Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hussain Haqqani and the Courts of Pakistan

When I read the title of Hussain Haqqani’s latest musing on the sorry state of Pakistan, I knew what was coming. This would be “How Pakistan Lets Terrorism Fester” in the New York Times.

The Pakistan People’s Party and its “friends” in the media have become as predictable as target killing in Karachi. Neither look like stopping any time soon too. Correlation, anyone?

Anyway, the standard formula for PPP media management comprises of 3 steps:

1)Identify the audience. In this case, and in most, the United States.
2)Identify what they are most bothered about. Terrorism.
3)Now link it to whoever you are most annoyed with.

Over the last 4 years the formula has worked wonders for the PPP. Screaming that anyone who opposes them is definitely a terrorist sympathizer, the party has managed to curry favour from the US all along. Taliban Khan is by now a well established moniker while PML-N has also earlier been put in its place, remember “Maulvi Nawaz”?

The PPP appointed head of ISI of course became a stout promoter of terrorist outfits during the memo-gate days.

Now, as chief protagonist of PPP-US relations, Mr. Haqqani has noticed that the pesky judges at the Supreme Court are really overstepping their constitutional bounds and clearly have their priorities all wrong.

You see where I am going with this?

According to Hussain Haqqani, the courts are now the major hindrance in eradicating terrorism. The court has a “partisan” agenda, where it is “trying to dislodge the government by insisting on reopening cases of alleged corruption from the 1990s”.

Yes, the court does seem to have it in for this government. After all, the NRO law that closed those cases in the first place was NOT promulgated by a military dictator, nor did the SC show any opposition to it before the elections of 2008. It certainly wasn’t hearing a case against the NRO before Musharraf sent it packing with his second martial law.

So the bias against a democratic government is pretty clear.

Haqqani also tells us that “our courts should be focused on identifying, arresting and prosecuting the individuals who helped” Osama Bin Laden. Because after all, identifying, arresting and prosecuting people is the job of courts, while the PPP has formed a government to pass judgements, in between partying at the beach and trips to the barber shop.

That is not all however. If you were to bear with Mr. Former Ambassador a while longer, he will show you how terrorists in the country are routinely set free “by judges who overtly sympathize with their ideology”.

Now at this juncture I will like to point out that Mr. Haqqani is growing old and his mind is not as sharp as it once was. Memory loss? Perhaps. He has in the recent past misplaced cell phones when most important calls had to be made, never mind simply forgetting BB Pins in awkward situations.

As the man chronically forgets stuff, he wasn’t able to fully expose the wretched judiciary of our fine country. The judiciary is much viler than the fair ambassador has suggested.

What the ambassador, because of his rather frail mind, forgot to mention here was that the judiciary also “overtly sympathizes” with the ideology of target killers in Karachi, of separatists in Balochistan, of smugglers, bureaucrats and of high handed intelligence operatives all over the country. None of whom see many convictions.

In fact, the judiciary even supports the ideology of Asif Ali Zardari, whatever that maybe, as the President hasn’t been convicted in any of the cases against him, at least in this country. The Swiss judiciary, as we all know, is the birth place of terrorism.

Seeing the raw data, some might suggest that the judges don’t actually support someone that they acquit of charges. That in fact they might just not have enough evidence to convict. Some even might go as far as to conclude that the justice system in Pakistan is broken, that massive reforms are needed in the system; laws need to be strengthened and loopholes closed.

Still others might point out to Mr. Haqqani that in the last 4 years the government that he has so ably represented in the United States did not legislate for said purpose, and does not intended to do so in the future. Instead, it has brought a constitutional amendment aimed at controlling the Supreme Court, by changing the process of appointment of the judges.

So, does the PPP consider it more important to control who sits in the apex court rather than to strengthen laws so that terrorists could be better prosecuted?

I could now accuse the PPP of never really wanting to reform the justice system. I could say people like Hussain Haqqani were the last people who would want our problems to be fixed. His kind of people, who change loyalties and ideologies out of convenience, who proudly boast of representing the IJI when there are still cases pending against that movement; would they really want stronger courts?

I would however do no such thing, because Mr. Haqqani is only human, he errs like others and obviously, as I said before, his mind isn’t as sharp as it once was.

His heart though, however ill and keeping him from attending court proceedings, is in the right place. This I realized at the end of his piece, where he passionately ask the Pakistani media to “be more focused on asking why those deemed terrorists internationally are celebrated as heroes at home.”

You see this gives me hope, because I know when Mr. Haqqani’s mental condition stabilizes, he will surely ask his government why those deemed terrorists internationally are celebrated as coalition partners at home?

Let’s all pray the Alzheimer’s wears off soon.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

LUMS Personal Statement

Yes, so I had promised people I would put up my LUMS Personal Statement up here.

I just came back from LUMS, and this is what got me the interview call for their MBA programme. Once you go through it, you will understand when I tell you that it was the most awkward interview ever.

Note: Only part of application up here.

What are your three most important achievements to date? Why do you consider them important?


1. Well, there was this girl in college. Seriously HOT. I made out with her! WIN :D

2. I once marked my attendance from outside of the window in the class of my Head of Department. Didn't get caught. Was.So.Cool.

3. Ate 18 slices of Pizza a few Ramadan’s ago at Pizza Hut Ramadan Iftari Offer. 18.


1. Making out with the hot girl wasn’t easy. She was probably the most sought after girl in college, so to get to her I had to fight off competition from a whole host of other guys. Even some who, hard to believe, were better looking than me. It didn’t help that the girls and boys sections were separate, so I had to devise all kinds of schemes just to get to talk to her.

The experience told me I could face up to competition and achieve the goals I set for myself, even if I wasn’t the best equipped for the task. It was also a test of my resourcefulness and I like to believe that I passed.

2. Marking the attendance from the window was just sick. The HOD was very infamous for his abhorrence of proxies, as well as for anyone he caught being cheeky. So this was a big deal, especially considering he had taken disciplinary action against two seniors just a few days back. His classes though really were torture, so this had to be done.

What it represented for me was the ability to keep my composure, an inclination for taking risks and three stars at handling high pressure situations.

3. Eating 18 slices is quite a feat. If you have ever been to Pizza Hut during Ramazan you would know that the quality goes down, and after the first hour and a half the waiters really start hounding you to get up and leave.

This was about valuing your money. It was about accepting a challenge and showing the resiliency to see it through. The initial bet was 16 slices, the fact that I went to 18 told me I could push myself further and shouldn’t let pre-set boundaries confine me and my ambitions.

Why do you want a graduate degree from LUMS? How will you benefit from the programme you wish to attend at LUMS?

1. Money. Basically. I have heard that people with a LUMS degree earn shitloads of money. So. Yea.

2. The “Mahol” at LUMS is awesome.


You get the idea.