In the early hours of September 6, 1965, India initiated an unannounced military offensive against Pakistan. General Jayanto Nath Chaudhry’s self-confidence had gone a “peg” too far. His famous dream of “drinking at Lahore Gymkhana” that evening was soon shattered by brave Pakistani troops. India did gain some territory, but ended up losing a lot more. Pakistan’s unexpected response and India’s heavy losses of men, material and territory brought the Indian confidence-plus-ambition down several notches and suddenly, negotiations became an option. The Tashkent Agreement ended hostilities and the (mis)adventure came to an end. It wasn’t the first misadventure and it certainly wasn’t to be ...Read Full Post
Was Nawaz Sharif dishonest by virtue of not declaring something he could not know he was supposed to declare?
On July 28th, a three member special bench of the Supreme Court announced their judgment. This judgment was followed by a final order of the five-member larger bench, in the infamous Panama Papers case. Nawaz Sharif, the recently ousted prime minister of Pakistan, was declared dishonest and was disqualified from being a member of the National Assembly under Article 62(1)f of the Constitution. The judgment was always politically controversial even before it was authored and announced. Unfortunately, it has also become a legal controversy at the centre of which lies the all mighty and all powerful Article 62(1)(f). The late General Ziaul Haq, in his attempted ...Read Full Post
JIT and Nawaz Sharif’s fate: Five questions every Pakistani is asking about how it happened and what happens now?
On April 20, 2017, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan passed its order in Constitutional Petition Number 29 of 2016, commonly known as the Panama Leaks case. By a majority of three to two (Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and Gulzar Ahmed) dissenting, the honourable five-member bench ordered the Constitution of a joint investigation team (JIT) which would investigate into and find answers to 13 questions put forth by the honourable bench. It was ordered that the JIT should complete its investigation and submit its final report within a period of 60 days from the date of its constitution. In consequence, the investigation into one of the most high profile ...Read Full Post
August 8, 2016 came with a devastating tragedy for the people of Balochistan, especially for the lawyers’ community therein. The president of the Balochistan Bar Association, Mr Bilal Anwar Kasi, was murdered not far from his home in Quetta. The murder, as it turned out, was only the first of two terrorist attacks. Mr Kasi was killed to lure citizens to the hospital where another tragedy struck. A suicide bomber detonated his vest amidst a congregation of lawyers gathered for their departed friend and colleague. Seventy perished, 112 were injured; most of them lawyers. The tragedy that befell Quetta that day did not just claim ...Read Full Post
Welcome home, Ali Gilani. I am sure the entire family bowed down before God in gratitude for your safe return. They should also be thankful that you bear the name ‘Gilani’, for the fact that your father is an influential person; a VIP (Very Important Person). Many mothers have lost their Alis, they are never to be found or heard of; erased from all nooks of reality except from the hearts of a few loved ones and a dust laden FIR eroding away in some record room. Many wives lost their Shahbazs, only because they did not bear a last name ...Read Full Post
I do not believe that patriotism and the expression of love for our country ought to be limited to just a couple of occasions like March 23rd or August 14th. Yet here I am, writing a piece for one of these very days, which is less of a celebration and more of a concern. I have said and heard the phrase “I love Pakistan” a million times and wondered what it really means. Love for the soil, the seas and the sand, for the land that is Pakistan’s territory? For me loving Pakistan is loving the people who belong to this country; my people. ...Read Full Post
On December 16, 2014 seven men entered the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar and killed 141 people including 139 children. On January 20, 2016 several gunmen entered, and killed 22 students of the Bacha Khan University Peshawar. These aren’t the only mass shootings to have taken place at educational institutions around the globe. Since the 1960s, thousands of students have been killed in mass shootings at schools in countries including Canada, Germany, England, France, Finland, Israel, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Brazil and Pakistan. Some, not all, of these attacks were terrorism related. Each nation has reacted according to the nature, intensity and motives of these ...Read Full Post
October 11, 2015, will be one of the most anticipated and crucial contests in a by-election. It is not Aleem Khan versus Ayaz Sadiq, but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) versus Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Political observers and analysts are seeing this as a decisive battle between two fierce rivals. The by-election in NA 122 is, for almost all practical purposes, a question of political survival for both PTI and PML-N. The election is being seen by both parties as an opportunity for vindication of their stance regarding the fairness of general elections 2013 (General Elections 2013). The chairman of PTI himself contested and lost to Ayaz Sadiq of ...Read Full Post
In his fiery and ‘courageous’ speech, followed by his ‘courageous’ exit from the country, Asif Ali Zardari seemingly tried to intimidate the country’s establishment in general and the army in particular. The speech was filled with direct and indirect attacks at, and threats to the Pakistan Army, apparently as a pre-emptive response to what followed. It was later that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) clarified that these accusations and threats were actually hurled at former army men and not ones currently in service. This was the first of many unbelievably lousy explanations put forth by PPP as part of a damage control exercise. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ...Read Full Post
I came across Faisal Qureshi’s video in which he responds to callous and ill-informed comments by Saif Ali Khan, an Indian actor. Qureshi also addresses certain dialogues from the actor’s recently released movie, Phantom. I saw the video, read several comments on it, and a couple of articles criticising Qureshi for his approach and attitude in the video. I haven’t seen Phantom and so I chose not to comment. But when I saw the uncalled for reaction to Qureshi’s video by some apologist pseudo intellectuals, especially by a couple of writers/bloggers, I was compelled to respond. I am a patriot at heart and I love my ...Read Full Post