By Raza Rumi
Recent floods have exposed the capacity of the state to govern, especially at the local level. The disintegration of local state is not a recent phenomenon. The continued experimentation with and frequent strangulation of local governance arrangements have led to a situation that Pakistan’s burgeoning population is now without a representative, accountable local state.
Erosion of state writ: Three historical trends are noticeable for their impact on the overall governance and the writ of the state. First, centralisation is a tendency that is most attractive to those who govern Pakistan at the federal and provincial levels. The post-colonial Pakistani state has retained the official obsession of controlling power and patronage at the top and denuding the local space for democratic development and sound mechanisms of accountability. Secondly, granting local autonomy has, by and large, been a smokescreen for powerful military governments to bypass provincial politics and control the levers of state and society from above. Thus, we have an established pattern: local government experiments flourish under authoritarian regimes and get undermined whenever democracy, a la Pakistani variety, returns. Finally, the constant denial of a responsive state at the local level has led to erosion of state legitimacy and the void has been filled in by mafias, politico-criminal gangs and militant non-state actors.
Faisal Naseem Chaudhry has contributed this excellent piece for PTH. Apparently, the Supreme Court has taken notice of this incident. But this incident itself is reflective of the growing frustration among Pakistanis with respect to governance and in particualr the failures of the criminal justice system. As Faisal says people have lost faith in the judicial system, no matter whosoever heads the institution! Whilst Pakistan gears its creaky state machinery to face the monumental challenges ahead, this incident is a parable of our times. The pending reform agenda of improving the police, the courts and administration cannot be further delayed lest we want to promote anarchy and mayhem in the country. Raza Rumi
A horrifying incident took place in Mauza Buttar District Sialkot on 15 August when two alleged dacoits were not only stoned and beaten to death rather their dead bodies were hanged upside down for four hours in the presence of District Police Officer (DPO Sialkot), and later put on a tractor-trolley for public exhibition. According to the printed news appearing in Daily Express, Daily Khabrein, and Daily Pakistan;
1. A total of 4 dacoits were robbing people of their belongings at 6 AM on 15 August.
2. One namely Bilal was killed by the dacoits. A few others were injured.
3. Those injured were strong enough to get hold of two dacoits whereas remaining 2 managed to flee successfully.
4. The captured one were beaten and stoned to death, dead-bodies hanged with a pole.
5. After ‘negotiations’ the bodies were handed over to Police.
6. A case has been registered against the deceased ‘dacoits’ and their buddies who managed to flee the scene.
7. The grand-father of the deceased dacoits stated that one of them was a Hafiz-e-Quran; both were brothers and were going on a motorcycle to play cricket in the morning after SEHRI. When they were passing by the place of incident, they were apprehended by the village men (perhaps because they were riding a motorcycle and dacoits do it) and mercilessly killed.
The above incident reminds us of an incident dated February 2010 when two dacoits were burnt alive in Karachi. Continue reading
It is evident that the Pakistani state faces a crisis of legitimacy and survival. Twelve years ago, on May 28, the Pakistani state displayed its nuclear prowess to the world especially to the ‘infidels’. After a decade, statehood and its compromised effectiveness stand exposed. True that the victims of the Lahore attacks were an underclass or at best residents with partial citizenship, i.e. the Ahmadis. But the inability of state agencies to fight splintered terror networks is worrisome.
The federal government had warned the provincial authorities of the impending attacks. The usual slovenliness and chaotic governance of the Pakistani variety treated it as just another communiqué. The police arrived late; and terrorists had implemented the plans rather adroitly making a mockery of Pakistan across the globe. Imagine a terrorist was nabbed through civic action, not the torture-friendly police. And guess where an injured miscreant was taken? No surprises here. A brutal murderer backed by large terror networks was admitted to Lahore’s busy public hospital where security was minimal given the level of threat. Continue reading
This is a disturbing report. Rule of law will remain a distant dream when officers of the court start behaving in this manner. PTH
Lawyers torture cops, Geo team
Friday, February 26, 2010
By Numan Wahab
LAHORE: In yet another act of hooliganism, lawyers tortured the Anarkali Police SHO and a Geo News correspondent on the premises of the District and Sessions Court on Thursday.
The Samanabad police arrested two people — Sajid Hussain and Nisar Hussain — who happen to be brothers of a woman lawyer, Mohsina Javed, on Wednesday night in a case. On Thursday, ASI Akram of the Samanabad police produced the accused brothers in a court where Anarkali police Naeem Anwar Bajwa and Inspector Zaheer of the Islampura police were also present in connection with different cases.
A group of lawyers attacked the Anarkali SHO and Islampura police inspector, who had nothing to do with the Samanabad arrests and tortured them severely. The lawyers also ripped their uniform, official documents, abused and threatened them with dire consequences. In the meanwhile, a Geo News team rushed to the spot but the lawyers did not let it cover the incident and instead threatened it and deprived Geo News correspondent Asim Nasir of his official card. They ripped the camera bag, abused and violently pushed the Geo News correspondent and cameraman. Continue reading
by SETH G. JONES & MARTIN C. LIBICKI, RAND Corporation
This is a summary of the research done for RANK Corporation and documented in How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida, by Seth G. Jones and Martin C. Libicki, MG-741-RC, 2008, 252 pp., $33
All terrorist groups eventually end. But how do they end? Answers to this question have enormous implications for counterterrorism efforts. The evidence since 1968 indicates that most groups have ended because (1) they joined the political process or (2) local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members. Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory. This has significant implications for dealing with al Qa’ida and suggests fundamentally rethinking post–September 11 U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Continue reading
By JANE PERLEZ
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A wave of attacks against top security installations over the last several days demonstrated that the Taliban, Al Qaeda and militant groups once nurtured by the government are tightening an alliance aimed at bringing down the Pakistani state, government officials and analysts said. Continue reading