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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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Challenging the issues

Nawaz Sharif has been elected PM at a particularly difficult economic period, aggravated and complicated by the Gulf Crisis. The journey to becoming the executive head of the government may have been a political obstacle course, incumbent PM has now to apply his entrepreneurial background and experience in taking Pakistan out of its present economic doldrums.

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