Thursday, April 26, 2018

Can a Strong Clean Leader Solve All the Problems of Pakistan- Mythical Narratives

Is it possible to eradicate corruption by only changing the person at the top,  the man at the helm of affairs? Unfortunately, this seems to be the predominant narrative in Pakistan.  This narrative of "Pakistan Needs a Strong, Clean and Decisive Leader at the Top" has been selling in Pakistan since 1950s. This narrative states that Pakistan cannot progress without a strong decisive leader and therefore supports the changing the person at the top narrative under the doctrine of necessity. The narrative erects the bogey of Pakistan's survival is at stake and the fear of Pakistan's breakup is therefore used to justify the ushering in of strong dictators, one after the other, and sells the idea that politicians are weak and corrupt and responsible for all the malaise.
On one hand, this narrative justifies usurpation of the right of people to elect their leaders and learn from their mistakes. It also stops devolution of the power to provinces and from provinces to the district level as the specter of ethnic divide and fear of dismemberment is raised to stultify the experimentation of people with different political parties and types of leaders.
This narrative also justifies rule by military dictators and un-elected elites.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Agenda to Ensure Supremacy of Law and Constitution in Pakistan

My agenda is simply to strive for supremacy of rule of law and constitution. I am pained to see people hurling invectives, slandering, and condemning people as traitors without due process of law. Even if I know that someone is guilty, I have no authority to take law in my own hand and dispense justice of my liking. This will make me no different from the terrorists who based on their whimsical understanding are willing to explode their vests or the crowds that lynch to death people on mere suspicion of crime.
No,  the only fit and proper recourse for me if I think someone is guilty is to pursue the case as per "due process of law" under article 10A of constitution that upholds the "right to fair trial" as a fundamental human right. This applies equally to all citizens especially more so to CJP whose primary responsibility is to uphold the rule of law in dispensation of justice through ALL levels of judiciary: The fundamental criteria for evaluating quality of justice include  "justice delayed is justice denied" and "justice should not only be done but also seen to be done".

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Top Ten Reasons Why HEC Abandoned Quality Ranking of Universities

Recent decision of HEC to abandon its quality rankings [1] needs to be welcomed. It was an initiative motivated by hubris with scant regard to societal and industry requirements. It was conceived and designed by those who wanted all the universities to become research universities and clones of each other. It was a whip with which to make all the universities fall into the same line ignoring their local, geographical, societal, and industry specific contexts and distinct advantages. The criteria appeared to have been designed to satisfy the Western industry and societal requirements, and not from the point of view of national and regional requirements.  The ranking was called quality ranking but was nothing more than measurement of quantities devoid of any qualitative input. It was plagued by political considerations for a quota system. It had the audacity to measure quality of teaching with PhD degrees, and did not discriminate at all across different disciplines with their unique requirements. Above all, there was no mechanism of verification of data. The ranking criteria had too many infirmities and was modified each time under political pressure. It gave too much weight to input and too little weight to outcomes and impact under the assumption that output measurements will suffice. Societal and Industry impact measurement was conspicuous by its absence. Bureaucratic measures of impact were considered to substitute for feedback from industry and society. There was little recognition of the quality of university processes. Above all, HEC being a funding agency and a regulator could not simultaneously also act as a ranking agency because it would try to give more weight to its own funding decisions. Hence, the ranking criteria became nothing more than the criteria of measuring the decisions of HEC fundings.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Is Illiteracy Responsible for Problems of Pakistan? Narrative to Justify Neocolonialism and dictatorial rule

[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
Are Illiterates Responsible for Woes of Pakistan? Or Is this a Narrative to Support Exploitation? Is this narrative designed to support exploitation by the un-elected "educated elites" in the service of neo-colonialism? There is a dominant narrative in Pakistan which states that lack of education is responsible for all our woes and problems. The narrative starts by emphasizing the dismal statistics of illiteracy in Pakistan, and implies that "illiterates" are responsible for the lack of development and progress in Pakistan. This narrative allows the "educated elites" to absolve themselves of their disastrous governance over the last 70 years of our existence and shift the blame on to hapless "illiterates". This narrative justifies usurpation of power by the "educated elites" from the people and maintaining their exclusive hegemony over the distribution of resources. In Pakistan, "illiterates" have never been in power. Half of our existence has been directly under the military rule which had been justified using this narrative explicitly, and during the remaining half, the power had never been devolved to the people using this same narrative. Even the governments formed by the politicians elected by the people had been that of the "educated elites". If there is any clique that should be held responsible for the woes of Pakistan, then it can be no other than the "educated elites". This post explains how this happens.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Pakistan Helped US Become Superpower- In the Service of Neocolonialism

[To understand the context of this post please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
How Pakistan helped US become a superpower is a classic case study of how developing countries are maneuvered to help neo-colonial powers achieve their global agenda. This was admitted on record by DG ISPR in Pakistan,  "Had Pakistan not played its positive role, USA might not be the uni-super power in the world". This was reported in the papers of 29th March 2018 including News, Nation, Dawn etc. The role which has largely been "positive" for the super power is actually "negative" in its fall outs on economy and stability of the country. It has mired us in un-wanted wars for benefits that in the long term turned out to be exorbitant costs. Neocolonialism is the control of developing countries through hegemony and imperialism and through installation of unrepresentative governments and dictators. Pakistan has suffered tremendously on each of these accounts to service neocolonialism. 

DoN godfathers Political Engineering of the SC Bench to Obtain Doctrine of Necessity Judgement

How SC Bench was engineered in 1955 to get the judgement of choice notorious as Doctrine of Necessity (DoN). Sindh High Court had decided against the decision of Governor General in 1954 to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, and had restored Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan to his office of the President of the Constituent Assembly. The following excerpt from Hamid Khan's book "A History of Judiciary of Pakistan" [1], describes the doctoring or political engineering of the bench in 1955 that was sitting on the appeal which was filed by the Governor General against the SHC decision. There were five judges on the bench. CJ Munir knew that getting the judgement of choice was not easy in the presence of upright Justice AR Cornelieus and Justice Shahabuddin who would not only stand up but would also persuade another judge to side with them leaving CJ Munir and the 5th judge in minority. Hence, it was decided to some how remove Justice Shahabduddin from the bench and elevate in his place an ad-hoc compliant judge from Lahore High Court. This was done through Governor General Ghulam Muhammad's machinations and scheming and obtained the notorious Doctrine of Necessity judgement [To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]