NOTE: This E-conference was held in Nov/Dec 2001 for the issues related with Afghanistan and Pakistan development after 9/11. Comments of the participants from all over the world are as under:
MUHAMMAD AAMIR MUGHAL
Mon Nov 26 2001 - 14:15:08 EST
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Although the destiny of Afghanistan belongs to the Afghans, there is no way they can be successful in the effort of re-building their nation without help from abroad. The international community and the meddling neighbors owe Afghanistan support and good will. The biggest question points to the sustainability of the effort, that may disappear in a short time, as soon as the next crisis explode (Korean peninsula, Indonesia, Colombia, Macedonia, Venezuela). For Afghanistan, this new crisis is a new opportunity to start anew building a new nation and new institutions from scratch, regaining the best of its history: its pluralism and its ability to be a melting pot for cultures, religions and ethnic groups. As for Pakistan, the situation is much more complicated. It is a poor country (less than USD 500 per capita income), with a huge population (about 150 million), a big army (half million), and a nuclear arsenal. As a consequence of the crisis, Pakistan will jump to the third place as a country receiving direct assistance from the United States, only behind Israel and Egypt. That is not new, during the 80's Pakistan hosted the biggest CIA's office in the world - other than the headquarters in Langley. The question here is whether Pakistan (or its leadership) can transform the flows of foreign aid it will be receiving into resources for its development, or it will use them to prop up its military budget to address its large demands of security. In a way, more than the lessons in Somalia, Bosnia, Cambodia and East Timor, may be we should try to look into the lessons in Afghanistan and Pakistan, few years ago when the previous crisis put them in the center of the international debate. As we know, both countries failed to capitalize past opportunities, and the international community responded with neglect. Are we heading to a similar outcome?
Francisco J. Coy
W. Kasprzik (Wilderness@t-online.de
Sat Nov 24 2001 - 07:23:56 EST
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Implications on the Economic, Social, and Political Development of Pakistan and Afghanistan
I refer to Mark McKenna's statement on topic 2 and Njama Siddiqi's refreshing assessment of Pakistan's institutional set-up. In the context of the likely prospects for social, economic and political development I would like to elaborate on three topics:
* the socio-political situation on the Afghan-Pakistan border from NWFP down to Baluchistan,
* the situation in the industrial sector of Pakistan
* the institutional malaise in Pakistan.
The Pakistan border to Afghanistan along the provinces of NWFP and Baluchistan never was a border in the proper sense. On both sides of the border live tribes with traditional links, crossing the border with an astonishing easiness. Politics in the border provinces are dominated by the chieftains (Bugti and others). Feudal structures have a field day (as in the whole of Pakistan feudal lords do not pay taxes). The chieftains are not particulary interested in economic development. Their income stems from cross-border trafficking (arms being on top of the list). Mistrusting their own country they prefer to transfer their profits to London banks and real estates. Social and economic development in Afghanistan and Pakistan has only a chance, when the tribes and their chieftains can be 'contained' in a sort of federated political structure, which forces them to play the democratic game even inside their own ranks and when they are stripped of some of their (tax) privileges granted by the central government. An interesting discussion on this topic is presently under way in Africa in the framework of the booming decentralisation, especially in states also dominated by tribes (under the assumption that you cannot ignore the tribes).
Industrial sector in Pakistan
I have visited leather, textile and other industries in Karachi, Faisalbad an elsewhere. Without an exemption the factories are run under medieval conditions: appalling working conditions and poor pay for the workers, 100 to 200 percent profit margins (argument: the situation is fragile) and demonstratively luxurious life style of the owners.
If you want to keep a nation together you have to cut down on the extremes of the profit making cake and think more in terms of a decent sharing. Behind this phenomenon looms the stark fact, that doing work is terribly undervalued. As long as fast profit making (and transferring them to safer shores) or holding a bureaucratic position are overvalued you will not have a solid economic development.
An indicator, how perversely things have developed, take the fact, that Pakistan politicians are proud of a special success story in exports: labour force. It brings in a considerable amount of foreign currency (but please check with the Pakistani cab driver in Dubai; he will tell you that he has left his country in utter despair and that he remains desperate even now). In order to deal with the complex social and economic situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan you may even need more than one economic model (besides the much hailed global economy there must be room for a local economy and eventually also for a subsistence economy given the difficult geophgraphical conditions of both countries).
Institutional malaise in Pakistan
I can only agree with Najma's assessment of the continous and serious degradation of Pakistan's institutions. Gone are the times where Pakistan's civil service prided in a code of honor, where students were eager to become a professor. Now the administration is infested with politics. Professors leave universities due to poor pay and intolerable working conditions. The administration needs a complete overhauling, a healthy distance to politics and a firm hand in breaking feudal privileges at all levels. There is a link between instutional development and economics: In order to get the economic development going it is worthwhile to think in terms of institutional economics, meaning, don't get too much hooked on abstract economic modelling, concentrate instead on the real players of the economic game. This piece of economics is slowly gaining ground.
Driving with a taxi in Lahore, Peshawar or Quetta makes you relax concerning the Pakistan-Indian dispute. Most of the taxi drivers play Indian film music from cassettes and they adore the music (I find it rather sirupy). There is no Pakistan film industry. May be the new economic development can give a hand here too...A project for the World Bank?
Consultancy and Research
Discussion Moderators (email@example.com
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To facilitate simple identification of discussion threads, the following parenthetical additions will be included in the subject lines of future messages:
"Rebuilding/Reconstruction of Afghanistan" and "Degeneration of Institutions in Pakistan and Afghanistan"
Sat Nov 24 2001 - 12:20:47 EST
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Najma has certainly very well analysed the Pakistan scene. What must be observed is that while President Mirza allegedly died as a "cashier" in an Indian restaurant in London U.K., President Ayub died almost invisibly during his protege Bhutto's reign, President Yahya was much maligned also during Bhutto's reign despite having conducted the only acceptably "honest" election, President Zia was allegedly "murdered" by questionable sources, P.M. Nawaz Sharif is in exile and unheralded in Saudi Arabia and the twice returned allegedly equally corrupt P.M. Ms. Bhutto travels the world proclaiming "democracy" while having allegedly practiced "totalitarianism" and "bribery".
Peter Klaus has correctly pointed out that borders are man-made and created by diktats over the past centuries through Might is Right. Like the Monroe doctrine which threatened anyone approaching the U.S.A. - on the assumption of incursion.Maybe a lot of heartbreak can be resolved by "abolishing" the visa systems - as in United Europe - so people can move to the areas of most acceptable economic and social residence. This would automatically move people out of areas where they are persecuted to areas where perhaps "outcasting based on religion, colour, etc." may be practiced which they may find more acceptable. Instead of moving surplus food to starving populations, we should allow starving populations to move to the food - this would be cheaper as a solution and would also provide the "importing" nations with "low-cost" labour to make their industries competitive without "protection and subsidies".
The financing of such activity can be done by the method "floated" by the New Economics Foundation for British Railways.
Sat Nov 24 2001 - 14:40:24 EST
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There's a need to act positively on the words of this paper.Words have been said "however we need to back them with action from our various localities for it to eventually become a global experience".Like I say "Change is a result of challenge"...it's our world let's act towards it's good positively.Your Colleague-In Activating The Change. Sincerely,
(Personal Dev.Coach& Peak Performance Consultant)
aamir moghal (email@example.com
Sat Nov 24 2001 - 23:43:52 EST
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• Next in thread: Sidney Clouston: "[pak-afg] "Degeneration of Institutions in Pakistan and Afghanistan""
Solutions to Degeneration of Institutions in Pakistan and Afghanistan:
1 - Demilitarization of Pakistani Society by deweaponizing the society through development and investment.
2 - Restoration of Democracy in Pakistan immediately.
3 - Restoration of Pakistan's 1973 constitution in its original shape, because that was the rare occasion when the leaders of the country were almost united on document, which later on amended by its own creator Zoulfiqar Ali Bhutto and completely defaced by US's toady dictator General Ziaul Haq and the defacing of a consensus constitution is the root cause of the present ills in Pakistani Society.
4 - Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be formed to discuss several bones of contention amongst Province vs Province, Federation vs Province, State vs citizens, Judiciary vs citizens and above all the Law Enforcement Agencies vs Citizens.
5 - Declassifying of all the govt. documents except Top Secret (we can't handle the truth), to make people know about the "realities".
6 - Complete access of the Press to govt. documents (barring TS), including the accords which our govt. signed with the WB/IMF and other donor agencies to strangulate common citizens of the country. It would help stop corruption, the biggest cause of Lawlessness in Pakistan.
7 - Federation is being run on the basis of Unitary form of Govt. rather "Naked Dictatorship" for the last 53 years and it must be done away with immediately. The much trumpeted Devolution Plan should be started like this Federation to Province and then Province to City Government. The departments of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Currency, and Communication should rest with Centre all the other should be given to provinces like a true Federation otherwise Pakistan is not going to survive for long. It was also predicted by Robert D Kaplan about India and Pakistan due to the corrupt and unmanageable systems and inequity.
8 - Establishing a single Judicial system either Anglo Saxon or Shariat Court through referendum because we presently have English Court/Law, Shariah Law(Courts), Tribal Law/Jirga (Courts), Anti Terrorists Courts, Accountability Court. But isn't it amazing that we dont have JUSTICE anywhere and people run from pillar to post to get JUSTICE in vain? Around 1 million cases are pending in Pakistan in all the courts mentioned (Its God promised that where there is no justice there would be anarchy).
9 - Separation of Judiciary from the Executive Branch.
10 - Autonomous Election Commission under the protection of the Judiciary.
11 - WB AND IMF should exert its powers to bring back the looted amount which was looted by our Rulers in the last 25 years from Pakistan and amassed it abroad in offshore and regular banks. They should also help in exposing our several rulers through press.
12 - These two organizations should link aid with progress (by regular audit and inspection) in any particular underdeveloped rather stone age area in Pakistan. They should not in any case encourage those who still behave like medieval Dons in the rural area of our country.
13 - Elections on the basis of joint electorate.
14 - Democracy and Economic prosperity is a must for long lasting peace in the region and above all, peace in Pakistan is a must for peace in Afghanistan and peace in Afghanistan is a must for peace in Pakistan.
15 - Both the countries, India-Pakistan, should be made to sit and be made to settle the issues, including differences on Afghanistan for the sake of Afghan people. Bogey of ISI and RAW should be stopped forthwith.
16 - Several US officials who praise our tribal chieftains in Baluchistan "quote" Sir, you could be made Governor of Texas" "unquote" should also be told about the conditions in which these ordinary tribal people live under these tyrants because the USA is the so-called pallbearer of democracy and no US citizen would like to live a single minute under any such Tribal Chief. So it would be good for them to see how ordinary people live in our tribal society before praising any tyrant and autocratic tribal chief as would be Texas Governor.
17 - Officials of WB/IMF instead of socializing with the elites of Pakistani society should go into the countryside (with proper security) to see for themselves the state in which the people are.
18 - Instead of giving WB/IMF scholarships and internships to our "Bureaucrats" these should be given to those young and talented students (studying in govt. colleges, universities and other cheap private institutions) who are not well connected and don't have access to social clubs where WB/IMF official come to socialize with the elitist Bureaucrats (one of the root causes of Pakistan present state of affairs). These talented but not elites should be given training to develop Pakistan/Afghanistan. Many such deserving students could be found in Afghan Refugee camps and even in Afghanistan if they have survived the US bombing. When the CIA can hire them to fight secret wars why can't the WB/IMF hire them to develop their own countries?
19 - After Target Practicing (Bombing the Dead) in Afghanistan, the USA/Allied should go back to bases to avoid a bad situation, a long stay in the region would irk China.
Rebuilding of Afghanistan:
Only and only AFGHAN people should decide about who would form the government, any foreign involvement would be a recipe for disaster and ignite a civil war if any group of Afghans is not given proper representation. Nelson Mandella/ Imam Holy Kaaba/ Imam Holy Medina/ Clerics from Iran and Central and Tribal Elders can play a big role as a monitor and Election Commissioners. There must be a joint commander of NA to stop the bloodletting and revenge killings. Reconstruction is a must but peace would be the most important thing to at least start a process of rebuilding. First they would have to be one Nation i.e. AFGHANS not Pashtoons, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and countless others to create a sense of unity. Otherwise efforts are afoot to divide and bifurcate AFGHANISTAN into many regions on the basis of ethnicity, which would be disastrous. However a loose federation as I mentioned above can keep them united.
Please seek a Father Figure for symbol of Afghan Unity.
Muhammad Aamir Mughal
Sidney Clouston (Sid4Salmon@aol.com
Mon Nov 26 2001 - 13:40:33 EST
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Dear Fellows and Friends:
I like the idea of an institution as a possible experiment in government. That institution could be a State. We see in the United States a diversity of approaches in the regional governing. The state that I reside in is no exception. Some of the regionally approved methods are unique. For an example, the establishment of the Climate Trust (www.climatetrust.org) to begin to deal with the Global Climate Change. Oregon is the first state to require by law a mitigation fee for any new fossil fuel burning electrical generation plant. Although a token, it is a start that no other state has yet done in a LAW. By the way, projects can be sited anywhere on the globe and I have some ideas for Pakistan and Afghanistan that could use the Climate Trust with the new UN Energy Trust for development and accomplish many good things. I am waiting patiently for the topic that permits concepts for solutions to some of the many identified problems. Pardon me as I digress.
The States have rights that the Federation or central unified government of states have as protected by law. One example of the method of control is the court case that Oregon has with the National government now. It is the state voter approved law that permits people who are critically ill and do not wish to suffer to have a prescription for their suicide. It is upholding the individuals right over himself, and a majority in this state approved the compassionate concept.
Controversial to be sure, but it illustrates the diversity that exists in the many states here. It is challenged by the federal government, but the courts will settle it. I believe that here in principal I agree with the learnered person who wrote about a kind of "loose Federation" which in some aspects could resemble the democratic republic that is still evolving today after more than two centuries from it's humble beginnings.
Perhaps, after an English model, where a Monarch exists which could be inclusive of the King of Afghanistan in the proceedings. Mr. Mughal suggested that we seek a Father figure (see below). The governments have "houses", of the Senate or Lords (Senators/Lords/Warlords?) and The House of Representatives and of Commons respectively. The US Senators and Representatives are selected by voting (Individuals are franchised) which seems to be working. Some issues like PAC's Public Action Committees and fund raising limits are evolving. Let me say that there are few perfect things on Earth. A process of refinement often takes time for an evolution, a growth period which may take forever to reach perfection.
Sun Nov 25 2001 - 22:56:31 EST
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This will have to be undertaken one step at a time. As each area is cleared of enemy factions, medical teams will be needed to provide help, followed up with mines clearing to enable the Afghans to grow their own food and also be provided means to rebuild orchards. Then will be the installation of "education" facilities and communications - satellite television for recreation and information of the people. Next step could be the provision of employment to build karezes, irrigation channels, rural roads. Dollarization might be a good way to start off their infrastructure currency until a "central" government is established and enabled to "print" their own currency.
Sun Nov 25 2001 - 22:58:48 EST
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Dear Fellows and Friends, et al.
I must take exception to the statements which resulted in the invitation that came by Ms. N. Siddigi. For a type of major premise I offer the following statement by the Moderator (Mark McKenna) to focus the discussion of topic 2.
"In opening this discussion I invite you, then, to step back and reflect upon the present moment, balanced on a razor's edge between a determined past and an indeterminate future. In commemorating the Irish Easter Rebellion of 1916 William Butler Yeats observed that the smug certitudes of Anglo-Irish society, of which he was a part, had by those events been "changed, changed utterly: / A terrible beauty is born." Many in the West, from President Bush on down, have pointed to the events of September 11, 2001 as a watershed. Might an imagined poet writing today in Pushto, Dari, Persian or Arabic, reflecting on September 11th, choose to echo Yeats' assertion?" My second premise which will lead to a syllogistic form of my conclusion is this statement by Najma Siddiqi. I believe it is well meaning, but incompatible.
"I would like to invite other subscribers with knowledge, insight, and experience in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to share their thoughts with us. There is a need to move forward but only after a deeper understanding of the current (complex)reality. 'Reconstruction' is tempting. I have heard a call for 'nation building,' and 'building state institutions' in Afghanistan. However, as one of my friends from the region says: "this is easy to over-simplify,and even easier to completely mess up. The urgency to find solutions may be real, but the search for a 'quick-fix' by those with little knowledge, yet great confidence, is dangerous and will do real damage.""The first has reference to an utterly changed thing, a revolution as an extreme event or series of events of destruction as opposed to an evolution. The second premise warns of a quick-fix. This by those with little knowledge and great confidence that do real damage that historical note and the near future note is in a harmony of sorts and seems to fit with the current disruptions. The invitation for Poetry is issued by the first and our trust in an unknown friend's insight is to be assumed infallible because he lives in the region. We must ask ourselves, not who said something, but what is important is what was said. If I have a flat tire on my car, I want a quick-fix. That is a good quick-fix. If I were a drug addict, I would want a "quick-fix", but that is a bad kind. Adaptive Management, permits our effort to be implemented, but with the scientific methodology for monitoring and evaluation.
The timely adjustments that are needed can be introduced, thus the name adaptive management.
The Poets set their meter and stir our hearts dearly.
Yet, the mind knowing calm, is "still water" reflecting clearly.
I must ask any person of reason this question. Would hungry persons really care how slow we philosophize? Or would they pray for food now and next spring?
What is the average annual income? I would pay $50 ($Can.) for a AK47. Perhaps some rich government could pay for more units. Melt the steel and forge some tool for agriculture. What a statement that would be for peace and the fifty can buy some food stimulating the economy. OK so it is a small start, but the smell of food or money is sweeter than gun powder.
Sun Nov 25 2001 - 23:01:14 EST
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A free press By Ardeshir Cowasjee
One of the good deeds done for us and this country by the military government of President General Pervez Musharraf is that it has allowed the press complete freedom, it has tolerated with equanimity whatever it may publish on white, yellow, red or black newsprint. It is wise enough to give the readers the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are sufficiently sane and sensible to be able to judge for themselves the worth and weight of the newspapers they read. The reading public of Pakistan, that mini-minority, have read last week how the chief of Nawaz Sharif's accountability bureau, Ehtesab Saifur Rahman, and his brother, have both been granted bail by an accountability court after a 'deal' was done. We now know the extent to which they robbed, how many millions they looted from the exchequer, and how many millions will be recovered from them over how many years.
We have also read over the past two years of many other 'deals' having been done between the National Accountability Bureau and the many military and civil and political figures, still alive and happy, who over the many years have robbed and looted this country with impunity. Needless to say, all the robbers are anxiously awaiting the 'restoration of democracy', i.e. the restoration of the freedom to loot and plunder the national exchequer, together with the making of new democratic 'deals' undoing the NAB 'deals' which will leave them free to return nothing.
The losers in this case will of course be, as always, the people of Pakistan - its ever increasing population of the poor and deprived who reproduce at the rate of eight births per minute (a rate which grows by the year).
Last Sunday's column dealt with the Nazims and their new rule, and the owners of a textile mill who are being harassed and are suffering due to the prevailing Blasphemy Laws of this country and how the yellow press had played its role in furthering the harassment. They continue to do so. For example, reproduced (loosely translated from the Urdu) are some of the false, scurrilous, and inflammatory allegations made: (Due to the quaint editorial policies of the Pakistani press it is not done to name another newspaper, be it a competitor or not, so I will have to refer to the relevant newspapers as 'A', 'B', and so forth.)
Paper 'A' (Oct 26): "A joint team of city government, Tehrik-i-Insaf, and social worker leader raided Yunus Textile Mills (YTM) at Daoud Chowrangi on directions of Nazim-i-Ala Naimatullah. Printed cloth has been recovered. The Nazim-i-Ala issued orders for cancelling the mill licence and sealing the mill...... FIR will be registered for blasphemy says Qadir Khan advocate. International Bar President Qadir Khan Mandokhel said while talking to a reporter of the paper 'A' that very soon he will get the FIR registered for blasphemy and get strict punishment for the accused from Shariat Court......" .
Paper 'A' (Oct 29): "Protests by religious and jihadi parties and blocking of Mehran highways by hundreds of people. Fatwa for death penalty be given for blasphemy. Sipah-i-Sahaba announced countrywide strike if arrests were not made. Tehrik-i al Furqan said that police offices would be burnt if the accused persons were not arrested within 48 hours. Tehrik-i-Jafaria has demanded that the people behind such act should be identified and appreciated the efforts of Paper 'A'. Umar bin Abdul Aziz Trust has demanded the cancellation of the licence of the mill...... Resentment against printing of holy names. Protest will continue until punishment, said representatives of the Pakistan Workers' Movement. Following leaders protested against blasphemous acts and demanded arrest of the culprits - Allama Hussain Turabi, Abu Huraira, Hafiz Abdullah.
"Paper 'A' (Nov 1): "A mob consisting of Pasban Workers Movement, religious leaders and social organizations carried out processions in front of YTM. Some stones were thrown at the factory but due to police intervention the situation was brought under control. They demanded the closing of the factory and the National Highway was blocked."Needless to say, the Nazim-i-Ala gave no sealing orders, there was no stoning, there was no blocking of any highway.
Paper 'B' (Oct 24): 'Reproduction of the names of Allah and Mohammad on cloth sheets; citizens very annoyed. Great tension in the area due to production of sheets by YTM. The Nazim of Landhi Town contacted SSP Malir. Warning to YTM administration by Nazim Landhi Town Mr M Shahid that if production of said cloth and its sale in the market is not stopped forthwith he, being a Muslim, would ensure forceful resistance and legal action....
The Nazim of Landhi said that there was a lot of unrest in the area around the mill but still so far he and his colleagues were managing to keep the public peaceful. In spite of repeated messages to YTM management and owners there is a mysterious silence from them which is increasing the unrest among the public.
"The reproduction of sheets with Allah and Mohammed printed thereon has been viewed as a worldwide conspiracy by an organization especially in view of the present sensitive position of Pakistan. After this incident people have started ringing the newspapers and contacting religious scholars."
Paper 'B' (Nov 7): "Qaidabad police refuse to arrest YTM owners. Punishment for blasphemy is death. No action initiated despite registering a case..... The police is avoiding arrest of mill owners and others responsible ... President of the Mandokhel Welfare Trust for Sindh Hafiz Abdul Bar, and president, Hafiz Abdul Ahad, have asked the higher authorities to apprehend the accused as soon as possible so that they may be taken to task in the light of available evidence and witnesses."
Paper 'B' (Nov 11): Workers Movement carried out a protest and demanded the arrest of the owner of the textile mill for printing the sacred names. They reiterated that they would keep on protesting till arrests were made."
Of course, there were no protests, no public unrest, and no worldwide conspiracy. The earth has neither moved nor shaken. Similar reports have been printed by four other similar newspapers, dailies and eveningers, who sell through sensation.
One weekly Urdu publication (Nov 11) wrote an editorial in the same vein, the final paragraph of which read: "The honourable readers stand witness to the fact that we have tried our utmost to keep up our promise to 'clean our share of space'. Jihad in script is also one among its several other forms. We will stand by our commitment to use our pen as a sword and Insha'Allah, Zarb-i-Islam's stunning strike on the enemies of Islam shall continue as such."
Now from this newspaper, Paper 'C' (Sep 25): "Court dismisses plea against cricketers - Justice (blank) (many say the best of the judges this province has to offer) of the Sindh High Court dismissed on Monday a petition with costs which had sought to institute criminal cases against eight cricketers and termed it an attempt at seeking personal publicity by the petitioner. Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhel had filed the petition on behalf of the Welfare Trust he heads praying that criminal cases be registered against [names of eight cricketers] and all the bookies whose names had come on record of the inquiry report (by Justice Abdul Qayyum). Justice (blank) observed that the petitioner himself being a lawyer must be aware of the law. The judge dismissed the petition which, he observed, was aimed at seeking personal publicity and directed the petitioner to pay the cost in the sum of Rs10,000."
In yesterday's press, one report told us that Pervez Musharraf will be staying on as president after the elections to be held towards the end of next year as he wishes to complete the reforms he has initiated and started to put into form and practice. Now, in this post-September 11 scenario, when we and the world have learnt exactly how forceful and strong are our so-called religious extremists who threaten to bring down governments, this is the time for Musharraf to competently deal with these outmoded blasphemy laws so that they may no longer be used as personal weapons of vengeance in the hands of the unscrupulous, the wicked and the greedy.
Cont/P - 5