Stories about justice

Pervez Musharraf… and the plot thickens

The ‘Musharraf saga’ has taken a brand new turn. After failing to appear before the court once, the ex-army chief was on his way to the court again when a sudden ‘heart attack’ diverted the route of his vehicle and all security personnel around him to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), instead of the court. Guilty or not guilty is not the question. The question is – how does making an ex-Army chief and President of Pakistan appearing before the courts benefit Pakistan? Civil-military relationships in Pakistan have always been scratchy. There has always been a voice inside the head of every ...

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Pakistan, a song of love and brotherhood

History tells us that all great nations were once not great. A nation like America had been war struck for more than 100 years. Racial inequality was at its peak in America. The economy was badly affected eight years ago. England too was war ridden for many years. China was once a collection of divided people with vastly differing aims. All great nations faced a plethora of problems before they became truly great. A citizen of the great Pakistan. Photo: Salman Javed I am citizen of a country where, Every day, Earth witnesses blood, The sky witnesses injustice, The sun sees poverty, The stars see slums. And the ...

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Ladies, the Tehelka sexual assault victim is one we should all learn from

Last month, a young reporter from the news magazine Tehelka, was boarding a lift when she was followed by her Editor, Tarun Tejpal, and assaulted. This happened again the following night and she escaped the lift on both occasions. In two weeks time, the girl emailed the Tehelka management and asked Tejpal, one of the most influential men in the Indian media, to issue an apology. He did it twice, once personally and later officially. He admitted to his crime. The girl’s courage, to over-come the hideous incident and demand her right is commendable; that too despite Tejpal’s attempt to blackmail her earlier. This ...

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Memories of Amir Ullah Khan, a colleague, a friend and a mentor

Islamabad silently bore witness to the brutal murder of an entire Australian-Pakistani family, including a seven-year-old boy, last Monday. The police suspect that the family was killed over a familial land dispute. Apparently, a branch of Mr Khan’s extended family stood to inherit several large tracts of land in the event of his and his children’s death, so in a heinous act of greed and cowardice, the whole family was strangled and left in the bushes.  According to the news, the bodies of Amir Ullah Khan, his daughter Romana aged 17, and his sons Adam aged 14 and Haider aged ...

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Of justice in India and Pakistan: Shahzeb Khan and Nirbhaya

There’s a quote by George Bernard Shaw that I love throwing around when I’m trying to prove a point – most points, actually. Most things I want to say or do are defined within these few short lines as said by one of the most iconic playwrights of the past century; “There are two kinds of men in the world. The reasonable man and the unreasonable man. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” In India The courts of India, while understanding that the people ...

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I am Bradley Manning and you should be too!

As the sentencing hearing gets underway for Bradley Manning, who faces 136 years in prison after being convicted of 20 charges including espionage and theft, it’s hard not to feel that a travesty of justice is taking place. Here is a person who had made a commitment to serve his country and was put in a difficult situation of deciding whether to follow protocol and turn a blind eye to abuses and war crimes being carried out in his country’s name, or to do the morally right thing and bring the atrocities to light. Bradley Manning chose to follow his conscience, knowing ...

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Would you want Mohammad Amir back if he was not talented?

From the moment the News of the World (NoTW) published the spot-fixing story, the cricketing world, it seemed, was taken by storm. A large number of Pakistani cricket fanatics went about expressing soft sentiments for the young Mohammad Amir and each had their own argument. The majority seem to converge on two points: (A) he is exceptionally talented (B) He is very young and has a good amount of cricket stamina left in him. This school of thought seems to believe that the young fast bowler should be given a second chance to play sooner than the expiration of the five year ban imposed by ...

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Taxi driver shot dead by Rangers: Trained to kill or trained to protect?

Yesterday, Murad, a taxi driver, was shot dead in front of his four-year-old son by Ghulam Rasul, a Rangers soldier. Witness accounts suggest Murad was asked to stop his vehicle and as he reversed towards the Rangers, he was greeted with four bullets in the chest. Ghulam Rasul has been apprehended and four other Rangers have been suspended due to their involvement in the incident as of the publication of this post. Before we delve into debates about the army, morality, or the legality of this incident, let us take a moment to acknowledge the many human lives that will be ...

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Pakistan, where security and justice are only illusions

Public security measures taken in Islamabad are often regarded as anathema. A few years back, the police checkpoints and barricades around the city made our once-serene little town look more like a sister city for Baghdad than Ankara. Of course, recent rains temporarily made the capital resemble another one of its sister cities — Venice — but that’s a separate story. The checkpoints around town have fallen in number over the last couple of years, and especially since the new government came in, but the large barricades outside some offices, schools and embassies remain, despite the fact that most of these ...

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Capital punishment in Pakistan’s legal system: Where is the justice?

During 2007-2012, Pakistan executed 171 death penalties and sentenced 1,497 prisoners to death. We compete with countries like Iraq and Iran; both countries do not principally champion human rights. We only have China to beat. If it offers any comfort, there is a great deal of ground to cover. In 2008, the president of Pakistan announced a moratorium. After that, death sentences were given but not executed. Last year Muhammad Husain’s execution in Mianwali Jail brought an end to the restraint the government had observed. At present, Pakistan hands down capital punishment for 27 different crimes. The code of conduct of the Bar of England ...

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