By B. Civilian
The full bench of the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan unanimously declared the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) null and void, ab initio. In view of the unpopularity of the Ordinance, the PPP government had virtually disowned it over the last few weeks. The Federation decided not to defend it in the court, again, regardless of one of its lawyers insinuating that there was a threat to ‘rule of law’ from “CIA and the GHQ” (statements which the lawyer later withdrew as his own rather than his client’s view).
Pakistan is in the process of transitioning from being a military dictatorship to becoming a democracy. It’s a difficult transition for any country, let alone for one which has attempted such a transition at least twice before, without much success. But today Pakistan is waging two definitive wars at the same time – one for democracy and the other against terrorism. The latter is often described as an existential war. We are trying to define ourselves at the same time as we are trying to ‘exist’; survive and prevail over those murdering us on a daily basis. Continue reading
Filed under Benazir Bhutto, Democracy, Justice, Law, lawyers movement, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics, state, War On Terror, Zardari
[TFT] A partisan media is biting the hand of democracy that feeds it, says Raza Rumi
It was hoped by many that the electronic media following its exponential growth during the last few years would take stock of its roles and responsibilities. However, the years 2007 and 2008 were not the best of times for such an introspection to materialise into a self-regulation process. Authoritarian or transitional environments are not conducive to a culture of informed debate and the evolution of sound regulatory regimes. Nevertheless, there have been scattered noises and appeals by many observers, analysts and concerned citizens even within the media community.
From the brutality of displaying dismembered limbs on television screens to creating a panic-oriented news culture and relegating the status of objective ‘anchors’ to partisan political players, the trends were and continue to be, disturbing. Against the backdrop of the events of March 2009 the role of the electronic media was far from gratifying. The self congratulatory hysteria that now pervades the various channels betrays their utter inability to look back and introspect. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
On a day of celebration for Pakistan’s great victory, our country faces yet another suicide attack. As many as 12 people, mostly poor people taking the local transport back to their homes, were killed in a huge blast. Other than the 7 dead bodies as many as 6 bags of just human remains have been taken from the scene. Many of those dead are from Imran Khan’s political party. Continue reading
Beena Sarwar (IPS)
Barely a year after being elected, the Pakistan government faces a political storm involving a street agitation spearheaded by lawyers and opposition political parties allied with religious parties.
Lurking on the sidelines is an army unused to civilian command even as religious militants create havoc around the country.
None of this is new to Pakistan but many find it all the more painful given the hopes built up by last year’s general elections. On Feb 18, 2009, Pakistani voters overwhelmingly supported non-religious parties and rejected those that had been propped up by the army. Continue reading
By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari
Two days after NYT warns that Pakistan is on the brink of “abyss,” the country sinks deeper into turmoil.
It was bad enough that after President Asif Ali Zardari paved the way for ousting Nawaz Sharif, the two time prime minister of Pakistan and his brother, ex-Administrative head of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, from contesting elections in the country or from holding government offices, but he also flowered the road for self-proclaimed secular capitalist, Salman Taseer to enforce Governor Raj in the Punjab province — Mistake after mistake, following the footsteps of General Musharraf in his second term, President Zardari is concerning behavior therapists around the world.
First published by the DAWN
THE enthusiasts for the long march towards Islamabad are justifiably feeling let down by the grand posturing, thundering rhetoric and the subsequent retreat from agitation outside the dreary citadels of power in Islamabad’s dark heart.
A Bastille, which was not meant to be? Interpretations abound and explanations are flowing in from the motley groups who ventured to change the contours of state-society relations. The lawyers’ movement is profoundly significant. It constitutes the finest historical ‘moment’ in our troubled history. However, many observers have hinted at its limitations and the problematic phase that the movement has now entered. Continue reading