Stories about 18th amendment

Radio in FATA: A foreign voice for local problems

During my job at a radio station, I got one of my listeners to come in for some questions. In came 60-year-old Haji Noor Zaman, who is from the Khyber Agency and was internally displaced due to the operation against militants. My first question to him was, Do you still listen to radio? He replied saying, Yes, I do, but only to the news bulletin of Radio Deewa. Radio Deewa is a US government sponsored radio station. Curious, I asked: So, what’s new up there? He said: America has diverted its cannon towards Balochistan and has built up a human rights case against Pakistan. He was hinting at the ...

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The Speaker has spoken

In light of the short order announced by the Supreme Court in Criminal Original petition no. 06 of 2012 in suo motu case No. 04 of 2010 on April 26, 2012, I maintain: (a) the disqualification of Mr Gilani was instant upon him being convicted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan; (b) Neither the Speaker nor the Election Commission of Pakistan can sit in judgment over the order passed by the Supreme Court. The ECP can simply notify that a seat has fallen vacant as a result of the disqualification of Mr Gilani; and (c) Mr Gilani would not be able to stand ...

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Why we don’t need a Mohajir province

A dormant phenomenon has recently become active; the movement for a separate province for the Mohajir people. This movement was pioneered by the Mohajir Rabita Council  – a political movement which started in Hyderabad, Sindh. It should be noted that it is not just the Mohajir community that is asking for their rights; Pakistan’s history is loaded with separatist tendency right from 1947. An excellent research paper is presented by Mohammed Waseem, titled “The Political Ethnicity and the State of Pakistan”. Mohammed Waseem talks about the separatist tendencies which grew in the Baloch, Sindhi, Mohajir, Bengali, and Pashtoon people of Pakistan. He also outlines ...

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5 steps to solving Pakistan’s energy crisis

Out of all the problems we face as a country, energy seems to be the one that annoys us the most. It’s not that other issues are not important or are somehow less annoying; it is just that every single person in Pakistan uses energy in one form or another and hence is directly affected by it at a very personal level. So when a few days back I was invited as an expert delegate to the PML-N’s energy conference , I was pleasantly surprised that our political parties are beginning to showing signs of maturity and started talking issues. The ...

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Know your rights: Ilmpossible

Distracted by the political instability of the country, Pakistanis have failed to draw their attention to the termites that have been incessantly devouring the well being of the country. The crippled education system of Pakistan has proved to be one of these destructive creatures. Nevertheless, the presidential assent given to the Constitution (18th Amendment) Bill in April 2010 was an occurrence of great magnitude in this matter.  What were the outcomes of the 18th Amendment? It turned Pakistan into a parliamentary republic; it removed the powers of the president to dissolve Parliament unilaterally. What else did it do to the constitution? ...

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A department in ruin, a history forgotten

Punjab’s department of archaeology, recently devolved from the federation under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, has had no operational legislation since April 8, 2011. As a result, no law to arrest any person caught scribbling, drawing or causing harm to a monument of historical importance exists. Similar is the case with the environment protection department. Field officers and inspectors issuing notices, sealing and fining owners of pollution-causing units, have reverted to Punjab Local Government Ordinance (PLGO) of 2001. The Antiquities Act 1975 and the Environment Pakistan Protection Act 1997 are both redundant. Officers of both departments have drafted legislation to replace ...

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The Supreme Court can do better

The whole nation looks to the honourable Supreme Court as the last resort for provision of justice and redressal of longstanding grievances. Ordinarily, legal cases pass through a long arduous process of litigation in lower courts, especially in civil matters, before they reach the Supreme Court for the last round of litigation. It is no secret that the lower judiciary, functioning under the direct supervision of district judges, is by and large, desperately inadequate in dealing with jurisdiction, legal rights, application of the law in its totality to given cases and conduct of evidence. Lacunas are left in orders and ...

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Don’t devolve the HEC

The government’s plan to devolve the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to the provinces as a consequence of the 18th Amendment has come in for widespread criticism. The government’s justification is that since education already comes under the purview of the provinces, there is no contradiction in this planned measure. To that end, the chairman of the implementation committee of the 18th amendment, Senator Raza Rabbani, recently said that the ordinance which gave birth to the HEC would be redrafted and that all its powers save a few policy matters would be devolved to the provinces. He also said that the provinces would ...

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Supreme Court legitimising future rule of Bilawals, Hamzas

For the last year and a half, the government and judiciary seem to be involved in a very exclusive ball game. From the NRO to the judges’ notification case, the government has remained the Supreme Court’s main concern. Members of the PPP have been reported for the infamous $60million, threatened with Article 6 and a few have been called to court. In retaliation, the government has reminded the judiciary of its limits, accused it of victimising a single party and even tested the waters by reminding the judges of the ‘reality’ of the executive order. As the tug of war between the country’s ...

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Musharraf’s vain rhetoric

On October 1st the former president of Pakistan General (retd) Pervez Musharraf launched his political party ‘All Pakistan Muslim League’. According to him his 300,000 fans gave him the strength to return to Pakistan. Musharraf while talking to media apologized for his mistakes that he made in the last years of his rule. He launched his party in London, which on first instance gave an impression as he was planning to run his political business from overseas like a self-exiled MQM leader, Altaf Hussain. Musharraf asserted that due to threats to his life he couldn’t hold the launch in ...

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