Legalistic Mindfuck of the day : UAE edition

DAWN reported via UAE’s the National that two Pakistanis have been apprehended in UAE for having links to Al-Qaeda. The paper goes on to report that

Prosecutors allege AkW sent “two laptop computers, two telescopes, two pencil torches, two Swiss army knives and a tent” to “Islamist militants” in Pakistan.

Is this all that the prosecutors based their case on? You can buy this stuff easily in Pakistan in any town with the exception of Swiss army knives which are available in cities. Even if such things are not available in city, one can easily buy them in Bara markets along Pakistan Afghan border. Did anybody stop to ask why would Al Qaeda request such mundane stuff from UAE? The charges appear framed.

This raises a question were  there any grounds to apprehend these people or were they just picked up because Pakistani authorities “tipped off” the UAE authorities. Sadly, latter seems to be the case and the newspaper reporting hasn’t done anything to alleviate the doubt.

Malik Riaz, Aslam Beg and Ajwa Dates

Many a times I have come across Pakistani blogs which berate columnists of Urdu newspapers for being fundamentalists or right wing or plain stupid. It is uncalled for as the columnists are  reflecting the tendencies of their readers. The bloggers belong to the English speaking elite and tend to have left-of-center leanings and because they do not agree with the viewpoint of the columnists or the masses it does not give them the right to castigate them.

However, once in a while one does come across a stupid Urdu column. (This does not mean that there are no stupid English columns). One of them I reproduce below which is by notable Urdu columnist and TV anchor Javed Chaudry. This was shared on Facebook by Mohammad Hanif of “Case of Exploding Mangoes” fame. I wish I could translate the article for English reader but that seems like too much work.

The real gem in the article loosely translated says

Malik Riaz, with a slaughtered chicken in his hand, is lying in the pond full of alligators; and for past 30 years has been saving his own life and protecting the chicken as well

The three most important take aways from this article are

1. Malik Riaz is Pakistan’s Bill Gates
2. Aslam Beg wants to drop an atom bomb at least on India
3. Pakistani soldiers can get away with anything e.g., Aslam Beg hid his medical condition while in service which is against the rules and lives to tell about it without fear of any consequences.

Finally, as one of the commentator said, there is nothing surprising about Malik Riaz’s methodology_ as a civilian, he did what the uniform-wearers in this country have been doing for decades i.e., encroach upon land belonging to poor and building on it city for the rich.

Security Apparatus : US and Pakistan

Just came across this wonderful post about how US policies are imperialistic by design and are hurting US interests. It is to be read in full. Anyway, in it there is a paragraph though which talks about US but could very well be talking about Pakistan. I have re-read it multiple times and here I am sharing it:

…. The United States has been at war for a startling two out of every three years since 1989, and there is no end in sight. As anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of world events knows, countries that continuously fight wars invariably build powerful national-security bureaucracies that undermine civil liberties and make it difficult to hold leaders accountable for their behavior; and they invariably end up adopting ruthless policies normally associated with brutal dictators. The Founding Fathers understood this problem, as is clear from James Madison’s observation that “no nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Washington’s pursuit of policies like assassination, rendition and torture over the past decade, not to mention the weakening of the rule of law at home, shows that their fears were justified.

Similar is the case in Pakistan. Our India centric security policy wherein we fought 3 unprovoked wars with them. And from 1979 onwards, our Army has been continuously engaged in overt and covert warfare e.g. Afghan Jihad, Kargil, war on terror, Swat, current engagement with Taliban elements.

The army and the intelligence agencies never had any respect for civilians calling them “bloody civilians” but the missing persons and other such actions in the name of national security show that military apparatus in Pakistan is above the law.

Hudood Ordinance and Blasphemy Laws

I will try to keep it short. When it comes to these laws, the perception we get is that there are two extremes only. On the one side we have the liberals, who want these laws to be repealed. On the other side, we have conservatives or rather they should be called extremists which usually consist of mullahs from the mosques who rally the mob and usually try to impose their own brand of justice swiftly either by killing the accused themselves or by pressuring the police/court to pass the required verdict.

I am what you call a right wing ‘conservative’ however I do not subscribe to the view of the right wing ‘extremists’. Moreover, I also disagree with the liberal view point that the laws should be repealed.

My contention is that if the laws ‘Hudood’ or ‘Blasphemy’ are prescribed in Islamic Jurisprudence (all the schools agree on it) then they should be implemented, even if they are harsh.

The problem only comes in our judicial process. Just because our judicial process is weak, we should not be trying to repeal the laws. With the amount of looting, raping and then vigilante justice that is going on in Karachi, I believe we should dismantle police and judiciary in Karachi. No the right way should be to work towards improving the system.

Taking Zina cases in Hudood Ordinance. It requires four witnesses. The question that should be asked to the witnesses how did they end up viewing the said act, what is their character, are they related to accuser etc. Such simple questions and probing by the defense can easily throw the prosecution’s case out but the process is never followed through.

Blasphemy law case in Hyderabad where a doctor is being tried in the media and on the street for throwing a business card of medical sales rep in trash bin whose name happened to be Muhammad. From a common sense perspective, the the case does not have any footing and should be thrown out and the people (especially the mullah) who is rallying the people should be thrown in jail and tried in anti-terrorism court for inciting violence. A few such iron handed treatment to mullahs and see how they become a ‘bheegi billi’.

From Express Tribune

As a sitting judge of the Lahore High Court [Justice (retd) Nazir Akhtar], he used to tell people at social gatherings that they should kill the blasphemer instead of invoking the law against him.

If we have such people sitting in the judiciary, the solution is not to repeal the law. Rather throw him out of court and bar him from practicing law ever again. These are the people who give bad name to what passes for justice in this country.

Military rule in Pakistan: same old shit

I had received the following videos earlier but someone resent them to me today. They are circa 1959 and have an interview of Ayub Khan. Despite the upbeat nature of the report (the west and western media has always supported our military rulers) what is amazing is how Ayub Khan’s talk reminds of similar talks made by Musharraf. More than that, it begs the question that if military rule is so good for Pakistan why is it that when the ruler leaves us, we find ourselves in worse situation despite their claims of bringing true democracy instead of sham democracy or claims of democracy does not suit the genius of people.

The reporter is neither sarcastic nor there is any hint of cynicism when he says that 95% of Pakistanis favored Ayub Khan which begs the question is the reporter was naive? If not, I want to smoke what he is smoking. Doesn’t it remind you of 97% affirmation that Musharraf received in his referendum.

Ayub’s rhetoric in the report reminds me of Musharraf as he used to say the same things.