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Nawaz Sharif

THE STREETS OF INTIMIDATION

Expecting a whitewash from the SC, former PM Nawaz Sharif literally went berserk on being “blackwashed” as untrustworthy and untruthful by the PanamaGate verdict. Furiously attacking the Supreme Court (SC) judges, he and his supporters claim that the SC verdict had reversed the vote of the Pakistani people. Involving the streets of Punjab besides the media in condemning the superior judiciary confirms no change in his mindset (or character) since the physical attack on the SC by his supporters doing “Bhangra” inside the SC, particularly Courtroom No. 1, in 1998 almost twenty years ago. The proposal to limit the effect of Articles 62 and 63 to five years or less is absurd.

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AM I THE STATE?

A month or so plus 40 years ago the democratically elected government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was toppled in a coup in 1977 by Gen Zia-ul-Haq. Initially Zia could have been sincere about holding “free and fair elections” within 90 days. The aura of wielding absolute power, extenuating political circumstances and apprehension of a vengeful Bhutto running rampant dissipated whatever sincerity, if any, he had to start with.

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180 Days in Economic History

Almost two decades ago, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) set in motion a chain of events leading to economic apocalypse. In defence of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto it must be said that while riding the crest of public opinion (which was aroused against free enterprise held captive of a handful of robber barons), he genuinely believed that a socialistic system would bring about amelioration in the miseries of the masses. In this he was not alone in the world, this was the fashion of the times in most Third World countries. Our tragedy was that in reacting against the greed of the few we ended up in the proliferation of corruption, at a particular economic crossroads we took the wrong turn. The collapse of the Socialist Empire has seen, a reaction against the system set in through the Third World, everybody is now abandoning Carl Marx for Adam Smith.

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