By Haris Gazdar writing for the DAWN today
THE Supreme Court’s ruling on July 31 striking down some of the actions taken by former President Musharraf as unconstitutional has been hailed as historic.
This is hyperbole. What is more important is how the judges and their supporters plan to use the power they are acquiring with respect to the key challenges facing the state and society.
The constitutional petitions before the Supreme Court related to the legality of judicial appointments during the 16-month period when Mr Iftikhar Chaudhry had been removed from his position as chief justice. The court ruled these judicial appointments to be illegal. The jobs of 110 judges of the higher courts were put on the line. In effect, a few judges of the Supreme Court gave themselves veto power over the composition of the higher judiciary as a whole. Those declared as ‘non-judges’ included not only the so-called PCO judges but also all those judges appointed to the higher courts between Nov 3, 2007 and March 22, 2009. Continue reading
Why the division of Punjab alone should be a topic of national debate? The long due reform of Pakistan’s federal politics is an urgent need and this is a time to act
By Raza Rumi
The elites drunk on the status quo have expressed two major reactions to the proposal of creating another province within the mighty Punjab. First that this is akin to opening a Pandora’s box when we are at war against terrorism. Second, that this is a planted controversy whereby the ruling PPP wants to harm the house of Raiwind; or a conspiracy by those who want to destabilise Pakistan’s political system. Continue reading
By Raza Rumi
On the face of it, the Pakistani state with the clear endorsement of political parties and the majority of its citizenry is fighting a battle against militant Islamism. However, it is not as simple a formulation as it appears to be. The state is also cracking under extreme pressure for having lost its capacities and effectiveness a long time ago. The central tenet of state policy and implementation is adhocism that keeps a mammoth, oversized, under-paid and snail-paced elephant going. With Mughal and pre-industrial social structures reflecting in a colonial organisation, the Pakistani state is an unattended patient lying on an Elliotesque table, waiting for a surgery. Continue reading