Daily Archives: February 16, 2010

The current judiciary-executive standoff

We are posting Marvi Sirmed’s bold and controversial piece that made waves today in Pakistan’s media. This piece entitled “Let reason prevail” has a clear line and PTH does not necessarily subscribe to this point of view (editors).

There is a judicial crisis, the media says. This claim seems to be correct if one realises the level of urgency the Supreme Court showed in responding to a presidential notification. This notification was nothing bigger than the elevation of the senior-most judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC) to the Supreme Court and the subsequent appointment of the second senior judge as the Acting Chief Justice of the LHC. Those having objections to the president’s notification say it violated Article 177 of the Constitution. The said Article provides for a consultation with the Chief Justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court prior to making such appointments, but it does not give a definition of the “consultation”. It is also true that the CJ Supreme Court sent a summary to the president who subsequently rejected it and sent it back. The allegation of “not consulting the CJ” thus becomes irrelevant. Article 177 does not make the CJ’s recommendation binding on the president. Continue reading

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Charlie Wilson Rest In Peace

Author with Charlie Wilson

By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

Now is a good time for anyone and everyone to say, I knew Charlie Wilson, the Democrat Congressman credited with the launch and success of the Afghan war in the 70s. He was popular in an extraordinary way: a controversial yet a very effective politician who worked across party lines to galvanize a movement and get a military cause fulfilled in another continent. Continue reading

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Why Jinnah Matters!

 

A  few days ago, I was criticized for talking about Jinnah.  Dead and gone said my detractor.   Well here is Sugata Bose explaining why Jinnah matters in Indian Express. – YLH 

On the death of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in September 1948 an Indian political leader paid him a rare, fulsome tribute describing him as “one who was great as a lawyer, once great as a Congressman, great as a leader of Muslims, great as a world politician and diplomat and, greatest of all, as a man of action”. Despite having serious differences with the Quaid-e-Azam, Sarat Chandra Bose recalled that Jinnah, initially along with Mahatma Gandhi, once lent support to a last-ditch attempt to prevent Bengal’s partition along religious lines.

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Ajmal Khattak – The End Of An Era

 

Pakistan and Pakhtunkhwa lost one of its most illustrious sons last week. One may not agree with his politics always but no one can deny that he cast a very long shadow on Pakistani politics. Here we explore his legacy.  – YLH

Dawn wrote:

With the death on Sunday of veteran politician and renowned Pushto writer Ajmal Khattak, the country has lost one of its most committed political workers and prolific Pushto writers. A vocal advocate of the rights of the Pakhtun people, Khattak told this newspaper last year: “I am deeply concerned about the political situation in South Asia; what is being done against the Pakhtuns troubles me more than my illness.”

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Remembering Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn was a towering figure of our times.   For society to remain balanced,  there has to be a Howard Zinn blowing the whistle, calling spade a spade and keeping the mainstream discourse honest.   The geniuses of our times – the Zinns,  Eqbal Ahmeds, Saids, Chomskys and Barsamians have made a contribution and filled a gap at a crucial time in global history. – YLH

From Dawn

Americans have been taught that their nation is civilised and humane. But, too often, US actions have been uncivilised and inhumane.” That was the American historian Howard Zinn who taught a whole generation of Americans to view the history of their country through a lens quite different from the rose-tinted lenses of most of his fellow historians whose work takes care to do nothing to besmirch America’s reputation as “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Zinn stands out since much of modern historiography is crawling with feckless nationalism. Yes, the infusion of commonplace loyalties in a tract about the past is not always deliberately arrived at for it often flows from subtle conditioning. Just as you wouldn’t read Abul Fazal for a critical account of Emperor Akbar’s exploits, it would be a rare Indian or a Pakistani who questions tired axioms rooted in nationalist loyalties, and which pass for a glimpse of our past. Continue reading

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