Category Archives: Law

Brexit: The Chequers White Paper

An embattled Theresa May made the proposals in this paper to her cabinet and her Brexit Secretary, David Davis, resigned. Then Boris Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary to humiliate her further. Trump gave an interview to the Sun trashing May’s proposals and said that Boris Johnson would make a better Prime Minister. He said that he told May how to do Brexit but she would not listen to him. But the catty Mrs May was able to pull one back and Trump repeatedly held hands with her during their joint press conference commending the prime minister as a “terrific woman” and saying that he would want her as a friend and not an enemy and that she was “doing a fantastic job” . The Chequers White Paper and press conference are below. Prior to these events Trump had played disrupter-in-chief at NATO and accused Germany of being a Russian pawn because of its reliance on Russian gas.

Raymond Davis’s New Book: An Old Device For Defamation

The Pakistani establishment does not act as clients to USA or other international powers as portrayed in Davis’s book. Unlike many other countries in the region, for example Afghanistan, the Pakistani establishment is smart enough to look after its own interests.

There has been a history of dealing with spies in the international relations. During war times, arrested spies were exchanged with mutual consent. There has been also a practice of killing these spies brutally. Mata Hari, a Dutch spy who worked for German cause during the First World War, was executed by firing squad. The recent case of Kulbushan Yadev and Raymond Davis are two peas of the same pod. They belong to different countries but their objective was same. Both were arrested by Pakistani government and convicted in the courts and given death sentences. Raymond Davis was released dramatically the details of which have been available in his recently published book The Contractor: How I landed in a Pakistani prison and ignited a diplomatic crisis. The story of 49 days from January 27, 2011 to March 16, 2011 has been narrated by him in a novel-type style. He has described how politicians and the Army manipulated things for his safe exit from Pakistan.

The role of General Pasha, the then ISI chief has been mentioned repeatedly that how he and his ISI had pressurized the family of murdered Faizan Haider and how the lawyer Asad Manzoor Butt was kept away from the last day proceedings. The story has two dimensions: one to defame Pakistani establishment as clients to USA which has been served to some extent because there is nothing new for people to buy. Secondly, it implies that how arrested spies increase the bargaining powers of weaker states against comparatively big powers. Continue reading

Panama Papers: The Report of the JIT

The full report of the Joint Investigation Team JIT, formed in the aftermath of the revelations contained in the Panama Papers, be found here. The report is not a judgment and commentators are divided over whether the document is sufficient to lead to the removal of prime minister Nawaz Sharif from office. NDTV reports that the JIT accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam of presenting fake documents on two 2006 declarations to the probe team using the “Calibri” font which was not commercially available till January 30, 2007. The JIT, which is probing allegations of money laundering against Mr Sharif and his family, said Maryam Nawaz, her brothers Hussain and Hassan Nawaz as well as her husband Captain Mohammad Safdar (retd), had signed false documents to mislead the Supreme Court.

The team that probed offshore assets of Sharif family said in its report that Maryam Nawaz claimed herself to be “trustee not the owner” of Avenfield properties in London, which linked her to Minerva Services and Samba Financial, Geo News reported. The JIT said that her claim turned out to be completely wrong and it was proven that she owned the properties managed by Minerva Services. The JIT concluded that Mr Sharif’s daughter was the real and ultimate beneficial owner of the Avenfield apartments. Continue reading

Jadhav Case (India v Pakistan) Provisional Measures

India has been trying to extradite Pakistani nationals languishing in prisons worldwide on the basis of DNA evidence so that these persons can be used as pawns in prisoner swaps probably in exchange for persons such as Mr Jadhav whose execution was stayed by the ICJ today. The full press release is available below. Notably, Pakistan and India are Contracting Parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 and whilst Article 6 does not prohibit the death penalty, it restricts its application to the most serious crimes. This case  turns on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963.

The Court indicates to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that it must take “all measures at its disposal” to prevent the execution of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, pending final judgment of the Court

THE HAGUE, 18 May 2017. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, today indicated to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that it must “take all measures at its disposal” to ensure that Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, of Indian nationality, is not executed pending a final judgment of the Court in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan).

In its Order indicating provisional measures, which was adopted unanimously, the Court also stated that the Government of Pakistan shall inform it of all measures taken in implementation of that Order. It further decided to remain seised of the matters which form the subject of the Order until it has rendered its final judgment.

Continue reading

Israeli Settlements Have “No Legal Validity”

On 23 December 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of a Security Council of Resolution 2334 (2016) which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, have “no legal validity,” constitute a “flagrant violation” under international law and are a “major obstacle” to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. “The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable,” the UN chief’s spokesperson Continue reading

Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan on Pakistan’s Foreign Relations

We recently republished this classic, from our archives, in the Pakistan Horizon. In his piece, Sir Zafrulla Khan commented on the inadequacy of resources for the fledgling, refugee state of Pakistan but he was full of hope for the future of the country. As stated on his Wikipedia page, he was a Pakistani jurist and diplomat who served as first the foreign minister of Pakistan and the first Muslim, Asian and only Pakistani president for both the UN General Assembly and also the International Court of Justice. Born in Sialkot, British India, Khan was educated as a lawyer at GCU and King’s College and served as a member of Punjab Legislative Council between 1926 till 1931. He was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London, England. An excellent paper by Victor Kattan entitled Decolonizing the International Court of Justice: The Experience of Judge Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan in the South West Africa Cases is well worth reading as well.

He became a member of the All-India Muslim League which led the Pakistan movement and served as the league’s president between 1931 and 1932. In 1935 he became the Minister of Railway of British India, and sat on the British Viceroy’s Executive Council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. Continue reading

One-Third of the World’s Women in Prison are Locked Up in America

From Identities.Mic: As you can see, it’s not even close. Citing data from the International Center for Prison Studies, Niall McCarthy of Statista visualizes how the United States housed nearly one-third of the globe’s incarcerated women in 2013. It’s a huge problem the American public has only begun to recognize.

The context: Recently, discussions around the rise of mass incarceration have focused largely on men, most notably, black men. Illustrating this is how 1 in 10 black American males is in prison on a given day, while black men remain nearly six times as likely to be imprisoned in their lifetime than their white peers. Continue reading