Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welcome Judicial Coup in Islamabad?

A coup is still a coup regardless of who removes a duly elected government by unconstitutional means. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's government  did not lose a vote of confidence in parliament, nor was he impeached. He has been overthrown by three unelected and unaccountable judges of Pakistan Supreme Court.

The action of the three-member bench of the Supreme Court is being seen as a power play to assert its view that it is better suited to represent the people of Pakistan than those they have chosen to elect themselves.



There is no question that, in their genuine zeal to tame widespread government corruption,  Pakistan's top judges have run amok by usurping powers for themselves that were never intended for them by the framers of the constitution. It's clearly a case of ends justifying the means. The timing of the judgment  also raises questions as it comes just days after billionaire businessman Malik Riaz  Husain accused the Chief Justice’s son of accepting millions in bribes to swing cases. There are also significant issues of precedent. The judgement cites, for instance, two Indian court cases. Both the Rajendra Singh Rana vs Swami Prasad Maurya case and the Jagjit Singh vs State of Haryana case deal with the disqualification of members of State Assemblies on charges of defection which cannot serve as precedent for removing a Prime Minister or even a Chief Minister.

So why is it that the majority of the people appear to be welcoming it? Is this situation any different than the welcome extended to military coup leaders who overthrew incompetent and corrupt civilian governments in the past?

The main difference between this judicial coup and the past military coups is that this coup will not result in any real progress in improving governance and solving serious problems of energy, economy and security. President Zardari will still be in change, and he will likely appoint another prime minister of his party and the business will continue as usual.

If it were a military coup led by an Army general, the history tells us that there would be serious and immediate attention paid to improving governance, resuscitating the economy and resolving the worst ever energy and internal security crises in Pakistan's history. The military governments have delivered better governance and higher economic growth by ending the corrupt system of political patronage that is central to civilian rule, and by putting non-political technocrats in charge of the most important ministries. Here's how eminent Pakistani economist late Dr. Mahbub ul Haq  described the difference between political and military governments in a 1988 interview:

"Growth in Pakistan has never translated into budgetary security because of the way our political system works. We could be collecting twice as much in revenue - even India collects 50% more than we do - and spending the money on infrastructure and education. But agriculture in Pakistan pays no tax because the landed gentry controls politics and therefore has a grip on every government. Businessman are given state loans and then allowed to default on them in return for favors to politicians and parties. Politicians protect corrupt officials so they can both share the proceeds.


And every time a new political government comes in they have to distribute huge amounts of state money and jobs as rewards to politicians who have supported them, and short term populist measures to try to convince the people that their election promises meant something, which leaves nothing for long-term development. As far as development is concerned, our system has all the worst features of oligarchy and democracy put together. 
 
That is why only technocratic, non-political governments in Pakistan have ever been able to increase revenues. But they can not stay in power for long because they have no political support...For the same reason we have not been able to deregulate the economy as much as I wanted, despite seven years of trying, because the politicians and officials both like the system Bhutto (Late Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) put in place. It suits them both very well, because it gave them lots of lucrative state-sponsored jobs in industry and banking to take for themselves or distribute to their relatives and supporters."

As a result of their different management style, the military governments have a history of  delivering significantly higher economic growth than the civilians who follow them.  The highest economic growth in Pakistan has occurred under former Presidents Ziaul Haq, Ayub Khan and Pervez Musharraf, in that order. The next two are somewhat surprising: Benazir Bhutto comes in at fourth place and her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is not far behind. Nawaz Sharif comes in at seventh place, while Zardari is in last place among ten rulers. 


During the most recent military government led by President Musharraf from 1999-2008, Pakistan made strides beyond higher GDP growth. There was significant social development as well.  Based on volumes of recently released reports and data on job creation, education, middle class size, public hygiene, poverty and hunger over the last decade, Pakistan created more jobs, graduated more people from schools and colleges, built a larger middle class and lifted more people out of poverty as percentage of its population than India in the last decade. And Pakistan did so in spite of the huge challenges posed by the war in Afghanistan and a very violent insurgency at home.

Is there a democracy discount for economic and social development that Pakistanis have to live with just to have more freedom and rights?  If so, how much of a discount are they willing to accept? Is it 20% or 50% of the average growth rates delivered by military rule? Or do they have to accept any discount at all? Is it possible for Pakistani politicians to learn any lessons from Turkey's leaders Erdogan and Gul who have demonstrated significant economic bonus relative to their predecessor military governments? Can Pakistani politicians deliver like their Turkish counterparts have to win the respect and support of the electorate? Only time will tell.

Here's a video of a TV discussion on the subject:



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Educational Attainment in India & Pakistan

Brief History of Pakistan's Economy

Pakistan's Familygate and Mediagate Scandals

Pakistan Needs Energy Policy

Ishrat Husain: Structural Reforms in Pakistan's Economy 

Role of Politics in Pakistan Economy

Pakistan's Economic Performance 2008-2010

Incompetence Worse Than Corruption in Pakistan

Pakistan's Circular Debt and Load Shedding

US Fears Aid Will Feed Graft in Pakistan

Pakistan Swallows IMF's Bitter Medicine

Shaukat Aziz's Economic Legacy

Pakistan's Energy Crisis

Karachi Tops Mumbai in Stock Performance

UNDP Reports Pakistan Poverty Declined to 17 Percent

Pakistan's Choice: Talibanization or Globalization

Pakistan's Financial Services Sector

Pakistan's Decade 1999-2009

South Asia Slipping in Human Development

Asia Gains in Top Asian Universities

23 comments:

AA said...

It has happened by the right authority and according to the written constitution made by law makers. Article 63 g is clear that a member may not hold a position till 5 years since his release.

The word coup - in this sense is a betrayal to reality and playing in the hands of sysasi shaheed - PPP

Riaz Haq said...

AA: "It has happened by the right authority and according to the written constitution made by law makers. Article 63 g is clear that a member may not hold a position till 5 years since his release."

Removal of an elected prime minister by unelected and unaccountable judges is unprecedented in any parliamentary democracy anywhere.

So there are significant issues of precedent. The judgement cites, for instance, two Indian court cases. Both the Rajendra Singh Rana vs Swami Prasad Maurya case and the Jagjit Singh vs State of Haryana case deal with the disqualification of members of State Assemblies on charges of defection which cannot serve as precedent for removing a Prime Minister or even a Chief Minister.

Ahsan L. said...

Did you see what is happening in pakistan.Afte SC judement million of pakistanis came in the streets singing and dancing in the variuos parts of the country to support SJ judement.I did not see people in the streets demonstrating against the SC judement.Now it clearly indicate that all the beaurucrats who are thieves and robbing the counry day and night must be kicked out immediately so that the country could breath better.People like you must be ashamed for supporting those thugs and robbers who have brought the dreamland at the edge of collapse.Ask us who made great sacrifices to bring Pakistan into a muslim
country.LONG LIVE PAKISTAN AND DOWN WITH ROBBERS

Riaz Haq said...

Ahsan L:"Did you see what is happening in pakistan.Afte SC judement million of pakistanis came in the streets singing and dancing in the variuos parts of the country to support SJ judement."

If Pakistanis have to live with dictatorship, they'd be much better off under military generals than self-serving and corrupt judges. Judiciary is the second or third most corrupt institution in Pakistan, according to TI data.

A couple of million people on the streets is a tiny percentage of Pak population. If street power determined the outcome of elections, the religious parties would easily win, but that's clearly not the case.

Pakistan's supreme court judges are running amok and trampling any sense of justice or fairness or democracy. Removal of an elected prime minister by unelected and unaccountable judges is unprecedented in any parliamentary democracy anywhere.

So there are significant issues of precedent. The judgement cites, for instance, two Indian court cases. Both the Rajendra Singh Rana vs Swami Prasad Maurya case and the Jagjit Singh vs State of Haryana case deal with the disqualification of members of State Assemblies on charges of defection which cannot serve as precedent for removing a Prime Minister or even a Chief Minister.

Anonymous said...

is iftakhar choudhary not a pco judge? When nawaz sharif attecked on supreme court was that not a toheen e adalat? Nro has 8 thousad cases why cj opening only ppp case? On nawaz sharif there are 48 case opening in sc why cj not taking any action on nawaz?

Indian said...

Pakistani Supreme Court has gone overboard, says Katju

When I was I was a student of law at 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.

One may ask why should the King be given this immunity when others are not? The answer is that in the practical world one does not deal with absolutes. The British were one of the most far sighted administrators the world has known. They realized that if the King is made to stand on the witness box or sent to jail, the system could not function. A stage is reached at the highest level of the system where total immunity to the person at the top has to be granted. This is the only practical view.

Following this principle in British constitutional law, almost every Constitution in the world has incorporated a provision giving total immunity to Presidents and Governors from criminal prosecution.

Thus, Section 248(2) of the Pakistani Constitution states:

“No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or Governor in any Court during his term of office.”

The language of the above provision is clear, and it is a settled principle of interpretation that when the language of a provision is clear the court should not twist or amend its language in the garb of interpretation, but read it as it is.

I therefore fail to understand how proceedings on corruption charges (which are clearly of a criminal nature) can be instituted or continued against the Pakistani President.

Moreover, how can the court remove a Prime Minister? This is unheard of in a democracy. The Prime Minister holds office as long he has the confidence of Parliament, not the confidence of the Supreme Court.

I regret to say that the Pakistani Supreme Court, particularly its Chief Justice, has been showing utter lack of restraint. This is not expected of superior courts. In fact the court and its Chief Justice have been playing to the galleries for long. It has clearly gone overboard and flouted all canons of constitutional jurisprudence.

The Constitution establishes a delicate balance of power, and each of the three organs of the state -- the legislature, the executive and the judiciary – must respect each other and not encroach into each other’s domain, otherwise the system cannot function. It seems to me that the Pakistani Supreme Court has lost its balance and gone berserk. If it does not now come to its senses I am afraid the day is not far off when the Constitution will collapse, and the blame will squarely lie with the court, and particularly its Chief Justice.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/article3553558.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani judiciary is more corrupt than the customs dept and the Pak military is the least corrupt, according to TI Pakistan:

According to TIP`s national corruption perception survey, 2011, a summary of which was released at a press conference here on Wednesday, land administration and police were the two most corrupt and education and military least corrupt departments.

The military, included in the survey for the first time, was a rank above the education department.

Contrary to the past surveys, the latest, fifth since 2002, has been conducted by Gallup Pakistan with a cut-off date of October for field activities. One of the parties had pulled out of the survey job because of increased government pressure, a TIP office-bearer said.

The organisation`s chairman Sohail Mirza and adviser Syed Adil Gilani spoke at the press conference.

They said the most alarming was the increase in corruption ranks of income tax, customs and tendering and contracting to 3rd, 7th and 6th among the most corrupt from 8th, 9th and 10th in 2010.

The judiciary and courts became the 4th most corrupt sector from 6th recorded last year.

Mr Gilani said unwilling public prosecution in a number of alleged cases of major corruption, pending proceedings and delay in punishment had contributed to the development of a perception that the judicial system had also fallen prey to corruption.

Mr Muzaffar alleged that corruption had reached an unprecedented level in the country.

He said a lack of accountability was being witnessed because of delay in punitive action by state organs against corrupt elements in cases pertaining to Pakistan Steel, NICL, Punjab Bank, rental power plants, last year`s Haj, KESC, PIA, railways and Wapda.

He claimed that the judiciary was facing a deliberate defiance in implementing Supreme Court orders and an unwilling attitude of prosecution agencies. He said 26 of 40 posts of judges were vacant in the Sindh High Court. The judiciary ranked 4th in 2002 survey, 3rd in 2006 and 7th in 2009.

Tendering and contracting activities had remained at the 10th position for two years before jumping to 6th this year.

http://dawn.com/2011/12/29/transparency-issues-corruption-survey-report-land-police-departments-viewed-as-most-corrupt/

Zak said...

The court did not disqualify a Prime Minister but the MNA. Prime Minister was consequently disqualified after losing his seat as MNA. It is nothing ordinary in this case. Fiana Jones for example was disqualified and later restored by the court in UK. Some references were given by the Chief Justice in the disqualification of Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and if you search on Google you will find many more cases. Here is a list of Members of Parliament disqualified for one reason or another and some of them were disqualified by the Election Commission/Courts after they had been elected as member of Parliament.

Riaz Haq said...

Zak:"The court did not disqualify a Prime Minister but the MNA. Prime Minister was consequently disqualified after losing his seat as MNA."

The Supreme Court did in fact remove a sitting prime minister who was democratically elected....an unprecedented action in the history of parliamentary democracy.

Short-sighted opposition leaders and their misguided supporters who are celebrating it should understand that this sets a very dangerous precedent and revives the doctrine of necessity yet again. It's bad for democracy and bad for Pakistan in the long run.

Zak said...

Sir the court did not dissolve the parliament. It has only disqualified an MNA who is also the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Government is allowed to complete it's tenure and everything was done under the constitution of Pakistan and no doctrine of necessity was needed in this case.

Jamhooriyat ko koi nuqsaan nahi pohancha, it has only been strengthened after disqualifying a corrupt leader who ridiculed the highest court for Justice in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Zak:"Sir the court did not dissolve the parliament. It has only disqualified an MNA who is also the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Government is allowed to complete it's tenure and everything was done under the constitution of Pakistan and no doctrine of necessity was needed in this case."

The prime minister is not just another MNA. He's the leader of the House elected by overwhelming majority of MNAs.

The prime minister as the head of the executive branch is a co-equal of the Chief Justice.

And the legislature repeatedly gave Gilani their vote of confidence even as Judge Chaudhry pursued him relentlessly.

So it is a power struggle involving the judiciary versus executive and legislature.. two other co-equal branches of govt

This is nothing but a coup against the entire system of democratic governance in Pakistan.

And if this coup is hailed, then it opens up windows for other future coups most likely by the military.

Anonymous said...

"As a result of their different management style, the military governments have a history of delivering significantly higher economic growth than the civilians who follow them. "

except in areas like education where regardless of who rules, Pakistan remains in pits. Also heavy industries like locomotive, auto car building for exports (like India)

Riaz Haq said...

It's nothing short of a coup! So why is it that the majority of the people appear to be welcoming it? Is this situation any different than the welcome extended to military coup leaders who overthrew incompetent and corrupt civilian governments in the past? And if corruption is the key issue, then why doesn't CJ fix his own judiciary first. It is ranked by TI as the third most corrupt institution...worse than customs. Going by TI's assessment, the Pak military is among the least corrupt in Pakistan. Why shouldn't they take over instead of letting CJ call the shots? Let's ponder these points.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "except in areas like education where regardless of who rules, Pakistan remains in pits."

Nonsense! Pakistan has more high school and college grads per 1000 population than India, and Pakistan is reducing population with no-schooling faster than India, according to research published by Harvard University's Robert Barro and Jhong-Wa Lee.

As of 2010, there are 380 (vs 327 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 (vs 673 Indians) who enrolled in school, 22 (vs 20 Indians) dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 (vs 653 Indians) completed it. There are 401 (vs 465 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 (vs 69 Indians) completed secondary school while 111 (vs. 394 Indians) dropped out. Only 55 (vs 58 Indians) made it to college out of which 39 (vs 31 Indians) graduated with a degree.

Another important point to note in Barro-Lee dataset is that Pakistan has been increasing enrollment of students in schools at a faster rate since 1990 than India. In 1990, there were 66.2% of Pakistanis vs 51.6% of Indians who had no schooling. In 2000, there were 60.2% Pakistanis vs 43% Indians with no schooling. In 2010, Pakistan reduced it to 38% vs India's 32.7%.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/05/educational-attainment-in-india.html

Anon: "Also heavy industries like locomotive, auto car building for exports (like India)"

More BS. Building locos is not a litmus test. Many highly industrialized nations do not build locos. Pakistan does have a substantial heavy industrial base such as steel making, auto and aircraft manufacturing, military hardware manufacturing, shipbuilding, etc etc.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a TOI story comparing handling by Supreme Courts of Indira Gandhi's and Gilani's cases before them:

The Supreme Court ruled that Gilani stood disqualified from the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) from April 26, when he was convicted for contempt of court and sentenced symbolically. In the time of political crisis, the failed state responded to the situation rather admirably. Within days, the situation became more fluid with another court issuing warrants against a prime ministerial prospect in a pending case. But promptly, an alternative in Raja Pervez Ashraf was found.

Would India, a state where democracy has proved itself, have handled such a situation better?

At present, it could be said with a degree of certainty that it can handle such a situation with democratic precision expected of a political system which has matured. But 37 years ago, when the yet-to-be-tested democratic polity encountered a somewhat similar situation, it had reacted violently to leave a permanent scar on the democratic history of India.

At that time, Jaiprakash Narain had started to fan the perceived popular discontent against Indira Gandhi's government. The PM was in a state of nervousness in deciding the course of action against JP-led agitations, which were quickly spreading to other parts of the country.

At this crucial hour, the Allahabad HC on June 12, 1975, struck a severe blow by annulling Indira's election to Lok Sabha from Rae Bareli. It accepted defeated candidate Raj Narain's charge that she had misused official machinery during elections. She had a 20 day respite, for Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha had stayed his judgment for that period to allow her to appeal in the Supreme Court.

Indira wanted the SC to continue the "absolute stay" on her disqualification to allow her to function as PM unfettered. On June 24, 1975, Justice V R Krishna Iyer saved her from disqualification by staying the HC judgment. The court ordered that she would be allowed to participate in the proceedings of the House as PM but restrained her from voting as an MP.

Indira could not stomach such an affront when she wanted to be regarded as the undisputed leader of the country and of every institution that functioned within its territory. She was not impressed by Justice Iyer's logic — "The judicial approach is to stay away from political thickets and new problems with institutionalized blinkers on, so long as the court methodology remains the same."

Justice Iyer said, "Arguments about political sentiment, political propriety and moral compulsion though relevant at other levels, fall beyond the conventional judicial orbit and the courts have to discriminately shift them while deciding on the grant of stay pending appeal.

"If national crises and democratic considerations, and not mere balance of convenience and interests of justice were to be major inputs in the judges' exercise of discretion, systemic changes and shifts in judicial attitude may perhaps be needed."

The order in today's time would have been perceived as a favourable one. But the manner in which the SSC treated a PM as any other MP did hurt Indira's standing and ego. Treating her case, which she perceived as a national crisis, as an ordinary one increased her internal revulsion towards judiciary, especially the SC.

Just two days after the favourable verdict, Indira declared Emergency and wreaked vengeance on judges.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-handled-prime-ministers-disqualification-better-than-India/articleshow/14380227.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an IBMLive Op Ed by Brijesh Kalappa on judicial-political crisis in Pakistan:

"Let the Judges also remember that Solomon's throne was supported by lions on both sides: let them be lions, but yet lions under the throne." (Francis Bacon)

When a Judge who is appointed and not elected, assumes the role of a judge, jury and executioner, it poses serious problems. Thomas Jefferson declared: "The exemption of the judges from that [elections] is quite dangerous enough. I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves."

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has set a date of July 25 for the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Raja Parvez Ashraf to write a letter to the Swiss authorities in order to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Pakistan had plunged into a spell of political uncertainty on 19th June after Justice Chaudhry ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stood disqualified since his conviction for contempt and asked President Asif Ali Zardari to appoint a new premier. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry issued the verdict in response to several petitions that had challenged National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza's decision not to disqualify Gilani following his conviction nearly two months ago. The bench further held that the post of premier had been vacant since April 26, when another seven-judge bench had convicted Gilani of contempt for refusing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against President Zardari. The bench directed the election commission to issue a notification stating that Gilani, 60, was no longer a member of parliament.

The judiciary and the government have been in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation since December 2009, when the Supreme Court annulled a graft amnesty issued by Pervez Musharraf that apparently benefited Zardari besides some 8,000 others. The Court has since been pressuring the government to reopen the corruption cases against Zardari.

The President of Pakistan enjoys absolute immunity from criminal prosecution under Article 248(2) of the Constitution: "No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President ... in any court during his term of office."

Naturally, Justice Chaudhry has been criticised by the incumbent regime of being selective in the cases he pursues. President Zardari has personally accused him of relentlessly pursuing the government in relation to contempt of court proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani - while going slow in pursuit of the killers of his wife, Benazir Bhutto, in 2007. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has historically given legitimacy to military coups and is also said to be dragging its feet over corruption allegations against the intelligence services while doggedly pursuing different corruption cases against the government and for this reason enjoys the tacit support of the military, which has been happy to let it do the work of challenging the government. Despite enjoying the support of lawyers across the country, the Chief Justice has been accused by legal experts of acting in a biased manner against the ruling Pakistan People's Party and especially President Zardari.

Justice Chaudhry's past record indicates a marked preference for military rule - he sat on four pivotal Supreme Court benches between 2000 and 2005 that validated the military takeover by Gen Musharraf, his referendum, his legal framework order (LFO) and the 17th constitutional amendment that gave the president additional powers and allowed him to continue as the army chief. Justice Chaudhry became the country's youngest Chief Justice on 29 July 2004 and retires on 11 December 2013.
-------


http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/brijeshkalappa/2992/63695/pakistan-sc-paving-the-way-for-military-rule.html

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

The graph you have posted shows the following growth rates associated with various ruler (Sadr-e-Jumhuriat or Vazir-e-Azam)-

Zia Al Haq: 5.88%
Ayub Khan: 5.82%
Pervez Mush: 5.14%
Bibi Bhutto: 5.08%
Z A Bhutto: 4.83%
Yahya Khan: 4.38%
Nawaz Sharif: 4.06%
Iskander Mirza: 3.02%
M G Muhammad: 2.95%
Asif Zardari: 2.63%


I am sure that these data are accurate, but let us take another look at the context--

(1) 1947-1958: United States has no use for Pakistan. US rebuffs Pakistan's attempts at forming a US-Pak alliance against Socialist India. US says India, while socialist, is still a democracy and is, therefore, not on the dangerous nations list.

M G Muhammad (1951-1955): 2.95%
Iskander Mirza (1956-1958): 3.02%

(2) 1958-1965: United States changes its mind after Nehru-Krushchev co-operation pact in 1957. US gives massive economic & military assistance to Pakistan and facilitates technology transfers to aid industrialization.

Ayub Khan (1958-1968): 5.82%

(3) 1965-1971: Greatly disturbed by Pakistani Army's Misadventure into Indian-administered Kashmir, United States reduces its support to Pakistan. A period of chill comes over the relationship.

Yahya Khan (1968-1971): 4.38%

(4) 1971-1979: While supportive of Pakistan during the actual 1971 war, the US writes off Pakistan as an unstable, unpredicatable state and reduces assistance in response to Bhutto's Socialistic Policies. When Bhutto invites the USSR to help Pakistan build Nationalized Heavy Industries, US frowns on the development and cuts off most economic ties.

Z A Bhutto (1968-1978): 4.83%

(5) 1979-1989: Soviet Involvement in Afghanistan gives US the opportunity to pay them back for the Vietnam disaster. US uses Pakistan as "frontline" state and pours in huge sums of money and transfer technologies in exchange to assistance in the covert war against the Soviets. US-Pakistan relations warm up again and become very close.

Zia Al Haq (1978-1988): 5.88%

(6) 1989-2001: The Soviets leave Afghanistan, and the US loses all interest in Pakistan. The berlin wall falls, the USSR collapses and the Cold War is over. The US becomes concerned about Pakistan espionage of nuclear secrets from NATO countries and applies severe sanctions on Pakistan.

Bibi/Nawaz (1989-1998): 5.08%
Nawaz/Bibi (1989-1998): 4.06%

(7) 2001-2008: War on Terror Starts. US needs Pakistan again. General Pervez "does an Ayb" and offer all his services to US for a "price". US aid, technological & business assistance pours in. International investors follows the US and a boom results.

Pervez Mush (1998-2008): 5.14%

(8) 2008-2009: Global Financial Crisis

Asif Zardari (2008-2009): 1.75%

(9) 2009-Current: US perceives Pakistan as deceptive quasi-enemy state. CIA retiates for Pakistan's alleged-involvment in Afghanistan for "strategic depth" by formenting more terror and chaos in Pakistan. US unofficial black-listing of Pakistan causes foreign investors and capital to flee. Pakistan encounters financial and monetary instability. Economy limps along.

Asif Zardari (2009-Current): 2.63%

CONTD—

HopeWins Junior said...

--CONTD

What is the REAL COMMON THEME between all periods of HIGH-GROWTH. What is the REAL COMMON THEME between all periods of SLOW-GROWTH?

At first glance, it looks like it is ARMY RULE. But on closer examination, it appears that the real common theme between all periods of high-growth is the US coming-in, and the real common theme between all periods of slow-growth is the US walking-away.

Historically, the US has viewed Pakistan as either (i) Useful or (ii) Irrelevant. Whenever the US found Pakistan useful, they came in and the economy boomed. Whenever the US found Pakistan irrelevant, theywalked out and the economy slowed down.

But now the US views pakistan as (iii) Dangerous. We are in unchartered water. The US will not only NOT support Pakistan post 2014, but they will actually try to undermine it as revenge for Pakistan's duplicitous involvement with the Taliban killing of American Soldiers. If history is any guide, our economy will simply collapse if this were to happen.

Sometime to ponder. I could be wrong.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ:"At first glance, it looks like it is ARMY RULE. But on closer examination, it appears that the real common theme between all periods of high-growth is the US coming-in, and the real common theme between all periods of slow-growth is the US walking-away."

The actual data does not bear out the correlation between US aid and economic growth that you allege.

For example, Pakistan had healthy economic growth in 1970s ad 1980s in spite low levels of US assistance. Conversely, Pakistan has had more US aid since 2008 than the prior years under Musharraf and yet the economic growth has been the lowest in Pakistan's economic history.

http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/1425116/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on US civilian economic aid disbursed to Pakistan since 2009:

The United States has disbursed $ 2.8 billion in civilian assistance to Pakistan since the passage of the Kerry-Lugar Berman Bill in 2009, according to the State Department.

“While figures for this fiscal are not yet available, since the passage of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation in October 2009, the US government has disbursed $ 2.8 billion in civilian assistance, including approximately USD 1 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance,” the State Department said in a statement.

The non-humanitarian civilian assistance funds are spent in five priority sectors: energy, economic growth, stabilization of vulnerable areas, education, and health.

In 2011, the US supported construction of 210 kilometers of road in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, funded the world’s largest Fulbright exchange program, and sponsored initiatives promoting private sector growth and civil society development in Pakistan.

“The US remains committed to a strong, mutually respectful relationship with Pakistan. We consider bilateral US civilian assistance to be an important component of that relationship and believe it can help Pakistan become a more
prosperous, stable, and democratic state, which serves the national interests of both the United States and Pakistan,” the statement said yesterday.

“Civilian assistance to Pakistan has been ongoing throughout the closure of the Nato supply lines and has continued after their opening,” the statement said.


http://www.firstpost.com/world/pakistan-receives-2-8-billion-as-civilian-aid-from-us-381905.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on Aitazaz Ahsan criticizing Pakistan Supreme Court judges in an interview with BBC:

Senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader Senator Aitzaz Ahsan has said that, in some matters, the judiciary is stepping out of the domain of the constitution and is getting ‘too independent.’

In an interview with the BBC Urdu on Tuesday, he said that the Supreme Court’s activism is one sided and not equal for all aspects.

“Judiciary is independent, it is too much independent, actually it is getting ‘free’ of the constitution in some matters,” stated Aitizaz.

Pointing towards the supremacy of the Parliament, he said that the parliament can make amendments in the Constitution with a two-third majority, and this cannot be challenged in court.

Commenting on the role of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Ahsan said that the fromer’s gallant role against former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf had served to strengthen the democratic setup in the country, but subsequent actions had prompted people to question the judiciary.

Some judgements passed by the Supreme Court recently eliminated any possibility of the country returning to martial law and, therefore, there is no chance of the military taking over in the future, Ahsan noted.

On former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s disqualification by the SC, the Barrister said that he believed dismissing Gilani was a wrong decision, adding that the case was not a matter of disqualification, rather it was an issue related to the jurisdiction of the judiciary.

He questioned that how could the court ask to open a case against the President in a foreign court while the Constitution clearly granted him immunity?

Ahsan said that the stance taken by the Chief Justice in a speech that the judiciary can stop the Parliament from a Constitutional amendment clashes with the Supreme Court’s own decisions. He added that the apex court can review the amendments made through simple majority for any discrepancy within existing articles of the constitution, however, an amendments passed with a two-third majority cannot be challenged in the court.

Talking about the controversial Arsalan Iftikhar case, he said that the proceedings against the CJ’s son had raised questions about the court’s impartiality. He said that the present the judiciary is diverting from the prevailing principles of investigation into Arsalan’s alleged dealings with Malik Riaz Hussain.

On his movement for the restoration of judges, Ahsan said he had no regrets and that it was a movement for the victory of the people.

PPP to win next elections

Speaking on the upcoming general elections, the Barrister said that the PPP would not only win but also be able to form a government since President Asif Ali Zardari has now the experience of forming a hung parliament.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/419030/supreme-court-getting-too-free-stepping-out-of-constitutional-domain-aitzaz/

Riaz Haq said...

From Economist:

PAKISTAN'S chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (pictured above), is riding high. At a time when most of the country's political leaders are despised as venal, lazy or inept, its senior jurist is held in esteem. People tell pollsters they trust him more than anyone. They cheer his efforts to take on the corrupt and hapless president, Asif Ali Zardari. Yet Mr Chaudhry may be crossing a line from activist judge to political usurper.

His judges pass up no chance to swipe at the government. Mr Chaudhry spent months trying to get Swiss officials to reopen a corruption case that could have toppled Mr Zardari (in Pakistan, criminal proceedings against a sitting president are prohibited). After that failed, the courts took up a thin-looking case in which the president is accused of unconstitutionally holding an office for profit. That looks vindictive: the office in question is his post as head of the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

The courts quickly adopt populist causes, especially those that squeeze Mr Zardari. After an American diplomat shot dead two men in the street in Lahore last month, the mother of one victim appealed for justice on television, saying that she would trust only Mr Chaudhry to help. The High Court in Lahore promptly ordered that the diplomat, who had been arrested, must not be allowed out of the country—even if the government were to rule that he had immunity. In this case, as in many others, the judges have shown themselves to be able self-publicists. Their stance has won approving coverage.
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On one interpretation, all this may add up to nothing too sinister. A degree of judicial activism is needed if Mr Zardari's government is not to enjoy an easy ride. The opposition pulls its punches, despite the government's wretched failure in coping with huge floods last year, and its lack of progress in tackling widespread graft, reviving the economy or putting down extremist violence. Nawaz Sharif, the main opposition leader, seems not to want to bring down a civilian government before elections are due. Perhaps he does not want to rule yet, given Pakistan's mess. Or perhaps he fears giving the army an excuse to meddle openly in politics yet again.

Another, and more troubling, interpretation is also plausible. Maybe, some observers say, the judges are getting too big for their wigs precisely because they have army support. Mr Chaudhry, witting or not, may be helping to create the conditions in which the men in uniform step in again one day. The example Pakistanis cite in private is Bangladesh's stealthy coup in January 2007. At that time the army, fronted by technocrats, pushed aside corrupt party politicians and scrapped elections, with the tacit support of donors.

Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author, notes “extraordinary co-operation” between the judges and the army in recent years in Pakistan. He points out how rarely judges pursue cases of human-rights violations by soldiers, whereas cases that hurt the government fly into the courts. The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, a more introverted figure than his predecessor, does not seem to want to take power right now. But a further collapse of order in Pakistan, which is increasingly described as a failing state, might encourage the soldiers to act. Mr Chaudhry should take care that he does not become their fall guy.


http://www.economist.com/node/18114729

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story on history of high-profile contempt of court cases in Pakistan:

...Let us briefly recap all the key incidents where some four Pakistani prime ministers, one caretaker premier, an army chief, dozens of judges, ministers, leaders of top political parties and influential business magnates etc have been guilty of earning the wrath of the apex court arbiters: Contempt proceedings against a sitting Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, were initiated in 1976 in the case filed by the National Awami Party (NAP), now called the Awami National Party (ANP). During the eventful 1970s, the National Awami Party was banned by the government and the decision was upheld by the courts of the time. However, Bhutto could not restrain himself from airing statements against the NAP, something that was not permissible in line with the court order. The late Abdul Wali Khan, father of the current Awami National Party Chief, Asfandyar Wali Khan, had then filed a contempt petition against Bhutto 37 years ago in 1976. Having entertained Wali Khan’s petition, the court had gone on to issue contempt notices to the prime minister of the time. However, no concrete evidences were found against Premier Bhutto and the notices were subsequently discharged. Pakistan’s former Army Chief, General Aslam Beg, was first charged with contempt of court on February 21, 1993. In a newspaper interview on February 4, 1993, General Beg had admitted that he had sent an emissary to the Supreme Court to warn the judges not to restore the National Assembly. The then Chief Justice Naseem Hassan Shah got infuriated over the former army chief’s interview and had held him for contempt. In this case, CJ Shah had remarked: “We are very sorry to hand over the defence of the country to a person who was so careless.” The court had finally convicted the retired General of contempt, but strangely did not give any judgment about the sentence. The same court even overturned its own decision after an appeal was filed. And finally on January 09, 1994, all proceedings against General Aslam Beg were dropped. The second time General Beg had to face a contempt charge was on March 8, 2012, when during the hearing of the 1996 Asghar Khan Case; his statement was termed contempt of court by the judges. During the proceedings on that date, Aslam Baig had submitted his rejoinder to the statement of the ex-Mehran Bank President, Younis Habib. Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary-led Supreme court had expressed its ire over a paragraph of Baig’s statement and had termed it contempt of court. The chief justice had then asked Aslam Baig to tender an apology over that paragraph. Left with no other option, the former army chief had to seek pardon instantly and had to appeal for the deletion of that particular paragraph. General Beg was in court to reject ex-Mehran Bank President Younis Habib’s statement, which was submitted in the Supreme Court over the petition filed by Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan. The statement was related to the alleged disbursement of money among the national politicians by the ISI to disrupt the general elections of 1990. Pakistan’s current Premier Nawaz Sharif had to appear personally before the Supreme Court on November 17, 1997, after a contempt notice was issued to him on recommendation of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. This was Sharif’s second stint in power..

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-194503-Chronology-of-key-contempt-cases-in-Pakistan