By Yasser Latif Hamdani
These have been termed the most important US elections outside a presidential race in recent times and for good reason. President Obama’s prospects in 2012 are on the line. Well here are my predictions:
US Senate: Out of 37 seats Republicans will win 25. This will bring their tally to 48. Democrats and independents will win 12 and retain the house.
US House of Representatives: Out of 435 seats Republicans are going to win 228 and Democrats will have at the end of the day 207.
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Asma Jahangir’s victory in the Supreme Court Bar Association elections is a momentous event in the country’s political and legal landscape. Even the worst of her critics grudgingly admit that her principled stance has remained consistent in a country where intellectual honesty and integrity are in short supply. More importantly, her reasoned approach to recent bouts of judicial activism has been a source of strength for stakeholders in the democratic process. Almost every progressive Pakistani has been overjoyed with her election as head of a professional body which was on the verge of losing its credibility due to indulgence in partisan politics.
Since the lawyers’ movement created a stir in 2007, the bars had started to assume the role of a political party with an exaggerated notion of their power. Instead of focusing on what ailed legal education and the maligned profession, the regulators had turned into rowdy mobs, televangelists and spokespersons of the free and restored judges. Encouraged, a Supreme Court judge reportedly remarked how ‘popular will’ was above the Constitution. The pinnacle of this approach was the judgment in the NRO case. Asma Jahangir and a few other sensible lawyers highlighted the problematic aspects of the verdict. This was a game-changer and Jahangir was at the centre of this rational discourse. Continue reading
Champions of orthodoxy might scorn the theological purity (or lack there of) of Sufi Movement but the original purpose of ‘Sufi Kirk (Church)’ also known as ‘Dutch Sufis’ was to bring different (and often opposing) theological and cultural traditions together through realisation that the basis of all the religions is the ‘common good’ preached by the prophets and the saints of the world.
Why would Qudrat-ullah Shahab who was a celebrated civil servant, a confidant and aide to many military dictators of Pakistan and a self-proclaimed Pan-Islamist, dedicate a couple of chapters of his autobiography Shahab –Nama (a masterpiece of modern Urdu language) to Hazrat Inayat Khan and his Dutch Sufi Kirk?
Mr. Shahab considered the unorthodox religious views of the Sufis as an ‘anomaly’ in Islam but despite his visible disdain at their ‘free mixing’ of all the religions (especially White Dutch Mureeds, Jewish and Hindus) at the communal worship, was respectful towards the memory of Hazrat Inayat Khan and recalled his time at Pakistan embassy in Netherlands with fondness. Continue reading
by Suleman Akhtar
Blindfolding by the habitual antipathy and gratuitous adherence with the classical conceptual dogma whilst completely neglecting the persisting ground-realities, inevitably leads to lethal intellectual dishonesty, most of us indulge in during these grim times. It becomes completely insignificant how earnestly one strives for prosperity and betterment of clan if one’s approach towards predicament is out of sync with present objective conditions and fallacious from the core, irrespective of such an attitude is personified by an armchair pseudo-leftist or Marxist activist. Continue reading