by Husham Ahmed
The recent coverage of RGST issue by a section of media has been distasteful to say the least. Instead of presenting facts, at times many news anchors and hosts of TV shows have been found slanting the news reports to fit their own agendas. The fact of the matter is that there are no new taxes being implemented in the form of RGST. While fixing the rate to 15 percent only the exemptions are being withdrawn while largely sparing the food items.
It is true that being an indirect tax the withdrawal of exemptions in various commodities will lead to rise in prices but at the same time it will also expedite the much-needed documentation of economy. Let’s face it we have to increase our revenues in order to control the deficit, which has already been contributing to inflation. No doubt the progressive taxes are the best way to go but in order to increase the tax base and document the different sectors of economy at each stage of supply chain, the reforms in general sales tax were inevitable. Continue reading
By Feroz Khan
Babar Awan’s statement proves that the state of Pakistan is incapable of removing any laws once they are created on the basis of religion. In the last few days, if anyone has noticed, the statements coming from the officialdom have gradually obscured the issue. Therefore, one has to applaud Babar Awan for his honesty and candor for calling a spade a spade. In this sense, Babar Awan stands heads and shoulders above those minions of Pakistani politics, who do not have the moral and intellectual courage to state the truth in Pakistan.
First, Salmaan Taseer proclaims that Asif Ali Zardari will pardon Asiya Bibi and then, the minister for minorities, Bhatti, says that Zardari will pardon her but it will not be an immediate pardon and will take time. Then, comes a statement from Zardari’s office that since Asiya Bibi has filed an appeals, Zardari will wait for the appeal process to run its course and wait for the court judgement, on the appeal, before issuing a pardon. Zardari is a cunning politician and by saying this, he has taken himself off the hook and created a situation, where he does not have to take a decision on the matter. He has cleverly deflected international pressure and opinion by saying that the matter is being considered and he cannot prejudice the legal proceedings by issuing a pardon at this stage.
How long will this process last? The courts in Pakistan are an expletive deleted, when it comes to delivering justice. No judge, in their right mind, will over turn the judgement of the lower courts and risk a premature death at the hands of religious parties. Judges, when they decide cases like this one, think of their families and how to protect them from the backlash and not what the law says on the matter. This means that the proceedings will be made hostage to the procedural nature of the legal system in Pakistan and may take years; while the poor woman continues to languish in jail. In the mean time, as is the wont of our times, a new crisis will emerge and this issue will fade into a quiet, unmourned death.
PPP’s self-professed Eagle of a Law Minister has declared that the blasphemy law will not be changed. Remember PPP is the same party that made a theocratic constitution and took it upon itself to declare who is a Muslim and who is not- classic takfiri methodology.
No one can change blasphemy law: Babar Awan
|Friday November 26, 2010 (1116 PST)
ISLAMABAD: Law Minister Babar Awan has categorically said that no one should think of repealing the blasphemy law. “In my presence as the Law Minister, no one should think of finishing this law,” he said while declaring himself to be a “Shaheen” (eagle). He was talking to a senior member of the Jang Group on Thursday. Continue reading