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Perjury

PERJURY COMPROMISES ACCOUNTABILITY

The Oxford Dictionary defines perjury as “an act of willfully telling an untruth when on oath”, and goes on to use the words, “lying, mendacity, mendaciousness, falsification, deception, untruthfulness, dishonesty, duplicity”. A perjurer is thus a criminal. Telling lies whether under oath or not is a favourite (and quite profitable) pastime in South Asia, particularly in Pakistan where it has flourished to become almost an art, a profession. A visit to any of the lower courts or even the High Courts should be an eye-opener, if needed one can hire services of touts who excel in lying under oath. According to the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) person giving or fabricating false evidence is liable to be punished with imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment, extending ten years, and also liable to being fined. However it is so rarely used as not to provide any deterrent against a witness who comes into court solely to mislead and propagate lies.

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Politics of Expediency

The deliberate hash of local govt to reflect the diverse demographics of the ruling Coalition, PPP in the rural areas and MQM in the urban, Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) was essentially a hybrid measure. The vertical integration of local govts with the Provincial level was never resolved. Condemned outright as a sell-out of ethnic Sindhi interests by Sindhi nationalists, there was reaction even among diehard PPP loyalists in interior Sindh.

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