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Archive for March, 2018

“JUDICIAL” MARTIAL LAW

Our Republic Day being an appropriate occasion to reflect on the meaning of the day, most thought provoking comments were made by the Chief Justice (CJ) of Pakistan’s Supreme Court (SC) in Lahore on March 23. Referring to remarks made by the Awami Muslim League Chief Sheikh Rasheed urging a 90-day ‘judicial martial law’ in the run-up to the upcoming general elections, CJ Mian Saqib Nisar ruled out any such possibility. Terming the supremacy of law, the independence of the judiciary and the impartial provision of justice “most important aspects for a country to progress”, he stressed that the country needed being run in accordance with its supreme law – the Constitution.

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NO MORE PSLs ABROAD

Rameez Raja recently made some suggestions how to attract good quality players for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and to resolve the problem of low spectator turnout in the UAE cricket stadiums. His contention is that in PSL “each team has to stay under a predetermined salary cap set and cannot go over the budget – a restriction that keeps the absolute cream of world cricket away from the league”. The open auction system instead of the present draft system for player recruitment does have some merit. Teams pay a fixed price for each player purchase in the draft system i.e. with fixed wages instead of the preferred method of open bidding as done in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the other Twenty20 leagues. Attracting some of the best international cricketers, an auction will encourage each team to make an extra effort to get the best players. Big names in the teams will give cricket lovers that much more incentive to go to stadiums and see their favourite stars in action.

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THE “INDIRECT” FRAUD

The ruling coalition says the Senate elections has been ‘stolen’ from them, the Opposition panel winning far more votes than expected. You can ‘steal’ things from a person only when he owns it, did Nawaz Sharif already “own” the Senate before the elections actually took place? Having purchased the votes are they now upset that they didn’t get their money’s worth? With Nawaz Sharif’s (and Maryam’s) very unique and weird understanding of democracy that election results prove court judgments right or wrong, they have every reason to be shocked by the opposition winning. That logic would confirm that the judiciary was right in disqualifying him! This Senate controversy has been force-multiplied by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by conveniently bailing out the PML-N candidates by letting them run as “independents”. What rot! With their nomination papers being subject to challenges, is the Senate legally constituted?

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THE CALIBRI FONT

This adverse media focus propagating perceptions quite contrary to reality about the “Calibri Font” is meant to discredit the allegations of alleged forging pertaining to trust deeds in which Maryam Nawaz figures prominently. This concerted “whitewash” campaign implies that Robert Radley, the forensic expert who analyzed the trust deeds, accepted in cross-examination that while the Font came into commercial use in 2007 it was possible to be used in 2005. Other than the normal paid hacks even credible analysts are being used to propagate a coloured version of the witnesses’ statements, engaged in making of fake news real and real news fake. This deliberate misreporting has swayed great many people who were once convinced that the documents were forged and that Maryam had plainly committed perjury. Goebbels would have been proud!

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MUTINY BY THE BLUE-EYED

Arrested on Feb 22 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for corruption in the Ashiana Housing scandal under Section 2 of the Schedule of NAO, 1999, Ahad Cheema, formerly Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Chief and now heading Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power Limited, had failed to appear before NAB twice despite summons. Showing flagrant disrespect for the rule of law this BPS-19 officer rudely questioned with rank insolence NAB’s laws, competence, etc. This blatant arrogance is a sorry manifestation of having Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, newly elected Interim President PML (N), as a most powerful patron.

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