Stories about verdict

Has Nawaz Sharif been silenced or is it the calm before the storm?

For an outside observer, September 19th in Islamabad could easily have been mistaken for Eid – thousands gathered and cheerfully embraced each other with exuberance, and sweets were handed out to all in sight. The entrance of the Islamabad High Court was buzzing with excitement, in the aftermath of the decision to suspend the sentences handed down by the accountability court to Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Muhammad Safdar Awan. Amidst it all, the cause of celebration – former Prime Minister Nawaz – was relatively mute. Of course, the sombreness is in many ways understandable, Nawaz’s wife and former First ...

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The Mashal Khan case verdict brings victory, hope and a lesson for Pakistan

The dawn of April 13, 2017 saw the might of a monster that was long nurtured in Pakistan. A monster of hate, intolerance, violence and one who misuses the blasphemy law as a tool of vengeance. This time the prey was Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old, mass communications student at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The ghastly lynching done as a ‘great service’ to Islam was a manifestation that human beings are capable of carrying unimaginable proportions of barbarity, if they are driven by religious conviction and self-righteousness. The investigation that followed soon revealed that the allegation of blasphemy against Mashal was, in ...

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After the embarrassing treatment meted by the Saudis, is it time for “Go Nawaz Go”?

Pakistan has suffered yet another excruciating defeat on an international platform. With the recent verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan could not have dealt with a more severe blow than the humiliating treatment shown by the Saudis at the Arab-American-Islamic Summit. Why? Because apparently we have an incompetent, self-serving, corrupt man serving as our prime minister. Though matters have gotten worse after his first two terms, we keep making the same mistake by electing him over and over again. There was a time when the top office holders of our state received warm welcomes no matter where they went. When Ayub Khan visited Saudi Arabia ...

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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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Sarfaraz Shah murder verdict: Ranger or not, justice is justice

I believe it was J R R Tolkien who said, “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” Then again, there is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the famous political philosopher, who states in his treatise, The Social Contract, “There is no man so bad that he cannot be made good for something. No man should be put to death, even as an example, if he can be left to live without danger to society.” The ...

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Liberal India will not accept the SC verdict, we are not against LGBTs

Shehla Rashid cuts a lonely figure in the crowd of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community at Delhi’s protest street popularly known as Jantar Mantar. A student of sociology in a leading university in the capital and an activist fighting for the cause of women and minorities, Rashid has come to express solidarity with the gay community who are outraged over the judgement of the Supreme Court that has criminalised same sex alliance. The young student feels angry that the apex court has lost a historical opportunity to give the sexual minority their due rights under the constitution. “The judgement ...

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Delhi gang rape verdict: Is it a crime to be born a girl in India?

She came from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, but she had big dreams. Her father may have been just an airport baggage handler at Delhi’s international airport who earned $200 a month, but he supported his daughter’s ambition and sold his ancestral land to finance her studies. Having enrolled in a four year Physiotherapy course in Dehradun, she came to Delhi for an internship after finishing her final exams. To supplement her income, she worked nights at a firm and gave tuition to school children. She slept for only three hours because she was in such a hurry to reach ...

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It’s the law, stupid!

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s conviction for refusing to reopen a corruption investigation against the president consequently made him the first serving prime minister in Pakistan’s history to be convicted by a court. In a country like Pakistan, the list of firsts seems never ending. Regrettably, most firsts don’t give our people an opportunity to gloat. And yet yesterday, the Supreme Court gave us a first we can, or let me rephrase, we should take pride in. Some would question my assertion of believing that we have good reason to revel in our prime minister’s conviction. But this is bigger than ...

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Does Mumtaz Qadri deserve to die?

“Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the self-confessed murderer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, has been sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court today”reads the latest breaking news. Ten months after he drilled Salmaan Taseer’s body with 25 bullets  for the ‘crime’ of supporting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy Qadri has been sentenced. The former governor’s killer had been regaled as a hero and showered with rose petals. YouTube videos of him defending his actions turned the stomach. What kind of man would do this I wondered? Kill an innocent man and then proudly recite naats as if he was one of God’s chosen ...

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Making sense of the Sarfraz Shah verdict

On August 12, history was made. A paramilitary soldier, standing trial in a civilian court, was sentenced to death for extrajudicial murder in Karachi – the city that lives under the watchful eyes of over 10,000 Rangers. This verdict has not only criminalised an unlawful killing but has also declared that an act of terrorism is just that, even if the perpetrator is a security official. This anti-terrorism court has upheld “the rule of law”. However, the judgment – and the precedent that it has set – has, at best, received a mixed response. One section of the people, although without outrightly ...

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