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Oxford Dictionary

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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FRUSTRATING THE RULE OF LAW

Smashing more than half a dozen vehicles parked around the Minhajul Quran Secretariat on June 17 in Model Town Lahore under the rather benign patronage of the Punjab Police, the man who perpetrated the vandalism refuses to go away from the public eye. Ahsan Rana’s blog says that with 10,000 plus downloads of a game worded ‘Gullu’, the term may likely become a part of the Oxford Dictionary standing for the disruptive behaviour of someone enjoying (whether explicit or implicit) backing of the ruling/powerful segments of society. When anyone is threatened or harmed by the powerful figures in Pakistan and/or their cronies, their lackeys perpetrating that violence are now being referred to as ‘Gullus’, its usage needs no further explanation, being properly encoded and decoded by the public.

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