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Posts tagged with: NRO

My Judges or the Highway

In a frenzy of political maneuvering in Islamabad today, Pakistan is yet again precariously positioned in yet again another stand off. Today the President of Pakistan chose to elevate the chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Khwaja Sharif as a judge of the Supreme Court. The decision was taken and official notification issued without any consultation with Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, prompting him to take a suo motu notice of the judges’ appointment.

This stand-off happened more in the form of a tit-for-tat snub reaction by the President of Pakistan to the Chief Justice of Pakistan. It was in the same token, approximately three weeks back the CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry tried to appoint Justice Ramday as an ad hoc judge to the Supreme Court but then the President had snubbed this appointment and rejected the request quoting seniority issues. So today when the President tried to elevate a Lahore High Court judge into the Supreme Court, CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry reacted to quickly create a three-member bench and it in turn struck down the order declaring it null and void. Its scary to even begin to imagine that in such a stand-off situation we probably might never have any more judicial appointments as one or the other executive appointed with Pakistan will end up striking it down.
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16 Dec decision of Supreme Court – A Critical Analysis

By Barrister Amjad Malik

16 Dec Supreme Court short order was an expected response of superior judiciary. Federation and all provinces through their lawyers jointly consented to its repeal, and none came to rescue the beneficiaries and even academic discussion was not made possible on the topic of powers to issue and right course of action to dispose off a bad law. 342 members of the Parliament jointly expressed their unwillingness to discuss and vote out this notorious ordinance despite the fact that it relates to them and their future on the whole as a club, and any order would have far reaching implications on the future of their brethrens good or bad. In that situation, what do you expect from judges.

They could not invent a defence for that ordinance so hated by the majority of the people, media and intelligentsia. If politicians were expecting leniency or a different judgment, its their own fault, and the problem lies with their capacity or capability not with the short order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. On 5 August the writer in response to 31 July 09 decision which scrapped Gen Musharraf’s 3rd Nov PCO and emergency and wrote,

“Overall, a welcoming order, full of happy tidings, but similar amount of flaws, unaddressed anomalies, and legal circles expect a lot more explanation in detailed judgement, and I hope the order does the job in the end. This order is also reflection of various ‘compulsions’ under which Pakistani society goes through daily. The short order incites that there is more to come, and a detailed judgement will open a lot of avenues for further litigation. On the outset, Superior Court is mindful of the limitations they are working under and one can say that the decision has set the track on which SC is likely to go in near future. However, it is not a final decision, this is part of a series of decisions we must expect in the days to come”.
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Laidback Show Episode 10 – @NaveeNaqvi

Show notes after the Jump
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NRO declared Null and Void – What Now?

Asif Ali Zardari in PresidencyAfter a lapse of over two years, today a full bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan came through with a historic judgment declaring the 2007 National Reconciliatory Ordinance null and void. It must be recalled that the NRO was the mastermind of the then President of Pakistan General Pervaiz Musharraf who in October 2007 orchestrated this pact with the exiled PPP leader Benazir Bhutto in an attempt to negotiate his own extended stay on the Presidential seat of power and in this process pardoned most of the corrupt criminals whom he himself detested so vehemently in his autobiography a few months earlier all in the name of political compromise. Since then history stands witness to have watched the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the people of Pakistan stood embarrassingly dumbfounded as one of the most corrupt politician Mr. Asif Ali Zardari snuck through the back doors of diplomacy to land into the Presidency of Pakistan.

Today the year-old restored judiciary stood strong to declare the NRO null and void, a short order issued outlined some important aspect of this new judgment but the exact specification and its affect on the Presidency remains to be ironed out. But it might be in the interest of Pakistan to not embarrass and ridicule Asif Ali Zardari and the Presidency any further and it might serve us all well to settle for a negotiated compromise, possibly having him to hand over most of the illegally amassed wealth back into the national treasury in lieu of his respect and freedom

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So what it’s just the NRO!

By: Agha Haider Raza

So the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) beneficiaries list comes out.  The media is happy that those persons who enjoyed taking advantage of the NRO have light casted upon them, while the government is trying to push forward the argument of how they have respected the Supreme Court’s judgment and have publicized the list.  It seems to be a win-win situation for all parties.  But is it really?  Calls for the resignation of ministries and portfolios have echoed from all corners.  How has this zero-sum game turned into a finger-pointing-name-calling battle?

As we all now know, the NRO was a ‘bail-out’ for politicians and businessmen, giving them a clean sheet.  This not only cleared the way for billions of rupees to be kept in the hands of defaulters, but also allowed plenty of politicians to get re-elected as their corruption charges were taken out of the court as well.  Though many readers would say that I am playing the ethnic card here, I’d like to know why 96% of the beneficiaries are Sindhi’s?  Secondly, if the PPP, claims itself to be a liberal-democratic party, why have they not asked for a majority vote on such a sensitive issue? After all, the billions of rupees that have been siphoned through this ordinance are Pakistani’s money, not the beneficiaries.  Why should this debt be written off?
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Shahid Masood’s show on Geo.tv banned by UAE Govt

UPDATE: PkPolitics has recorded and has published the LAST EPISODE of Shahid Masood’s MERAY MUTABIQ – in this last episode he shares threats to his life with the possible reasons for having him blocked on Geo, he also sheds light on the level of corruption by the NRO – SHOCKING its a definite must watch

shahid-masood-meray-mutabiq-logoIt seems that in a ban has been imposed on the airing of Geo News’ program ‘Meray Mutabiq’ by Dr. Shahid Masood from Dubai. According to Geo.tv sources, high government officials from Pakistan have exerted pressure on the Dubai government to block the show from being telecast from Dubai

This show along with Geo.tv has previously suffered the same fate of outright censorship in Pakistan during the 2007 martial law by Pervaiz Musharraf it was then that Pervaiz Musharraf actually approached the Dubai government too and had the entire channel taken off-air for a period of over 77 days. In those days strict local government restrictions prevented broadcast signal from Pakistan and all TV channels resorted to rebroadcasting to the satellite feed from Dubai, since the 2007 tussle with Geo and its subsequent negotiations with electronic media outlets, Geo then moved most of its operations back into Pakistan leaving aside two show Meray Mutabiq and Nadia Khan show still to be aired from Dubai alone.
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MQM’s 3800 Criminal Cases withdrawn under the NRO

nro list page 1The NRO mudslinging competition continues to go on, each party/individual boldly underplaying his/her own association with the controversial bill. What seriously amazes me, is that we still do not have access to the full and complete list of beneficiaries and are at the receiving end of confusing reports where the totals have seemingly fluctuated from a mere initial 600 to a now whopping 8000, seriously that’s one hell’uva discrepancy. While our two-timing politicians undermine their own headcount to say its between 34 to 300 victims, probably they hope to rely on the confusing mess to numb out the issue from the minds of the people of Pakistan. Such rampant corruption which as literally debilitated this nation, it is probably their right to know was eligible for this executive presidential pardon issued by Pervaiz Musharraf and its all the more important to know who cashed it in and what precisely was waived off, in the name of politically reconciliation.

The mudslinging is for now centered on some kingpins from the PPP but in the confusion it seems MQM is trying its damnedest to sneak under the media-frenzy hoping to walk away with mere statements like “National Accountability Bureau has no case against any MQM worker“. Karachi is a witness to the anarchy of the good ‘ol terror-filled days courtesy of the MQM. The time frame for pardoning of all criminal cases charged against them ironically range from 1986 and onwards.

It might serve us well to first look at the Section 2 of the NRO which centers exclusively around the criminal cases of the MQM
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Corruption threatens the civil system of Pakistan

Amjad Malik specially writes on post NRO scenario on corruption

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented to the government on Thursday a list of 248 politicians and bureaucrats, who were alleged to have plundered hundreds of billions of rupees but were cleared by the NAB under the National Reconciliation Ordinance 2007. Luckily, the presidential order could not be enacted by Parliament and averted national and international embarrassment though the order was initially styed by the top judge of the land, however, public pressure is mounting to bring those to books and a debate has ensued to have a national mechanism to rid, curb and deter corruption once for all in the country. Public demand is ever growing for imposition of a death sentence for corrupt across the board nationally in order to hold those on public position(s) accountable in order to recover public money, disqualify them from public offices and award those culprits exemplary sentences including that of a death sentence (if needed). The message is clear that nobody is above the law, and no one is immune when the matter is of dishonesty and corruption especially in public purse.

Islamic history and jurisprudence is full of incidents where the head of state remained sub judice to Qazi and answerable to public. Caliph Omer freely appeared before a Qazi so as Hazrat Ali who appeared in a case of dispute with a Jewish businessman, and off course nothing can be legislated against the Quran and Sunnah in Pakistan but critics will argue that its 21st century, law, constitution etc.
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The NRO (Dis)Honor Roll

NRO Pakistan - National Reconciliatory OrdinanceMuch has been discussed about the in-famous National Reconciliatory Ordinance where 5,800 crooks were pardoned by the then President Pervaiz Mushrraf as an attempt to broker a deal for his own extended stay as the President of Pakistan. This NRO in effect opened the flood gates to allow thousands of white collar criminals and murderers to return back to Pakistan and reestablish themselves to (re)loot Pakistan yet again, and by golly in the short spam of three years they have done a brilliant job, heck third time around they went straight into business, since now these were all hardened criminals now given an executive golden key to make millions courtesy of a selfish dictator who thought his own stay in Islamabad was more precious then the country itself

The NRO was brokered in late 2007 where then we all had raised some hell about this criminal bill, but the movers and shakers of the country thought it in “their” best interest to keep this list private and extend large pardoning pleas to all the beneficiaries, be it thousands of murderers in Karachi or the ruthless Mr. 10% criminal like Asif Zardari and his team cronies, all permitted to enter back into Pakistan with a precious to-die-for get-out-of-jail-card.

Now it seems that there is an attempt to turn the tables and some movers and shakers(?) within “the establishment” think that this is now an opportune time to make this list public after almost three years. We must understand this move is definitely a serious attempt to turn up the heat in Islamabad and make all these crooks a little uncomfortable (times-up) and possibly turn the tables, making way for another set of so-called cleaner leadership to assume power, which for now mostly means the Sharif Brothers
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PM Gilani can become a hero from zero

Guest Blog by NRehman

zardari-gilaniPrime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has a chance of a life time to become a long awaited hero for the Pakistani nation. If the PM stands firm against Presedent Zardari and ask the Parliament to vote for the restoration of the judiciary, he will get an enormous applause from the whole nation. The long march by Lawyers will change its slogan to “Kadam Barhao Gilani hum tumharay sath hain“.

He has a chance to start a new era for PPP and will leave other parties far behind them. This is such a perfect opportunity that even the establishment will feel helpless if they wanted to take any action against it. He will have the support of most of the Parliament in both houses. Senior PPP leaders like Amin Faheem, Aitazaz Ehsan and Safdar Abbasi will support him straight away and the other will follow immediately, there is already a big conflict in PPP over this NRO issue but nobody is bold enough to come out and complain.

Come on PM show us what you are made of and lead the nation through this tough time, you have been given a golden chance to shine and make PPP a formidable force in Pakistan.


American Lawyers conference on rule of law in Pakistan & my brief visit to Europe

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

I was invited by British Law Society of England to visit Brussels as part of their delegation to attend a rule of law conference on ‘Pakistan and beyond’ organised by American Bar Association (ABA) on 25th September at Hilton (Brussels). Reaching Brussels airport in the morning, I caught a cab and reached Hilton at the time of the conference and met Cricketing legend Imran Khan in the lift with his party entourage which was a pleasant beginning. When we all reached the designated room for conference at 25th Floor, the room was more or less occupied. A lot of people were keen have a glimpse of Imran Khan and a few specially came to listen to Supreme Court Bar President Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan who could not join us at the conference due to lack of in time delivery of his teams visas, though I feel he missed a great opportunity to talk on the subject where various old guns of American law industry were present.
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Zardari suffering from Mental Problems

According to the Constitution of Pakistan, a person of unsound mind cannot be a member of Parliament or the President of Pakistan

Zardari is now to confront this recent series of allegation where he himself used a New York based psychiatrist in 2007 to issue him a report declaring him with a range of psychiatric illnesses, including dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. That report issued a year back helped him past an outstanding English case but it now may come to haunt his accession to the throne. In all honesty Pakistanis need no ‘report’ to declare him ‘of unsound mind’ – Simply said we know HE IS.

Pakistan presidential candidate Asif Ali Zardari ‘suffering from severe mental problems’

In March 2007 New York psychiatrist Philip Saltiel found that Mr Zardari’s time in detention left him with severe “emotional instability“, memory loss and concentration problems, according to court documents seen by the Financial Times. “I do not see any improvement in these issues for at least a year,” he wrote. Stephen Reich, a psychiatrist from New York State, said Mr Zardari was unable to recall the birthdays of his wife and children and had thought about suicide. Mr Zardari used the medical reports to successfully fight a now defunct English High Court case in which the Pakistan government sought to sue him over alleged corruption. The case was dropped in March.

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Its over – Musharraf has resigned

After much hoopla – President Pervaiz Musharraf has finally resigned leaving the destiny on the nation in the hands of Pakistanis and its leaders. The address talked about all his achievements but failed to discuss a few important issues for example the Martial Law, Judges, NRO or Zardari – he may have done some service but the disservice of leaving us in a lurch could be counted against him in a big way.

So the bottom line is that Musharraf is out – that’s naturally one hurdle that needed to be crossed, I celebrate this news consequentially Zardari is in – now that’s one thing I mourn – Run for the hills – the cats out of the bag.

Pakistan now needs to hold strong, it is genuine honest Pakistanis that need to get together and rebuild Pakistan – we cannot continue to be held hostage by corrupt leaders and dictators who walk away when they are done cleansing our country – history repeats itself for the umpteenth time when our leaders get up and walk out of the country when its a sordid mess – Musharraf just joined the club


Musharraf ‘likely’ to resign today: Address 1:00pm

Musharraf toppling overPresident Pervaiz Musharraf will address the nation today at 1pm in which he is expected to resign, according to reports. Geo News confirms through their sources that while addressing the nation a part of an understanding he will announce his resignation before the impeachment motion is tabled in the assembly.

In the mean time reports confirm that a plane is standing by at Chaklala from the Saudi Arabian government where Musharraf will proceed for three-months before deciding on his permanent onward destination [self exile] Which was reported by Newsweek yesterday

We must demand that instead of indemnity to Musharraf, an exemplary punishment be awarded to Musharraf so that in future no General should ever dare to violate the Constitution of Pakistan. Some may want to sign this online petition: No safe passage, indemnity for dictator Musharraf

It may seem to be a victory for Pakistan to have this dictator toppled soon to then be replaced by Democracy, but we surely must curse our luck that his hunger for power since the past few months have ruined Pakistan beyond repair shoved us into an NRO deal allowing the crooks to return as expert thieves but more importantly Musharraf nutured our judiciary which could have alternatively kept these robbers in check. Lets also not forget and undermine his nine year rule which was more or less amounted to selling our soul to a whims of another nation. Looking at the future, we simply need to buckle down and hope that the ‘unelected’ [Zardari & Nawaz Sharif] can guide this country into better times without us loosing a few body parts in the process


61 years and counting – Happy Independence Day PAKISTAN

I must begin with offering my felicitations to each and every Pakistani for the 61st Independence Day. May this upcoming year be fruitful for Pakistan, having suffered through a tumultuous political roller coaster in the past few months [and years], people stand today ready to abandon this nation for greener pastures of foreign lands, quite literally giving up hope.

But whatever will happen to the remaining 160 million strong Pakistanis [including me], for them we must each hope, pray and guide this nation forth towards progress and prosperity. This nation is too valuable to us [me] that I will never give up hope so quickly, we as Pakistanis must stand together shoulder to shoulder and try to rid our country from the unpatriotic elements that suck the life out of Pakistan. It is for the sake of Pakistan that we must hold strong.
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