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Oct
17

Like, where’s Fawad Khan? And is demi-couture a thing?

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Year after year, we’ve heard a similar complaint — award shows don’t bring anything new to the prime-time TV slot. Will this change with the newest award show in town?

We’re getting closer to the day of Pakistan’s only other style awards, the first ever QMobile Hum Style Awards — and the nominations are in.

Categories include Best Model, Best Hair & Makeup Artist, Best Fashion Photographer, Best Designer – Demi-Couture, Best Designer – Bridal, Best Designer – Lawn, Best Designer – Fashion Jewellery, Best Designer – Menswear, Retail Brand of the Year – Apparel, Best Fashion Publication and a QMobile Rising Star.

Most Stylish Awards will also be awarded to film and TV actors, singers, TV hosts and sport personalities.

The stage is set for a celebration of “trendsetters in fashion and entertainment”, but the most pressing question on our minds is ‘Will Hum TV remain objective?’ The tendency of TV channel-sponsored award shows to honour their own productions has reduced them to mere television entertainment with no real credibility, and the hope is that Hum TV will not follow suit in favouring the stars with whom they have the closest association.

Another question that begs asking is the exact criteria of the style awards. Are they being doled out to celebs that dress the best on-screen (in which case the credit really goes to the film’s stylist, costume designers, director and other people with creative input) or off-screen, where the celebrities’ own preferences are likely to come into play.

Either way, one is confused by the presence of Hamza Ali Abbasi in the style nominations. The actor has been vocal in his rejection of style statements, but is in the running for his second style award this year, the first having been awarded to him at the Lux Style Awards in July.

Other nominees that surprised include Feroze Khan who hardly ever makes an impression and Urwa Hocane, who is often singled out as the worst dressed at red carpets and isn’t ‘Most Stylish’ by a long shot.

Television hosts are, again, hardly stylish, especially those that go about gifting rickshaws and motorcycles to their audience. Fahad Mustafa, for instance, usually evades designer-wear, opting to boost a brand called ‘Cherry’ – and when he goes on promotional rounds for his movie, he makes blunders like wearing over-ripped jeans. Sana Bucha, Huma Amir Shah and HSY, though, certainly have style.

Noticeably missing from the nominations is one Fawad Khan, but the omission has probably got to do more with the fact that he hasn’t featured prominently in a Pakistani production — TV or film — in the past year.

Also read: Fawad Khan in a bowtie at the Grazia Awards is possibly his best look ever

Many big names were snubbed in the fashion categories. For instance,Elan and Faraz Manan were ignored in the Demi-couture category (more on that later), Sana Safinaz and HSY are not present in the Bridal category while a relatively younger designer like Zainab Chottani gets recognized. In Menswear, Deepak Perwani and HSYignored despite showing menswear collections last year – perhaps this is because both designers are ostensibly more inclined towards womenswear now?

Another thing that had us scratching our heads is what classifies as demi couture in the Pakistani context? Demi couture is defined as the in-between of pret and haute couture — it’s fashion that has the high quality and fine embellishments of couture but is available to be picked up off the racks. It sounds like luxury pret — and a fashion insider confirms that demi-couture is Hum TV’s new word for the same.

Fashion Publication of the Year leaves one confused because most fashion publications tend to be over-infested with ads and very little exclusive matter. One wonders how the jury managed to decide upon the results for this category.

The full list of nominations of the QMobile Hum Style Awards, which takes place on October 28, is below:

BEST FEMALE MODEL

Amna Babar

Rabia Butt

Sadaf Kanwal

Fouzia Aman

Sunita Marshall

BEST MALE MODEL

Shahzad Noor

Jahan-E-Khalid

Hasnain Lehri

Aimal Khan

Waleed Khalid

HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Hannan Siddique

Raana Khan

Natasha Khalid

Toni & Guy North Pakistan

Nabila

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Shahbaz Shazi

Guddu Shani

Nadir Firoz Khan

Abdullah Haris

Azeem Sani

QMobile RISING STAR

Ashna Khan

Zara Abid

Anam Malik

Shoaib Khan

Umair Bin Nisar

Stopstyle

Mahgul

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – DEMI-COUTURE

Sana Safinaz

Shamaeel Ansari

Body Focus Museum

Shehla Chatoor

Zaheer Abbas

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – BRIDAL

Zainab Chottani

Nomi Ansari

Shehla Chatoor

Elan

Faraz Manan

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – LAWN

Elan

Shehla Chatoor

Sana Safinaz

Zara Shahjahan

Faraz Manan

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – MENSWEAR

Republic By Omar Farooq

Nauman Arfeen

Ismail Farid

Munib Nawaz

Amir Adnan

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – FASHION JEWELRY

Samina Ibrahim

Amber Sami

Rema

Zohra Rahman

RETAIL BRAND OF THE YEAR – APPAREL

Khaadi

Gul Ahmed

Sana Safinaz

Generation

Sapphire

MOST STYLISH ACTOR TELEVISION

Junaid Khan

Imran Abbas

Hamza Ali Abbasi

Feroze Khan

Ahsan Khan

MOST STYLISH ACTRESS TELEVISION

Syra Shahroz

Ayesha Omar

Nausheen Shah

Aamina Sheikh

Urwa Hocane

MOST STYLISH ACTOR FILM

Mohib Mirza

Humayun Saeed

Adeel Husain

Sheheryar Munawar

Sikander Rizvi

MOST STYLISH ACTRESS FILM

Humaima Malik

Iman Ali

Mehwish Hayat

Sanam Saeed

Mahira Khan

MOST STYLISH PERFORMER MALE

Ali Zafar

Asim Azhar

Atif Aslam

Shahzad Roy

Umair Jaswal

MOST STYLISH PERFORMER FEMALE

Hadiqa Kiani

Zoe Viccaji

Sara Haider

Meesha Shafi

Quratulain Balouch

MOST STYLISH SPORTING PERSONALITY

Shahid Afridi

Shoaib Malik

Aisam-Ul-Haq

MOST STYLISH TELEVISION HOST

Fahad Mustafa

Faisal Qureshi

Hassan Sheheryar Yasin

Huma Amir Shah

Sana Bucha

THE FASHION PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR

Libas International

Diva

Niche lifestyle

Visage

Brides & You

Me & My Wedding

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Sep
30

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SHARJAH: Former champions Pakistan and the West Indies start a narrow two-way fight for an automatic place in the 2019 Cricket World Cup in a three-match one-day series starting in Sharjah Friday.

Pakistan, the 1992 champions, need to win the series 3-0 to rise one place from ninth while their opponents — champions in the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979 — need to avoid a clean sweep to maintain their current eighth spot.

Hosts England and the seven highest-ranked sides in the one-day rankings on September 30 next year will qualify directly for the World Cup.

The bottom four teams in the standings will be joined by six Associate sides in a 10-team qualifying round in 2018 from where two teams will qualify.

Both Pakistan and the West Indies will also play in three one-day matches in the Caribbean next March.

Pakistan also have a tough five-match series in Australia early next year but West Indies will be hard pressed to play England and India before the cut-off date.

Both Pakistan and the West Indies have varied problems in the 50-over game.

Pakistan, ranked number one in Test cricket, have slumped in one-day and are coming on the back of a 4-1 bashing in England, a defeat which almost cost Azhar Ali the captaincy, but he finally survived.

Important step

Ali hopes his players take the confidence of their win in the final one-day against England at Cardiff and a 3-0 whitewash of the West Indies in the preceding Twenty20 series which ended on Tuesday.

“Yes, it will be great if we take that form into the series and that will not only help us in improving our rankings but also take the important step towards the 2019 World Cup,” said Ali.

Pakistan will once again look to exploit their opponents weakness against the spin, which saw them restrict the West Indies to low totals of 115, 144 and 103 in the Twenty20 series.

They have leg-spinner Yasir Shah and two left-arm spinners — Imad Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz plus allrounder Shoaib Malik to launch the assault.

West Indies had shown recent form, having beaten South Africa twice and world number one Australia once in a tri-series on home grounds in June before losing the final to Steve Smith’s team.

Shockingly, they sacked their successful coach Phil Simmons a week before the start of this tour, which evidently affected their performance in the T20 series.

Still, captain Jason Holder put on a brave face. “In the ODI series we want to improve, we had a very good last Tri series with Australia and South Africa so it is important we keep improving,” said Holder.

West Indies will again be without dashing opener Chris Gayle, who is unavailable for the tour, and Andre Russell, missing due to an anti-doping hearing.

The second match will also be in Sharjah on Sunday followed by the third in Abu Dhabi on October 5.

Teams

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan

West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels

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Sep
25

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Young Michael Slater is fidgeting at the crease.

Scratch. Shake. Rub. Repeat.

His career is off to a flyer. The New South Welshman averages nearly 50. In 1995, openers don’t average anything near that much. For context, Mike Atherton only averages 38.

The Hobart pitch looks clean. Wasim has the ball. The recipe is complete.

New wicket, master tradesman and some chilly dense Hobart weather.

The cable knit sweaters are on. Even those with extra natural padding are wearing them.

Old timers predict that there will be some cut and swing. In their minds, it’s as certain as death and taxes. But it is likely to only last a few overs until the shine is gone from the ball. If Slater can connect with a cut shot or two, the danger will quickly subside.

Wasim has a lazy 12 step run up. Perhaps it is only 10? The left arm swings around like an angry propeller on a Spitfire. The ball pitches on a length, cuts in hard and strikes the pad.

Slater had no chance. His fidgeting hasn’t been demonstrative enough to wake up his feet. They didn’t move.

An appeal. A really good appeal. Not Out.

Hitting outside the line? Too high?

The replay indicates that many an umpire would have raised the finger.

The Pakistanis share a knowing wink. Darrell Hair looks concerned. He has just realised that this will be a tough morning for him.

Slater shakes it off. We expected this, right? It is not as though Wasim wastes too many new balls in these conditions.

Ball 2.

Same shape. Slightly quicker. Slightly shorter.

The 25-year-old Slater gets in behind it and scrubs a defensive prod to short cover.

It looked awkward.

Where feet were expected to move, they didn’t. Michael Slater often looked awkward.


He may be good at his game but donning clean, crisp white cricket kits does not a gentleman make


Back in 1995, openers were expected to look in control. Stylish. Dapper. Like Fred Astaire dancing in the rain. Slater could be that guy, but it wasn’t his natural happy place. He was more Vanilla Ice. In your face. New, exciting and baggy clothes.

He just wanted to make runs. Quickly.

Ball 3.

The sucker ball.

Pushed across the right hander and holding its line. The keeper takes it in front of first slip. A nervous Slater doesn’t bite. He wanted to. It was his ball. That mad cut shot wanted to come out of its cage. It didn’t.

Maybe if it were Steve Harmison bowling and not Wasim Akram? Surely he would have pounced at it then?

Slater continues to fidget at the crease. Perhaps this is where Steve Smith learnt it from?

Ball 4.

A half volley outside off stump. Not super quick, but still sharp. The batsman strides out to meet it. Almost overstretching.

Then he defends.

Wasim has got inside his head. Why didn’t that ball swing? Why didn’t I give it hell? It was there to hit. I’ll get him next time.

Mark Taylor is at the other end. He is practising the flick off his pads. It would be a dangerous shot against Wasim. Across the line. An invitation to produce a leading edge.

Ball 5

It is a repeat of ball 2. This time Slater jumps a little as he plays it. But to be fair, he is well behind it. Surely he feels more comfortable now? Apart from the first ball, the others have offered little danger to a set batsman. Like jelly in a blast chiller, Slater sets at a rapid speed. But he is not set yet. However, he is close.

Ball 6

Like Slater, Wasim also sets quickly. This is his effort ball. A full in-swinging yorker. We’ve seen it before. Close your eyes and you can picture it. Mitchell Starc took this dream and copied it.

Slater gets hit on the toe. His bat is still on its journey towards the ball. His bat is too slow. Wasim is too fast.

Umpire Hair fires him.

Peak Wasim. Classic Wasim. Just Wasim.

A tease of what he could do. A sense of what he would do. Then he did it.

He is like a gift from the gods. What is not to love?

What is not to respect?

Fast forward five years.

The dark clouds of match fixing would soon fall over Pakistani cricket.

They were always threatening to come in from the north, as they circled above the Kyber Pass. Now they had arrived.

These clouds set a waypoint for Wasim Akram. They threatened to unleash a thunderstorm from hell.

Winds. Hail. Lightning.

Instead, when one looks up at them, they are full of potential menace, yet never quite create more than a minor inconvenience.

These clouds are known as the Qayyum Report.

The typed pages of investigation that are contained within it are Pakistan’s attempt to look into corruption within the national team.

It opens up like a well laid out crime novel. A slow and steady start. A scene being set. Some explosive twists. Inconclusive conclusions and a reader left wanting for more.

Justice Qayyum, the author, is also fallible as we discover later. A cricket lover. A man working essentially with many contradicting first hand accounts and hearsay. His heroes are under attack.

But one in particular gives him the most troublesome time.

Wasim.

The Qayyum Report is clear in its condemnation of Pakistan’s greatest ever swing bowler.

Ata-ur-Rehman swore on oath that he was offered 200,000 rupees by skipper Akram to perform poorly in an ODI against New Zealand in Christchurch in 93/94.

Aamir Sohail had, on oath, also spoken ill of Akram.

Akram then, using his own personal credit card, paid for Ata-ur-Rehman to fly to London. Here, Rehman visited Akram’s lawyer and signed an affidavit supporting Wasim against the existing one penned by Sohail.

Essentially, Akram paid for Rehman’s travel so that he could perjure himself.


Cricket is not society. It does not automatically have to bestow a second chance on anyone. Instead, it is the duty of everyone associated with the game to protect it. Yet when it comes to our heroes, those who swung a ball in mysterious ways or batted like silk, we turn a blind eye.


Akram does not dispute that he paid for Rehman’s ticket.

Rehman originally alleged that Akram threatened to have him “fixed” if he didn’t follow orders. Rehman then retracted his story after Akram paid for that flight to London to visit his lawyer. Rehman decided that, in fact, Sohail had coerced him to speak against Akram.

Perjury. A broken witness.

However, the great Imran Khan also testified that Rehman had told him of Akram’s approaches.

It is recorded for all eternity in the Qayyum Report.

Imran doesn’t lie, does he? (Politicians don’t lie?)

Other allegations are made against Wasim Akram in the Qayyum report. However, they are the classic ‘he says / she says’-type argument. They focus on Akram feigning injury, bowling badly and manipulating batting orders so as to lose matches.

They are difficult to prove either way. There is little corroboration.

Justice Qayyum dismisses them.

However, back on the match fixing charge where there are elements of corroboration, Quyyam states the following:

“As regards to allegation one on its own, this commission is left with no option but to hold Wasim Akram not guilty of the charge of match-fixing. This the Commission does so only by giving Wasim Akram the benefit of the doubt.”

In isolation, natural justice clears Akram.

Not guilty.

We can all move on with our lives. Akram is still a national hero.

Or is he?

Qayyum goes on to say:

“However, once this commission looks at the allegations in their totality, this commission feels that all is not well here and that Wasim Akram is not above board. He has not co-operated with this Commission. It is only by giving Wasim Akram the benefit of the doubt after Ata-ur-Rehman changed his testimony in suspicious circumstances that he has not been found guilty of match-fixing. He cannot be said to be above suspicion.” [Emphasis added.]

So Akram is found not guilty because he helped finance a witness to change his story under oath?

What nonsense is this?

Think about it for just a second. Pause and reflect.

If this were a criminal trial, it wouldn’t be hard to argue that Akram tampered with a witness.

Unbelievable.

“It is, therefore, recommended that he be censured and be kept under strict vigilance and further probe be made either by the Government of Pakistan or by the Cricket Board into his assets acquired during his cricketing tenure and a comparison be made with his income. Furthermore, he should be fined Rs300,000.”

The classic Clayton’s verdict. You aren’t guilty, but please pay a fine for the little bit of guilt that you do harbour.

“More importantly, it is further recommended that Wasim Akram be removed from captaincy of the national team. The captain of the national team should have a spotless character and be above suspicion. Wasim Akram seems to be too sullied to hold that office.” [Emphasis added.]

Stained. But not guilty.

It is important to note that the Qayyum report was not a criminal trial. This impacts the burden of proof.

“…..it must be stated that the burden of proof is somewhere in between the criminal and normal civil standard.”

Akram argued that the burden of proof should be high. But of course, he would. The higher the burden of proof, the harder it is to convict him.

“It is not as high as the counsel for Wasim Akram recommended, that the case needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is a commission of inquiry and not a criminal court of trial so that standard need not be high.”

Its outputs are recommendations. Typically, outputs from these inquiries are followed by prosecutors and governments. As they should.

Pakistan moved on after this event. They purged themselves. Apparently, they chose to reject corruption in cricket.

Then Butt, Asif and Amir.

Then Amir back in the Pakistan national side after those with memories, including Misbah and Hafeez, initially protested.

Corruption – 1

Sanctity – 0

But the story takes another turn.

While all this is happening, Wasim Akram remained a powerful man. He took more power. His voice is now the most powerful in Pakistani cricket.

He becomes a commentator. He models. He tries coaching in the IPL and being an ambassador in the PSL.

He is Pakistan’s Mr Everywhere.

But if you don’t clean up filth properly, it festers and mould grows and eventually it rears its head once again.

Justice Qayyum later recalls that he had a “soft corner” for Wasim.

“He was a very great player, a very great bowler and I was his fan, and therefore that thing did weigh with me.”

Qayyum admits he was lenient to “one or two of them” based on reputation and skill.

Qayyum, like all men, is guilty of being fallible. But what a time to lose control to your weakness.

Can we deduce from this that without personal bias, Qayyum may have found Wasim guilty of match fixing?

For a swing bowler, Akram knew how to live right on the slippery edge of right and wrong.

He was almost a match fixer, but paid a fine for being one.

He coerced a witness to change his sworn testimony against him by using his own funds.

He was stripped of the captaincy.

All facts. Indisputable.

Yet, you all still adore him like a god.

You place his playing deeds ahead of the damage he did to the game.

Does being good at something absolve one from society’s judgement about what is right and wrong?

Should we allow that Akram is afforded a voice on our television screens, our newspapers, mingles with players and coaches professional teams?

Would you allow Chris Cairns to do it? He was found not guilty by a UK court of lying about match fixing.

Why is Wasim any different? Is it because Wasim was a better player than Cairns?

Then how about those actually found guilty of crimes against the sport of cricket?

Shane Warne is a convicted drug cheat and took money from bookies. Why do you cower to him?

Mark Waugh is an Australian selector. An official position. He also took money from bookies. Having said that, Cricket Australia has official bookmaker partners, so they aren’t even pretending to take this seriously.

I am not talking about those who get a speeding fine here.

I am talking about individuals who cheated the game. Put their selfishness ahead of the greater good. Frauds.

Why does the game owe these people anything?

Cricket is not society. It does not automatically have to bestow a second chance on anyone. Instead, it is the duty of everyone associated with the game to protect it.

Yet when it comes to our heroes, those who swung a ball in mysterious ways or batted like silk, we turn a blind eye.

Wasim is Wasim. He has made his choices. He has vandalised the sport. As has Warne. As has Mark Waugh.

Rod Marsh once placed a bet against a team he was playing in. Australia lost. Rod Marsh won big.

Rod Marsh is now the Chairman of Selectors for Cricket Australia.

If I were caught breaking serious rules at work, I would get fired. There is no way in hell that my employer would ever have me back.

In some industries, if I break the rules, I can never work in them again.

The legal profession. Working with children. Policing.

No second chances. Respect the fortunate position you have obtained or leave forever.

If cricket really wants to see corruption as a significant foe, why does it not take the same stance?

So next time you share a view with me about what Wasim has said, or what Warne did on the pitch, forgive me if I don’t partake in your idolisation.

For Wasim is not my idol and it is him who is to blame.

Dennis Freedman is a cricket writer and host of Can’t Ball Can’t Throw Cricket Show heard on Australian radio and globally via iTunes.

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Sep
25

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LAHORE: August 30, 2016 was a day when cricket commentators were forced to rethink the Pakistani bowling attack’s status as one of the most lethal in the cricketing world.

On a bright sunny Nottingham afternoon, the Azhar Ali-led tourists were tormented mercilessly by the English batters as they posted the highest score of 444 runs in the history of One-Day International (ODI) cricket.

Opting to bat first on a hard and dry batting surface in the third of the five-ODI series, it seemed as though Eoin Morgan had given his batsmen license to go ballistic to attain an unassailable lead of 3-0.

The local boy, Alex Hales, complied with a blistering 171 off 122 balls. His 166-minute long innings consisted 22 fours and four towering sixes.

Right-arm fast Hassan Ali dismissed the right-handed batsman in the 37th over, but even that did not make the hosts take their feet off the gas.

After a 248-run stand from 193 balls, for the second wicket between Hales and Joe Root, Morgan and Jos Buttler pummelled Pakistani bowlers for 161 runs off the last 74 balls at the rate of more than two runs per ball.

“It was a batting paradise out there as the wicket was easy to bat on and the boundaries were a bit smaller,” said Azhar, Pakistan ODI skipper, in an exclusive interview with Dawn.com on Saturday.

“We committed mistakes under pressure which allowed England to score so many runs.”

The thrashing could have been curbed had Pakistan shown discipline on the field.

There were dropped chances and Wahab Riaz, who leaked 110 runs at 11 runs per over, dismissed Hales and Buttler on no-balls that saw him end up with no wickets and eventually with the second-worst bowling figures.

“We took two wickets on the no-balls and there were dropped chances. Against such a strong batting line-up, you cannot afford such mistakes,” the 31-year-old admitted.

The opening batsman, who replaced Misbah-ul-Haq as the ODI captain after the ICC World Cup last year, did not hesitate to add that in the backdrop of such developments the “high score was on the cards”.

Left-handed batsman Sharjeel Khan gave a courageous reply to the daunting total, scoring 58 off 30 with 12 cracking fours and a six despite two wickets off Sami Aslam and his captain within the first ten overs.

Sharjeel’s contribution saw Pakistan post 83 in the first ten overs, but the middle-order failed to build on the start.

“If you see, we also started well,” Azhar pointed out, adding there is a great deal of pressure when you have to score at 8-9 runs an over right from the start.

Pakistan went on to lose the match by 169 runs.

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Sep
23

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In his latest book, Hamid Khan seeks to narrate the judicial history of Pakistan. One approach to such an exercise treats judges as a collective whole. Their judgments are then analysed collectively to identify an underlying institutional philosophy and the emergence or recession of jurisprudential trends. Similarly, the effect of political or historical events upon judicial decision-making are analysed on an institutional plane. Even where divisions within the judicial institution are acknowledged, the actors are defined merely as proponents or opponents of a particular jurisprudential trend within the institution.

Khan shuns this de-individualised approach to history. For him, the judiciary comprises men who happen to be judges. Among judges, Chief Justices (at least in Pakistan) wield the most influence. Thus, to understand the decisions of the Pakistani judiciary, one must understand its Chief Justices and their passions, prejudices, capabilities and motivations.

Khan also argues that many of our important Supreme Court judgements were the result not of any consistent juristic philosophy, but of pragmatic considerations. He feels it is difficult to identify judges as “liberal interpreters, strict constructionists, judicial activists or proponents of judicial restraint” since they “change their views according to exigencies”. Thus, he prefers to focus on the unspoken motives and the discussions and negotiations between judges inter-se and with the government or the army which, he argues, were the proximate cause behind many famous (or notorious) judgements.

The difficulty with Khan’s approach is that it requires lifting the veil judges wrap around themselves and their work. In the past, outsiders have shied away from lifting the veil due to the ever-looming sword of contempt. On the other hand, judges who have published memoirs after retirement have either been too steeped in the habit of judicial discretion (rendering their accounts anodyne) or too blatantly self-serving (rendering their accounts unreliable).


Hamid Khan’s ambitious volume that chronicles the judicial history of Pakistan is not without its shortcomings, yet makes a significant contribution to the judicial literature available


Khan, however, is uniquely placed to lift the judicial veil. Having practised law for 45 years, he has personally witnessed many defining events of our judicial history. His immersion in bar politics has also helped; at one point or another, every little bird fluttering in the Aiwan-i-Adl has whispered in his ear. Moreover, on an individual level, he has enjoyed personal relations with Chief Justices as far apart as A.R. Cornelius (1960-1968) and Jawwad Khawaja (2014).

Thus, Khan divides his history into chapters according to the eras of the various Chief Justices of the Supreme Court. After mentioning the other notable judges of that era, he analyses the important judgements and judicial events of that period. Each chapter ends with a brutally honest assessment of the particular Chief Justice under discussion — as a man and as a judge.

The book’s fearless characterisations of different Chief Justices are illuminating. They are also unprecedented. Some of Khan’s verdicts, therefore, are worth summarising: Mian Sir Abdul Rashid — fair, honest and a gentleman; Muhammad Munir — extremely competent but lacking in commitment and character; Cornelius — a liberal, progressive and erudite jurist; Hamoodur Rahman — a man of great learning and integrity; Yaqub Ali — a good judge but unable to resist the temptations of self-advancement laid in his path by Bhutto; Anwar ul Haq — honest and competent but willing to be used as a tool by Gen Ziaul Haq; Muhammad Haleem — honest, progressive, liberal but intimidated by Gen Zia; Afzal Zullah — financially clean but legally confused and disliked for his rudeness and zealotry; Naseem Hassan Shah — competent, liberal but morally suspect; Sajjad Ali Shah — financially clean but biased, opinionated and vindictive; Ajmal Mian — honest, upright and diligent but prone to long-winded and inarticulate judgments, Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui — intelligent and lucid but hesitant to confront military might; Irshad Hasan Khan — intelligent but a rank opportunist and intriguer; Shaikh Riaz — corrupt and incompetent; Nazim Hussain Siddiqui — honest but spineless and mediocre.

The book is similarly compelling where it recounts historical anecdotes that bare the motivations and machinations of Chief Justices and judges and their discussions and negotiations that led up to some of our most famous judgements.

Khan starts with the first Chief Justice of the Federal Court (predecessor to our Supreme Court) — Sir Abdul Rashid. At that time, Muhammad Munir was the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court. Munir had clung to that post by refusing elevation and having junior judges, including Cornelius, sent in his place to the Federal Court. Thus, when Sir Abdul Rashid retired, the next senior Federal Court judge A.S.M. Akram (a Bengali) expected to be appointed Chief Justice. He did not reckon on Munir’s ambition or Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad’s wiliness or the underlying prejudice of the West Pakistani establishment. Ghulam Muhammad informed Akram that he intended to replace Rashid with a British Law Lord. Just three years after Independence, this was intended to arouse Akram’s patriotic instincts who predictably replied that even if, for some reason, he was unsuitable, any Pakistani Chief Justice would be preferable to a British import. That was enough for Ghulam Muhammad to vault Munir over four sitting Federal Court judges and appoint him their Chief Justice.

Munir was, thus, in debt to Ghulam Muhammad who duly called in that debt in 1954 when he dissolved the Constituent Assembly. Munir paid his dues through the Maulvi Tamizuddin judgement refusing to restore the dissolved Assembly, but only at an enormous cost to the nation and the development of its constitutional jurisprudence.

Khan also relates how Munir manipulated the constitution of the bench in the Maulvi Tamizuddin case to bring about Ghulam Muhammad’s desired outcome. Apparently, Munir foresaw Cornelius’s minority dissent and apprehended that Shahabuddin or Akram might join him. That would turn Munir’s majority into a minority. To forestall this possibility, Munir asked Ghulam Muhammad to remove Shahabuddin from the bench by appointing him governor of East Pakistan and fill the vacancy with a more pliable ad-hoc judge. Ghulam Muhammad obliged and Munir successfully cobbled together a 4-1 majority judgement.

The book also reproduces Cornelius’s insights into the workings of Munir’s mind. Apparently, Munir would boast of his ability to write two judgements in a criminal case — one for conviction and one for acquittal— both equally convincing and legally correct. He also termed the law as an instrument to be used by the judge to reach his desired result. Hardly surprising, then, that this fertile and flexible mind was responsible for introducing the “doctrine of necessity” and the “doctrine of legitimacy of a successful revolution” in the legal lexicon of Pakistan. These treacherous weeds took firm hold in the minds of weak judges over the next 60 years and were used again and again to justify military coups.

Cornelius and Hamoodur Rahman, however, attracted high praise from Khan who regarded them as Pakistan’s finest Chief Justices. He points out, nevertheless, that until the appointment of Rahman (a Bengali) in 1968, the three Chief Justices from West Pakistan — Abdul Rashid, Munir and Cornelius — enjoyed a cumulative tenure of 18 and a half years while the Chief Justices from East Pakistan — Shahabuddin and Fazle Akbar — only had a cumulative tenure of six months. Regardless of the cause, this disparity created resentments. By the time Rahman was appointed, it was too little too late.


Surprisingly, Khan’s trove of insider stories diminishes with the passage of time. Thus, the tenures of the 21st century Chief Justices are covered primarily with a factual narration of the important cases decided in that period. Indeed, the tenure of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry — surely amongst the most important Chief Justices in Pakistani history — is only partially covered (up to 2009) and, that too, in superficial depth.


Yaqub Ali’s tenure as Chief Justice marked, according to Khan, the steep decline of the Pakistani judiciary. During this period, Bhutto sought to bring the judiciary to heel through the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution — both dealing with the tenure of Chief Justices. The Fifth allowed Bhutto to replace Sardar Iqbal as Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court with Aslam Riaz Hussain — a friend of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Attorney General Yahya Bakhtiar. In the process, the senior judge Maulvi Mushtaq was superseded and left embittered. The Sixth Amendment, on other hand, extended the tenure of Ali (who was close to Bhutto) as Chief Justice and roused the ire of the senior judge, Anwar ul Haq.

Bhutto paid a heavy price for these Amendments. When Gen Zia took over, he annulled both amendments. Resultantly, Maulvi Mushtaq and Anwar ul Haq became Chief Justices of the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court respectively. Mushtaq presided over Bhutto’s trial for murder and — refusing all pleas to recuse himself — sentenced Bhutto to death. Haq presided over Bhutto’s appeal to the Supreme Court and upheld the sentence.

Khan also quotes Nasim Hassan Shah’s account of the behind-the-scenes judicial discussions about the verdict in Bhutto’s case. Apparently, Chief Justice Anwar ul Haq and other pro-conviction judges, including Shah, were anxious to secure a unanimous verdict. Thus, Shah was dispatched to the house of Dorab Patel — the most senior of the pro-acquittal judges — to ask whether they would change their verdict to guilty if Bhutto’s sentence was converted to life imprisonment. Patel refused to compromise. Khan, however, doubts Shah’s account and argues that even if such an exchange did happen, it was meaningless since the decision to hang Bhutto had been taken — with the acquiescence of Haq — even before the trial.

Bhutto’s introduction of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments had another unintended effect. According to Khan, in Nusrat Bhutto’s case, the Haq court validated Gen Zia’s takeover but did not allow him the power to amend the Constitution. When Gen Zia’s legal advisor, A.K. Brohi, learnt of this he confronted Haq directly. Upon Haq’s confirmation, Brohi asked him to delay the judgement for a few hours so the government could fly Yaqub Ali back to resume the Chief Justice’s office. Brohi explained that if Gen Zia did not have the power to amend the Constitution, he could not have annulled the Sixth Amendment and, in such a case, Ali was entitled to continue as Chief Justice. Haq got the message and hastily inserted in the judgement — in his own handwriting — an amending note allowing Gen Zia the power to amend the Constitution.

Nevertheless, after getting Anwar ul Haq and Maulvi Mushtaq to do his dirty work, Gen Zia decided to cut them down to size. He ordered all Superior Court judges to take a fresh oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) if they wished to continue in service. Dorab Patel and Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim flatly refused. Others, like Haq and Mushtaq (now in the Supreme Court), argued in favour of taking the proffered oath. Eventually all the Supreme Court judges except for Patel and Ebrahim agreed to take an oath under the PCO. At this point, however, Gen Zia told Haq that he would not administer a fresh oath to Maulvi Mushtaq. Since Haq felt a personal loyalty to Maulvi Mushtaq, he tried reminding Gen Zia of Mushtaq’s services to the military regime. Gen Zia refused to budge. Eventually, Haq threatened that if Maulvi Mushtaq was not administered an oath, he would not take the oath either. Gen Zia remained unmoved and thus Haq was cornered into refusing the oath and stood unceremoniously retired.

After describing the Supreme Court’s gradual resurgence following Gen Zia’s death under the stewardship of Chief Justices Haleem, Zullah and Naseem Hassan Shah, Khan moves to the most controversial period in Pakistani judicial history: the era of Sajjad Ali Shah. This period witnessed not only the storming of the Supreme Court, but also the bizarre spectacle of parallel benches passing restraining orders against each other. Khan quotes senior PPP lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan to explain how Shah vaulted over three senior judges to become Chief Justice. Apparently, after Naseem Hassan Shah’s retirement, Benazir was ready to appoint the next most senior judge, Saad Saood Jan, as Chief Justice but became incensed at his refusal to induct PPP nominees directly into the Supreme Court. Thus, she sent Ahsan and Asif Zardari to assess Shah at the Supreme Court rest-house in Lahore. When they arrived, Shah was waiting in the car porch to greet them and leapt forward to open Zardari’s door personally. Once inside, he touched Zardari’s knees and assured his loyal obedience to the PPP if he was appointed Chief Justice. Given Shah’s evident lack of restraint and dignity, the sorry mess he left of the Supreme Court was perhaps inevitable.

Surprisingly, Khan’s trove of insider stories diminishes with the passage of time. Thus, the tenures of the 21st century Chief Justices are covered primarily with a factual narration of the important cases decided in that period. Indeed, the tenure of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry — surely amongst the most important Chief Justices in Pakistani history — is only partially covered (up to 2009) and, that too, in superficial depth. Moreover, since the book ends with Chaudhry’s restoration in 2009, we are deprived of Khan’s character assessments of more recent Chief Justices, including Chaudhry himself. This is all the more surprising when one considers Khan’s intimate knowledge of most judicial events and developments in the last decade or so and his personal familiarity with recent Chief Justices. Perhaps he considers it too early to raise the veil on them, but one hopes this shortcoming will soon be removed.

The weakest aspect of the book, however, is its inordinate length. The obvious scapegoat is the detailed synopsis, included in every chapter, of all important cases decided during each Chief Justice’s tenure. These range from judgements on commercial arbitration to the rights of appeal under the Civil Procedure Code and are of no interest to the general reader. It is as if Khan, the constitutional historian, was unable to prevent Khan, the legal practitioner, from bringing along his case-law digest.

Nevertheless, this book marks a significant contribution to the judicial literature in Pakistan. First and foremost, Khan reminds all sitting judges that they, too, shall eventually be subjected to the inescapable verdict of history. At the same time, he opens a new field of academic discussion by raising the curtain upon, and demystifying, the workings of the hitherto sacrosanct and inscrutable judicial institution. One wonders how long it will take to initiate a discussion on the history and workings of an even more sacrosanct and inscrutable institution: the armed forces.

The writer is a barrister who practises constitutional and civil law. He also heads the Sindh Bar Council.

A History of the Judiciary in Pakistan
(JUDICIAL HISTORY)
By Hamid Khan
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0199068609
588pp.

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Aug
22

KARACHI: Violent protesters attacked an ARY News office in the Saddar area of the metropolis on Monday evening, which resulted in clash between police and the angry mob — killing one person and injuring several others.

Police later confirmed that “MQM workers pelted stones at police officials and the ARY office”, adding that they also resorted to aerial firing outside the office.

Head of Emergency at Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr Seemin Jamali said, “At least one person was brought dead [to JPMC] while several others were injured.” Dr Jamali later identified the deceased as Arif Saeed.

The ARY office is located in a busy part of the metropolis above the popular Zainab Market. Traffic came to a standstill due to the violent protests and all roads leading towards Governor House were sealed.

Massive traffic jams caused a slowdown on connecting roads including I.I. Chundrigar Road and Club Road.

ARY News has alleged that the protesters were members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The TV channel further reported that the protesters entered the building and attacked the staff.

According to TV channels, MQM chief Altaf Hussain in his speech earlier today told protesters “to storm the offices of TV channels”.

Senior ARY anchor Kashif Abbasi said, “They are Muttahida people. He (Altaf) ordered them to do it and within 10 minutes all this happened.”

A Samaa DSNG van was also attacked. Additionally, a police van and motorcycle of a traffic police official were reportedly set on fire.

Eyewitnesses at the Karachi Press Club said Rangers men with their faces covered ransacked the MQM camp in the area and arrested workers of the political party.

Alluding to a conspiracy against the MQM, MNA Syed Ali Raza Abidi tweeted, “MQM has been protesting since past 3 years non-violently. Regretfully masked men pre-present at Fawara Chawk created these deplorable scenes.”

In a second tweet, Abidi said: “Disassociate yourself from violent mobs sent for a purpose!”

People were protesting peacefully at ARY office against biased media coverage when suddenly police started firing on peaceful protestors, claimed MQM leader Wasay Jalil.

Police resorted to shelling to disperse the angry mob and fired rubber bullets, injuring the protestors, DawnNews reported.

Meanwhile, Pak Sarzameen Party’s chief Mustafa Kamal, while addressing a press conference, said “whatever we had been saying has been proven right”.

“The MQM chief has been creating a law and order situation in the metropolis by taking funding from Indian intelligence agency RAW,” he claimed.

Condemnations

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack on the offices of private news channels in Karachi, and termed it “an attack on freedom of Press and expression”.

Nawaz directed the concerned authorities at the federal and provincial levels to immediately bring the culprits to task and ensure the safety of the civilians in general and journalist fraternity in particular.

Director General Sindh Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, while issuing statement following the incident, guaranteed protection to the citizens.

“The attackers will be made to pay for their wrong deeds,” he said, adding, that no one is allowed to carry out violent protests.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif telephoned DG Rangers Sindh and asked him to expedite action against the culprits behind today’s incident, DawnNews reported.

A Sindh Police spokesman said that “Sindh IG has taken notice of violent attacks and firing at ARY News office”.

The IG also ordered that security at media offices across the city should be increased while sealing the red zone.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also took notice of the attack.

Scenes from the attack

A police van set on fire during the protest — DawnNews screengrab

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A police van set on fire during the protest — DawnNews screengrab

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Aug
20

fawad-khan-richa-chadha-759. [downloaded with 1stBrowser]Fawad Khan was asked by a journalist to comment on how there is a cultural contradiction between India and Pakistan and the way Bollywood has adopted westernisation while showcasing romance or kissing scenes on screen.

Actors around the world, be it in Bollywood or Hollywood or any other film industry, are often posed questions about their personal views and opinions on various trending subjects happening around them. And sometimes it gets quite difficult for the actors to answer these questions on a public platform. While some have mastered the way to escape, some opt to give a fitting reply to such questions.

Recently, Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, who has worked both in Bollywood and Pakistan film industry, was asked by a journalist to comment on how there is a cultural contradiction between India and Pakistan and the way Bollywood has adopted westernisation while showcasing romance or kissing scenes on screen. But before Fawad could begin answering the question, actress Richa Chadha decided to answer the question on the actor’s behalf. The two were addressing the media at a press conference held at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. Fawad Khan, who was last seen in Shakun Batra’s Kapoor & Sons, was given a special diversity award by the state special minister Gavin Jennings.

Here’s the complete transcript of the conversation.

Journalist – My question is to Mr. Fawad Khan. You’re representing a country and culture which much different from your own.

Someone interrupts to say – I don’t understand the question. How is the culture contradicting.

Journalist continues her questions – In all senses, especially Bollywood, may be the on screen romance or the kissing scenes or the cultures we have or the way India has adopted westernisation. Because I have a lot of Pakistani friends and when I speak to them, I get the sense that the two countries are different and Pakistan is a lot different from India.

Richa: I would like to answer that. Sorry i am cutting in. You know we were colonised by the British for a really long time. Its a part of the… I am sorry if I am offending anybody here, but if you look at worldwide history every time the British left an empire they divided it. Whether it was North Korea or South Korea then there was Germany. It is a part of the strategy to keep political unrest to sort off maintain a global kind of , I am sorry but your question to me doesn’t make sense because I will have far more in common with Fawad because I am from the North of India than i will have with somebody who is a tambrahm or maybe Malyaali or from the North east. I think we should avoid stereotyping in questions or creating some kind of contradiction here because the whole intent and especially art does really have any borders.

Fawad to the journalist – I think that the transition you are talking about it again has a lot to do with the silence and the wildpack generally if it goes with the trend which is now globally changing. Television has always been about ……. It is even soverign in India You will feel that the onscreen intimacy in Indian films is very different or performaces or expressions are different from what they are on Indian Television. So coming back to the same thing. I think that Pakistani television has always been on the forefront and is something that is available to the Pakistanis and all the Pakistanis around the world have similar expressions and follow a certain criteria a small part of the audiences is coming to the cinemas India is very big and there is a very big population and more or less the television ads might not be correct in the Pakistani cities. But to cater to the sensibilities that you are wanting to bring to the cinema you have to accept a little curve for them and I belive that the cinema they have copied from anywhere in the world and in India as well I think thats its just a natural cycle that Pakistani cinema is also coming from. You can comment on it further dealing another thing but rightnow it is in a baseless shape.

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