Has Rana Sanaullah fallen prey to political victimisation?

The incumbent government, formed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has failed miserably in providing economic relief to the masses and therefore seems to have resorted to persecuting its political opponents in an attempt to convince people that it is clamping down hard on alleged corruption. However, if the persecution of political opponents was an effective way of dealing with economic turmoil, then Adolf Hitler would have gone down in history as a one of the world’s greatest economists. Perhaps the PTI government and Prime Minister Imran Khan are aware that they will not get a chance to rule again as it is ...

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Chief Justice Khosa: A legacy of valiant verdicts and judicial moderation

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa took oath as the 26th Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) after former CJP Mian Saqib Nisar’s retirement. Khosa, who was born in Dera Ghazi Khan in 1954, obtained his LLM from Queens College at Cambridge in 1978. After a lengthy legal practice, he was appointed as a judge of the Lahore High Court in May 21, 1998. When Musharraf imposed an emergency in 2007, Khosa was among the judges who refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). By the time he was elevated to the Supreme Court as a judge in February 2010, ...

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Understanding Pakistan’s sexual harassment law – Part III

This article is part of a series which will try to answer several questions surrounding the law on sexual harassment in Pakistan. The aim is to allow people to understand what the legal regime on this issue is, how it works, and what needs to change. Read part one here and part two here. ~ It took far too long but in 2010 Parliament passed the ‘Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010.’ Initially operating solely as a federal law, it was subsequently adopted as a provincial enactment through legislation such as the ‘Punjab Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace ...

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Has dynastic politics damaged democracy in Pakistan?

Strong electoral competition is imperative for a functioning democracy and it only increases if every individual has an equal right to contest and participate in politics. Theoretically and constitutionally, this right exists for every citizen, however, practically, this may not be the case. Among other socio-economic and political factors, the presence of dynasties in politics serves as an impediment in the quest for increased electoral competition. Political dynasties undermine the right of an individual to contest in an election on equal footing with other candidates. Dynastic politics is palpable across sectors, strata, and classes in rural and urban Pakistan. ...

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Will Pakistan’s lawyers get away with murder?

A lawyer, in essence, is an officer of the law and is therefore, bound by a solemn duty to adhere to a strict set of standards and ethics defined by the canon of professional conduct and etiquette of advocates. Additionally, lawyers are also expected to follow the rules and guidelines that are mentioned in the legal practitioners’ and bar councils’ rules. In short, they are that expected to exhibit behaviour congruent with someone who has been designated to uphold and protect the rule of law. However, I admit with a heavy heart that the actions of the legal fraternity on ...

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Should we pretend to be surprised at Zardari’s release?

Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supremo, Asif Ali Zardari has been granted bail by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). A two member bench of the IHC, which comprised of Justice Athar Minhullah and Justice Amir Farooq, granted bail to Zardari on medical grounds. Zardari, who was taken into custody by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) earlier in July, had already been admitted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences previously where he was under treatment for diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Zardari’s bail did not come as a surprise, especially after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was given bail on ...

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PTI’s Achilles heel: The foreign funding case

The foreign funding case filed against PTI has had to circumvent several obstacles before it could be fixed for daily hearings. It overcame a number of applications and writ petitions by PTI that attempted to challenge the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the nature of proceedings in general. Ironically, it was Akbar S Babar, a founding member of the PTI, who had filed the case in the ECP back in 2014. He alleged that PTI had received funding from foreign nationals and overseas companies through numerous undeclared accounts. Allegations of embezzlement and money laundering also formed ...

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Farogh Naseem: The indispensable law minister?

In a move which raised many eyebrows, Farogh Naseem resigned as the federal law minister last week so that he could appear before the Supreme Court in an attempt to ensure that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa received the three year extension which Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) desperately want him to have. After the verdict, which passed the matter onto parliament, Naseem was swiftly reinstated as the law minister by President Arif Alvi, leaving many scratching their heads for several reasons. Was the constitutional crisis that shook the nation not of Naseem’s own making? Why was he allowed to take ...

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Why does the government continue to increase electricity prices?

The price hike for electricity recently announced by the government was neither surprising nor unexpected. However, there are some key questions related to this decision that need to be addressed. Why was this done? What does it mean for ordinary citizens? And, what can we expect in the future? Why another power tariff hike? Let’s begin with why the decision was taken. To increase social welfare and allay price pressure, governments provide subsidies to different segments of the population. Subsidies are designed to help people buy products and services they cannot otherwise afford. With the recent decision to raise the electricity ...

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The extension fiasco: Who won, who lost?

On Thursday, the nerve-wracking court proceedings regarding the extension of the tenure of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa finally concluded. The comedy of errors unleashed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legal team meant that the government almost shot itself in the foot, insisting on committing blunder after blunder. From the simple clerical mistakes in the drafts presented in court to not being able to convince the court as to why Bajwa’s extension was essential, the antics which ensued have surely left PTI red-faced. The court has provided Bajwa with a temporary lease by giving him a six month extension ...

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