Sunday, December 11, 2016

Justice Delayed is DEFINITELY Justice Denied - Supreme Court of Pakistan Lets Down a Nation that Holds this Institution in High Regard




Related image
Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Chief Justice of Pakistan (Photo courtesy Samaa TV)

The deferment of a case against Pakistani Prime Minister for corruption and money laundering by a five member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan led by the Honorable Chief Justice has come as a complete shock to the nation especially after substantial hearing had been completed. The Supreme Court was expected to dispense justice and issue a verdict in this historic case, instead the Honorable Justices opted to go on vacation and leave the case unresolved. With the impending retirement of the CJ on December 31, 2016, it means a new bench will have to be formed by the incoming CJ and the entire hearing started anew. This is a classic case of JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED.

What is beyond logic is, why did the SC not hear the case on a day to day basis and complete this all important case several weeks ago. Also, the logic of CJ sitting on the bench knowing full well that his impending retirement could cause a major obstacle to the continuance and resolution of this case, is beyond comprehension.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan is held in high esteem by the public and when all else fails, people expect to receive a fair hearing and justice from this venerable institution. Leaving a case half way in this manner may seriously jeopardize the reputation of the last bastion of justice in Pakistan. God forbid, if people of Pakistan lose faith in this institution, then there will be no justice and no door left to knock at for righting the wrongs.

The Honorable Chief Justice does not retire until December 31 and to say there is no time left to finish this case is a gross injustice in itself. If the Honorable Chief Justice wants to leave his legacy and a mark as an upright and an outstanding jurist (which indeed he is without any doubt), then he should immediately recall the bench, cancel the vacation, complete the hearing and render a verdict before departing. Failing that, the deferment will be considered as Justice not appeared to have been done.

The famous Urdu poet of the subcontinent Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib once wrote about the injustice being dispensed to him in the following words:

Quote

Yeh musif khud bhi qaidi haen, hamein insaaf kiya dein ge
Likha hae in ke chehron par jo insaaf hum ko dein ge

End Quote

One is confident that the judiciary will do the right thing and history will judge the outgoing Chief Justice and the other four justices on the bench with reverence.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

SHOULD THE NOBEL COMMITTEE REVOKE OBAMA'S NOBEL PRIZE?

US President Barack Obama holds his Nobel Peace Prize next to Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, in Oslo - 10 December 2009
Photo courtesy BBC.com/news

Awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 was a grave mistake, the Nobel Committee Secretary admits now. The President had not accomplished anything at that time for world peace, so the prize was a euphoric rush to judgment following President Obama's historic election victory.

All the excitement and hope that President Obama brought to the Oval office dissipated over time as he continued most of President Bush's policies. That dreaded Guantanamo Bay prison (where over 400 innocent people were tortured then released without charge) is still open. Wars continue in Iraq & Afghanistan, But worse President Obama started war in Libya under the guise of no-fly zone and in gross violation of UN Charter. Libya is now a fractured country ruled by varying a different groups of terrorists.
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Libya (Picture courtesy usatoday.com)

President Obama's biggest failure is war in Syria. In order to illegally remove President Asad (no doubt a dictator), Obama funded groups who turned out to be components of ISIS and various rag tag bunch of terrorists. The country has been fractured, hundreds of thousands have died, millions have become refugees, all for what?

The Nobel Committee MUST revoke President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, instead of achieving peace, he has caused more war, more bloodshed, more loss of human life and more misery to millions of people. He is certainly not deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize.

State of Homs now ( picture courtesy NBC news)
Image result for Pictures of Homs, Syria

Friday, November 11, 2016

President Elect Donald Trump, trumps Pollsters, Pundits & Pontificators by trouncing Hillary Clinton

Trump and Obama in Oval Office 
Picture Courtesy: Reuters

Donald Trump won the Presidential Election hands down by winning 290 Electoral College votes to Hillary Clinton's 228. Contrary to expectations, Republicans kept control of the Senate as Democrats could gain only two additional seats increasing their strength to 48. They needed five to regain a majority. In the House, Democrats could gain only six seats increasing their number to 193, so the Republicans keep control with 238 seats.

This means Donald Trump will have the full support of the Senate and the House and all Committee Chairpersons in both Houses will be Republican. Democrats do have some leverage in the Senate as traditionally 60 votes are required to pass laws, to approve any Cabinet or Judicial appointments. Just as the Republicans have obstructed President Obama's appointees in Supreme Court and elsewhere, Democrats are likely to pay back in the same coin.

The serious challenges that are likely to face the United States and President-Elect over next four years are; resolving Syrian conflict, defeating ISIS and more importantly job creation within the United States, which was Trump's election promise.

A more confrontational situation could arise over Supreme Court appointments. President Obama's current nominee has not been approved and chances are, he will not be. There is a possibility that democrats may block Trump's appointees. This will leave the Supreme court split with four Conservative and four Moderate judges. Any appeals from the lower court that result in a 4:4 split decision make the Supreme Court redundant as in that case the lower court decision is final. More importantly, another two Moderate judges are likely to retire in the next four years. If Republicans try to pack the court with right-wing hard core Conservative judges, women's right to choose and a number of other important judgments involving social decisions may be thrown out of the window. This could cause a revolt in the United States with violent street protests with possibly resulting in an even more divisive America.

One hopes, Donald Trump will make his own decisions and not allow the right wing of Republican Party dictate him. After all, he won this election all on his own and he does not owe anything to anyone. Otherwise, he may end up being a one term President.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

President Hillary Clinton



(Image courtesy www.bgr.in)

Failing any untoward incident or information coming to light over the next three weeks, Hillary Clinton should win the election on November 8 and be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2017.

The damage Donald Trump has caused to the Republican Party, could result in Republicans losing several seats in the Senate and the House and possibly majorities in one or both houses.

To win the Presidential election a candidate needs to win at least 270 electoral college votes. It now seems that Hillary Clinton could win over 300 votes. The electoral college map below (courtesy Politico.com)  shows the current position. Only seven states are considered toss up. Of these Clinton is leading in Virginia and North Carolina. Arizona, Colorado and Florida are also beginning to sway towards Clinton.

Wikileaks is promising to dump more damaging information about Hillary Clinton, but whatever they have come up with so far has had no impact.  Worse still are Donald Trump's own words that cause him more damage each day.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May

Democracy in Motion

Theresa May 2015.jpg  
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com

The process of selecting a new Conservative Leader in United Kingdom suddenly compacted from weeks to days after Theresa May's opponent Andrea Leadsom withdrew her candidacy earlier today. Theresa May is now expected to take over as Prime Minister on Wednesday of this week.

David Cameron's resignation, short listing of two candidates by Conservative MPs and then withdrawal of one candidate who felt she had no chance of winning is keeping with democratic traditions and a lesson for many other countries which maintain a democratic facade, but never follow democratic traditions. U.K.'s Labor Party leader will now also be under pressure and resign to allow new leadership to emerge.

Theresa May was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, studied at Oxford and worked at Bank of England for a while. She was elected to House of Commons in 1997 and has been the Home Secretary since 2010 overseeing immigration, police and national security.

Ms. May is known to be a no nonsense person with a laser like focus on issues and is known as a tough cookie with a stern personality.

It will be interesting to see how she conducts herself face to face with Angela Merkel and other European leaders who are in no mood to negotiate anything before U.K. exits Europe. She may have to trigger article 50 withdrawal sooner than she would prefer to. She may also have to deal with challenges pertaining to Scotland's expected separation from U.K.

Friday, July 8, 2016

ABDUS SATTAR EDHI (1928 - 2016) WAS A SAINT WHO WALKED THE EARTH

Pakistan’s Abdul Sattar Edhi “heartbroken” after robbery
(photo courtesy www.5pillarz.com)


He was a hero to Pakistan’s poor and needy -Washington Post

He was a real gem and an asset for Pakistan -  Hindustan Times

Renowned Pakistani philanthropist, who dedicated his life to the poor - BBC

Philanthropist dedicated his life to humanity & social services - The Indian Express  
 
Activist worked altruistically, rising above religious prejudices. Duetsche Welle

Edhi created a charitable empire out of nothing, masterminding Pakistan’s largest welfare organization - Dawn, Karachi

Abdus Sattar Edhi (1928-2016) was one of the greatest human being that walked this earth. He dedicated his entire life to serve humanity. He was born in Bantva in the Gujarat State, when he was eleven, his mother became paralyzed from a stroke and she died when Edhi was 19. His personal experiences and care for his mother during her illness, caused him to develop a system of services for old, mentally ill and challenged people.

His family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi, where he and his family dedicated their lives to serve humanity. Motivated by a spiritual quest for justice, over the years Edhi Foundation created maternity wards, morgues, orphanages, shelters, and homes for the elderly -- all aimed at helping those in society who cannot help themselves and picking up where limited government-run services fell short.  

To stop women with unwanted pregnancies to abandon new born babies, he put out a cot outside his centers and his mantra was 'don't kill, just leave the baby in the cot and we will care for it'. Thousands of lives of new born babies were saved in this manner. In the volatile city of Karachi which became a hotbed of crime and murder, Edhi would show up personally immediately after each terrorist attack or bomb blast to care for the injured and to bury the dead.  Edhi Foundation deployed 1,500 ambulances  which showed up with unusual efficiency to the scene of terrorist attacks that tear through Pakistan with devastating regularity.

Edhi resolved to dedicate his life to aiding the poor, and over sixty years single handedly changed the face of welfare in Pakistan. Edhi founded the Edhi Foundation, with an initial sum of a five thousand rupees. Regarded as a guardian for the poor, Edhi began receiving numerous donations, which allowed him to expand his services. To this day, the Edhi Foundation continues to grow in both size and service, and is currently the largest welfare organization in Pakistan. Since its inception, the Edhi Foundation has rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and has trained over 40,000 nurses. It also runs more than 330 welfare centers in rural and urban Pakistan which operate as food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped.

Edhi is no more, but he will be revered and remembered forever.





Sunday, July 3, 2016

IF NOT INDICTED BY FBI RE EMAIL ISSUE, HILLARY CLINTON LOOKS LIKE DEFEATING TRUMP BY A LANDSLIDE


Hillary Clinton Receives Obama’s Endorsement, Destroys Donald Trump ...  (Picture courtesy www.celebuzz.com)

After a three and half hour voluntary interview with FBI this weekend, it is still not clear whether  FBI would indict Hillary Clinton on the email issue. Pundits give it a 3% chance, but even 1% could come back to bite. Assuming there is no indictment, Hillary Clinton is running away with the prize. Trump is losing ground in all swing States even in some traditional Republican States.

The latest polls in 'Real Clear Politics' Blog present the following picture in swing States:

       State                                                            Clinton%           Trump%
     Pennsylvania                                                  46.0                   43.7
     Florida                                                            46.5                   42.8
     Ohio                                                                44.3                   41.8
     Virginia                                                           43.8                   39.8
     North Carolina                                                44.0                   43.3
     New Hampshire                                              44.5                   41.8
     Georgia                                                           40.8                   45.0

Trump leads in only one of these States and Georgia is not a true swing State as it traditionally votes Republican, except on certain occasions.

Trump will get a bump in the polls after Republican Convention in two weeks, however that bump will mostly be canceled out by Democratic Convention later. Also, President Obama is actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Currently he is sitting high on popularity levels and attracts many young voters.

An indictment by FBI could upset the whole apple cart, it could send Trump soaring in the polls, but it would also bring in new faces as candidates, some of whom like the Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York, could severely challenge Trump. An FBI decision should be coming down shortly.




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Is This the End of the Road for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif?

Nawaz-Sharif
With Panama leak papers, has Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif run out of options?

Two offshore companies that were incorporated in 1993 & 1994 bought two expensive Park Lane flats which to this day as per their own admission are owned by Nawaz Sharif family. Prime Minister's three children were rather young at the time and probably had no justifiable resources to acquire such expensive properties, hence the implication that the possibly the purchase was funded by Mr. Nawaz Sharif himself!. There is a lot of noise in the country, but critical questions that arise are:

1. Where did the money come from in the first place and how was it transferred overseas
2. Is there money laundering and tax avoidance involved
3. Were the properties declared in Wealth Tax returns by Mr. Nawaz Sharif
4. Were these properties declared to Election Commission of Pakistan when Mr. Nawaz Sharif filed papers to run for office.

in 1993 & 1994 Pakistani citizens were allowed to maintain foreign currency accounts, so transfer of funds overseas may not be a violation. However source of funds and lack of declaration in income and wealth tax returns and non declaration to Election Commission are very serious offences.

Parliamentary Committee and the proposed Judicial Commission notwithstanding, these revelations are serious and require serious answers from the Prime Minister, who has tried to wiggle out of this controversy, but he now seems to be at the end of the road. He seems to have sought Mr. Asif Zardari's help but does not seem to be forthcoming or is perhaps available at too high a cost. 

Irrespective of fairness of 2013 elections, PMLN, the ruling party should complete its term. The only choice for the Prime Minister is to step aside and facilitate an in-house change i.e. another member of his party should take over as Prime Minister. If the Judicial Commission clears Mr. Nawaz Sharif of any wrong doing (which is a tall order), then he should come back and resume his position.

In this scenario who is likely to take over as Prime Minster? The ideal candidate is Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, the development minded  Chief Minister of Punjab. But he is not a Member of National Assembly, a prerequisite to be elected Prime Minister. His son could resign his National Assemblyshahbaz sharif photo: Shahbaz Sharif Shahbazsharif.jpg
seat and Shahbaz Sharif could then contest a by election from that seat. This process will take a couple of months, but if the Prime Minister announces he will step down in favor of his brother then the heat will die down on him. Also, Shahbaz Sharif is well regarded in Military circles, so the currently rough civil military relationship can also be reset. The Federal cabinet also needs a major overhaul and it will be good opportunity for a new Prime Minister to get rid of many of the incompetent and verbose Ministers. Also, with no Foreign Minister in place for the last three years, Foreign Policy has suffered major damage, relations with United States, Iran and India seem to be heading South and require a fresh approach and rather quickly. 

The question then arises, who will take over as the Chief Minister of Punjab? The ideal candidate will be the Federal Interior Minister, Ch. Nisar Ali.
Ch Nisar directs FIA and NACTA to take immediate action against ...

But Sharifs are not likely to give up their bastion to an outsider, so likely candidate is Shahbaz Sharif's son, who having vacated a seat in National Assembly for his father could contest from the seat his father gives up in Punjab Assembly. Thus the domain of Punjab remains in Sharif hands.

The Shahbaz Sharif option poses one major problem, It is rumored that relations between Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif are currently less than warm, so Nawaz Sharif may be reluctant to hand over power to his sibling. He will probably want to the new Prime Minister to be compliant.

There are many candidates running around hoping to be noticed, but if Shahbaz Sharif is not the option then the most logical choice is the current Speaker of National Assembly, Mr. Ayaz Sadiq.
Ayaz Sadiq

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BERNIE SANDERS GET OUT OF THE WAY, YOU ARE DOING MORE DAMAGE THAN GOOD



Picture courtesy Jim Cole/Associated Press

While Bernie Sanders gave a run for the money to Hillary Clinton in Kentucky he knows very well that he has no hope in hell to win Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton has double digit lead in New Jersey and in California, the largest State with most delegates.

Bernie Sanders' continued presence in the race only helps Donald Trump and gives him more time to attack Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.

It would be sensible for Sanders to realize that he has accomplished a great deal already and he should help influence Democratic platform for the general election and get out of the way so that Hillary Clinton can focus on the wily Donald Trump.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SUPER TUESDAY - REPUBLICAN QUAGMIRE, HAS TRUMP BEEN CHECKMATED













              OR IS IT A CASE OF NONE OF THE ABOVE?

Donald Trump was supposed to win all but one State in Tuesday's primaries, but he ended up with only seven, Cruz won three and Rubio won one. For a candidate to be nominated for the Presidential race he needs to win 1237 delegates by the time Republican Party convention comes around in July. So far, the delegate count is as follows:

                                          Trump     315
                                          Cruz        205
                                          Rubio      106

The Republican establishment hates Trump with a passion. They feel he is crazy and high jacking their party. They equally despise Cruz for his obstructionist attitude in the Senate and for shutting down Government funding a couple of years ago. They appear to have coalesced behind Rubio for now and seem to be using him as the attack dog against Trump and with some success too. Rubio's sharp attacks on Trump since last week calling him a con man, may have made some voters think twice about voting for him.

If Trump wins 1237 delegates by the convention, there is nothing the Republican establishment can do as he will then be the Party nominee to challenge Hillary Clinton, who with 1055 delegates out of 2382 required is nearly half way to the nomination.

However, if no candidate wins 1237 delegates, the Republican establishment will then come into play. They could bring an outsider as a compromise candidate and maneuver the freed up delegates to vote for a new candidate. Rubio could then be rewarded as a Vice Presidential candidate. He is too inexperienced to be a President, but with him on the ticket, Republicans could garner some of the Hispanic electorate, which they normally don't do well with.

There is some speculation already on who who could be such a candidate? One of these two gentlemen would most probably be ready to step in:


Mitt Romney


Mayor Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York

However for this to happen, Donald Trump has to fail in several States and not get the 1237 delegates required for the nomination.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Republican Race for Nomination

Rubio & Cruz, can one of these contenders pose a serious challenge to







Trump for Republican nomination?


To win the Republican Party's nomination a candidate has to win 1237 delegates from a total 2472. So far Trump has 81 Rubio & Cruz 17 each. The challenge seems insurmountable.  Trump is also  leading in 10 of 11 states coming up on Super Tuesday, March 1. New York Times says that after super Tuesday Trump could end up with 479 delegates to Cruz & Rubio's 164 each. Though in reality Cruz could have more as he is leading his home state of Texas, which has a rich haul of 155 delegates. The question then remains how do Rubio or Cruz stop Trump running away with the nomination?

The answer lies in the outcome of March 5 primary which includes Rubio's home state of Florida, with 99 delegates, where Trump is currently leading Rubio by ten points. But after last night's mauling of Trump in the debate, the tide could turn in Rubio's favor. If Rubio loses his home state, it is game over for him, but if he wins Florida, then Trump could be in some difficulty as he may not garner majority delegates in California and New York, which are liberal states and not too enamored with his shenanigans.

The way things stand right now, Trump looks likely to get enough delegates from other states to win nomination outright irrespective of the fact that Republican establishment despises him and want to see him lose. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that come July 18, 2016 the start date of Republican convention in Cleveland that no single candidate has 1237 delegates. There  will be horse trading and maneuvering to win or steal delegates. But if still no candidate has a majority, all delegates will be set free and will be free to vote for any candidate of their choosing. In such a scenario Republican establishment could prevail and maneuver Rubio's nomination. So if Trump wants the nomination, he has to win outright majority of delegates.

In the attached article New York Times presents a scenario where Rubio could lose every state and still win the nomination:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/27/upshot/how-marco-rubio-could-lose-every-state-on-super-tuesday-and-still-win.html

The pity of it all is that the most likable candidate, John Kasich, Governor of the crucial state of Ohio and the candidate likely to present a challenge to Hillary Clinton is too far behind with only six delegates. He may be a formidable candidate for Vice President though. In recent years no candidate has won the Presidential race without winning Ohio and Kasich may be able to deliver that state come November elections.