Sunday May 26, 2024
Babar Sattar
Babar Sattar

The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad.

  • September 19, 2020

    Bad faith in law

    The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad.Good faith is a well-entrenched concept in law. You act in bad faith if you argue a position you know to...

  • September 12, 2020

    When outrage is not enough

    The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad.As a man one can’t possibly relate to the horror endured by the woman who was raped in front of her kids...

  • May 02, 2020

    Scofflaws at work

    The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad.A polity that runs out of the ability to generate new ideas has no option but to rehash old and failed...

  • April 19, 2020

    Back to the suo motu

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed. Photo: fileThe chief justice of Pakistan took suo-motu cognizance of the PTI regime’s response to...

  • April 12, 2020

    Hope and despair

    On the one hand, we have the Lahore High Court’s order rejecting the bail petition for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. And on the other we saw a detailed...

  • April 05, 2020

    Wartime leadership

    One set of leaders employs populist rhetoric to consolidate their support base by provoking fear, anger or hate. Another has the charisma and vision...

  • March 28, 2020

    Wages of populism

    Those who thought PM Imran Khan might suspend partisan pettifoggery in a time of a global health and economic crisis to forge national unity to...

  • March 25, 2020

    What is our strategy?

    What is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s strategy to fight the coronavirus other than relying on the miracle that our genes might somehow be less...

  • March 12, 2020

    Cycle of dependence

    Outrage over the Aurat March each year flags the need to revisit John Rawls’ Theory of Justice.If you honestly engage with arguments rooted in...

  • February 23, 2020

    What does N stand for?

    With its 19 seats back in 2002, the PML-N showed more spunk in times of outright dictatorship than it does today in the face of praetorianism with a...

  • February 16, 2020

    The end of history

    When Francis Fukuyama wrote his essay back in 1992, he argued that the idea of Western liberal democracy stood accepted and entrenched and while...

  • February 09, 2020

    State as occupier?

    Section 124-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, being employed generously to scuttle protests by students and others offended by the state’s...

  • January 21, 2020

    Not so fictional

    Well begun is half done, they say. The year 2020 has started well for some. If we thought 2019 entrenched control from behind the curtain, the...

  • December 21, 2019

    Rule of law or force?

    Why would a judge open himself to such criticism at the end of a fairly reasoned opinion is a wonder.

  • December 14, 2019

    Are we gangsters?

    We seek inspiration from the fact that this country was founded by a lawyer who viewed constitutionalism and the law as a source of protection for...

  • November 23, 2019

    Pakistan on repeat

    The Faiz Festival last week brimmed with the vigoor of our tenacious youth. The setting was perfect. Faiz’s revolutionary poetry reverberated...

  • November 16, 2019

    Nawaz and the system

    In Nawaz Sharif’s case, the system as represented by the PTI regime has one concern: that NS shouldn’t die on its hands, and if he does, the...

  • November 09, 2019


    Our zeal for a presidential system is abiding. Those who are critical of democracy for being unsuited to the ‘genius of our people’ but who also...

  • October 27, 2019

    Our system at work

    An Anti Terror Court letting CTD officials walk free after the Sahiwal slaughter of innocent citizens isn’t the system malfunctioning. It is the...

  • October 19, 2019

    Anarchy as politics

    The PTI’s diatribe against the JUI-F dharna, and efforts to employ the law to scuttle it is certainly seeped in hypocrisy. The PAT brought to the...

  • October 12, 2019

    Due process as faith

    According to the Justice Project: “Pakistan’s use of the death penalty is amongst the harshest in the world, accounting for 26 percent of the...

  • October 05, 2019

    Why we need speeches

    That many of us are unable to give Imran Khan due credit for his influential New York trip and his speech at the UN reflects the kind of bitter and...

  • October 01, 2019

    The right to rights

    The PTI regime in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa surreptitiously promulgated KP Actions Ordinance, 2019 on August 5 and is now using it to justify holding up...

  • September 21, 2019

    The right to dignity

    Article 14 of our constitution declares citizens’ right to dignity inviolable. But much like Article 9 guaranteeing liberty, Article 14 sits...

  • September 15, 2019

    New judicial year

    The ceremony marking the new judicial year in September provides an opportunity to flag the achievements, regrets and aspirations of the Supreme...

  • September 05, 2019

    Not guilty, but guilty?

    Judges are public office-holders. They do not just exercise delegated authority but are also required to exhibit unfaltering commitment to...

  • August 17, 2019

    Tyranny of the majority

    Kashmir today manifests the tyranny of Hindu majority rule in India. When democratic structures were being designed in the West, some had warned...

  • August 03, 2019

    Speech as a luxury

    The gap between the theory and practice of law is a manifestation of power relations within a polity. Our ruling power elite does not believe that...

  • July 28, 2019

    The Pak-US reset

    In the backdrop of our partnership with Trump’s America, we can expect to see authoritarianism here claiming even more space and leverage to curb...

  • July 23, 2019

    2019: the unspeakable

    “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows” — said George Orwell in ‘Nineteen...

  • July 14, 2019

    Dignity of justice?

    A week ago, the PML-N made damning allegations about how certain convictions were procured from and delivered by accountability Judge Arshad Malik...

  • July 06, 2019

    Checks and balances

    After a semester of trying to understand and debate the scheme of separation of powers in the US constitution at Harvard Law School, a fellow...

  • June 22, 2019

    Shrinking rights?

    Asif Zardari has been arrested. Nawaz Sharif is serving out his jail term pending appeal hearings. NAB has arrested opposition leader Punjab...

  • June 11, 2019

    The price of autonomy

    What is at stake here is not just judicial accountability but also judicial independence. Judicial accountability isn’t about lobbing dirt in some...

  • May 26, 2019

    Something’s gotta give

    With the economy in freefall and the diminishing ability of the majority of households in the country to balance their budgets and run their...

  • May 20, 2019

    The Pak-Turk saga

    Wrestling control of Pak-Turk Schools from the Pak-Turk Education Foundation and handing them over to the Maarif Foundation should be taught as a...

  • April 27, 2019

    Legal tribalism

    We won’t allow a change in procedural or substantive law that threatens our political economy. We won’t allow any change that reduces our...

  • April 13, 2019

    Barbecue or eggs?

    There are three issues that need to be mulled over: our narrative around corruption; our approach to competence; and our disregard for certainty.

  • April 06, 2019

    Ungaming the system

    "A judicial system which permits deliberate falsehood is doomed to fail and a society which tolerates it is destined to self-destruct."

  • March 23, 2019

    A question of justice

    When Georges Clemenceau claimed that, “military justice is to justice what military music is to music,” he was being unfair to military music....

  • March 16, 2019

    In the name of honour

    The tone argument is the most flexible weapon one can employ as a bully. If you accept its logic and legitimacy, it works like a nuclear option....

  • March 09, 2019

    Righting wrongs

    It all started in March 2018 when CJP Nisar was probably contemplating his legacy and all the noble things he’d want himself remembered for. He...

  • March 03, 2019

    Where do we go from here?

    We have come out ahead looking good in the fresh round of hostilities between India and Pakistan. PM Imran Khan brought his A game to the table this...

  • February 24, 2019

    Still stuck in 1947

    In August 1947, my Aunt Nusrat Akhtar was five years old and lived with her parents in village Mianwal in Jalandhar. Her father’s family was based...

  • February 16, 2019

    Freedom: the great debate

    Article 19 makes free speech and expression subject to “reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the...

  • February 10, 2019

    De facto vs de jure

    For months we were told how the amended language of the MPs’ oath was a conspiracy to rob Pakistan’s Islamic identity. Anyone who tried to...

  • February 02, 2019

    Our cobweb of lies

    About the public gathering where Aasia Bibi allegedly confessed her sins, Justice Khosa found, “that the evidence produced by the prosecution in...

  • January 19, 2019

    Judging CJP Nisar

    When Justice Nisar assumed office there were hopes that he would initiate judicial reforms, put his own house in order, take sustainable measures to...

  • January 12, 2019

    A new chief justice

    Once the SC assumes the mantle of fixing everyone and everything, what suffers most is its ability to undertake self-accountability and self-reform.