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Asma Jahangir’s election: A step towards a progressive Pakistan

Asma Jahangir’s victory in the Supreme Court Bar Association elections is a momentous event in the country’s political and legal landscape. Even the worst of her critics grudgingly admit that her principled stance has remained consistent in a country where intellectual honesty and integrity are in short supply. More importantly, her reasoned approach to recent bouts of judicial activism has been a source of strength for stakeholders in the democratic process. Almost every progressive Pakistani has been overjoyed with her election as head of a professional body which was on the verge of losing its credibility due to indulgence in partisan politics.

Since the lawyers’ movement created a stir in 2007, the bars had started to assume the role of a political party with an exaggerated notion of their power. Instead of focusing on what ailed legal education and the maligned profession, the regulators had turned into rowdy mobs, televangelists and spokespersons of the free and restored judges. Encouraged, a Supreme Court judge reportedly remarked how ‘popular will’ was above the Constitution. The pinnacle of this approach was the judgment in the NRO case. Asma Jahangir and a few other sensible lawyers highlighted the problematic aspects of the verdict. This was a game-changer and Jahangir was at the centre of this rational discourse. […]

UK Election: Yasmin Qureshi, MP

Yasmin Qureshi, a barrister in the UK, is one of the few Muslim women of Pakistani origin to have entered the British Parliament. Despite the overall inconclusive results of the election, Qureshi’s election is most delightful.

YQ has been an old friend and colleague in the United Nations. […]

May 12th, 2010|Personal, Politics, women|1 Comment

Varun Gandhi is a scary bigot

A post at Pak Tea House and the sharp comments attracted some ire among the readers as to what was Varun Gandhi issue doing on a Pakistani blog-zine? Indeed, the question merits some deliberation. We in Pakistan are constantly being demonised by the Indian mainstream media as a ‘terrorist’ country and that we are a great threat to the ’secular’, shining India. Varun gandhi’s remarks as the saner elements of Indian media and commentators are saying only show that people have gotten away with such crap. The fissures in the secular Indian democracy get even more evident when such speeches are delivered.

Varun Gandhi’s remarks on Muslims, hate speech that goes beyond all measures of ‘hate speech’ concerns us as it only exposes us to brigades of hatred, communalism and violence across the border. […]

March 22nd, 2009|India, India-Pakistan History, Personal, Politics|13 Comments