Thursday, June 28, 2012

US Supreme Court Ruling and the precedent for the world (especially Pakistan)

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

The Supreme Court of the United States ("SCOTUS") has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional. The  "Court held that the individual mandate, which requires that virtually all Americans either obtain health insurance or pay a penalty by 2014, is constitutional."

This is no doubt a historic decision for the US and for President Obama. The SCOTUS ruled that the Congress had wide powers under the commerce clause but it upheld the law under taxing power of the Congress i.e. the penalty to be imposed is a tax against not paying for health insurance.  Indeed this would have a major impact on the impending elections which the sisterblog of this website will be looking at in some detail in the coming future.

However my interest - as a Pakistani lawyer- is in the persuasive precedent this historic ruling sets for the rest of the world and in particular Pakistan and also Egypt, the two Muslim majority states also grappling with the issue of judicial overreach at the moment. In Pakistan a democratically elected and relatively secular government has been the direct victim of judicial overreach. Chief Justice of Pakistan, Chaudhry Iftikhar, has disqualified the former Prime Minister, Mr. Yusuf Raza Gilani for not initiating proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari despite the fact that such an action is constitutionally barred in clear language of the constitution. In Egypt a secular judiciary has thrown out an Islamist parliament.

Islamabad 3rd Roundtable - Declaration of Support for Media Legal Reforms in FATA

Yasser Latif Hamdani was one of the delegates who signed this declaration for media reforms in FATA.

“We, the participants of the Islamabad Roundtable on Legal Cover for Media Reforms in FATA [June 20, 2012], comprising eminent lawyers and members of bar associations from across Pakistan, including lawyers from FATA, after debating it at length endorses the consensus Declarations of the previous two roundtables of FATA and media stakeholders [held in November 2011] seeking the same legal rights for citizens of Pakistan residing in FATA as in the rest of Pakistan.
"We especially support, endorse and demand for FATA the firm compliance of Articles 19 and 19A of the Constitution of Pakistan guaranteeing freedom of expression and right to information, and including the right to have legal, independent local media, which is imperative for full realization of political reforms in the region.
"The legal fraternity of Pakistan also expresses solidarity with the citizens of Pakistan residing in FATA in fulfillment of their inalienable Constitutional, legal and political rights and all efforts to afford them the same legal and media freedoms as in the rest of Pakistan, and urge the Governments, Legislatures, the FATA Governor and the President of Pakistan to take concrete steps to realize these rights for the Tribal Areas.” 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Twitter Joke Trial

The twitter joke trial has been getting a lot of publicity. Here is a Guardian piece, I thought readers would enjoy:
A two-and-a-half year legal battle over a "joke" posted on Twitter that landed its author with a criminal record returns to the high court on Wednesday in front of the most senior judge in England and Wales.
Paul Chambers, an unemployed former trainee accountant, is appealing against his conviction for tweeting that he would blow up Doncaster's Robin Hood airport unless it reopened so he could fly to see his new girlfriend.
The case will be heard in front of the lord chief justice, Lord Judge, Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Griffith Williams. It brings the number of judges and magistrates who have considered Chambers' case up to nine, spread over seven days in court since his tweet on 6 January 2010.

Obama Healthcare and the US Supreme Court: Countdown

Countdown has begun.

Read this very interesting blog from SCOTUS. I reproduce an excerpt:
If the Court does decide to decide, it has four issues before it — three of which are somewhat clustered, and one of which stands somewhat (but not entirely) alone.
The three that are definitely bunched together could be decided with a ruling on just one of them, or with a ruling on just two, or with a ruling on all three, separately.   Those three issues all relate to the insurance mandate, or what is technically labeled the “minimum coverage” provision.   By that provision, the most controversial of all, Congress declared that virtually every American (there are a few exceptions) must obtain health insurance before the year 2014, or else pay a financial penalty with their tax returns until they do get a policy.
So the individual mandate is one of the clustered issues.  The second is whether the Court has the authority to decide the fate of the mandate.  And the third is whether, if the mandate is struck down as unconstitutional, other parts of the massive Affordable Care Act must fall with it — if any.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Miller v. Alabama - Announced 25.06.2012

Docket No.Op. BelowArgumentOpinionVoteAuthorTerm
10-9646Ala. Ct. Crim. App.Mar 20, 2012
Jun 25, 20125-4KaganOT 2011
Holding: The Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that requires life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders.
JudgmentReversed and remanded, 5-4, in an opinion by Justice Kagan on June 25, 2012. Justice Breyer filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito joined. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined. Justice Alito, filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Scalia joined.

Arizona v. the United States

Not since the American Civil War has State power vis a vis federal power so elevated.

Holding: The lower courts erred in holding that Section 2(B) of Senate Bill 1070 - which requires police to check the immigration status of persons whom they detain before releasing them and which allows police to stop and detain anyone suspected of being an undocumented immigrant – should not go into effect while its lawfulness is being litigated because it is not sufficiently clear that the provision is preempted. Section 3 – which makes it a state crime for someone to be in the United States without proper authorization – is preempted because Congress left no room for states to regulate in that field, or even to enhance federal prohibitions. Section 5(C) -which makes it a state crime for undocumented immigrants to apply for a job or work in Arizona – is preempted as imposing an obstacle to the federal regulatory system. Section 6 – which authorizes state law enforcement officials to arrest without a warrant any individual otherwise lawfully in the country, if they have probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a deportable offense – is preempted because whether and when to arrest someone for being unlawfully in the country is a question solely for the federal government.
JudgmentAffirmed in part, reversed in part, and remaned., 5-3, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy on June 25, 2012. Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito each filed opinions concurring in part and dissenting in part. (Kagan, J., rescued)
Docket No.Op. BelowArgumentOpinionVoteAuthorTerm
11-1829th Cir.Apr 25, 2012
Jun 25, 20125-3KennedyOT 2011

Halo around the judiciary fades

This article from Anita Joshua in the Hindu mentions Yasser Latif Hamdani, owner of YLH&Co:
Some of the halo around the judiciary – that harks back to the lawyers’ movement for the reinstatement of judges removed by Gen. Musharraf — has faded in recent weeks with the Chief Justice’s son, Arsalan Chaudhry, being accused of taking millions from a property tycoon for influencing cases. More than the accusations, the manner in which the Court handled that case has dented its image.
Writing in The News, lawyer Babar Sattar said the judiciary had “squandered a vital opportunity to salvage its reputation as a neutral arbiter of the law” with its judgment in the case.
The court’s decision to disqualify Mr. Gilani has also drawn its fair share of criticism, not out of any love or appreciation for the PPP-led dispensation but because of what it portends for Pakistan’s fledgling democracy.
Expressing disappointment, The Dawn editorial said: “Legally there might have been a case against the Prime Minister, but it was best for the supreme judiciary not to have waded so deep into such obviously political waters.”
Questioning the decision to ask the Election Commission to notify Mr. Gilani’s disqualification instead of just referring the matter to it, The Dawn noted: “By doing so, it has both disrupted an existing democratic set-up and set a worrying precedent for the future.”
Ever critical of the judiciary for turning a blind eye to the plight of Ahmadis and extremism, Lahore-based lawyer Yasser Latif Hamdani wrote in his blog: “We are increasingly descending into a state which resembles the dystopia of Judge Dredd. It is now important to acknowledge that we are no longer a democracy but a judocracy, where the whim and will of an unelected presiding officer of the apex court has more power than 180 million people. Perhaps it is time to dispense with the pretence of parliament, prime minister and president and constitutionally empower the Chief Justice to act as all three….”
Earlier, Hamdani, who had participated in the movement for the Chief Justice’s restoration, had written an open letter to him urging him to step down given the allegations levelled against his son, saying “Ceaser’s wife is no longer above suspicion.”
He is not alone.
Many leading lights of the movement including Asma Jehangir and Munir Akram have spoken out even earlier about the manner in which Justice Chaudhry took up cases that were more about politics than contested points of law.

Persistence of Judicial Power

The past two weeks have seen a lot of political news which has been generated by constitutional courts. In Pakistan we faced the full brunt of judicial tyranny when the Chief Justice dismissed the elected Prime Minister of the country. In Egypt, the Constitutional Court turned out the parliament. In the US, Obama's health care faces severe judicial scrutiny which might result in the clipping of Congressional Power. This article by the syndicated columnist Juliette Kayyem says it all.

This is hardly a week when we need to be reminded that judges, particularly Supreme Court justices, have a profound impact on politics. While the current court may seem extreme in its willingness to enter the political fray on immigration and health care, that is not new: High courts around the world have been wreaking havoc on their countries' political systems for a long time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Supreme Court's decision is terribly flawed, deploys legal sophistry

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

The Cabinet Mission Plan, which was accepted by both Congress and Muslim League in May of 1946, was a rare glimmer of hope for the resolution of all outstanding disputes between the two major parties of the subcontinent and for a while, it seemed that India was headed towards a federal future, which was to the liking of all stakeholders. Unfortunately, what followed was a disastrous miscalculation on the part of the Congress Party, ironically against better counsel from its own president, Maulana Azad. It centered on the interpretation of the grouping clause of the formula. The formula provided group federations A, B and C, which each consisted of certain provinces, with freedom of opting out from a federation. The position of the Cabinet Mission was that this opting out could happen only after the first elections. That was the interpretation the Muslim League also accepted. Congress however insisted that opting out actually meant that provinces could choose not to be part of a group federation ab initio, a position which was counter-productive to the whole exercise. In a bid to resolve the crisis, Viceroy Lord Wavell held a separate meeting with Congress stalwarts, Gandhi and Nehru. Gandhi and Nehru argued, without realising the irony of their position, that it was not what the Cabinet Mission thought the plan meant but what they interpreted the plan to mean that counted. Flabbergasted, Wavell is reported to have said, “Gentlemen don’t talk to me as lawyers but as reasonable men,” to which Gandhi and Nehru, who other than their training in law had very little to do with the practice of law, responded with one voice: “But we are lawyers!” The rest, as they say, is history.

Tragically, the events of recent months in our country owed their traumatic birth to the aforementioned misplaced legal sophistry in a political realm. That has once again shown what happens when lawyers — in this case lawyers elevated to the benches of the highest court in the land — choose to interpret documents in a way that suits them instead of taking a document in the spirit in which it was drafted. Of course, this is part of what being a lawyer is about and this is what lawyers are paid for while representing their clients. These are tactics to be employed strategically to the best advantage of one’s client. Statesmen have no such luxury because the greater interests of a whole people depend on the steps they take. Similarly, judges, once elevated from their status as lawyers, are duty bound to proceed according to the spirit of the constitution and to attach the most direct and logical meaning to constitutional provisions. In the view of this writer, the Supreme Court has resorted to blatant legal sophistry in both the way it has dealt with the contempt case and now the disqualification of Pakistan’s unanimously elected, longest serving Prime Minister, Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani. As Justice Katju, formerly of the Indian Supreme Court, wrote in his precise opinion that the Supreme Court should not have overruled 248(2) and asked the prime minister to write a letter to a foreign authority to initiate proceedings against the President of the republic, which is absolutely barred by the constitution of this republic in clearest terms.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Federal Law Suit by NJ Muslims against NYPD

Muslims in New Jersey have filed a civil rights federal law suit against NYPD spying on Muslims in general. The person in the picture,  Mr. Farhaj Hassan is an old comrade and a friend. He and I were very active at Rutgers challenging the bigotry within the Muslim community. Therefore if certain right wing groups try and paint this as some sort of extremist Islamist move, it would be pathetic to do so. Farhaj is a proud American who believes in the separation of church and state and has served his country with distinction in Iraq. Needless to say we at YLH & Co wish the petitioners/plaintiffs in this case the best of luck and shall watch closely the outcome of this litigation. Hopefully at a future date we will institute lawsuits of this kind for the civil rights of Non-Muslims in Pakistan as well.

NJ Muslims file federal suit to stop NYPD spying
Story Updated: Jun 6, 2012
Syed Farhaj Hassan, center, is joined by Glenn Katon, left, legal director of Muslim Advocates, and Imam Abdul Kareem Muhammad as he speaks to reporters during a news conference, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in New York.

Great responsibility

By Yasser Latif Hamdani (writing in the Friday Times)

The Supreme Court's suo motu notice of allegations of corruption on Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's son was odd. The presiding judge was the father, and the accused, his son.

Many have attempted to justify the action of the chief justice of Pakistan by quoting examples from Islamic history, including that of Hazrat Umar (RA) who sentenced his son. Others have referred to the fictional but more indigenous example of the Anarkali story where Prince Salim was tried for treason by Emperor Akbar. It is unfortunate that substance has always been disregarded in emotive arguments for form. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Pakistani Supreme Court has gone beserk" says Indian SC Justice

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

I have been harping about it for months now.  Now an upstanding Indian justice has said the same thing. I quote:
By Markandey Katju
When I was a student of law in the Allahabad University I had read of the British Constitutional principle ‘The King can do no wrong”. At that time I did not understand the significance of this principle and what it really meant. It was much later, when I was in law practice in the Allahabad High Court that I understood its real significance.
The British were experienced and able administrators. They realized from their own long, historical experience that while everybody should be legally liable for his wrongs and made to face Court proceedings for the same, the person at the apex of the whole Constitutional system must be given total immunity from criminal proceedings, otherwise the system could not function. Hence the King of England must be given total immunity from criminal proceedings. Even if he commits murder, dacoity, theft, or some other crime the King cannot be dragged to Court and made to face a trial.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Successful writ petition from last month's elite force guards' case

               In the Honourable Lahore High Court at Lahore

                                                               W.P. No. ____ of 2012

Rana Mohammad Sohail, son of Rana Mehdi Hassan, resident of House No. 450 Naz Faridi Kot Mithan District Rajanpur. …  Petitioner
  1. Government of Punjab through Chief Secretary, Secretariat Lahore
  2. Elite Police Force, Head Quarters, Elite Police Force, Bedian Center, Bedian Road, Lahore
  3. Col Saad Saleem, Commandant/Commanding Officer, Elite Force, Headquarters, Elite Force, Bedian Center, Bedian Road, Lahore … Respondents
Writ Petition under Article 199 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973

  1. That the Petitioner is an employee of Respondent No. 2 who has diligently served Respondent No.2 as a constable for many years. His meritorious service in harm’s way is recognized and appreciated by the Petitioner’s superiors. 

Chief Justice's terrible decision!

A few hours ago the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that Yusuf Raza Gilani stands disqualified under 63(1) g of the Constitution. I have written extensively on this in many of my previous blog posts which may be found on this website. However I'd like to state some basic issues with this judgment in clear and unambiguous terms (sadly no one speaks in those in Pakistan:

1. Chief Justice of Pakistan is NOT vested with the authority under the constitution to dismiss the Prime Minister or over-rule the decisions of the Speaker i.e. Presiding Officer of the National Assembly whose decisions are his or her privilege and are covered by the parliamentary privilege clause.

2. Chief Justice of Pakistan/the entire Supreme Court of Pakistan has no authority to dictate to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on what to write to which foreign authority. That is an executive function and not a judicial function.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pakistan's future?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Our right-wingers and religious extremists with their unthinking rhetoric are leading Pakistan to disaster. The politics of NATO supply lines is the pound of flesh they wish to extract from a wretched establishment that has long utilised them for their own agendas. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

There is a consensus across the board amongst analysts and policy makers that Pakistan’s bilateral ties with the US are extremely important for the country. It is the US that is Pakistan’s largest trading partner — a partner that largely sustains our legitimate economy. Yet the expediencies of politics are driving all major parties in Pakistan to take a hardline approach towards the US that will in the final assessment only hurt Pakistan’s interests home and abroad.

For long we have ignored the sordid reality of post-1977 Pakistan. Not only has continuous war on our western front drained us economically, it has annihilated us socially. What does the world see when it sees us? It sees an economic basket case, which is constitutionally and in practice a theocracy. It sees a state that persecutes people and discriminates against them in the name of religion. It sees a state that tolerates domestic violence and relegates women to a second-class status. In short, we are today exactly the opposite of what we wanted to be in 1947, thus bringing into controversy the very creation of this state. It is time to look into the mirror without any illusions. We are a ghetto of festering intolerance, dysfunctional democracy and a military establishment that seems to have isolated itself from reality by conflating its own interests (defined by a 20th century military mindset entirely out of step with 21st century realities) with those of the state. Add to that a judiciary that the world at least sees as hell bent on destabilising a nascent and troubled democracy by quoting Kahlil Gibran.

Open Letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan

My Lord, 

I write to your Lordship as a lawyer who participated in a meagre capacity in the Lawyers’ Movement. We stood up then for the Supreme Court of Pakistan because in your Lordship we found a chief justice who was willing to say ‘no’ to the demands of a military dictator. When history is recorded, your Lordship will be credited as being responsible for initiating and executing the end game for Pakistan’s last military dictator and for laying the foundation of sustainable constitutional civilian rule in Pakistan. Therefore, your Lordship’s place in history is assured and unshakeable.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Introducing YLH &CO: Advocates and Solicitors

YLH &CO: Advocates and Solicitors


Practice Areas
·         Arbitration
·         Banking Law
·         Corporate/Commercial Litigation
·         Company/Corporate Compliance
·         Consultancy and Advisory
·         Constitutional Law
·         Criminal Law – White Collar Crime
·         Regulatory work 
·         Telecommunications Law
·         Transactional Advisory


Yasser Latif Hamdani, BA (Rutgers University) LLB, brings to the table solid experience of corporate commercial law including litigation. His previous experience is listed below.


Advocate at the High Courts of Pakistan (November 2011- June 2012)

Responsible, inter alia, :(i) preparing pleadings and conducting cases in the lower/trial courts (i.e. Civil Court, Rent Controller, Consumer Courts, Banking Courts etc.) and the High Courts (ii)drafting and vetting contracts of different nature including sale, distribution, franchise, partnership and lease agreements; (iii) rendering legal opinion to the firm’s clients on various issues including commercial and corporate laws, contracts, labour laws, environmental law, basic civil and criminal law, competition law, intellectual property and banking law etc.; (iv) Preparation of Search Reports for various companies after inspection of files kept at Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan; and (v) Banking and civil litigation.

Major Assignments

  • Responsibilities include drafting legal briefs, contracts, legal opinions and appearing before the Lahore High Court, Lahore, in matters pertaining to Defence Housing Authority (such as DHA’s litigation against various cellular service providers over right of way which is pending). Also assisted in preparing legal opinion/comments on BTS right of way and easement in the particular context of the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Pakistan Telecommunications (Re-organization) Act, 1996.

  • Responsible for all transactional work for the firm such as vetting, drafting and proofing contracts and other corporate legal documents including but not limited to:

Energy purchase agreements; Terms of reference documents; Share transfer agreements; Shareholders loan agreements; Shareholders assistance agreements; Share pledge agreements; Hypothecations; Mortgage deeds; Transfer deeds; and Company resolutions.

  • Vetted, drafted and reviewed agreements as well as legal opinions on matters pertaining to inter alia contracts, corporate compliance and labour laws of Pakistan for large construction groups such as RAFI Group, Zaitoon Group, Al Khan Construction etc. Also assisted senior counsel and appeared before Lahore High Court in matters related to these groups.

  • Assisted the senior counsel in litigation pertaining to CNG stoppage, representing SNGPL.

  • Appeared as pleader in NAB Reference vis a vis Haris Steel titled State v. Hamesh Khan/Shaikh Afzal etc.

  • Assisted the Senior Counsel in the landmark constitutional petition case vis a vis a Single Judge in his capacity as Persona Designata before a Division Court of the Lahore High Court, Lahore.

Senior Associate (February-November 2011)
Responsible for assisting Senior Partner Mr. Salman Akram Raja, Advocate Supreme Court, in matters before the High Courts of Pakistan and the Supreme Court of Pakistan pertaining to energy, inter alia gas allocation and power, constitutional rights and banking matters including but not limited to drafting constitutional writ petitions and banking suits for the firm as well as agreements and transactions.  Additionally tendered opinions and vetted agreements for various high end corporate clients.

Major Assignments

  • Worked on the Newspaper Employees case to enforce the 7th Wage Board Award.

  • Assisted the senior counsel in the case titled APTPMA v. Federation of Pakistan which pertained to the legality of a gas supply agreement pertaining to supply of 100 mmcfd gas from Qadirpur Gas Field to Engro Fertilizer Plant.

  • Worked on the constitutional litigation in the Supreme Court challenging Peshawar High Court’s landmark decision on Article 158 of the Constitution i.e. priority vis a vis Gas Well Heads.

  • Worked on constitutional cases pertaining to Section 20 of the Financial Institutions Recovery of Finances Ordinance, 2001 before the Lahore High Court Lahore.


Senior Associate (Jun 2010- Feb 2011)
Responsible for all transactional work for the firm such as vetting, drafting and proofing contracts and other corporate legal documents including energy purchase agreements, terms of reference documents, share transfer agreements, shareholders loan agreements, shareholders assistance agreements, share pledge agreements, hypothecations, mortgage deeds, letters of intent, transfer deeds, company resolutions, forms and the like. Drafted legislation, including the proposed “Benami Prohibition Act” and the proposed “Limited Liability Partnership Act”. 

Major Assignments

  • Prepared a shareholders’ loan agreement for a leading European CBM Equity Firm

  • Prepared the agreement between Health Department of the Government of Punjab and Monsanto for hybrid cotton seeds.

  • Worked on major Constitutional litigation pertaining to Article 10-A of the Constitution and its application vis a vis Banking laws of Pakistan.


Specialist I, Legal Affairs (December 2006 – June 2010)
Vetted, drafted and reviewed agreements as well as legal opinions on matters pertaining to inter alia contracts, corporate compliance and labour laws of Pakistan. Handled Mobilink’s Intellectual Property profile and successfully challenged several infringements of Mobilink’s Intellectual Property rights.  Advised Mobilink’s marketing department on various intellectual property related matters. Managed Regulatory and Compliance issues pertaining to Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority. Represented the company as general counsel for Mobilink and its subsidiary Link Direct International (Pvt.) Limited (“LDI”) overseeing the acquisition of several companies and the licences, including but not limited to Dancom Online Services (Pvt.) Ltd, World Online Telecom Limited,  DVCom Wimax (Pvt.) Ltd and  Z-WLL (Pvt.) Ltd for Mobilink’s Wimax launch.


Draft Redressal of Minorities Grievances Law

Drafted a bill for the Pakistani National Assembly to forward and safeguard minorities civil rights in Pakistan. A modified version is likely to be passed as law in this cold weather session of the National Assembly. Available on request.

Draft Anti-Incitement Law

Drafted  a bill in wake of violence against women, minorities and academics to safeguard and protect these classes from mob violence. Under consideration by stakeholders. Available on request.

Draft Benami Prohibition Law

Drafted a bill outlawing Benami i.e. false owner property for an organisation promoting competitiveness in Pakistani markets working in collaboration with the Federal Government of Pakistan. Under consideration by the Federal Government.

Draft LLP Law

Drafted a bill to allow for the introduction of Limited Liability Partnerships in Pakistan for the aforesaid organisation.


Freedom of Speech Petitions

Currently involved in two Constitutional Petitions seeking to curb the powers of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority vis a vis smart phones, privacy and social media. Successfully got the Blackberry Browsing Services restored through this litigation.

Workers’ Rights

One of the assisting counsels on a landmark wage board award for newspaper employees case. The judgment of the honourable Supreme Court can be accessed here:


Major Published work:

1.      Gradual Secularisation of the Islamic Narrative through reform; by Hamdani, Yasser Latif, Criterion Quarterly, October-December 2011 issue.

2.      Debt Recovery and the Due Process Challenge in Pakistan; for, an Indian online law review

3.      A Brief History of Islamisation of Pakistani Legal System; for, an Indian online law review

4.      To be published:  Signed a book deal in February 2012 with Vanguard Publications to write a book on Quaid-e-Azam tentatively titled: Jinnah; Myth and Reality.


YLH&Co Advocates and Solicitors,
2nd Floor, RI Partners Plaza, 7-A Turner Road, Lahore.
Telephone +92 42 37312828, +92 42 373637330
Cell Phone 300 5552232
Skype Yasser.latif.hamdani.
Fax no  +92 42 37321664

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sample LPC/Solicitor's Letters

Somewhere Rise, Anytown Anyshire, AN1 3BD
Tel 01234 567890 Fax 01234 112233
Ref: PD/01932/Intro
Always include a reference providing a mutual point for all parties, ensuring clarity of the document being discussed
Ensure the letter is dated particularly if it is to refer to deadlines, for example for the return of information by a prescribed time.

Of political questions and partisanship

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

The late Z H Zaidi, who edited the Jinnah Papers, had edited an earlier volume a few decades ago, which was called Jinnah-Ispahani Correspondence. This volume contains the correspondence between Mohammad Ali Jinnah and M A H Ispahani, spanning over a decade. In Pakistan, we are so disconnected from our history that nine out of 10 Pakistanis are not likely to know who M A H Ispahani was and why the founding father of this country was corresponding with him. I do not wish to give my readers a history lesson, therefore suffice it to say, Ispahani was Jinnah’s foremost lieutenant in Calcutta. He was one of the biggest financiers of the Muslim League and the moving spirit behind many key steps, such as the Muslim Chamber of Commerce and the Orient Airways, which later became PIA, which Jinnah and the League initiated to improve the lot of Muslims in British India. After Pakistan was created, Isphahani served as Pakistan’s first ambassador in Washington and did so with distinction.

New Provinces

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

The emergence of new provinces holds out the most exciting promise of uniform development in our history. It also presents a constitutional solution to the lopsided federation that has existed so far. The number one issue in Pakistan that threatens the fabric of this nation state that exists today in the region is that of the inability of the central state structure to harmonise contending notions of identity working at cross-purposes. Therefore, the creation of new provinces is a welcome step in the right direction — the de-centralisation and rebuilding the state on the idea of unity in diversity. 

The first outcome of this development is the re-configuration of the Senate. Inevitably, this means a reduction of seats allocated to each province in the Senate. This obviously means that Punjab as it stands today will triple its representation in the Senate but given that there is no guarantee that the three provinces replacing the main big province will act in unison, the situation should be acceptable to the smaller provinces. This may however serve as an example for other provinces, which may be tempted to maximise control and representation by choosing voluntary division.

Did Jinnah want a secular state?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

 Taimoor Ashraf made a number of patently inaccurate claims, based on a flawed and utterly misdirected rendering of facts about Jinnah, partition and the making of Pakistan. The gist of his convoluted piece was this: Jinnah might have been secular, but did he want a secular Pakistan? 

Mr Ashraf claims that Jinnah was not secular because the August 11, 1947 speech was made as a consequence of terrible sadness on his part because of the communal bloodletting. By August 11, 1947, there were communal disturbances, but the communal bloodbath, largely, happened in late August and September. Then he claims that Jinnah was not secular because he was a pluralist. So in other words being ‘secular’ and ‘pluralist’ are mutually exclusive? There are no qualms with the fact that Jinnah’s secularism was more of the British variety than the strict French laicism of Kemal Ataturk. Does that mean Jinnah would have approved of ‘priests with a divine mission’? That incidentally is one of the more famous Jinnah quotes: “Pakistan shall not be a theocracy to be run by priests with a divine mission.”