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Voice of the People

A matter of justice

Following the decision of the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC), Chief Justice, Sindh High Court (SHC), Mr. Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh has ordered the establishment of one Model Criminal Trial Court ( MCTC) in every judicial district of the province in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan that enshrines and guarantees inexpensive and expeditious dispensation of justice (Article 37 (d) and Right to Fair Trial ( Article 10A). The establishment of the MCTC in the province is a significant, unprecedented initiative to deliver justice.
Those who were looking justice, among others from all walks of life, have hailed the establishment of model criminal trial courts throughout the province for swift disposal of old cases. Other provinces should also follow suit and establish these specialized courts. Being a humble student of law and political science, I am of the considered opinion that this is an excellent step, but more must be done to implement new innovations in other key players of criminal administration of justice system. The persistent flaws in our criminal justice system may also be addressed.
Above all, our lawyers and prosecutors should also need to embrace a smarter approach to the dispensation of criminal justice. All the players (both federal and provincial) should also play their due role to reform and strengthen the justice system, both civil and criminal. The judiciary as an institution which has taken the lead by establishing the MCTC(s), the provincial government should not lag behind in this matter and provide what is due on their part for effective dispensation of justice system.

B737-Max8 fears

It is very damaging and loss of credibility for both Boeing and FAA that the perception which has gained acceptability is that it took two fatal airline crashes and loss of over 350 innocent human beings and united action by whole world to ban flights by Boeing 737-Max8 before US President had to intervene and ground this aircraft.
Can there be any other acceptable explanation other corporate interests of Boeing that it took such a long time for FAA, almost over 5 months after Lion Air crash shortly after takeoff, followed by Ethiopian Airline crash in almost similar situation along with fact that there were changes in engine type, instalment mounting and landing gear, which changed aerodynamics for which a software was installed to counter any impending stall. It was criminal for manufacturer not to notify flight crew of changes in Flight Crew Manual.
Boeing could have prevented these two fatal crashes if they had redesigned the wing and conducted exhaustive flight checks which manufacturers used to carry out before certification and approval by FAA. If manufacturer was saving cost and driven by market forces to speed sales FAA should have ensured that flight checks have been carried extensively. If this criminal negligence involved other aircraft manufactures like Airbus or China or Russian aircraft the American media would have raised hell and FAA imposed ban like they did on Concorde following a crash.

Time to unite

At the time of partition, it was predicted that India and Pakistan would break up into ‘congeries of states’. The basis of this prediction was inability of the new ‘dominions’ to deal with myriad centrifugal forces gnawing into the body politic. In the post-independence period India was fortunate to have visionary leaders. They tactfully muzzled insurgencies in East Punjab and the eastern states besides the Dravidian and Naxal Bari Movements.
At the same time, the Indian Union bowed to insurgents’ demands for the creation of new states. And, insurgency leaders became Chief Ministers! India forgot yesteryears when they used to burn to ashes copies of the Indian Constitution and uproot rail tracks. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and East Punjab merged into the Union and India stayed united because of its resilience; we disintegrated.
We have learnt nothing from the East Pakistan debacle. India is now engaged in what Kautliya calls maya yuddha (war of tricks) or koota yuddha (all-out warfare). She is out to isolate and undo Pakistan. Our leaders, civilian and others should understand how India — hand-in-glove with likeminded countries like Israel — is trying to repeat 1971. Wake up, the danger is real and knocking at our doors!

activists and our culture

In the recent marches regarding women’s day, the participants were seen holding charts inscribed with slogans, condemning social stereotypes. Given the marginalized position of women in our society, such steps, undoubtedly, create awareness. However, by viewing some placards, a sensible person can easily understand how these feminists or other rights activists overlook cultural differences, and champion for the cause of western civilization under the cloak of women’s or individual’s rights. This piece of writing does not aim to condemn the struggle of women’s rights activists or others to eliminate discrimination, but it merely exposes certain misconceptions that need to be addressed.
Culture plays a significant role in shaping individual rights. This could be witnessed from the fact that during the days of Renaissance when the European culture shifted from religious orthodoxy to science, human rights perceptions also shifted, and both men and women began to earn their respective rights. But, owing to cultural differences, concept of individual rights such as individual liberty and freedom differ from one culture to another. We cannot have all those concepts, which are prevailing in the western world. If a burqa-clad Muslim woman becomes a mismatch and unbearable in France and elsewhere in Europe, how the European ideas of liberties for both the genders will be accepted in our society.
Rather, it will create social, religious and identity-based disturbances. It is time that feminists and supporters of human rights initiate their movements within the perspectives of their own socio-political, economic and religious traditions.

Policy 2019

Pakistan as signatory to ICAO must follow standards, recommendations and practices of Annex-1 of Chicago Convention. It is obligatory that Airline Operators certified to carry passengers on scheduled flights must meet laid down requirements to ensure passenger safety, have full insurance coverage to meet all eventualities, possess capability to maintain aircraft and carry out proficiency and medical fitness test of flight crew.
Licenses issued by CAA Pakistan to pilots, technicians etc should meet ICAO Licensing standards, or be more limiting, so that they can operate on international routes. ICAO approved Airline Pilots Licenses are valid if holder is declared medically fit every year in case he is below 60 years, passes proficiency in Simulator and is familiar with minimum technical updates recommended by manufacturer etc. ICAO allows pilot utilization upto 65 years but with 6 monthly medical fitness checks and restrictions on 2-pilot compliment of only one having a medical or age waiver. Raising ALTP license validity to 5 years from existing I year violates ICAO standards and compromises passenger safety.
Similarly CAA must ensure that all airlines registered in Pakistan must share burden of operating on socio economic routes, imposing heavy penalties, which should be adequate to compensate full loss incurred by those who operate on such routes, instead of taxpayer. Granting excessive traffic rights to foreign airlines has had a toll on foreign exchange which is presently about $800M remitted by these carriers. Pakistan has an annual passenger seats demand of 13.5Million and an overcapacity has been created to disadvantage of local airlines. Commercial aviation is highly regulated industry subject to control of not only country of registration but every other nation whose airspace it overflies and where it lands, ensuring passenger safety, comfort and reliability of schedules while military aviation works strictly on a command and control structure.

Unemployment prevailed

It is well said by Orson Scot Card that “Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden”. It is evident that in recent times, education institutions have become money-making business. Despite having many schools, colleges and universities students remain merely consumer and their only dream is a job for their livelihood.
It is heart wrenching to see the contemporary pinchpenny conditions of faded faces graduates who have been drifting abruptly into the market without having any destination. Current government of PM Imran Khan seems pretty much serious about major issues of the state, but such crucial issue should be encountered which curtail state’s progress.
Quetta, Balochistan