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August 13, 2017



Raza Rabbani’s advice needs attention: Justice (retd) Khalil

ISLAMABAD: Justice (retd) Khalilur Rehman Khan, former Judge of the Supreme Court and presently Chairman of the Punjab Halal Development Agency, while commenting on Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani’s statement, stated that parliament is the weakest among power centres as judiciary, executive as well as dictators all have been curtailing the role of parliament and going beyond their constitutional ambit, reminded me of an incident of 1993.

 It was election time and as a member of the Election Commission as then constituted, I had called a meeting of returning officers of the then Frontier Province at Peshawar to explain to them the election process and the management thereof.

 During discussion one of the officers got up and said that “I do not know what services were provided at Chahnga Mangha rest house where the PML-N had lodged their MPs, but I was looking after the MPs lodged by the PPP in Swat and can vouchsafe that none of them can meet the standard of sagacity and morality envisaged in Article 62 & 63 of the Constitution. 

What answer should have been given. I replied “don’t you think they are lucky as you will not be returning officer for most of them”.

On this, another officer got up and asked, “while we are scrutinising the nomination papers” should not we ask them to recite Dua-e-Qanoot or second Kalma to Judge, whether he has adequate knowledge  of Islamic teachings and practices obligatory duties  prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins  (Article 62 (1)  d & e). I advised them to leave it for the opposite candidate to raise such a question.

The application of these clauses especially clause (f) which talks of Sadiq & Ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary  by a court of law,  require to be gone into and interpreted in a  manner which will not render nugatory  the  role of  the other constitutional institutions especially Parliament.

The words, “There being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law “requires to be interpreted also in view of clause (h) of Article 63 which reads: “He has been on conviction for any offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release”.

Again with reference to clause (f) the Judgement of the court of law will have to be analysed to find out the effect of the declaration as to whether the disqualification is temporary for a limited period or for life. For instance take the recent judgment of the five learned judges where due to non-disclosure of so called “Asset” he was declared disqualified to be the prime minister. This non-disclosure was in the nomination paper filed to contest the election for NA 120, Lahore.

 Had the nomination paper been rejected then he would have lost the opportunity then to contest the Election. How this could be interpreted as a life time disqualification. Even the Election Commission should have given serious thought to this aspect before issuing a notice for nominating another person to head the Muslim League especially when the said decision merits to be reviewed for the wrong basis on which it rests.

Would our law lords following the highest principles of probity, morality and sagacity practiced by the judiciary take a second look on their decision to correct the balance between the two institutions and restore the independence of the parliament as otherwise I have genuine apprehension that we will not be able even to hold the next parliamentary elections as there will be many who will be using the  clauses d, e and f of Article 62 of the Constitution to stall the parliamentary elections.



Rawalpindi: As per directive of Managing Director, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Ch. Abdul Ghafoor Khan, PTDC will celebrate 70th Independence Day with great zeal and fervour. A flag hoisting ceremony will be held on Independent Day (August 14), at PTDC Head office, Hotel Flashman’s, Rawalpindi, PTDC Motels throughout the country and Tourist Information Centres located at Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta in a befitting manner.


Blackwater founder resurfaces selling Afghan plan

WASHINGTON: Nearly 16 years after US forces entered Afghanistan, a shadowy figure from the past is making the rounds in Washington with a plan to end America’s longest war.

Erik Prince, founder of the private security company Blackwater, has resurfaced as President Donald Trump mulls over what to do about a conflict that bedeviled his two predecessors in the White House.

Prince’s plan for Afghanistan would start with the naming of an all-powerful American "viceroy" who would report to the president and play a role like that of General Douglas MacArthur in post-World War II Japan.

American troops, aside from a handful of special forces, would be replaced by a private army of around 5,500 contractors who would train Afghan soldiers and join them in the fight against the Taliban.

They would be backed by a 90-aircraft private air force.

And all at a cost of less than $10 billion dollars a year, as opposed to the $45 billion the United States is expected to spend in 2017 on its military presence in Afghanistan.

Prince, a 48-year-old former US Navy SEAL, has kept a low profile since selling Blackwater in 2010 -- three years after some of his employees hired to protect US diplomats killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad and wounded another 17.

He first outlined his Afghan proposal in an article for The Wall Street Journal in May. Since then, Prince, who currently heads Frontier Services Group, a Hong Kong-based security company, has met with US officials here and made television appearances promoting his plan. —AFP




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