Thursday, August 30, 2012

A footnote in the Indian Supreme Court's judgment on Ajmal Kasab

From Indian Kanoon

“[45] It is reported that it was at the Taj Mahal Hotel ballroom that, on February 20, 1918, at her eighteenth birthday party, Ruttie had accepted Mr Jinnah’s hand in marriage while the band was playing the Chopin tune, So Deep is the Night. It is also reported that both Mr. Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan, and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, the President of the Indian National Congress, often held court at Taj Mahal Hotel.
Mr. Jinnah also had an intimate connection with Mazgaon, where the bomb planted by two terrorists in a taxi exploded, killing three (3) and wounding nineteen (19) people. It is reported that Mr. Jinnah devoted Thursday afternoons to visiting the grave of his wife Ruttie at the Khoja Shiite Isna’ashri Cemetry, situated at Mazgaon, Mumbai.
One wonders what Quaid-e-Azam would have thought of the terrorist attack on his favourite city in the subcontinent and especially on Taj Mahal Hotel, with which he had a personal relationship of a very intimate kind.”

Apple v. Samsung

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

So the die is now cast against Samsung and the reason is that Samsung is an Asian and not an American company. At least that is the clearest message one gets from the recently concluded Apple v. Samsung suit in California.

I am an I-phone user and I consider Android Phones at best a cheap immitation but I fear that the judgment awarding Apple US $ 1 billion in damages is not only too excessive but it amounts to a judicial intervention in competition. How can rectangles with rounded corners be a patent upheld by a court of law? Perhaps the courts should also consider awarding billions of dollars in damages to XEROX whose personal computer design Apple stole many moons ago.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Two Nation Theory, Partition and Pakistan: Setting the record straight

There seems to be cognitive dissonance for some parties when one proposes a historical hypothesis that is at variance to their long held beliefs.  One such hypothesis is the formulation of the Cambridge school of thought on how and why partition happened. Over time this hypothesis has been confirmed by documents de-classified pertaining to partition but there is still continuing hostility and resistance by those who wish to remain mired in their respective nationalist discourses and/or their own personal biases.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Judgment Days

Judiciary: Judgment days

Yasser Latif Hamdani on role of judiciary in Pakistan

A   A   A

From India Today
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Yasser Latif Hamdani
The judicial history of Pakistan is as patchy as the political history of the country. What started as an impartial and secular institution imbued with the finest British traditions of justice and fair play has given way to a politicised theocratic institution vying for political power, while retaining some of the trappings of colonial grandeur (we still address the judges as "my lords" or "your lordships"). The evolution of Pakistani judiciary has to be seen in the context of three other factors in Pakistan's institutional structure-the parliament/executive, the army and religion.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A bigoted and prejudiced bad law

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Pakistan’s Ordinance XX of 1984 has to rank in human history alongside the worst laws enacted in human history – worse than Jim Crow Laws of the southern states of the United States of America and equal in its bias to the Nuremburg Laws enacted by Nazi Germany against the Jews.  In its viciousness,  the said law is one of a kind in the modern world.  Not only does it crush the freedom of expression and speech but restricts religious freedom in a manner unprecedented in legal history.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Partition of Punjab II : Jinnah's so called Islamic pronouncements

Continuing from last week, we come to Jinnah’s so-called Islamic pronouncements, which matter, at best, is an incidental tangent from the main issue but since it was raised by Mr Shakil Chaudhry in his article (Daily Times, July 26, 2012) , it needs to be addressed. 

The claim that Jinnah was secular needs to be understood before it can be argued for or against. The claim that Jinnah was secular does not necessarily pre-suppose that all utterances of Jinnah the politician were consistently secular, especially when put against secularism as we understand it today. That Jinnah used the Islamic idiom on occasion is a fact and not necessarily an inconvenient fact for those who argue for Jinnah’s secular vision. Substance not form trumps rhetoric.

Partition of Punjab I

To my mind, it is an extraordinary waste of important public space to engage in tit for tat kind of back and forth comments through columns in national newspapers. I did not want to respond to Ishtiaq Ahmed’s rebuttal article last week (Daily Times, July 22, 2012) through this space and therefore, responded to it through a blog in some detail. Unfortunately, my blog elicited a response in the comments section by one Mr Shakil Chaudhry, who wrote an article in this newspaper. Be that as it may, I am forced to write a three-part response and the readers will just have to bear with me.

Everyone has the right to his own opinion and I would like the counterparties to realise that I too have the right to my opinion about Ishtiaq Ahmed’s work. Nevertheless, I still think that his recent book is a drastic improvement upon his earlier work. It is precisely for this reason the book needs to be highlighted. Coming as it is from a certain one-sided point of view, the content of the book shows that the violence in Punjab was caused by the insistence of Congress to partition Punjab at the insistence of the Sikhs.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Restraining Order against Nabiha Meher Shaikh, Urooj Zia and Ahmed S Yusuf in Yasser Latif Hamdani v. Nabiha Meher Shaikh etc

The following is the true transcript of the first order in the titled law suit. Emphasis added is mine.

Yasser Latif Hamdani


Nabiha Meher Shaikh
Ahmed Yusuf
Urooj Zia 

Present: Learned Counsel for the Plaintiff

This is a fresh suit. Let it be registered. Summons in the name of respondents be issued for 29.09.2012.
Meanwhile respondents are restrained from defaming the Plaintiff till the next date of hearing.

Announced : 31. 07.12


Abdul Sattar Langah
Addl Sessions Judge, Lahore.