Posts

Showing posts from April, 2012

30 seconds…

On April 26, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was “found guilty of and convicted for contempt of court” till the rising of the court by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. As it turned out, the ‘imprisonment’ lasted only for 30 seconds but history was made in that short period: for the first time in Pakistan’s history, a sitting prime minister has been convicted. The legal aspects of the Supreme Court judgement are quite complex as was evident from the various interpretations that were being dished out on our television screens. That the court mentioned Article 63(1)(g) in its short order led many to speculate about the prime minister’s disqualification as a member of parliament. It said: “…We note that the findings and the conviction for contempt of court […] are likely to entail some serious consequences in terms of Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution which may be treated as mitigating factors towards the sentence to be passed against him [PM Gilani].”

Article 63(1)(g),…

Importance of President Zardari’s Ajmer yatra

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari visited India on April 8. The visit was a ‘private’ one as he wanted to pay homage at the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided to host a lunch in Delhi for the Pakistani president and his delegation as a goodwill gesture before they departed for Ajmer. The media spotlight was on the visiting dignitaries from across the border and fortunately there was no controversy as such. Apart from some dissenting voices from Pakistani and Indian ‘realists’ and/or ‘hawks’, most people welcomed President Zardari’s decision to visit India and PM Singh’s lunch invitation. The naysayers would like us to believe that such visits are of no import. With all due respect, this is not true in the case of Indo-Pak relations. Even a private visit of a Pakistani head of state to India (and vice versa) is of grave importance for both countries.

Partition is a reality and the scars of the Indian subcontinent’s blood…

‘Divine’ suo motus

The other day, a news item caught the attention of many people on the social media. Maulana Abdul Aziz, famous for running away from Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) clad in a burqa back in 2007 to avoid being caught by the security forces, warned the Chief Justice of Pakistan to enforce shariah in the country through a suo motu notice, “otherwise Allah will take suo motu action against the system”. Maulana Aziz is not the first one to ask for ‘shariah system’ in Pakistan. It all started when the rulers of our country ceded space to the right-wing forces. After the creation of Pakistan, the politico-religious parties that had opposed the very idea of a new Muslim state then started projecting themselves as the rightful custodians of the infant state. The induction of the Objectives Resolution in 1949 in the constitution laid the foundation for religious forces to intervene in state affairs.

“The ulema (religious scholars), many of whom had opposed the Pakistan Movement tooth and nail (and some…