Congratulations Mr. President, Commiserations Mr. Prime Minister

After the passage of the 18th Amendment by the parliament and its subsequent induction into law, the 18th Amendment is now officially a part of the Constitution of Pakistan. A big achievement indeed, the political parties, Prime Minister and especially the President–who agreed to strip his powers, deserve praise.

However while on one hand the 18th Amendment does away with the notorious 58(2)b, which gave the power to the President to dissolve all sitting assemblies at will, on the other hand, it has also given the power to the heads of the political parties to sack any member of the National or Provincial assemblies belonging to his party. Just in case you forgot, our President is currently the effective chairman of the PPP, which means he can sack the PM at any time, in a matter of minutes.

In other words, the final word will be the Presidents, and it will be on his orders that the government will act.

Apart from this, the requirement for political parties to hold intra party elections has also been finished. Another controversial clause in the amendment is the procedure for the appointment of the judges. Apparently many top jurists and eminent lawyers are not happy with it, and see the issue going to the Supreme Court, which they say the SC can strike down on the basis that it is against the basic structures of the constitution.

The 18th Amendment is big step but our lawmakers should begin the groundwork for the 19th Amendment to amend the flaws in the 18th Amendment.

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WikiMir Fraudia List: A compilation of all the big names of corruption in Pakistani politics and beyond

I was googling around when I happened to stumble upon this interesting list, dubbed the ‘fraudia’ list, which is an initiative to compile the names of the all the corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, Generals and journalists. The list contains names from people like our President to corrupt bureaucrats like Ahmed Riaz Sheikh along with all their known corruption. A message on the page says:

We are compiling this list as a community project. If you have any information regarding a Pakistani politician, bureaucrat, military person, journalist just write it here. If you do not want to edit this web page, you car write on the Discussion Page for Fraudia List. It would be then added onto the Fraudia List. Any, all help is highly appreciated.

This a highly appreciable project– if you think you know any politician/bureaucrat/general or journalist involved in corruption, feel free to add their name to the ever growing fraudia list.

Govt Vs Judiciary: Who Stands Where

Usman Manzoor of  The News enlightens us of the legal arguments in favor of the government and counter arguments in favor of the SC, in the ongoing tussle between the executive and the judiciary which erupted when the SC suspended a notification by President Zardari, appointing Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Khwaja Sharif as a judge of the Supreme Court while elevating Justice Saqib Nisar, senior judge of the LHC as acting Chief Justice of the High Court.


By Usman Manzoor

While the government is keeping mum over its failed adventure to subdue the country’s independent judiciary, only a few constitutional and legal experts are trying to defend the government’s action.

Only a respected jurist Fakhruddin G Ebrahim had the courage to immediately correct himself, after issuing an ill-informed interpretation. For the guidance of readers, the arguments generally being presented to defend the government are as follows. The Constitutional position is also given below:

Arguments in favour of government:

1. The president has powers to appoint judges of the SC under Article 177 of Constitution.

2.The president has consulted the CJ as written correspondence was done with the head of judiciary.

3.The govt has followed the rule of seniority as mentioned in the Al-Jehad trust case while appointing Justice Khawaja Sharif as judge of the Supreme Court.

4. The consultation of CJP is not binding on the president.

5. The president can appoint acting CJ of a high court under section 196 of the Constitution without consulting the CJ.

6.What was the necessity of suspending the presidential notification so late in the evening?

7. We acted according to Constitution and the law.

The response

1) Article 177 (1) says: The CJP shall be appointed by the president, and each of the other judges shall be appointed by the president after consultation with the chief justice.

The consultation of the CJ is mandatory as mentioned in Article 260 of the Constitution which says “consultation” shall, save in respect of appointment of judges of the SC and High Courts, mean discussion and deliberation, which shall not be binding on the president.

2) A mere correspondence does not mean consultation but in fact the recommendation of CJP regarding appointment of a judge in the SC has to be followed as it is and if the president has any objection then he has to mention those reasonable objections. Those objections are then justiciable in a court of law and once the court passes an order then that order is the final verdict.

The Al-Jihad trust case states: “The words “after consultation” employed inter alia in Articles 177 and 193 of the Constitution connote that the consultation should be effective, meaningful, purposive, consensus-oriented, leaving no room for complaint of arbitrariness or unfair play. The opinion of the CJP and the CJ of a High Court as to the fitness and suitability of a candidate for Judgeship is entitled to be accepted in the absence of very sound reasons to be recorded by President/Executive.

(xiii) That since consultation for the appointment/confirmation of a Judge of a superior Court by the President/Executive with consultees mentioned in the relevant Articles of the Constitution is mandatory, any appointment/confirmation made without consulting any of the consultees as interpreted above would be violative of the Constitution and, therefore, would be invalid.”

3) The appointment of a judge of a Supreme Court is a fresh appointment and neither the constitution nor the Al-jehad trust case or any other judgment speaks of seniority rule while elevating a judge of a High Court to the SC. Even in the present SC eight out of the total 16 (including one ad hoc judge) have never remained chief justices of the high courts.

Article 177 says: “Appointment of SC Judges.

(1) The CJP shall be appointed by President, and each of other Judges shall be appointed by President after consultation with the Chief Justice.

(2) A person shall not be appointed a Judge of the SC unless he is a citizen of Pakistan and;

(a) Has for a period of, or for periods aggregating, not less than five years been a judge of a High Court (including a HC which existed in Pakistan at any time before the commencing day); or

(b) has for a period of, or for periods aggregating not less than fifteen years been an advocate of a High Court (including a High Court which existed in Pakistan at any time before the commencing day).” There is no mention of seniority in this article.

4) The consultation regarding the appointment of judges of the superior judiciary is binding on the president according to Article 260 of the constitution which says, “Consultation shall, save in respect of appointments of Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, mean discussion and deliberation which shall not be binding on the President”.

The word save here means except or to avoid.

5) The Al-Jehad trust case clearly mentions, “That permanent Chief Justices should be appointed in the High Courts where there is no permanent incumbent of the office of the Chief Justice”. Therefore Justice Saqib Nisar could never be made acting CJ.

6) A similar situation had occurred on the eve of November 3, 2007 and an eight-member bench of the SC passed a verdict setting aside the emergency rule late that Saturday. And in the interim order of Feb 13, the learned judges of the SC have mentioned, “The Additional Registrar, who appeared on Court’s call, informed the Court that a news was telecast in the electronic media regarding the aforesaid notifications and it was also in the news that Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar would be administered oath by tomorrow morning (Sunday), which necessitated the hearing of this case as an urgent one and this Bench was constituted”.

7) the Al-jehad trust case and the constitution was already there and the Supreme court also interpreted it.

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Imran Khan humiliates Zardari and his crony–Hillarious

Imran Khan takes Faisal Abidi of PPP heads on, asking him where Zardari ‘earned’ his $60 million dollars from. Instead of replying to the question put forward by Khan, Faisal Raza Abidi avoids the question and at the end of the video, presents a ‘shaer’ (poetry) on the $60 Million and Zardari– Hillarious Stuff.

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We were planning to break Pakistan when Benazir died: Zulfikar Mirza

A quite disappointing and regrettable statement was issued by Sindh’s provincial minister and PPP stalwart Zulfikar Mirza, who also happens to be the husband of the Speaker National Assembly Pakistan Fehmiza Mirza, on the eve of the second death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto.

Provincial Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza has said that when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated a plan was made to break Pakistan. Addressing a seminar in Rato Dero on Saturday, he said, “We all had gathered at Benazir Bhutto’s Naudero House and were about to take to the streets when Asif Ali Zardari raised the slogan of ‘Pakistan Khappay’ and blocked our way”. Zulfiqar Mirza said Benazir was the hope of the masses, who expected that she would come and all their eleven years’ grievances would be put to rest, but the tyrants murdered the hope of the masses.

ZA Bhutto never talked about breaking Pakistan even after all the injustice done to him, nor did we ever hear anything similar from Benazir. I am surprised to see such a statement from the PPP, which is considered as a party of federation, not any province.

I think Zulfikar Mirza is somehow trying to defend Asif Ali Zardari, who has been under immense pressure to resign after the historic NRO verdict, by issuing such erratic statements, I believe people like Mr. Mirza don’t deserve to be a provincial minister, or even a member of PPP. After (proudly) admitting to be part of such plans, he should be tried for high treason.

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PPP Minister: Hey Corruption Is Our Right too!

Kudos to the minister for at least speaking the truth!

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Conspiracy or No Conspiracy ?

“There is no conspiracy against the govenment” said the PM Gilani in response to a question during an intense media briefing. However it was only moments later that President Zardari issued a statement from Karachi saying that a conspiracy is being hatched against the democratic government.

It seems that the Prime minister has his own script writer, while Zadari has his own, thus the statement from the Prime Minister is different from the Presidency. Bare in mind that these two personalities meet each other at least four times a week and both have repetitively claimed that there are no differences among them.

Would someone please come forward and inform us of the official stance of the Government of Pakistan regarding these conspiracies and weather they exist or not ?

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