Stories about trial

How many of our 23-year-olds even know the struggles of 23-year-old Bhagat Singh?

As the nationalistic fervour of Pakistan Day following March 23rd dies down, one cannot help but notice that there is a criminal lack of commentary on an event that took place exactly nine years prior to what would come to be known as Pakistan Day – the execution of Indian revolutionist Bhagat Singh in Lahore on March 23, 1931. One of the first Marxist thinkers from South Asia, Bhagat was sent to the gallows after being found guilty for the murder of John P Saunders, Assistant Superintendent of Police. Bhagat and his fellow Hindustan Socialist Republican Association members including Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar, and Chandrashekhar Azad, originally planned to assassinate Superintendent of Police, James A Scott to ...

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Would the verdict have been different if Pistorius was black?

The judgment has come and there are no surprises in it for anyone. We have all been anticipating this judgement since the trial began. A woman was murdered by her celebrity boyfriend; it’s a simple case where the chances of justice being served exist as much as making a ‘Naya Pakistan’. The trial was fun though; it provided all of us the chance to savour the live court drama in the safety of our TV lounge. This live reality show covered the drama featuring Pistorius, a double amputee reliving the scene with his bat, tears rolling down his cheeks as a sign of “negligence” and ...

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Oscar Pistorius: Para-Olympian or cold blooded murderer?

We are completely hooked on the live coverage of Para-Athlete Oscar Pistorius trial as it is far more engaging than any successful reality series or a season finale of a TV show. Oscar Pistorius crosses the line to win gold in the men’s 400m — T44 final during the athletics competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Photo: AFP Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times on Valentine’s Day 2013, allegedly mistaking her for an intruder. This led to a trial termed as the ‘trial of the century’ and is proceeding amidst massive media coverage. What makes ...

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In Bhakkar, breakfast is Tiffany

People eat strange things. In Southeast Asia, insects are a delicacy and in East Asia, the same goes for dogs. Pig meat, a major source of protein in the diets of many peoples, are taboo for Muslims and Jews. The same applies to the noble cow for Hindus. The reasons for these differences are manifold. So before we get ahead of ourselves, it is important to agree that ‘food’ is not an easily defined word. In Bhakkar, two brothers were arrested for desecrating a grave. While saddening, it is not really the worst of crimes. But that is only because under Pakistani ...

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Of course, charging an ex-Chief of Army staff with treason will help us fight terrorism

After many hiccups and a long wait, the day has finally come and former president Pervez Musharraf has been indicted for treason. This is a new chapter in the history of Pakistan, for reasons both, good and bad. However, before going into the reasons and the impact of this verdict, I think it is pertinent to recap the situation that led to the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007 – the alleged violation of Article 6 of the constitution. Since the matter cannot be considered in isolation, let’s begin from the presidential reference against the former chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry. The lawyers’ ...

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The right to write: Denied!

Journalism – a profession of disseminating news – has attained the status of an endangered profession globally. Incidents of violence and state sponsored prosecution attempts against journalists have become a de jure way of life for many. Prosecution and persecution to some degree, comes with the territory, if you will. This is unfortunate considering the burden that falls on a journalist’s shoulders. On January 29, 2014, there were several news stories of the Egyptian government’s decision to file charges against 20 journalists working with Al Jazeera on the pretext of risking national security. In my opinion, suppressing the voice of one journalist is akin to suppressing the ...

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ZA Bhutto was put on trial, why not Musharraf?

There is no doubt that Pakistan has suffered at the hands of corrupt politicians since its very inception. These politicians came and led the state to ruin, forcing/enabling the military to intervene on multiple occasions. This ultimately led to a nation where martial law governed for more than half of its life. However, our history shows that these military coups were never successful for the country. Many wonder if these military dictatorships were more beneficial for Pakistan or for the foreign policies of the US. After all, General Ziaul Haq served the US and that helped the country, or so we thought until much ...

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Will Musharraf’s treason trial help democracy in Pakistan?

Dictators and enemies of democracy would do well to listen to the great Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda’s advice,  “You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.” It was more than a decade after the country’s first democratically elected popular leader, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged by a dictator that his daughter, Benazir Bhutto returned with an impressive mandate. Today, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has returned to the political driving seat after a decade, with almost a clear majority while the dictator who ousted him from power, lingers in a sub-jail. In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Sharif’s government has initiated a case of high ...

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Bring Aafia Siddiqui back, but make her trial transparent

Yesterday, major newspaper publications flashed a news report that the US has shown willingness to transfer Aafia Siddiqui, serving prison sentence in Texas, to Pakistan after signing of prisoner swap agreement. The US has proposed two conventions: the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and the Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences Abroad as a pattern for signing of the agreement. Let us have a brief look at these conventions to understand the conditions under which Aafia can be transported to Pakistan. Both conventions provide that the sentence of the person accused shall be enforced in accordance with the ...

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Musharraf’s trial: Vital for Pakistan’s history and future

Not wanting to take an extreme stand on the issue of the trial of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is understandable but ignoring his absence from court isn’t. Precedent is extremely important here. If the right example is set, our future generations will have something to hold on to, as a source of hope and inspiration. The government’s decision to try the general and make this issue a top priority could be questioned on many grounds — how is the treason case or a murder trial more important than the ongoing terrorist attacks; why is energy not more important than seeing ...

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