Showing posts from January, 2015

SC and 21st Amendment

Courtesy:-  MALIK MUHAMMAD ASHRAF Ever since the passage of the 21 st  Constitutional Amendment by the Parliament to provide for the establishment of military courts to deal with cases related to terrorism and giving them constitutional cover, a controversy has been raging about the rationale for their establishment from the legal and constitutional perspective. It has even been challenged in the Supreme Court contending that the Parliament could not alter the basic structure of the Constitution. An honourable judge of the SC Sarmad Jalal Osmani during the hearing of a case remarked “there is no need to set up military courts” and asked if the judges of the military courts would be more competent, dutiful and intelligent than those of the apex court and would be able to address all the problems.

Our new security narrative

 Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf The government announced a ban on Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) and the Haqqani Network on January 22 and also froze bank accounts of the former, besides placing restrictions on foreign travel by Hafiz Saeed, chief of JuD. The move, contrary to the scepticism being expressed by certain circles, came in the backdrop of the objectives of the National Action Plan and the new narrative of zero tolerance for terrorist and militant outfits evolved by the civilian and military leadership in consultation with the entire political leadership of the country. 

Impact of Obama’s visit to India

Courtesy:-    Talat Masood President Barack Obama’s interview in  India Today  in which he has repeated the demand that Pakistan needs to make greater effort to clear the sanctuaries of militants and take action against the Lashkar-e-Taiba for its involvement in the Mumbai massacre of 2008 was not surprising. It was meant to please Narendra Modi and also to maintain pressure on Islamabad. At a time when the Pakistan military is engaged in a major military operation in North Waziristan and other areas to reestablish the writ of the state at an enormous cost in terms of blood and sweat, such remarks that are meant to put pressure, in fact, have just the opposite effect. Religio-political parties opposed to military operations have always maintained that the government is fighting under pressure from the US. Their views gain credence and weaken the support of the people when US leadership makes such remarks.

Rigging case unravelling

Courtesy:-    Malik Muhammad Ashraf Reportedly, the former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has filed a defamation suit of Rs.20 billion against PTI Chief Imran Khan for alleging his involvement in the rigging of the 2013 election. The former CJ also asked the session judge to allow him to become a party to the proposed judicial commission demanded by PTI to probe rigging. Accordingly, the Sessions Judge Islamabad has sent a notice to Imran Khan to submit his reply by 20th January. This is a very significant development which might pave the way for the unraveling of the rigging rigmarole to find out whether the 2013 elections were rigged through a conspiracy as repeatedly claimed by Imran Khan, or not. For the last five months, Imran Khan has been crying hoarse from every convenient rooftop about a conspiracy to steal the mandate from PTI and has with impunity indulged in shaming and denigrating individuals and state institutions by hurling unsubstantiated allegations at th

Calculus of Pakistan-US relations

Courtesy:-    Javed Hussain Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Islamabad for attending the second edition of the revitalized Pak-US Strategic Dialogue provides a useful opportunity to evaluate the potential and the future prospects of Pakistan-US friendship against the background of the evolving regional and global scenarios. An accurate understanding of the convergence and the divergence of the interests of the two countries in a dynamic setting is an essential prerequisite for judging the long-term worth of this vital relationship. An analysis on these lines reveals that whereas Pakistan’s friendship with the US must remain an enduring factor in Pakistan’s foreign policy for the foreseeable future, it would be a mistake to attach exaggerated expectations to it because of the likely evolution of the regional and global scenarios. There is convergence of the strategic interests of the two countries in four broad areas. The first is the issue of terrorism. Since the te

Open letter to Mr Ban Ki Moon

Courtesy:-   Asghar Qadir The UN and the European Union have expressed great concern about the decision of Pakistan to rescind the moratorium on the death penalty. Some of us feel that perhaps they do not fully grasp the reality of the situation in Pakistan. With your permission, I would like to set the background for my argument to revive the death penalty here, then give the argument itself and finally give a brief proposal.

War against terror

Courtesy:-    MALIK MUHAMMAD ASHRAF The decisive phase Extraordinary situations and circumstances require extraordinary solutions. That is what the pragmatism is all about. The nations are sometimes faced with situations and dangers that threaten their existence and ways of life and have to go for responses which are beyond the normal and acceptable constitutional and legal framework. History is replete with such examples. The National Action Plan against terrorism formulated with the unanimous support of the entire political leadership, the government and the military establishment, particularly the establishment of military courts to try terrorists, their abettors and facilitators and those involved in sectarian violence, represents an extraordinary response to any extraordinary phenomenon which posed existentialist threat to Pakistan and its way of life.

From their war to our war

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf After hectic consultations between the entire political leadership and military leaders, in the wake of the December 16 terrorist attack in Peshawar, there is now a national consensus on trying terrorists in military courts.  Accordingly two bills, one to amend the Pakistan Army Act to make provision for trial of civilians involved in acts of terrorism and another to amend the constitution to give constitutional cover to the proposed changes in the Army Act, have been tabled in the National Assembly. Hopefully these bills will be passed by both houses of parliament without any hiccups in view of the commitments made by the political leaders of all the parties represented in parliament.  The establishment of the military courts, the most important ingredient of the National Action Plan against terrorism, is undoubtedly a necessity-driven initiative to deal with an unusual phenomenon that not only threatens the very existence of Pakistan but also const

Translating the plan

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf The twenty-point National Action Plan against terrorism devised through intensive week-long deliberations between the civilian and military leadership and consultation among the entire political leadership unanimously is undoubtedly the strongest ever statement of intent to deal with and eliminate terrorism in all its manifestations.  It is for the first time in the history of the country that all the political and religious outfits have acknowledged the fight against terrorism as our own war; the military and political leadership have complimented each other for the sagacity and acumen to rise to the occasion; the entire political leadership is on one page regarding the objectives of the war on terror and there is an unqualified support for Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists.