– by Abdul Nishapuri
In a (not so) surprise move, top judicial bureaucrats sitting in Pakistan’s Supreme Court and Lahore High Court have declared war against a fragile democracy in Pakistan. The (right-wing) establishment has taken its dagger out for a final attack on the democratic government of the (left-wing) Pakistan People’s Party.
In a decision announced in the after hours on Saturday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended the appointment of two judges by President Asif Ali Zardari.
According to Iftikhar A. Khan of Dawn newspaper,
The build-up to the suspension of the presidential order packed more suspense than a thriller. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court first suspended the operation of notifications for elevation of Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Justice Khwaja Sharif, to the apex court and appointment of Justice Saqib Nisar as acting chief justice of the LHC.`The Supreme Court staff was called in the evening before the bench hurriedly constituted by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry took up the matter, leaving most observers baffled. Continue reading
PTH is not a partisan blog-zine. Our regular contributor, Bilal Quershi has sent this article for publication. We do not take any position on the views expressed here. However, in the interest of democracy and promoting and protecting free speech in Pakistan, we are publishing it. PTH Admin
Is there an end to Pakistan’s perpetual misery? Of course, there is no easy answer for this question. Moreover, it also depends on who is answering this untimely and rude question.
If you ask the coalition partners running the government, you are likely to get a tough, but realistic answer. But who cares about tough love, honesty, or facts, or honesty? On the other hand, if you ask the PML (N), you might get figures (don’t worry, they won’t add up in the end!) about how much more revenue can they generate without expanding the pie, bravado and artificial optimism with a caveat. What is that caveat? Well, they would argue, falsely, that if only Nawaz Sharif is given one more chance (never mind his two awful and failed stints) to lead the country, things will improve, inflation, lawlessness, water and electricity shortage and poverty etc will come under control, and believe it or not, it will happen instantly. Continue reading
Foqia Sadiq Khan writing for The NEWS raises some pertinent issues that require attention. PTH
Winning in lower courts too
Has David won over Goliath? It seems so. The principled, courageous, and vigorous lawyers’ movement for the independence of the judiciary in the last two years seems to have succeeded. The lawyers’ movement has been unique in its moral underpinnings and spirited protests. But does that mean timely justice will be delivered to common people in the lower courts? This is essential as the lack of it in the lower courts has a potential to give rise to religious militancy in Pakistan. Continue reading
We have removed the earlier cartoon borrowed from the internet. We had used it in jest and posted it simply that it was funny. However, it seemed to have conveyed wrong signals and by no means we wanted to offend Imran Khan or his supporters. Therefore, it has been removed for we do not want the animated discussion to digress. PTH apologises for this oversight – after all we the Pakistanis can be extremely ‘sensitive’ about cartoons. This cultural trait needs to be explored and merits a separate post. Raza Rumi (ed.)
People rally behind politicians who stand up for national honor, but in rare cases, phony politicians fail to win support from masses. In the process, heroes lose respect, and turn followers into adversaries. Take for example Imran Khan, a national hero so many of us grew up worshiping, but sadly, now we are witnessing him go insane, publicly. For example, addressing the Pindi Bar Association on Saturday, Imran spewed incredible hate for everyone who believes in modernity, tolerance, and progress. This is just pathetic because Imran’s hatred for the Western world has reached alarming level and no human being can be objective, or fair, if he or she becomes this insane. When Imran Khan launched his political party, it was believed that Imran intends to build on his good work which started with his cancer hospital. He said all the right things, promised reform, even threatened revolution to bring about a change in a system which he alleged was corrupt. But nothing pawned out and in the end, Imran himself changed, and his promise to be honest and upright vanished, just like Imran’s ability to differentiate between right and wrong. Today, Imran hufs & pufs about independent judiciary, but think about this irony for a second; those who have been fighting for democracy since 1977, those who have been imprisoned for decades, those who lost jobs, families, savings, futures and hopes are being lectured by Imran Khan, a failed politician, a failed husband, a failed father, and a failed moral cop who never even lifted a finger to protest Zia’s brutal Martial Continue reading
I am appalled by the recent events that have yet again stirred instability and uncertainty into Pakistani politics. Those of us who voted in last year’s elections expected that the political leaders and Pakistan’s political elites would learn a lesson from our unfortunate history.
We also expected the lawyers’ movement, headed by men of extraordinary calibre, to display sagacity and vision and contribute to the consolidation of a democratic culture. However, what we witnessed was a complete rejection of the Feb 18 polls by the leading lights of the movement, and a few other naïve political actors. When the electorate voted in large numbers and returned the two mainstream political parties to the parliament, the lawyers, instead of accepting that they were wrong to boycott elections, insisted on their narrow and bourgeois interpretation of the term “rule of law.” Continue reading