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Archive for February, 1999

The rule of the law

The Islamabad Police recently arrested several PPP women activists who were staging a sit-in for the release of Asif Zardari, the husband of PPP Co-Chairman Ms Benazir Bhutto, and lodged them in Aabpara Police Station (PS). Hearing about this on her arrival at Islamabad, Ms Benazir went straight to the concerned PS. The sight of the excited crowd accompanying her was enough to evoke discretion among the police personnel and they threw valour to the winds in taking smartly to their heels. The incarcerated ladies thereupon walked out into freedom. Legally speaking Ms Benazir may get off on a technicality as she probably did not physically assault the PS to free the ladies in question but ethically speaking by the show of force she has set a precedent which may become an anathema to the rule of the law.

Ms Benazir may well argue that Asif Zardari is wrongly confined, that the government strategy is to put pressure on her to ease off on her Constitutional role as an Opposition leader — and that by itself is a clear violation of the fundamental rights of an elected representative, what to talk of a common citizen. Without commenting on the merit of the cases for which he is being prosecuted or the mode of prosecution and thereby straying into a contempt-of-court situation, the cases being subjudice, one does opine that the nature of the cases do entitle him to bail, particularly since he is an MNA and has to discharge his duties as an elected representative of his National Assembly Constituency, the people of which have become an innocent victim of political crossfire.

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The East Asian Model

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting every year presents a unique platform for world leaders, entrepreneurs, thinkers, scientists, etc for presenting their opinion on national and global issues. The Davos moot allows them to make a presentation like no other forum in an informal atmosphere does to an audience comprising of Heads of States and Governments, politicians (active and retired), international journalists, leading international businessmen, renowned academics and scholars — the list of luminaries is endless. Diverse people ranging from President Mandela of South Africa, US Vice President Al Gore, Chancellor Schroeder of Germany etc to Ted Turner of CNN, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, etc participated fully. Addressing such a distinguished gathering is in itself a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is for this reason that countries in the world ensure representation at the highest possible level in Davos.

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Davos signals responsible globality

As a unique collection of businessmen, academics and leaders of the world gathered at Davos for the 1999 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the most important challenge facing the transition into the 21st century is to find a right balance between free market forces and the needs of the vast majority of peoples having no control over these forces but subject to some unpredictable events happening elsewhere in the globe, “catastrophically altering their own and their family’s life”, to quote Dr Klaus Schwab, Founder and President WEF. Everybody recognizes that in this age of high-tech globalization is necessary in order to share capital, goods, services, ideas, technology and knowledge in a world that has four times more inhabitants than at the beginning of this century. As entrepreneurship and free markets act as the engine for wealth, concern about the welfare of the masses and their social cohesion in a world of increasing competition makes this year’s theme “as globalization with a known face, Responsible Globality.”

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