Violation of Law and Constitution of the Land and International Law

The Nawaz Sharif’s September 10th forced exile was not only the violation of the law of the land and the Constitution but also in breach of international laws and conventions. Even if one ignores the clear ruling of the Supreme Court in the Sharifs case, the forced deportation of the former prime minister was a violation of the 1973 Constitution; an offense under Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance 2002; a slip under Pakistan Penal Code; and in breach of international law/protocol and conventions.

Although there are strong hints from within the government that Washington had directed the Sharifís forced exile drama, apparently both Islamabad and Riyadh trampled not only the local but also international laws and conventions to show greater respect to Nawaz Sharif’s undertaking that he had signed while he was in jail and fearing for his life in the hijacking case in the year 2000.

The constitutional violations include the breach of articles 10, 14, 15, 16 and 25. The Supreme Court had referred to Article 15 of the Constitution while allowing Sharifs’ unhindered return. The Article 15 of the Constitution says: “Freedom of movement, etc. Every citizen shall have the right to remain in, and, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the public interest, enter and move freely throughout Pakistan and to reside and settle in any part thereof.”

Nawaz Sharif was taken into custody upon his arrival but not given the right to defend. According to a news report, he tried to contact Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan but forced into exile in violation of Article 10(1) of the Constitution, which reads as: “Safeguards as to arrest and detention. (1) No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall he be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.

“The way the twice elected former prime minister of the country was manhandled, pushed and dragged, was the violation of Article 14(1) of the Constitution, which reads as: ìInviolability of dignity of man, etc. (1) The dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable.”

Preventing the PML-N supporters particularly from all over Punjab to come to Islamabad to welcome the return of their exiled leader, the government violated Article 16 of the constitution, which says: “Freedom of assembly Every citizen shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order.” Article 25 of the Constitution envisages that all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law; however, Nawaz Sharif was dealt discriminately.

The September 10th event was also an offence under sections 339, 340, 359, 362 and 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Section 339 is about wrongful restraint and it is said that as the former Prime Minister was not allowed exit so the government committed this offence. The Section 339 says, “Whoever voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed, is said wrongfully to restrain that person.”

Section 340 of the PPC deals with wrongful confinement. It reads as: “Whoever wrongfully restrains any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits is said wrongfully to confine that person.”

Section 359 of PPC deals with kidnapping offence and is most relevant in case of Nawaz Sharif, who has said that he has been deported without his consent. Section 359 reads as: “Kidnapping from Pakistan. Whoever conveys any person beyond the limits of Pakistan without the consent of that person, or of some person legally authorized to consent on behalf of that person, is said to kidnap that person from Pakistan.”

The September 10 incident also covers under Section 362 of the PPC dealing with Abduction. It says, “Whoever by force compels or by any deceitful means induces, any person to go from any place, is said to abduct that person.”

The Sharif’s case is also an offence under Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance, 2002. Under Section 2 (h) of the Ordinance “Human Trafficking” means obtaining, securing, selling, purchasing, recruiting, detaining, harboring or receiving a person, notwithstanding his implicit or explicit consent, by use of coercion, kidnapping, abduction, or by giving or receiving any payment or benefit, or sharing or receiving a share from such person’s subsequent transportation out of or into Pakistan by any means.

It is said that the extradition of Nawaz Sharif was illegal under international law as international human rights law recognizes that a country may not extradite a person to another country if that personís rights are likely to be violated. Legal experts refer to one Soering v. United Kingdom, 161 Eur Ct HR (ser A) (1989) case as an example. In this case it was held that the UK could not extradite a German suspect to the United States as it was likely that his human rights would be violated.

Experts say that the human trafficking is condemned under international law. Reference may be made in this regard to the United Nations Convention against transnational organized crime, which was adopted in 2000 and more specifically to its protocol to prevent suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. However, the specific definition of “trafficking” under Article 3(a) in the Convention is somewhat different than under the country’s human trafficking Ordinance in that it specifically ties trafficking to “exploitation” whereas the Ordinance criminalizes trafficking so as to obtain “any benefit” and not just for the purposes of exploitative entertainment.

The international convention on civil and political rights is also relevant in this case; however, both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have yet to ratify this convention. Article 11 of the Convention says, “No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.” Article 12(1) says, “Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.” Article 12(2) says, “Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.”

Article 12(4) of the Convention says, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.”

Courtesy: The News

Interesting Facts about General Pervez Musharraf

He joined Military Academy in 1961 and passed out as 2nd Lieutenant in 1964. On the basis of military service, he stands retired after 35 years in 1999.

He became was made a 4 star general as CAOS on October 07, 1998. After completing the tenure of 3 years, he should have retired on October 06, 2001 but he himself extended his tenure without limit.

He was born on August 11, 1943. Even if he was a civilian employee, he should have retired at the age of 60 years on August 10, 2003.

According to book written by S M Zafar, a senior lawyer and Senator of ruling party, article 63 1 d, which allowed General Pervez Musharraf to remain in uniform as President, had become ineffective on December 31, 2004. So there-after he could not remain in uniform.

Appearing on Pakistan Television, President General Pervez Musharraf had announced without any duress that he would doff off his uniform by December 31, 2004 but he betrayed the nation by not fulfilling his promise.

According to oath of President taken by General Pervez Musharraf, he is forbidden from taking part in any type of political activity but he indulges fully in politics.

According to service rules of army, he is forbidden from taking part in any type of political activity but he indulges fully in politics.

The Deal Revealed

Mrs Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of the exiled prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, revealed facts about the deal that took place in 2000. She said that Musharraf was uneasy due to her coming into the active politics and quoted Saad Hariri to explain his (Musharraf) disgust for her.

“Take this woman first and then the other members of the Sharif family, she is pain in the neck for us,” Kulsoom recalled Hariri’s words as was conveyed to him by Musharraf when Sharif family was asked to pack up for Jeddah.

She said Musharraf had to make this observation when she refused to accompany other family members in exile as she was busy in political activities and was not bound to leave in accordance with any agreement. “I neither signed any agreement nor I was in some verbal commitment with any authority to leave,” she said.

While narrating the facts about first deportation of the Sharifs, Kulsoom said Hariri was not the first foreign friend came up with a package offering pardon in return for abstaining from political activities for a specific period of time. She said that some respected personalities from Qatar and the UAE had first approached the Sharif family. She said these foreign personalities were, however, clearly told that there would be no question of compromise with Musharraf who had abrogated the constitution.

According to her, these honourable personalities did not interfere upon their own to facilitate in brokering a deal but on the request of Musharraf who wanted Sharif family out of scene for a smooth sailing in politics. “Musharraf and his companions thought that if the punishments against Sharifs implemented, they (Sharifs) will become heroes and immortal and the awakened nation of the 21st century will not forgive them,” she observed.

Musharraf’s government, she said, changed strategy after Sharifs’ refusal to any compromise with him. They approached Nawaz’s father Mian Muhammad Sharif who was very old and sick in those days. “Military dictators thought that an old father would be frightened by the threat of hanging his sons,” she said. According to her, even Mian Sharif refused the possibility of any such compromise.

“It was when Hariri came at scene as the representative of the Saudi royal family. Our relations with the royal family were always very pleasant. Hariri was unknown to us by that time,” she said. Initially Hariri also failed in his efforts when refused any compromise in his initial meetings with Nawaz in Attock fort, she added.

It was only when Musharraf ran out of patience and conveyed threatening message of hanging Nawaz, Mian Sharif started considering the exile option and consulted Riaz Batalvi advocate and Majeed Nizami who gave him a go-ahead if the situation was so worse, she admitted.

“Mian Sharif asked me,” Kulsoom elaborated, “to convey the message to both Nawaz and Shahbaz that it was his (father) order that they should accept the offer of honourable foreigners and leave the country for the time being.”

She alleged that while doing all this the rulers set aside the sensitivity of strategic relations with these brotherly countries. “Musharraf had deliberately indulged the friendly countries in a purely internal political issue for his vested interests,” she said.

She said that she was present in all meetings of these foreigners with Mian Sharif and Nawaz Sharif. “After order of Mian Sharif, I and Saad Hariri went to Attock fort. Nawaz again categorically rejected all offers. At that moment I conveyed the message of Mian Sharif to Nawaz. On hearing the orders of Mian Sharif, Nawaz became quiet and said that he was ready to accept the decision of his father,” she added.

She said Shahbaz Sharif, however, rejected everything and categorically refused to leave Pakistan at any cost.

Like Shahbaz, Kulsoom said, she was also forced to leave the country against her wishes. She said, however, she kept quiet on the issue in honour of the respected foreign personalities involved in the case. She said the agreement was for five years and signature on a ten years paper were done on the guarantee of ‘the most honourable personality’, which was conveyed to Sharif family through Hariri.

She said that according to the agreement, the Sharif family was free to go to some other country from Saudi Arabia except Pakistan. She said, however, Saudi authorities did not allow them to move to any other country. They always said that wait for two or three months.

“We were even not allowed to go to London for the bypass of Mian Sharif for which facility was not available in Jeddah,” she said. Mian Sharif had died because of the unavailability of medical facilities, which was a violation of the agreement, she added.

Kulsoom said that another blatant violation of the deal was that the agreement document should have to be in the possession of Prince Abdullah (now King Abdullah) and no other person or party could have its copy. She said the government of Pakistan had, however, managed to get a copy through the personal secretary and pilot of Saad Hariri, Capt Shujaat Azeem, who is younger brother of Minister of State for Information Tariq Azeem. She said it was a sheer violation the agreement and blatant disrespect to ‘the most respectable personality’.

About the Sharifs’ participation in politics during the exile, she said: “The Saudi authorities, never objected to our political activities in London, as we were not bound to do so according to the agreement. Musharraf started making mercy requests to respectable personalities of the brotherly countries to stop us from coming to Pakistan. Shujaat Azeem met us in Germany few months’ back and made the same request. Nawaz clearly told him that we have spent more than seven years despite five years and now no one can request us not to go to Pakistan.”

She said: “When Hariri came to London with the same request, he was reminded the verbal agreement that he made on behalf of ‘the most respectable personality’. He admitted that but said he is under compulsions in the changed international scenario. His request that Nawaz Sharif should not go to Pakistan was turned down.”

Kulsoom said that those people in Pakistan who were criticising them for not disclosing the agreement for the last seven years should read its last paragraph.

She said: “We were strictly bound to not to utter or discuss a single word even within ourselves.” She said that they remained quiet to fulfil their the promise. “However, the day a Saudi prince himself showed a copy of the agreement at a press conference in Islamabad on September 8, we no more remained bound to our promise. Nawaz Sharif told the actual reality to the whole world on the same day,” she added.

Courtesy: The News

Failure of Modern Society

Aided by science and science-based technology, modern humanity has achieved great material success. But scientific findings also suggest that in pursuit of this achievement human society may inadvertently be putting its future at risk. In remaking the earthly environment, modern society has failed to take into account the full significance of resulting changes in the circumstances of life on earth. Assumptions and behaviors that have served humanity for centuries may no longer be appropriate. The capabilities that have enabled modern humanity to attain present levels of civilization may be insufficient to overcome the risks incidental to this achievement. Accelerating advances in science and technology have enabled humans to reshape the world more rapidly than has growth in understanding of the risks as well as the benefits of these advances.

Having abandoned reciprocity with the natural world in pursuit of command over it, modern civilization has broken an ancient covenant with nature. For centuries humans lived within the parameters of nature, benefiting from its beneficence, adapting to its rhythms, and coping with its adversities. Still interfaced with the natural world, modern humanity lives in an invented environment which appears to be developing more rapidly than have human bio-adaptive capabilities. In consequence there has been a growth of stress on the human mind and body, and on traditional assumptions and behaviors.

Although humans have created the artificial environments called “civilization,” their survival is contingent upon living within the natural system from which they evolved. A critical challenge to humanity is to learn how to live in this natural-artificial hybrid environment which it has undertaken to manage.

We cannot foresee how far or for how long humans will (or perhaps can) adapt their bio-psychological endowment to the contrived environment of human invention. Yet humans must accommodate to those forces of nature which cannot be managed beyond managing ourselves.1 Those who formulate policy should recognize that if humans pit themselves against the fundamental dynamics of cosmic nature, they are certain to lose. To the extent that natural systems and processes are adequately understood, humans may continue to “manage” nature (with nature’s cooperation). But Francis Bacon’s dictum continues to hold: “Nature to be commanded must first be obeyed.” Without a strong and governing principle of limits built into public policy, the ingenuity of humans may impel them toward their own demise. Limits hold true for all life-forms and will ultimately constrain the direction of human development. If the present widespread commitment to a sustainable future is realistic, people and policy makers must act upon the axiom that unfettered growth and unrestrained expansion in a finite system leads toward a condition of cul-de-sac which, if irreversible, could result in destruction. 1

There is sufficient evidence of serious risk in the present trend of human society to warrant collective inquiry into its causes, its probable consequences, and possible countervailing strategies. If we fully recognized our relative risks and probabilities, as well as our beneficial possibilities, then perhaps we could redirect our collective efforts with greater assurance toward a more sustainable preferred future. It might be argued that war and civil disorder are presently the greatest threats to the human future. One need not minimize their dangers to also recognize that attrition of the Earth’s biosphere and life support systems could continue unobtrusively under conditions of peace until a point at which environmental disintegration led to societal disintegration.

Recent practical examples are the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq where mass massacre of innocent civilian men, women and children including infants was conducted and thousands of them have been maimed by the champions of the modern civilization and self proclaimed saviours of humanity.