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11 Jul, 2014
Property And Property Rights

By Zafar Azeem

July 11, 2014

One view is that property and law are born together, and remain together. When there was no law, there was no property, take away the laws a property ceases. In more recent times, constitutions of individual states have safeguarded the property rights.


30 Jun, 2014
Hopeless In Pakistan

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

June 30, 2014

 That’s the story of the last 67 years. The story is going to be retold if the politicians do not take heart to challenge the actors be they state, i.e. security establishment, or non-state, i.e. Taliban and other violent groups. And if the ruling politicians let the security establishment do what it like, and do not subdue it to play its constitutional duty, they will once again betray the millions of teeming citizens who are living a hopeless life in Pakistan.

 


28 Mar, 2014
Afraid Of Trade?

By Nadir Hassan

March 28, 2014

 The MFN then, even if its name has been watered down to Non-Discriminatory Market Access to remove the misimpression that India will be treated better than any other country we trade with, is something we need to pursue.

 


18 Feb, 2014
Privatisation: The Right Way

By Agha Waqar

July 29, 2013 

For countries like Pakistan, the privatisation argument is mostlybased on two elements. First, the fiscal argument that governments improve their financial positions by selling public business enterprises. Second, that allocation of capital between alternative investments would improve if governments were not involved in the process. While these are true, privatisation should primarily have an economic reform focus.

 


18 Feb, 2014
Market-Friendly Or Business-Friendly?

By Ishrat Hussain

December 31, 2013

Governments in developing countries are increasingly being accused of policies and practices that favour cronies and party loyalists in allocation of scarce resources. They do this blatantly in the name of market-friendly policies thereby creating mistrust, suspicion and doubts in the minds of the ordinary citizens about the ‘market’.

 


10 Feb, 2012
Democracy Or Rule Of Law

January 10, 2012

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

So the time has come whence the citizens of Pakistan need to decide what they want: democracy or rule of law.

The verdict of the Supreme Court (Jan 10) re the implementation of its own NRO judgment, in option 6 reads: 


04 Jan, 2012
Russias "Elections": On The Importance Of Listening

January 4, 2012

By Dmitriy Butrin 

United Russia has lost the right to be regarded as the country’s main political force. Its claims to express the will of the majority are untenable.  What is going on is not a temporary setback or an accidental loss that can be made up for later. It is the corollary of attempts to create a political system that they call “manageable” or “sovereign” democracy. The result of even this “election” shows that the course proposed to “unite” Russia does not sit well with most Russiansit was clearly not supported by a majority of votes. 


14 Sep, 2011
Karachi - Not A Political Problem!

September 15, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

“And it is our deep conviction that if the Ahrar had been treated as a pure question of law and order, without any political considerations, one District Magistrate and one Superintendent of Police could have dealt with them. Consequently, we are prompted by something that they call a human conscience to enquire whether, in our present state of political development, the administrative problem of law and order cannot be divorced from a democratic bed fellow called a Ministerial Government, which is so remorselessly haunted by political nightmares. But if democracy means the subordination of law and order to political ends – then Allah knoweth best and we end the report.” (Justice Munir Inquiry Report 1954, P. 387)


12 Sep, 2011
Media Consumption?

September 12, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

That is what is known as Public Consumption. Also, government has laws and rules such as official secret acts, or classified information; it goes beyond that and conceals its affairs from the citizens, and makes their leaking a crime. In addition to concealing its affairs, government lies as well as misleads the citizens. It contrives incomplete, incorrect and false information which they mean for “public consumption.” In this game, the media serves as a tool of the government. Otherwise, what else the Information Minister's 'for the media consumption' may amount to?


15 Aug, 2011
Is Keeping Assets Abroad Criminal?

August 15, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad 

It is as simple as that – if an ordinary citizen, or a public office holder, or an elected representative owns assets in any other country where he abides by the laws of that country and pays taxes duly, and back home also, then keeping accounts and assets there is his legal and constitutional right. In that case, he cannot be barred from being a member of any elected body and joining public office. Innumerable Pakistanis are already present in foreign countries' elected bodies and public institutions and own assets in both countries of their nationality. For that matter, in Pakistan probably very few citizens of other countries would be found in our elected bodies and public institutions! Doesn't this bill invite other countries to go for a legislation of the same ilk? 


08 Aug, 2011
Change Direction In U.S. Policy Towards Counter Terrorism: Focus On Rule Of Law

May 15, 2011

By Wiktor Wojciechowski, Sergio Daga & Ali Salman

For the U.S. aid efforts to be effective, ineffective economic grants must be supplemented with aid directed towards the civil administration and a criminal justice system to enforce the rule of law. It is time for U.S. policy-makers, as well as U.S. tax payers, to build pressure on their administration to do the right thing. It is time to focus on rule of law.


29 May, 2011
Parliaments Incompetence

May 29, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

So the real issue is complicity and overstepping the constitutional mandate! The information got out of the Parliament’s closed session tells a different story of sovereignty sentimentalism eclipsing all other issues, as is borne out by its outcome, the resolution. Probably none took up the issue of Pakistan Army’s grabbing of civilian powers of formulating defense and foreign policy. None dared ask the security leaders about their past and present interfering in the political affairs of the country, and intelligence agencies’ meddling in civilian affairs, and more than that intervening in public and private sphere of political and civil society leadership, and their penchant to control media. None found courage of challenging their complicity with the Taliban and other brands of extremists in Pakistan, and giving safe heaven to Osama in Abbottabad’s garrison area. In sum, making a defense and foreign policy of their own.


25 May, 2011
Egypt: You Can't Eat Democracy

May 26, 2011

By Alan Fraser & Ben Crossland

But the most pressing problem for the interim government remains the economy, as in most of the Arab Spring countries: “We are very much concerned by the rise in expectations... Sometimes the demands are justified and sometimes they are unrealistic," Finance Minister Samir Radwan said this week.


09 May, 2011
What About Internal Sovereignty?

May 10, 2011

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

Sure, the nationalists’ anti-American stance and dubbing the present government as US-backed validate their argument. Indeed, by way of inference also, most of these nationalists lean toward the Taliban who are openly attacking the sovereignty of Pakistan. But it seems they have no idea of internal sovereignty, but are concerned only about guarding the external sovereignty of Pakistan which is in no danger by the Drone attacks.


03 May, 2011
Tunisias Free Trade Revolt

May 3, 2011

By Tibor R. Machan

How ill conceived it is that government is thought to be authorized to regiment people’s economic activities and affairs should be plain to anyone who understands a thing or two about human liberty. But what happened in Tunisia to set off the recent rebellion might illuminate the point a bit. Here is what we find in the pages of THE WEEK (February 19, 2011, p. 48), originally published in The Times/N.I. Syndication:

“[Mohamed Bouazizi, the] young [street] trader had been in trouble with the authorities before....Under the dictatorship of President Ben Ali, permits were required for every form of business activity, often accompanied by a bribe. Bouazizi’s family would later claim that he had refused to pay the bribe demanded by the officials....According to other fruit and vegetable pedlars, vendors have a choice when faced with a municipal inspector: they can flee, and leave behind both borrow and merchandise; pay a fine equivalent to several days’ earnings, or fork out a bribe. Bouazizi, it seems, was not inclined to do any of these. When [a 45 year old female inspector] Hamdi began seizing his applies, he tried to grab them back, and she slapped him in the face....”


29 Apr, 2011
Forsaking Institutional Sovereignty

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

April 29, 2011

Had he not bowed down to the outside pressure on his sovereign office to reinstate the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges, and his party’s Prime Minister not withdrawn his orders of putting ISI under the control of the Interior Ministry, I would have been madly in love with President Asif Ali Zardari and his government! Alas, in Pakistan wishes and interests of a select few reign supreme, not the constitution of the country!


25 Apr, 2011
Reliving Pak Tea House

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

April 24, 2011

The demise of the Pak Tea House is symptomatic of the crisis of intellectual independence and private initiative in Pakistan. The premises is still there, existing with its symbolic glory, waiting for someone with entrepreneurial spirit to make use of its huge potential, who would turn it once again into Pak Tea House? Let’s see who reinvents and relives the Pak Tea House!


11 Mar, 2011
A World Without Rules

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

March 11, 2011

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
[Major General Smedley Butler, War Is a Racket (1935)]


02 Mar, 2011
Legislating Middlemans Ouster

By Dr. Khalil Ahmad

March 2, 2011

The middleman tends to be eliminated . . . He can only be safely eliminated by natural processes. Sometimes he is of real use and helps production; sometimes he is not; but this cannot be decided by a blind strike, but only by allowing the forces of competition to act upon him.
[Hon. Auberon Herbert]


21 Feb, 2011
Economic Backbone: Its None Of Your Business

By Nyda Mukhtar 

February 21, 2011
 
They are capable of resuscitating a dying economy and of making third world countries first world powers. They can develop cities and rural areas, put an end to wars, and make societies and communities stronger.


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