Pakistan Politics

Articles related to Pakistani politics

The immediate agenda to get Pakistan out of this mess

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This may sound a bit drastic to many interested parties and vested interests and some may say I have gone out of my mind, but the fact is that Pakistan and its critical institutions have collapsed and it is now time for a major, immediate, almost earthshaking, political and administrative renovation effort, to get back control before everything spins out of hand.Read More »The immediate agenda to get Pakistan out of this mess

Course correction for Pakistani democracy

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Ayaz Amir

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) report which forms the basis of the Musharraf treason trial would be rejected by an area magistrate (the lowest magistrate in the judicial hierarchy) in the normal course of things. And were even a half-competent high court judge be asked to examine it, chances are he would recommend eggs and tomatoes in a public square for the authors of this inquiry. Such is its high calibre.

To think that this intellectual labour has led to the treason trial, and the trial is one of the major reasons for the souring of relations between the Nawaz Sharif (NS) government and the army, shows once more how from small beginnings great consequences can flow.Read More »Course correction for Pakistani democracy

Musharraf treason inquiry report remarkable for its omissions

After much hesitation, the prosecution in retired general Pervez Musharraf’s high treason case finally submitted the ‘inquiry report’ before the special court on Wednesday, which astounded many for its omissions instead of what it contained.
Unpredictably, the report finds that Musharraf was solely responsible for imposing the 2007 emergency; those who did agree to speak to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) have also blamed the former dictator.
Soon after coming into power, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had set up a Joint Investigation Team to conduct an inquiry into the emergency and those responsible for it. The JIT’s report has till now been kept secret and was not handed over to Musharraf’s defence team till Wednesday.Read More »Musharraf treason inquiry report remarkable for its omissions

Musharraf and the military, Part – II

By Shehzad Chaudhry

Most of the employment of the army in anti-terror operations continues under the rubric of general authorisation of force in support of the civilian government but lacks exceptional powers through newer legislation. That has denuded it of the needed legal cover for such operations.

The US seeks a Bilateral Security Agreement for its troops to remain in Afghanistan post-2014, for similar reasons. India has provided immunity to many actions of its forces through the AFSPA while deploying its forces to fight in Kashmir and in India’s north-east. Some legislation has only recently been enacted after years of delay. Read More »Musharraf and the military, Part – II

Musharraf and the military, Part-I

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By Shahzad Chaudhry

When the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill was finally submitted in the US Congress in 2009 for approval, it contained two clauses that especially irked the Pakistani military. One dealt with the promotion to two-star rank and beyond within the military that the bill envisaged needed approval by Pakistan’s civilian government if American aid was to continue; and second, the Pakistani military was not ever to upstage the civilian political setup.

The first clause was misplaced because all promotions are always subject to approval of the Ministry of Defence; and all promotions to two-star and higher are gazette notified by the government and announced only with the express approval of the president. The second clause was judgemental and inappropriate as a comment or condition for an institution of another state.Read More »Musharraf and the military, Part-I

I am not a traitor, says Musharraf

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musharrafinlondon“I am not a traitor,” said former president retired General Pervez Musharraf in his defence once the Special Court had indicted him on charges related to imposition of emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007.

When Justice Tahira Safdar of the Balochistan High Court read out the first charge against Musharraf, the former president glanced at his lawyer nervously.

However, he managed to collect himself and replied, “I plead not guilty”.Read More »I am not a traitor, says Musharraf

PM Nawaz Sharif among billionaire lawmakers

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With his assets growing rapidly Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has joined the list of a very few lawmakers who are billionaires, according to statements of assets and liabilities of parliamentarians for the year 2012-13 released by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The net value of assets owned by Mr Sharif rises to Rs1.71 billion from Rs261.6 million he had declared at the time of filing nomination papers for the May elections.Read More »PM Nawaz Sharif among billionaire lawmakers

Justice Iftikhar played like Afridi, not Tendulkar: Aitzaz

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* Kurd says CJP never looked back at common people who had campaigned for him

* Asma says country needs a constitutional, not political, CJP 

Senior leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Aitzaz Ahsan has said that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry played his innings like Shahid Afridi, not like Sachin Tendulkar.

Talking to a private TV channel on Wednesday, he said, “Iftikhar Chaudhry did politics and he wants to be a politician,” he added. He said that the chief justice might not have been expecting such a reaction over permitting only one private TV channel to cover the full court reference. “Discrimination was just a no ball from the Supreme Court’s side,” Aitzaz Ahsan said. He maintained that the CJP committed a fatal mistake in the end and he did not leave as Tendulkar, “he just played like Afridi”.Read More »Justice Iftikhar played like Afridi, not Tendulkar: Aitzaz

Tumultuous end to a whirlwind era

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* Justice Chaudhry’s retirement day hit by controversy over SC administration allegedly favouring a private TV channel by providing it with an exclusive footage of full-court reference

Romance between the media and outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry came to a tragic end on his retirement day, as the Supreme Court’s administration on Wednesday allegedly provided the video footage of the Supreme Court’s full court reference to one TV channel (Geo), and other TV channels started a campaign against the outgoing CJP. Read More »Tumultuous end to a whirlwind era

Judging Chaudhry


IT is ungracious to take pot shots at someone walking into the sunset. But to refuse to take stock of the performance of a public office holder as remarkable as Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and draw lessons for the future is also undesirable.

In measuring up Chaudhry’s tenure as chief justice there are five broad areas that invite comment: judicial independence; suo motu powers; judicial appointments; judicial reform; and Arsalan Iftikhar.Read More »Judging Chaudhry