Thursday, 18 September 2014

Nations rarely get great leaders who inspire many people to join them. These leaders are talented without a doubt and can change the course of history for the countries they lead. This is the true story of one such leader who completely changed the country he came to lead.

Our great leader was born to an ordinary man. He had no history of any political power in his family and his mother was a wonderful lady who was always taking care of people.

As a young man he travelled around a lot and came to be known for his intelligence and unruly behavior. He was popular with the ladies and was deeply patriotic about his country. In his youth he was well known for his sporting abilities, physical agility, passion for music, authoring a few books and his debates with his contemporaries. His inspiration from his youth till his death was the work of an author who gave the concept of ‘khudi’ (ego).

It was not long before he became the spotlight of all media outlets. He wrote and spoke passionately and always had an audience waiting to read and hear what he had to say. He was a brilliant orator and mesmerized the crowds and gave hope to people who were sick of the system. He was also known for his philanthropic works and went on to build organizations and structures that would be revered by everyone who saw them. Every time he called for donations people would donate generously and women even gave away their wedding rings to support his philanthropic activities.

He joined politics early onwards and rose on to become a prominent name but did not have any success in terms of gaining power in elections. He made some political mistakes of siding with the wrong parties which he would go on to regret later, but he later commented that it was his political immaturity at that time and that he had learnt from his mistakes and failures.

Eventually tired of seeing the inefficiency of all political parties around him he made his own political party. This party was based on the idea of a revolution to clean away the inefficiency and corruption in his country and take his country to glory. His party was in opposition to social class discrimination, dynastic politics and supported national sentiments on the important matters of the day. The mainstay of his party was nationalism of the country wherein he believed that his country which despite being overpopulated was a country full of talent and wealth. His ideology dismissed the ideas of sub castes and races and believed that the entire country is one. His party repeatedly denounced the failures of democracy as a failed system. It rejected all forms of egalitarianism and VIP culture and demanded that citizens should perform civic duties themselves because the state had failed. He also emphasized on the youth and the importance of education to revive the country. His party’s idea of the failure of the state was because of corrupt and inefficient leaders and it was emphasized that if the right leader was to come his country would progress and become a great country. His central idea was that a leader was needed who would be himself completely clean, someone energetic and ruthless with all the corruption and inefficiency that was rife in his country.

An underlying concept of his political philosophy was that his country was facing intervention and the problems faced by the people were because of foreign countries which were influencing the matters of the state. These countries were blamed for blocking the economic potential of his country. The people wholeheartedly supported the idea that their country was in shambles because of the foreign powers.

He contested the general elections from his party but did not get many seats in the parliament. Eventually he led a long march of 30,000 people to his country's capital to protest and denounce the prime minister of that country. He did have the support of the majority of the people within that country who kept supporting him because of the promises he had made in his speeches. Initially he was faced by a long dharna but eventually the establishment of that country gave in and transferred the power to him and forced the prime minister to resign.  He went on to become the prime minister himself and changed the course of history for that nation.

The name of our great leader was Benito Mussolini of Italy.

Upon attaining power he removed all constitutional and legal bars on his power. He removed all responsibility to the parliament which he saw as a corrupt and archaic structure. He also formed a dictatorship over all forms of local government. During his time to assert his power he did not hesitate to lay sieges on towns, use torture and hold the women and children of opponents as hostages so that they would give themselves up. Italy was turned into a police state with very strict laws. He later admitted that this was his only option lest anyone else turn up to Rome with a sizeable number of protestors and force him to resign.

He changed the culture and education of his country. He was revered as the greatest leader in history and was formally called ‘the leader’ by all state structures. His party was constantly involved in massive propaganda centered around the personality of Mussolini. All teachers and journalists were approved by his party before they could perform their jobs. All students had to pay their respects to Mussolini before beginning their lessons.

His fascist party had a basic tenant the idea that only that party has the right to rule. All other parties were quelled with use of strength and force. All other leaders were lampooned as being corrupt, inefficient and traitors of the country. The party promoted a corporatist economic systems and people who had performed well in the corporate world were taken in as party central leaders. It was a party that at the same time rejected the conservative, socialist and liberal doctrine.

The Italian Fascist party like other fascist parties have several distinctive themes. They employ the constant use of mottos, slogans, songs, symbols and flags that are always prominently displayed.They have powerful slogan being chanted everywhere by their supporters like "long live the leader", "many enemies, much honor", "Mussolini is always right" etc. They use other parties as scapegoats to unite their supporters. They create an environment of fear and panic leading people to believe that their country is on the verge of complete destruction. They believe in the supremacy of the military over any civilian body of authority. They have a disdain for democracy which they view as a corrupt system. They control the mass media and other networks of communication and force their symbols, signs, personalities and other such paraphernalia down other people's throats. Religion is always used as means to justify their actions and religious examples are rampant in their speeches. Corporate power is protected and the industrial and business aristocracy is always respected. Labor movements and rights are suppressed. They have a disdain for intellectual output and most of the people who question their motives or actions are labelled as corrupt or pseudo intellectuals. They all have a belief that they enjoy mass support of the people and constantly try to convince the general public that they are most popular and finally they themselves openly engage in election rigging. With these features common amongst fascist parties they have managed to grasp the public imagination and support many times in the past. The only regrettable commonality between all fascist movements is that it always ends up destroying a country. This blame of such destruction comes down not to the fascist party but to the general public itself which starts a cult of hero worship of a leader and willingly dedicate themselves to a person rather than an ideology. Such blind following of a person rather than an idea eventually leads to the leader himself going insane with power and ego.

History now remembers Mussolini as a man who was a tremendous failure and as a man who killed countless countrymen to remain in power. To his credit he did do some economic projects that considerably reduced unemployment and corruption temporarily but eventually he led Italy to complete destruction. By the time he was done, Italy was in a worse state than it had ever been and people lived in constant fear. He was eventually captured by an underground resistance movement and his body was hung in one of the central squares. Masses of Italy greeted Mussolini’s death without any regret. Mussolini had promised his people Roman glory but his ego and megalomania had overcome his common sense and he ended up bringing only misery to his people.

Monday, 25 August 2014

During this ongoing Azadi and Inqalaab march many demands have been put forward by the PTI and the PAT. All of PTI's demands have to do with elections and the subsequent removal of Nawaz Sharif, the legality of which can best be determined by a judicial commission. PAT's demands were considerably more sensible and almost all of them pertained to the real issues faced by the people of Pakistan. Pakistan is facing difficult times and will continue to face political unrest and economic turmoil unless some basic structural changes are made. These proposed changes have to do entirely with the economic well being of people and unless people are given their human, social, cultural and economic rights they will continue to suffer. These amendments do not address the issue of the elections and/or who is to become prime minister. They only deal with the rights of the people which I believe once given will solve other problems of which leadership to select by the people themselves.

For this reason I have recently gotten involved in the reconciliation efforts to try and make the government and the protesting parties agree on an agenda that does not favor any one person but rather caters to the rights of the Pakistani people who are the true owners of this country. For this I first started with Siraj ul Haq of Jamat e Islami who seemed to agree with the summary of the propositions. The summary was taken to Tahir ul Qadri, who has mentioned the gist of it in his speech on 23rd August, the rest having been kept for a later time. These propositions have been sent and presented to the relevant quarters of PML N and PTI, both whom I am informed are currently debating about them. I believe that these rallies could be an opportunity for the Pakistanis to benefit if instead of leadership the direction was turned to the rights of the people.

The Constitution of Pakistan was made in 1971 and it was made at a time when Pakistan had just finished a break up with Bangladesh and a full blown war with India. The constitution envisages Pakistan as a true welfare state as per the vision of its founding father. These items of making Pakistan a true welfare state are contained in the “principles of policy” of the constitution. However at the time of the drafting of this constitution the state funds and resources were severely depleted due to the war and therefore a clause named Article 29 (2) was inserted that did not make it the duty of the state to give people their economic rights until the resources were generated and the determination of the same was left to the state itself. Z A Bhutto at that time in 1971 informed the assembly that this clause was temporary and that the state will have sufficient resources to become a true welfare state in 90 days. Today 43 years have elapsed and those promised 90 days have not passed. The state is still not liable for not providing people their economic rights. At present any article of the principles of policy remains unjusticiable which means that it cannot be enforced in court.
The proposition itself is a package of amendments that can be passed at the 21st amendment of the constitution. These amendments look to redefine several rights more clearly and make the rights enforceable in court. The salient features of these amendments are
1.      All human, cultural, social and economic rights can be brought to the court.
2.      The development of a true welfare state will not be a policy but rather a function of the state.
3.      Fundamental rights shall become a state duty
4.      Taxation and resource generation will face the test of being progressive first. Which means lesser taxes/duties on poor and more on the rich.
5.      Establishment of local government systems made a state duty
6.      Parochial, racial, tribal, sectarian and provincial prejudices will be illegalized.
7.      Backward areas and classes will have the first right to education and economic development
8.      Primary and Secondary education will be made compulsory
9.      Magistrates to be appointed in every union council.
10.  Government function will be devolved to grassroot levels
11.  Provision of employment and leisure will be a state duty
12.  Social security for every Pakistani
13.  Provision of  universal food, water, healthcare, education, housing and livelihood security will be a state duty
14.  Eliminating Riba (Compound interest) and all forms of economic and financial exploitation and corruption will be a state duty.

These constitutional changes if made would transform Pakistan entirely towards making it a secure and economic superpower. They put the power in the hands of the people and not one person. However how our leaders play them out at this stage is yet to be seen. These are not a charter of demands, these are exact amendments that if copy pasted on the constitution would bring around the change we have always dreamed of seeing in Pakistan.
                   Proposed Constitutional Amendments 

1. The words “principle of policy” as the title of chapter 2 shall be substituted for the words “constitutional principles

2. Article 3
The existing text shall be substituted for
“The state shall eliminate all forms of exploitation and ensure the fulfillment of the fundamental rights provided in part 2 of the constitution.”

3. Article 29 (1)
In line 2 the words “principle of policy” shall be substituted for the words “constitutional principles”.
In article 29 clauses (1) after the first comma in line 2 the words “and it is the responsibility” shall be substituted for the words “shall be the responsibility “.

4. Article 29 (2)
The existing text of article 29 (2) shall be substituted for the following.
“The state shall generate resources through direct taxation and other progressive means of resource generation for implementation of the objectives of the constitutional principles”

5. Article 30 (1) and (2)
Article 30 (1) and (2) shall be omitted 

6. Article 32
The word “encourage “in line 1 of this article shall be substituted for the words “establish”

7. Article 33
The word “discourage” in line 1 of this article shall be substituted for the word “prevent”

8. Article 36
The word “legitimate” in line 1 of this article shall be substituted for the word “lawful”

9. Article 37 (a)
In line 1 the word “promote” shall be substituted for the word “provide, deliver and protect”

10. Article 37 (b)
In clause (b) in line 2 and 3 the words “within minimum possible time” shall be omitted.

11. Article 37 (d)
In line 1 the word “ensure” shall be substituted for the word “deliver” The semi colon at the end of the line 1 shall be omitted and the words “including the grass root level” shall be added

12. Article 37 (i)
In line 1 of this article after the word “decentralize “the word “devolve” shall be added.

13. Article 38 (b)
In line 1 after comma the words “within available resources of the country “shall be omitted

14. Article 38 (c)
In line 1 the words “employed by the service of Pakistan or otherwise” shall be omitted.

15. Article 38 (d)
In line 1 the word “food, clothing, housing, education” shall be substituted by” universal food, water, healthcare, education, housing and livelihood security.

16. Article 38 (f)
The words “as early as possible” shall be substituted by the words “and all forms of economic and financial exploitation and corruption.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Imran Khan can hold all the rallies he likes but at the moment he is not only unfit for being prime minister, he is downright dangerous for Pakistan.

I will state here in clear words that I am of the view that Nawaz Sharif and his brother are both corrupt and cruel. I believe them to be very incompetent, direct beneficiaries of a rotten system and propagators of the same. Yet despite their financial and moral crimes, they are still not a problem as big as Imran Khan for the country. My reasons are as follows:
  1. Balochistan! Balochistan only 2 years ago was on the brink of breaking up from Pakistan. BLA was everywhere and the Pakistani flag could not even be raised in the provincial parliament or high court. The Bank of Balaj was formed and a new currency was being printed, Azad Balochistana was an anthem I heard everywhere in the province. The people of Balochistan simply did not want to be with Pakistan. Then with some military intervention and the fact that the separatists chose Nawaz Sharif as the mediator, they finally agreed to return to Pakistan. The present ruling party NP of Balochistan came around because Nawaz Sharif was friends with Hasil Bazinjo. So for the first time in history Balochistan got a non-sardar as a CM and its development rates are the highest ever. This was made possible with a coalition govt with PkMap and PML N. PML N could have easily made the government in Balochistan but instead they chose to give away power so that nationalist and separatists would join Pakistan. Destabilizing the provincial or federal setup at this stage could very easily mean that people who the military and the rest of Pakistan pleaded to return into the folds of our nation would go away and work towards separating Balochistan again, this time with evidence that Pakistan is a failed state.

  1. Sindh. Ever wondered what the story of Zardari’s words ‘Pakistan Khappay’ is? Sindh has historically remained a separate and independent state and wasn’t ruled by the Mughals the way Punjab was. When Benazir Bhutto died the Sindhis took to the streets chanting ‘Pakistan Na Khappy’ (Pakistan unacceptable). This was their calling for their ancient homeland of Sindhudesh which is worked up by Sindhi Nationalists like G M Syed. Zardari at that stage said Pakistan Khappay (Pakistan acceptable) and saved the day by calming the Sindhis for which he was duly rewarded. Now these same nationalists who are also militants trust Nawaz Sharif and see him as an ally, the two most important ones being Qadir Magsi and Abdul Khaliq Junejo. Get rid of Nawaz and see what interior Sindh does then to break away.

  1. Unpopularity. Imran Khan is Pakistans most unpopular leader. This may sound strange because facebook strongly disagrees and as do most street surveys. But ask yourself this single question, which party would ever sit, cooperate and/or make an alliance with PTI now. PPP? PML N? MQM? NP? PKMAP? JUI? AWP? QWP? Is there any other leader who thinks of him even as a semi-sane man? Any other leader who trusts him? Knowing very well that he is much more unacceptable to other political forces than Nawaz Sharif, he still declares himself the Prime Minister over and over again. A prime minister is not a leader of a party, he is a leader of a country where all other political forces accept him and his leadership. Imran Khan is constantly struggling to keep PTI itself intact, let alone a country. His movement has no support from any other political party yet not even from his coalition partners Jamat e Islami. His movement and status as Prime Minister is not even endorsed by PAT who are staging the March with him.

  1. Constitution. This is the most important reason of all because Pakistan is one of the world’s few idealogical states. The people themselves don’t share history, language, ethnicity or culture and therefore don’t make up the usual composition of a nation. The only thing holding them together is a book called the constitution of Pakistan. This book of the consensus of all people is the reason why we are not a bunch of warring tribal states and instead make up a semblance of a country.  This is the reason why the book is so sacred and for us is the second most important book after the Quran. Yet Imran Khan sees no problem in violating the constitution as and when he feels appropriate. The Prime Minister is a constitutional position, yet he feels it is ok to call himself Prime Minister. The prime minister has immunity, yet he thinks that the prime minister should be punished. The election commission is formed with the consent of everyone. Yet he says the entire election commission was a fraud. The election tribunals are the only constitutional forum of election dispute resolution with high courts for appeal, yet he disagrees. The list goes on and on. Other leaders have also violated the constitution time and again but this is no excuse for Imran to do the same. The constitution has given us a democratic system and courts for problems we have. Imran feels that neither the constitution nor the courts are solutions and only his coming to power will resolve issues.   

  2. Hypocrisy.  Elections in KPK were fair but everywhere else they were rigged. Where they won in Punjab the elections were fair, where they lost they were rigged. When cases were filed by PTI in the election tribunals they got mixed results. Where they won the tribunals were fair, where they lost the tribunals were corrupt. Appeals have been made to high courts. He hasn’t dared to say so, but of course the PTI supporters now believe that the high courts too are brought out. Before elections Pildat, Gallup and Fafen did surveys that showed that Nawaz Sharif would win, they are corrupt. Facebook polls showed Imran Khan winning and therefore Facebook is honest. During elections EU monitoring teams stated elections were largely fair, but of course all of EU is corrupt. Geo reported Nawaz Sharif winning first and therefore they are corrupt too. Najam Sehti was the caretaker CM then and therefore he is also corrupt, but his chief secretary Javed Iqbal’s was praised by Khan therefore honest. From PML Q to Sheikh Rashid, from Shah Mehmood to Jhangir Tareen, whoever was against him was corrupt and whoever is with him now is honest. When ANP ruled KPK Imran khan had all of us go to KPK to stop NATO supplies in protest against drone attacks. Now that he has the province all NATO supply is perfectly well, drone attacks are fine and 35% of KPKs budget is foreign aid.

  1. Election rigging. PTI rigged the elections and broke the election laws. This is not to suggest that others didn’t but since PTI is the one crying hoarse about it, it is only fair that the first finger be pointed at them. The election laws impose a maximum limit of 15 lacs on any candidate for their election spending in total. This includes all spending on banners, hoardings, tv ads, rallies, food, transport etc. PTI without a doubt spent the most amongst the parties given their rallies, tv ad campaigns, public hoardings etc. Any PTI supporter who speaks truth would admit that his candidates spent more than 15 Lacs. In a fair system every PTI candidate would have been disqualified. Secondly the behavior of the supporters. Election laws forbid any person from in any manner disclosing what party the person supports or will vote for whilst standing in line to vote. This includes attire, party symbols and of course verbal silence. One look at the election coverage and it appears that every PTI voter decided to declare their never ending true love for the party. These voters were liable to be disqualified in a fair system but the ROs and agents (later after defeat, corrupt ROs and agents) ignored this and let them vote. These were ignored not out of choice but necessity because PTI is prone to violence. Today PTI holds their violation of law as evidence that they had supporters in the elections by pointing to the TV coverage.

  1. Rule of law. Isn’t a prime minister supposed to set examples of following the law. PTI supporters ask what other solutions were there if not taking to the streets and trying to overthrow a government. I can’t believe I’m writing this down but I suppose I must. The solution is to take the matters to court like civilized nations do and if courts are taking too long give applications for early hearings. If they are rejected they can be appealed. Instead of laying siege on our sacred institutions, the better idea is to spend energies on gathering evidence and presenting those to the public instead of making meaningless accusations. Correct thing would be to use those unlimited funds to educate the public with evidence. Where needed go into public interest litigation, some of the country’s largest corruption scandals were resolved when common people filed cases of public interest e.g Pakistan Steel Mills, NRO etc. PTI has never initiated a public cause in court but has on a few occasion joined in. Most importantly PTI has MNA’s, MPAs and they have the KPK assembly. They were voted in to legislate on issues and are being paid by the state to do this job. Have they proposed any new anti-corruption bills or election reform bills? If they had and the bills got rejected they would have a moral right to claim that they were on the right side which they don’t at the moment. What miraculous policy changes have we seen in the KPK assembly this last one year?

  1. International. Imran Khan is a media darling no doubt. He’s been a world cup champ and was used to the publicity he gets. Then there were the women in his life Zeenat aman, Sita White, Jemima etc who kept him as a talk of the town. Everyone knows Imran Khan and he does enjoy the status of Pakistan’s most well known person internationally. But does he have any alliances? PPP had Bhutto who made OIC and had personal friendships with Shah Faisal and Qaddafi. PPP then due to its idealogy continued to have friendships in all socialist countries until recently. Nawaz Sharif is personal friends with leaders of some Arab countries and China. Nawaz Sharif is India’s choice because previously PML N had good ties with BJP and made progress in friendship. Even small parties like NP and AWP have international ties due to their leftist ideologies. Where does Imran Khan lie on the international plain? Which alliances has PTI made internationally so far? Even the UK, Khan’s second home is supporting Nawaz Sharif. Is there any other world leader who has shown interest in Imran Khan? This is important because Pakistan is a main player in the supposed great game. Presently China is investing heavily in Pakistan to make rail projects. Arabs are looking for military support from us. Can we risk destability of the government when there are countless wolves trying to eat us up. Is seeing a Pakistani on the cover of Vogue Magazine really all that we aspire for?

  1. Performance. PTI supporters bring up Shaukat Khanum as an indicator of his ability. This cancer hospital is no doubt very well run but what of his performance in KPK? During his government we saw unprecedented terrorism and world’s biggest ever jail break. No resignations were tendered by any PTI member. We saw an overall economic improvement but the growth rates remained lower than Punjab and Balochistan. We saw PTI give away the education ministry to JI after all his speeches on educational emergency. We saw the KPK assembly increase the perks and salaries of its members. What is worse is that we saw that throughout the year that the subject of PTI’s interest was not KPK, it was still Punjab.

  1. Taliban. This is one topic every PTI supporter dreads and rightly so. These TTP elements that khan sahib calls ‘misunderstood nationalists’ have brought Pakistan to its knees with suicide bombings everywhere. They have scarred us for life and ruined countless lives. Yet Khan did not condemn them once whilst they were busy wiping out the previous ruling party in KPK, ANP. During elections they openly threatened ANP and its voters but khan sahib only benefited out of it. They have openly targeted PPP but Khan Sahib sees nothing wrong with that either. When a kid (Aitezaz) stopped a terrorist from bombing a school by grappling him and dying in that attack, Khan sahib didn’t even bother visiting his funeral or family or even stating that he was brave. When war against them was imminent Khan sahib stood as a barrier calling it the worst mistake Pakistan would make, 2 days later he changed his mind and now fully supports it. But still the TTP request Imran Khan to be a mediator with Pakistan.

  1. Ideology. There is non and that’s the basic problem. I’ve been asking every PTI leader/supporter whom I know to tell me what the ideology of PTI is and I still don’t know. It is just reactionary politics.

  1. Hope. PTI is not as corrupt at PML N and PPP yet. They’ve had only one year in power and no major corruption scandal has emerged yet. Every PTI supporter I’ve ever spoken supports PTI for the following reasons:
a)      What other option is there? PML N? PPP? MQM? JUI? No thank you
              And that’s it. By promises of change which people so desperately needed, and by an almost vulgar spending on marketing themselves PTI has managed to give people the impression that there is no other option. The basic problem that leftists like me have with PTI is that it gave people hope. We know that a party without an ideology, action plan or agenda going around making tall claims like we will finish corruption in 90 days is bound to fail. Its ultimate failure will result in disillusionment of people from real change and a real revolution. Change can only come when leaders come from within the poor people. When leaders with their own children in England living in 300 kanal houses make parties that have as central leaders pirs, industrialists, feudal landlords, media barons, opportunistic turncoats etc we know that change will not come because the candidates of that party are a beneficiary of the corrupt system. The real threat is that people will lose hope and today’s Imran Khan supporting youth will turn to a real leader tomorrow and say ‘you talk of change, we tried change with Imran Khan and look where it led us.’ The real threat to the country is the fact that those who intend to bring true change will never get a chance and that’s more dangerous than anything I can think of.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Not much needs to be said about the importance of judiciary in any particular state. In Pakistan where the governmental system is much like that of the USA where all the three arms of the government are bound to each other in a relationship that does not give any other arm extra strength. Unlike our legal and colonial godfather UK, the Pakistani constitution does not practice parliamentary supremacy. The obvious question that any one would ask in this case is how to strengthen the judicial system which seems to be very ineffective at times.

 Consider the difference between the case lists in Pakistan and USA. We go to courts here and the average district judge has the responsibility of listening to around 60 cases daily. Now let us fly our selves to New york where when you go with a dispute to a court, the concerned parties are automatically referred to licensed alternative dispute resolution practitioners or retired judged. The arbitrators, mediators or reconciliators listen to the cases and pass a judgment which if further contested goes to the court. However the result is that around 90% of the disputes are resolved at the very first stage leaving the courts with important matters where the judges can give their full concentration to the case at hand and resolve it in a speedy and just manner.

Pakistani law does indeed provide for such alternative dispute resolution under the Arbitration Act 1940 but it is dependent on there being an arbitration agreement between the concerned parties. This act was a huge step back in 1940 but today we live in 2011 where arbitration has become a common and even necessary means of dispute resolution and international arbitration centers have emerged all over the world. Our 1940 act remains outdated when compared to the UK’s Arbitration Act of 1995 where we see that our courts have terrific discretions to interfere with any arbitral proceedings and they don’t shy from using that discretion either. The result has been Pakistan being classified as an “arbitration blackspot” because of Pakistan’s failure to update its laws to incorporate modern norms. 
As per section 11 of the 1940 Act appointed arbitrators can be removed by the courts. The court interference results in arbitral awards being regularly challenged in the courts and their implementation has to be done through the courts themselves under Section 17. The Court may modify the arbitral award (section 15), remit the award for reconsideration by the arbitrators (section 16) or even set it aside (section 30). The Act in general is almost completely silent on the procedure of arbitration and contains no direction on treatment of evidence and matters relating to disclosure.

These problems remain despite Pakistan being a signatory to the New York Convention and the Washington Convention on Arbitrations. These conventions have been ratified but adequate steps to implement the laws within these conventions have still not been taken. The Pakistani Supreme court was the world’s first court to award an injunction against ICSID arbitration which is a form of arbitration not subject to any interference by the national courts.

Whereas the interference by the Pakistani courts into arbitrations has hampered the process of the development of formal alternative dispute resolution forums, they cannot altogether be blamed. The need arises because the arbitration setup within Pakistan is very haphazard and scattered. Due to a lack of formal knowledge arbitrators themselves are often in violation of standard procedures and crafty lawyers draft agreements that allow a concerned party to become an arbitrator in his own case. The present nature of the unfair arbitrations being conducted allow the court’s interference as a relief incase injustice has been committed. In addition the New York and Washington Convention are often seen as conventions that were organized to safeguard the investments of foreign companies in a particular country. Their implementation has been minimized in Pakistan to prevent political upheavals.

It is suggested that in the case of Pakistan the courts should establish arbitration forums that are run by former judges and experienced lawyers. The lawyers appearing in arbitration proceedings should not be members of the bar councils thereby barring litigating and they should be solely arbitration lawyers. In addition any particular lawyer or judge should have not more than three arbitration cases at a time to prevent delays.

The possible success of court organized arbitration can be evidenced by an experiment in alternative dispute resolution conducted in the Lahore High Court in the year 2000. The then Chief Justice Mian Allah Nawaz ordered for the instituting of a mediation and conciliation forum for family law matters. In three months 16000 cases were disposed off as apposed to the normal rate of around 1000 in courts. This success was lauded by several international forums including the World Bank and replicated in other countries. Sadly not only was this institution abolished but no other was ever made in its place.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The space week is almost at an end and we all sit waiting eagerly to see what the Hubble has to show us next.We might think Star Wars is fiction but in reality it is not too far from the truth. Space and technology have always held an overwhelming sway over the imaginations of this planets residents and has manifested its prowess over the centuries. Long ago heliocentric models constructed by rudimentary instruments led to an age of enlightenment. In the recent history it was the space race that determined the fate of the cold war.

It was 50 years ago when a Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin left the thresholds of our planet. Since then many developed countries have joined the space race and are spending tremendous amounts to keep up the competition.

Pakistan however is a unique exception. A developing country burdened with abject poverty and loans but soaring hopes and sky high dreams. In 1998 against all odds it became a nuclear state and now it is vying to become an active member of the space age. The Pakistani government is spending a whopping $82 million on its National Space Program. The primary Pakistani space agency SUPARCO has the goals of launching Pakistani satellites from Pakistani rockets into space. So far 3 satellites have been launched by Pakistan with foreign rockets. The first satellite Badr-1 was launched and has successfully completed its life. Paksat-1 the second satellite developed malfunctions soon after its launch and it has been decommissioned now. It will now be replaced by Paksat-1R. The third satellite Badr-B’s existence is suspect primarily because it could possibly be used for spying purposes.  Presently Pakistan is in the process of developing its own low cost Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV). Further there are plans to co-operate with the Chinese space program and send a Pakistani man abroad.

It could be argued that a poor country like Pakistan should not be wasting funds on far fetched ideas like space technology. However by developing indigenous technology countries reap the fringe benefits of developing a host of other technologies and industry. The impact on the morale of people is also marvelous and serves to boost national pride and the status of Pakistan in the world as a muslim leader on all cutting edge technology forefronts. When asked by generals how a particle accelarator would help make a better bomb, Robert R. Wilson, the head of the Fermilabs in USA replied to the national security meeting"It only has to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with those things. It has to do with, are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things that we really venerate and honor in our country and are patriotic about. It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to help make it worth defending."

 Even though Pakistan lacks technically up to date observatories and education of formal space sciences in its universities its space program is ambitious. Pakistani students and youth have taken active interest in these fields and are bound to display their talents.

Copyright 2010 Safi Ghauri.

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