Zubair Faisal Abbasi
International development organizations recently conveyed us a message that government in Pakistan is untrustworthy and therefore humanitarian aid in desirable quantity is hard to arrange. Many of us accepted the argument and starting divulging additional reasons on international donors being right in avoiding a direly needed bout of foreign assistance. We should try to be critical about such claims which primarily blame the victim.
Let us say, you call us untrustworthy and therefore you refuse to pour money into our kitty so that we fight against the unprecedented calamity on our own. You call our state institutions untrustworthy slipping into the coffin of a failed state. You call us untrustworthy because we got a ‘bigger cheque’ from the USA and refused the Communists. Had we accepted the smaller cheque and fought the imposed war against you then what we were supposed to be? Traitors? But we accepted the cheque and remained trustworthy till the time cheap gun fodder was needed. The transaction was simple and persuasive. We, the untrustworthy, joined the most ‘truthful’ arrangements like SEATO/CENTO and remained most aligned nation outside the NATO and fought as frontline state – we remained trustworthy. Now once the war-machine appears to be tired, exhausted, and needs oiling then we become untrustworthy, corrupt, and extortionists. In fact, we were trustworthy for the expansion of military-industrial complex and now when we need humanitarian assistance we are untrustworthy. Continue reading
Devastating floods in Pakistan have claimed over 1600 lives and displaced over 18 million — or 1 out of every 10 people in the country — and the disaster shows no sign of abating. Significant resources are flowing into the region to provide immediate relief. But access to relevant, up-to-date, timely, and authentic data from the affected communities, specifying the hardest-hit areas and precise locations of displacement, remains elusive. These gaps in data gathering disrupt initiatives for immediate assistance and for long-term policy planning. To overcome such gaps, Pakistan Flood Incident Reporting (http://pakrelief.crowdmap.com) was launched immediately after the recent floods. PakRelief CrowdMap, as it is known, is a data portal designed to gather comprehensive and dynamic information on disaster-related variables. The website identifies key information to facilitate better long-term policy analysis. Continue reading
The colossal humanitarian tragedy and the imminent economic meltdown, will now shape a new Pakistan or rather, exacerbate its predicament in the months and years to come. Pakistan’s chronic political instability, structural economic constraints and a warped national security policy are all going to be affected by the unfolding drama of the national disaster, perhaps the severest, in the country’s history. Whilst the challenges have snowballed within a short duration of ten days, the response of the Pakistani state and society underline extremely dangerous trends and make us wonder about future of the country, as we have known it for the last 63 years.
Pakistan had reverted to quasi-democratic rule after a decade of dictatorship in March 2008. Since the resumption of the electoral process in February 2008, the traditionally powerful unelected institutions, had acquired both legitimacy and unprecedented powers. The power troika of the 1990s had transformed into a quartet comprising the army, judiciary, the media and the civilian government which was represented by a ‘discredited’ president who has been a constant punching bag for the unelected institutions of the state.
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
by Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim
We are again faced with a judicial crisis – not a bonafide crisis but a crisis created for ulterior reasons.
Ostensibly the crisis is the elevation of chief justice for the Lahore High Court in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the elevation of the next senior most judge Justice Saquib Nasir, as acting Chief Justice of Lahroe High Court (a la Zia ul Haq style).
Being of the view that more harm is done by ignoring seniority, which opens the door for exercise of discretion in principle, I am against seniority being ignored, particularly in judiciary.
My first reaction, therefore, was that the appointment of Chief Justice Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court and elevation of the next senior-most judge as Lahore High Court Chief Justice was justified.
I had assumed that in accordance with the Article 177 of the constitution, these appointments were made by the president after consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and that the president was bound by such consultations.
Was the Chief Justice of Pakistan even consulted? Continue reading
– 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
This is an old piece but after the attack on GHQ it is quite a relevant reading. Comments are welcome. Raza Rumi
Oxford Analytica – Wednesday, October 1 2008
SUBJECT: Scenarios for the future of Pakistan.
SIGNIFICANCE: Recent geopolitical developments have undermined the traditional rationale of the state, promoting deepening internal discord. To survive, Pakistan will need to re-cast itself and find a new place in the international order. Yet the three most likely ways forward are each fraught with difficulties.
ANALYSIS: Most of the domestic and geopolitical forces that have held Pakistan together since its hasty creation in 1947 have been weakening rapidly.
As such, the country is at an historic crossroads. Its future in recognisable form will be in serious doubt unless it can find alternative sources of cohesion. Continue reading