The views expressed below are those of the author’s and the PTH does not necessarily subscribe to them

Every objective analyst who follows Pakistan has come to the same conclusion – the judiciary is posing a serious threat not only to the country, but also to the entire democratic system that is already under tremendous stress. In fact, it is pretty much established that some behind the scene players in Pakistan are interested in seeing ‘favorable’ people take over the government and these forces are perhaps using the judiciary as a tool to achieve their nauseating objective.

As pointed out by Wajid Ali Syed, It is indeed a sad commentary on Pakistan that when an army chief is asked to leave, he refuses and instead launches a coup. When the chief justice is sacked for his alleged corruption, he refuses to accept the decision of the government that appointed him and instead comes out on the streets with thugs (dressed as lawyers) and only calms down when he gets his way. Where is the law of the land? Why can’t an elected Prime Minister or an elected President appoint or dismiss people based on the facts that are before them? Why is everything in Pakistan political? We talk about chaos in Taliban controled areas, but our own people are responsible for the current mess because they refuse to accept anything coming from others – everyone wants to get his way at every cost. Isn’t it pathetic? Yes, it is. Continue reading

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Comment on the current judicial crisis

by Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim

We are again faced with a judicial crisis – not a bonafide crisis but a crisis created for ulterior reasons.

Ostensibly the crisis is the elevation of chief justice for the Lahore High Court in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the elevation of the next senior most judge Justice Saquib Nasir, as acting Chief Justice of Lahroe High Court (a la Zia ul Haq style).

Being of the view that more harm is done by ignoring seniority, which opens the door for exercise of discretion in principle, I am against seniority being ignored, particularly in judiciary.

My first reaction, therefore, was that the appointment of Chief Justice Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court and elevation of the next senior-most judge as Lahore High Court Chief Justice was justified.

I had assumed that in accordance with the Article 177 of the constitution, these appointments were made by the president after consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and that the president was bound by such consultations.

Was the Chief Justice of Pakistan even consulted? Continue reading

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