Saturday, July 27, 2013

Controversial SC Ruling in Pak Presidential Race; Sharif's Choices for COAS and Chief Justice

Opposition parties have protested Pakistan Supreme Court's ruling on pulling in the presidential election date at federal government's request. Nawaz Sharif is set to make three key choices this year: Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court and Republic's President. How will these choices impact the nation in the next several years? Viewpoint From Overseas (VPOS) host Faraz Darvesh discusses these subjects with Sabahat Ashraf (iFaqir), Javed Ellahie and Riaz Haq.

Pakistani Judges' Role in President's Race; Appointments of Army Chief and Chief Justice from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

UN Malala Day

Treason Trial of Musharraf

Does Sharif Have an Anti-Terror Policy?

Blowback of US Drones in Pakistan

Why is Democracy Failing in Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas-Vimeo 

Viewpoint From Overseas-Youtube


Meer said...

Riaz sahib with behavior of Chief Justice - do u think he is pitching himself for an extension? The behavior of SC keeps reinforcing the fact that Musharraf was right.

Riaz Haq said...

Meer: "Riaz sahib with behavior of Chief Justice - do u think he is pitching himself for an extension? The behavior of SC keeps reinforcing the fact that Musharraf was right.

I think activist judges are just as dangerous to Nawaz Sharif as they were to his predecessors. Military coups are now less likely but the chances of judicial coups are much greater.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Dawn report about Lahore bar demanding a reference against 3 senior SC judges including Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry:

LAHORE: A general house meeting of the Lahore High Court Bar Association adopted a resolution on Tuesday demanding presidential references against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawad S. Khwaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed for their alleged violation of the constitution in their judgment on the election of the president.

Advocate Rashid Lodhi, an activist of PPP, moved the resolution which criticised the Supreme Court judgment directing the Election Commission to advance the date of presidential election by a week and hold it on July 30.

Bar president Abid Saqi presented the resolution which was adopted with majority.

Mr Saqi said the bar had always raised voice against both military and judicial dictators and for supremacy of the constitution.

The house held that the presidential election conducted on the order of the Supreme Court had no sanctity of law or the constitution and the bar would not accept what it called a ‘dubious exercise’.

It demanded that the chief election commissioner and all his provincial counterparts should immediately resign over their failure to hold the election on schedule given by the ECP.

The house decided that the association would file references against the CJP and the other judges before the Supreme Judicial Council if the president failed to do so.

Pakistan Bar Council vice-chairman Syed Kalbe Husain, Supreme Court Bar Association’s former president Asma Jahangir, LHCBA’s former president Ahmad Awais, Mian Jamil Akhtar and Rashid Lodhi spoke on the occasion and criticised the court’s verdict.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a Dawn editorial on DI Khan jailbreak by the TTP:

The KP administration led by PTI has not even gone as far as owning the war. This head-in-the-sand approach can only boost the confidence of the militants, while demoralising the people that resist them. It may well be that the militants are changing their tactics to springing their men out of jail as opposed to negotiating with the government for their release. This necessitates an urgent fortification of detention centres, not just in KP but across the country. Perhaps even more importantly, it necessitates the recognition that it is the state of Pakistan itself that is under assault.

Riaz Haq said...

As the repository of infallible wisdom it instantly passed an order without even bothering to hear other interested parties. The manner in which the Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction and summarily exercised it highlights the apex court’s mindset under Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News Op Ed by Wajahat Khan on choice of next COAS:

Simply, command posts are those that grant an officer operational control of deployed forces over a specified covered area. At three-stars, that means a corps command. All five potential successors would play that gig: Haroon Aslam would get Bahawalpur’s XXXI; Rashad Mahmood would get Lahore’s IV; Raheel Sharif would get Gujranwala’s XXX; Tariq Khan would get Mangla’s I; and Zahir-ul-Islam would get Karachi’s V.
In the army’s jungle of myth and law, Lahore and Karachi are more prestigious commands; they come with an informal degree in politics for the commander, just because of where they are headquartered. Battle-focused, Mangla is an elite ‘strike’ formation, hard-tasked to knife into India. Bahawalpur and Gujranwala are ‘holding’ formations, assigned to assist other, larger corps.

Thus, the tactics of their deployments disclosed the strategy of their boss. Rashad and Zahir were meant for bigger things (the politically sensitive chief of general staff and DG-ISI after Lahore and Karachi, respectively). Tariq, the tough guy of the western front (by 2010, he had done two serious stints with the 14th Infantry Division and the Frontier Corps in counterinsurgency/counterterrorism operations in Fata/KPK, liaised with US Centcom and commanded another strike formation in the famed 1st Armoured Division) would now harden his troops for the ‘perpetual threat from the east’.

As for Haroon (GoC of SSG) and Raheel (commandant of Pakistan Military Academy plus another premier infantry division’s GoC), not top guns but not lightweights either, thus, still worth rewarding, would get secondary corps in Bahawalpur and Gujranwala. To those who can read the code, the math was clear: though all had three-stars, some brass was worth more – and better polished, too.

But besides command, there comes a time in every officer’s life when he has to do a more ‘political’ desk job – the staff job – and at the three-star level, that means serving as a principal staff officer (where one is within walking/whispering/wooing distance away from the boss). The PSO job reinforces the best and singles them away from the rest. It’s also where one gets to lunch, talk golf and of course, work with and impress Kayani.

In this darker world of staff jobs, the chief’s matrix would become clearer: The number two, Rashad, would get the choice chief of general staff (after Lahore, this would peg him as a ‘favourite’ for COAS). The number one, Haroon, would get the less-glamorous chiefdom of Logistics Staff (readying him for the coordinative role at CJCSC). The number three, Raheel, a war-hero legatee (after all, he is Nishan-e-Haider Shabbir Sharif’s brother, but severely underrated by analysts), would get the cumbersome IGT&E (inspector general training and evaluation, a bean counter of sorts).

Zahir, at five, would take the fearsome ISI (not a PSO, but an adjutant to the real ISI chief, Kayani himself, a trustworthy title further enshrined after Karachi’s politics and terror). Only Tariq Khan, who lives for the field, would remain in the command world and not get a staff job, drilling his strike corps for the day of reckoning with India.

As for the hot favourite, Rashad may have a novice’s handicap of minus-two in polo, but Kayani’s fellow ‘Baluchi’ is a contender by the very fact that he’s led the sensitive Lahore Corps – where he duly interacted with the Sharifs as they held Punjab in the previous administration – and is now Kayani’s premier PSO....