Saturday, August 26, 2017

Pakistan - Lawyers’ hooliganism should be condemned

By Hassaan Khan Niazi
Lawyers ought to be the fighters for justice, and the upholders of the rule of law. Instead we have become a symbol of fear.

The Masjid gate of Lahore High Court was closed, so I had to walk to the back gate in order to reach the principal seat of the Lahore High Court (LHC). The aftermath of the chaos by the black coated hooligans, had completely upset the ambiance of intellect and grace. The steel shutter (nearly 15x20 feet), which had been put up to block the alley way leading to Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah’s court, lied broken on the ground. Stones littered the floor which titans like Jinnah, Amir Raza Khan, and Abid Hassan Minto had used to walk towards the courts to pursue justice.
For all lawyers, who have a passion for the profession; practice is life and the courts are our homes. The lawyers, and those pretending to be lawyers, had attacked their own home in order to safeguard their ever-changing integrity and ever inflated egos. The Multani hoodlum, Sher Zaman, did not have the courage to appear before the court Larger Bench himself, so he chose to send a few cronies from Multan to ‘fight’ on his behalf.
I started looking for this group that had attack our home. When I finally encountered the group of lawyers who were responsible for such disrespect of the High Court, standing outside the judges’ gate on main Mall Road, I was surprised to see their stubbornness. Some were throwing stones and brick over the judges’ gate, knowing it would bear them no fruit. Some were shouting abusive and degrading slogans regarding the honourable Chief Justice.
Gone are the days when influence and force could be used to escape the law. Now even the Prime Minister is held accountable under the law. Mr Sher Zaman should know that he cannot take the law into his own hands while hiding behind the black coat What is almost unforgivable is the absence of some of the senior and most influential names. These influential lawyers are those who lead the political fronts of the only two groups of lawyers, politically. For the dignity of the bench to be rescued, it is imperative for big names such as Hamid Khan Advocate to intervene. The lawyers who took law into their own hands reportedly belong to the Hamid Khan group, and as such, are besmirching the reputation and the integrity of Mr Khan. Therefore, it is important for him to disown such elements if he is to maintain his integrity.
Mr Rasheed A Rizvi, who is President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, has also been curiously silent and absent from the mainstream. It’s time for the respected lawyers like Mr Rizvi and Mr Khan to break the silence and condemn the hooliganism which the entire country witnessed.
There is no justification for the actions of Sher Zaman. He does not only deserve to be put behind bars, but his license should also be cancelled permanently. The profession is better off without the likes of him. Gone are the days when influence and force could be used to escape the law. Now even the Prime Minister is held accountable under the law. Mr Sher Zaman should know that he cannot take the law into his own hands while hiding behind the black coat. Also appalling were the false allegations of corruption raised against the Chief Justice in order to malign his character and credibility as an honest member of the bench. Those who tried to defame him should be asked that was the honourable Chief Justice not corrupt before he took the contempt notice. Lawyers ought to be the fighters for justice, and the upholders of the rule of law. Instead we have become a symbol of fear. Lawyers have always been looked upon to correct the wrongs in a society, help the weak, protect the innocent, and respect the law.
All these lawyers who wreaked havoc in the High Court, should have been using pens to fight their battles, but sadly, they decided to pick up stones. They were supposed to pick up books rather than batons. They were supposed to raise their voices on the rostrum, rather they raised their voices to shout slogans, hurl abuses, and spew venom at the bench. Instead of trying to win against the Bench, the Bar should rather help the Bench win. Otherwise, history will not forget who stood on which side when Sher Zaman and his cronies attacked our home — the court.


By Asif Hassan

Pakistan’s population has surged by more than half to 207 million, according to provisional results of the country’s first census in almost two decades released by the statistics board on Friday.
Once confirmed in the final report, Pakistan could be set to overtake Brazil as the world’s fifth most populous country, according to statistics on the U.S. Census Bureau website.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi praised the work of census officials and called for “early completion” of the final figures, a statement from his office said. No date has yet been announced for the release. Abbasi also lauded the victims of several attacks targeting census officials, including a bomb blast in Lahore in April that killed at least seven people.
Pakistan had not held a census for nearly two decades due to years of bickering by politicians concerned it could redraw the political map, raising fears over power bases and federal funding. The provisional results published by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed an average annual growth of 2.4 percent since 1998, when the total population was put at 132.35 million.
The updated figure—an increase of around 57 percent since 1998—is higher than the estimate of 200 million that had been in wide use.
Central Punjab province remained far and away the most populated, home to more than 110 million people or more than half the country—but it also showed the slowest average annual growth rate, at 2.13 percent. The areas with the fastest growth rates were Balochistan province, with a population of more than 12 million and an average growth rate since 1998 of 3.37 percent, and the Islamabad Capital Territory, whose population passed two million with an average growth rate of 4.91 percent.
The results from the count, which began in March, are also set to help give a clearer picture about religious minority numbers in the Muslim-majority country.
The weeks-long process, a challenge in a country known for corruption and dysfunction, deployed a team of more than 300,000 people and involved 55 million forms. The results will be the basis for revising political boundaries, parliamentary seat allocations and finances ahead of national elections, due to be held by the end of 2018.
Powerful Punjab province, for example, could see its political grip weaken as a result of its population not rising at a similar rate to other provinces.

#Pakistan - New tidings For AfPak

By Afrasiab Khattak

The new US Afghan policy declared in a speech by President Donald Trump on August 22 is impressive for its clarity, comprehensiveness and nuance.
US seems to have learnt from its past mistakes and the deep, rigorous and long process of consultation involving all stakeholders in the US state system must have also contributed in producing a substantial policy. Surge in US troops will be quite modest but unlike the past there is no date for withdrawal given in advance. Decision about withdrawal in the future will be taken on the need basis keeping in view reality on the ground. In the past even a huge military surge was ineffective because Taliban knew the date of withdrawal of international forces in advance so they could adopt the simple strategy of waiting them out.
In that situation US had the watch and Taliban had the time. Now the tables have turned.
The focus of the fresh US support program is to equip, train and advise the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) rather than replacethem in fighting. ANSF has turned out to be an effective fighting force during the last four years, after taking over the country’s defense from international forces. There were certain deficiencies in equipment and training.
The additional equipment and training (particularly the air cover) will boost its strength and morale. Under the new policy US military commanders will have greater power to make decisions on ground in Afghanistan which will enable them to take quick decisions, and time is of the essence in this war like every other war. But the most important aspect of the policy is the focus on counter-terrorism. That has been the most significant purpose of the presence of international troops in Afghanistan but it wasn’t given its due priority.
Nation building in Afghanistan isn’t the business of foreigners.
It is for Afghan themselves to work on the project of nation building and state building. The new US policy makes a strong commitment to support Afghanistan but it also makes it clear that the Afghan government shouldn’t take it as a blank cheque. The National Unity Government (NUG) has to put its act together in terms of implementing reforms, rooting out corruption and achieving legitimacy by gaining people’s confidence. Interestingly the new US policy, along with expressing commitment for support of NUG, also leaves the door open for negotiations for a political solution which adds to the strength of the policy.
President Trump’s new Afghan policy mentions Indian contributions in stabilising Afghanistan in terms of economic development. It carefully avoids any military role for India and again the new policy is building on something that is already there. India has already invested billions of dollars in building roads, dams, bridges and other infrastructure in Afghanistan. Coming to the aspect of the new US Afghan policy dealing with Pakistan one can say that it’s the least surprising. Pakistan’s consistent campaign for imposing Taliban’s rule on Afghanistan has been attracting the criticism of different US leaders after September 11.
By redefining his Afghan policy as AfPak policy President Obama had made it clear that he regarded Pakistan as part of the problem. He had also threatened Pakistan with international isolation if it kept providing sanctuaries to Afghan insurgents. Due to long association and collaboration of the past (coming from working together in SEATO, CENTO and Afghan War) the US security establishment has taken a long time to put the Pakistani security establishment on warning for its support for Taliban and other organisations alleged to be involved in terrorism. But it had to come one day and it’s still a warning so far. It may be a historic opportunity for Pakistan to get rid of a flawed Afghan policy that has acquired malignant proportions over the time. Even otherwise, this is a potentially suicidal policy for Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Afghan policy is the product of a militaristic and hegemonic design based on the jihadist project of the 1980s and it hasn’t changed in any tangible way despite tall claims to the contrary. It aims at imposing a puppet government on Afghanistan by defeating the Afghan state and its international allies. Many political parties in Pakistan have been criticising this policy. It has neither been approved by the Parliament nor supported by any elected political government. Pashtuns in Pakistan are particularly opposed to it because it puts them in the eye of the terrorist storm. Pakistan’s Afghan policy has been the monopoly of the country’s security establishment and at times the civilian government would be sent packing for opposing it. Taliban’s brutality was unleashed on every entity that clearly opposed it. The policy of supporting good Taliban (that includes Afghan Taliban and elements fighting against India) has perpetuated terrorist problem in Pakistan despite valiant sacrifices by the people of the country and members of the security forces. Pakistan has remained a war theater for almost the last four decades. It’s only natural that the generals and not the civilians would call the shorts in a war theater. So it isn’t surprising to see that support for jihadist project and threat to democracy emanate from the same source. Again it’s the same mindset that is attacking democratic republics (however flawed they may be) in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistan has already missed many opportunities to review this bankrupt Afghan policy during the last so many years. It has renounced the policy of so called strategic depth only in statements but in practice there hasn’t been an iota of change. Pakistan has not been able to avail the opportunity of having access to Central Asian markets because Talibanisation of Afghanistan has remained a higher priority than developing regional connectivity and trade. The approval of the National Action Plan in December 2014 was another big opportunity for wrapping up the Taliban project and we were given to understand at the highest level that there will be a shift. But it never came, despite the fact that Pakistan has every possibility of achieving its legitimate national interest in Afghanistan through political and diplomatic means. No other two countries in the world have the type of commonalities that exist between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This potential can be taped only if Pakistan learns to befriend Afghanistan instead of doting on the Taliban.
Political will to implement the policy is equally crucial. Similarly China, Iran, Russia and Central Asian states aren’t mentioned. They are important players and their inclusion is a must for any sustainable solution to the conflict around Afghanistan. China and Russia are genuinely worried at the presence of the so called IS in the region along with other violent extremists that threatens their vision of regional development.
The recent collaboration between Taliban and IS in massacring Shia Hazaras in northern Afghanistan crystalises the nature of the threat. One hopes countries of the region and beyond will cooperate to eliminate this common enemy instead of playing double games.

#AttockBhuttoKa - Dilan Teer Bijan

#AttockBhuttoKa - Qamar Zaman Qaira Speech in PPP Jalsa | 26 August 2017

ہمیں سازش کے تحت محدود کرنے کی کوشش کی گئی،بلاول - #AttockBhuttoKa

پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا ہے کہ ہمیں ایک سازش کے تحت محدود کرنے کی کوشش کی گئی، ہم نے ہمیشہ غربت ختم کرےکے لیے کام کیا۔
چیئرمین پیپلزپارٹی بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے فتح جنگ میں پی پی کے جلسے سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے مزید کہا کہ جو لوگ کہتے ہیں کہ پیپلزپارٹی ایک صوبے تک محدود ہوگئی ہے، وہ ہمارےجلسے دیکھ لیں، پیپلزپارٹی آج بھی عوام میں رچی بسی ہے جس طرح ذوالفقاربھٹو  اور بینظیر بھٹو کے دور میں تھی۔
انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ چنیوٹ کے بعد پنجاب میں یہ میرا دوسرا جلسہ ہے، چترال اور مانسہرہ، کاغان میں بھی جلسے کیے اور عوام کا جوش و جذبہ دیکھا، لوگوں سے کہتاہوں کہ وادی مہران سے پنجاب تک پیپلز پارٹی آج بھی عوام میں مقبول ہے، پیپلزپارٹی چاروں صوبوں کی زنجیر ہے۔
بلاول کا کہنا ہے کہ ملک کے کسانوں، مزدوروں نے ہمیشہ ہمارا ساتھ دیاہے، ملک کا غریب جانتاہےکہ ہم نے ہمیشہ ان کی غربت ختم کرنے کے لیے کام کیا، کسان جانتا ہے ہم نے ان کی خوشحالی کے لیے کام کیا، نوجوان جانتا ہے کہ ہم نے ہمیشہ اس کو روز گار دیا ہے، خواتین جانتی ہیں کہ ہمیشہ ہم نے انہیں عزت کا مقام دیاہے، پنجاب سے بولان تک بھی پیپلزپارٹی عوام میں رچی بسی ہے۔
ان کا کہنا ہے کہ ہم نے عوام ، غریبوں کی سیاست نہیں چھوڑی،کبھی کسی آمر کے سامنے نہیں جھکے اور کبھی کسی دہشت گرد سے نہیں ڈرے، ہمارا ملک ایک نازک صورتحال سے گزر رہاہے،امریکا کے صدر نے بھی ایک طرح کی دھمکی دی ہے،ملک خود دہشت گردی کی آگ میں جل رہاہے، دہشت گردی کےخلاف لڑرہاہے، سیاسی جماعتیں اور عوام دہشت گردی کا شکار ہوئے، ہم پر دہشتگردوں کو پناہ دینے کا الزام لگ رہاہے، یہی الزام پہلے بھی لگایاجاتاتھامگر اب تو دھمکی بھی آگئی ہے، لگتاہے پاکستان سفارتی طور پر تنہا ہوگیاہے،ہم قربانیاں دے رہے ہیں، اس کے باوجود ہم پر الزام لگایاجارہا ہے۔
بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا ہے کہ یہ الزام لگاتے ہیں کہ ہم دہشت گردوں کو پناہ دے رہے ہیں، ملک کی ایک خارجہ پالیسی ہوتی ہے، مگر مسلم لیگ ن کی کوئی خارجہ پالیسی نہیں ہے،میں پچھلے دو سال سے کہہ رہاہوں، انہوں نے نیشنل ایکشن پلان کو ختم کردیاہے، آپ کودنیا کے ساتھ چلنا پڑتاہے اور اپنا مؤقف بتانا پڑتاہے، نیشنل ایکشن پلان پر مکمل طور پر عمل نہیں کیا جا رہا ہے، صرف آپریشنز سے دہشت گردی ختم نہیں ہوسکتی، دہشت گردی کےخلاف جنگ جیتنے کے لیے پوری قوم کو ایک کرنا ہوگا، یہ نہیں ہوگا کہ کالعدم تنظیمیں نام بدل کر سیاست میں آجائیں ،صرف فوجی آپریشن سے دہشت گردی ختم نہیں ہوتی۔
انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ دنیا دیکھ رہی ہے کہ آپ کیا کررہےہیں، آپ عوام کو دھوکا دیتے ہواور جھوٹ بولتے ہو، دہشت گردی اور انتہاپسندی کے خلاف ایک ہونا ہوگااور ایک بیانیہ دینا ہوگا، ملک اس وقت نازک صورتحال سے گزر رہاہے، بیرونی اور اندرونی چیلنجز کا سامناہے، سیاسی جماعتیں چیلنجز کو نہیں دیکھ رہیں صرف کرسی کودیکھ رہی ہیں، سیاسی جماعتیں صرف گالی کی سیاست کررہی ہیں۔
بلاول نے کہا کہ میاں صاحب میں نہ تو اہلیت ہے اور نہ صلاحیت کہ وہ ملک کے مسائل حل کرسکیں،یہ دائیں بازوں کی سیاست کرتے ہیں، غریب ، کسان ، مزدور ان کے ایجنڈے میں نہیں، میاں صاحب!آپ نااہل اور آپ کی حکومت ناکام ہے، ان کا اگر کوئی ایجنڈا ہے تو بس اقتدار حاصل کرنا اور اقتدار میں ہی رہنا۔
چیئرمین پی پی پی کہتے ہیں کہ دنیا کو اپنا بیانیہ بتانا پڑتا ہے، وزیرخارجہ کوچاہیے تھا کہ پاکستان کا بیانیہ دنیا کوبتاتے، وزیرخارجہ خارجہ پالیسی کی بجائے جی ٹی روڈ پرکہتے ہیں کہ ان کے قائد کوکیوں نکالا گیا،اچھی یا بری ہرملک کی خارجہ پالیسی ہوتی ہے، ن لیگ کی کوئی خارجہ پالیسی نہیں۔
 بلاول نے عمران خان کی جانب اپنی تنقید کا رخ کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ خیبرپختونخوا کی حالت دیکھ کر آیاہوں، ان کی تبدیلی کے سب دعوے جھوٹ ہیں، خان صاحب آپ دہشت گردوں سے توڈرتے ہو، کیا مچھرسے بھی ڈرتے ہو، جب خیبرپختونخوا کو خان صاحب کی ضرورت ہوتی ہے تو خان صاحب پہاڑ پر چلے جاتے ہیں، خان صاحب کو کیا کہوں، ان کی تبدیلی کے دعوے جھوٹ ہیں، خان صاحب سندھ میں کن لوگوں کے ساتھ مل کر تبدیلی لانا چاہتے ہیں۔
ان کا مزید کہنا ہے کہ گھوٹکی کا پیر ہے جو زبردستی نکاح کراتا ہے، اقلیتوں کا دشمن ہے، وہ خان صاحب کے ساتھ ہے، دوسرا شخص دادو سے تعلق رکھنے والا سابق وزیراعلیٰ خان صاحب کے ساتھ ہے، یہ وہ واحد وزیراعلیٰ ہے جس کو کرپشن پر ہٹایا گیا، ن لیگ اورپی ٹی آئی کا کوئی منشور نہیں، دائیں بازو کی سیاست کرتے ہیں، پشاور میں ڈینگی سے لوگ مر رہے ہیں، خان صاحب سکھرمیں تقریرکرنے آتے ہیں،میاں صاحب اور خان صاحب ایک ہی سکے کے دو رخ ہیں، خان صاحب کے لیے کیا کہوں، خیبرپختونخوا میں جھوٹ جھوٹ اور بس جھوٹ ہے۔
بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا کہ ٹیکسٹائل انڈسٹری بند ہورہی ہے، کسان رو رہا ہے، ملک میں نہ بجلی ہے نہ گیس، کس ترقی کی بات کررہے ہیں، پیپلزپارٹی کا جھنڈا اب میں نےاٹھالیاہے، پورے پاکستان اور نوجوانوں سے مخاطب ہوں کہ پریشان نہ ہوں، یہ دونوں جماعتیں اقتدار کی جنگ لڑ رہے ہیں، میں عوام کی حمایت اورطاقت پریقین رکھتا ہوں،خان صاحب کے تبدیلی کے دعوے صرف جھوٹ ہیں۔
انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ پیپلزپارٹی پرالزام لگتا ہے کہ اقتدارمیں سرکاری اداروں میں نوکریوں کے دروازے کھول دیتی ہے، لوگوں کونوکریاں دینا جرم ہے توہاں میں یہ جرم کرتا رہوں گا،اعلان کرتاہوں اقتدارمیں آیا توسرکاری اداروں میں نوکریوں کےدروازے کھول دوں گا۔
بلاول کا یہ بھی کہنا ہے کہ میاں صاحب آپ کی حکومت ناکام ہے،پیپلزپارٹی عوام کے ساتھ ہے جودہشت گردوں کو للکارتی ہے، اللہ، رسول اور عوام کو گواہ بنا کر کہتا ہوں کہ اپنےمشن کی تکمیل کروں گا، ریاست سب کو ایک آنکھ سے دیکھتی ہے، سلالہ چیک پوسٹ پر حملے کے بعدہم نےنیٹو سپلائی بند کی، امریکا کو اس واقعے پر معافی مانگنا پڑی تھی۔

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Pakistan - Asif Ali Zardari acquitted in Illegal Assets Reference Case

Court gives clean chit to Zardari in corruption case

An accountability court acquitted former president Asif Ali Zardari in a reference pertaining to his assets on Saturday.
Justice Khalid Mehmood Ranjha, of accountability court no 1, accepted the documents requesting acquittal of the Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairperson.
The reference filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has no legal standing, stated the court order.
After the verdict, Zardari’s lawyer Farooq Hamid Naek, while speaking to Geo News, explained that the reference against his client was filed in 1998 under sections of Accountability Act 1997. 
He added said that the reference alleged that Zardari had created illegal assets. 
Naek further said the reference against the former president was filed by former NAB chairman Saif-ur-Rehman on Nawaz Sharif’s request and added that the accountability body failed to provide any evidence in the case.
“NAB’s investigating officer accepted that Asif Ali Zardari had no share in the sugar mills,”  Zardari’s legal counsel said.
Naek added Zardari has been acquitted in eight corruption references. Six cases were filed during Nawaz's tenure while two were filed during Pervez Musharraf’s tenure. 
After the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was passed, all references against Zardari had ceased to exist. Once the NRO was revoked, Zardari had immunity as the president of Pakistan. 
Another trial then commenced against Zardari when his presidential immunity ended.