POSTS BY Adeel Hussain

Murder in the Name of Allah: Asia Bibi and Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law

The Pakistani Supreme Court’s release of Asia Naureen, a mother of five from Pakistan’s shrinking Christian community who was imprisoned nine years ago on trumped-up blasphemy charges, has riled up the religious right and spiralled into scorching new waves of violence. The Supreme Court, however, had no qualms with mandatory death sentences for insults against the Prophet.

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Mango Scented Sovereignty: Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and Baba-justice

Politicization of the judiciary is a global trend. Pakistan’s Supreme Court is a particularly worrying example. With an ad-campaign, the Court is currently collecting donations for an ambitious dam project to resolve Pakistan’s looming water crises. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar would certainly prefer, as he convincingly repeats, a more pliant courtly existence. But the catastrophic shortcomings of the executive and legislature force him to take on big infrastructure projects – the failures have also pushed him to tackle school curriculums, fees for private medical school, pension of bank employees, random quality-checks in hospitals, surprise inspections of lower courts and ordering the arrest of a high ranking police officer who shared indecent images of his estranged wife on Facebook.

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FATA’s fate in Pakistan 

On May 25th 2018, Pakistan’s senate passed a constitutional amendment that merges the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – a patch of mountainous land snaking along parts of the Afghan border – with Khyber Pakhtun Khwa, a province that sandwiches it. This means that for the first time the constitution’s jurisdiction stretches all the way to the frontier region. In popular culture FATA mostly pops up as a lawless abode where thugs and criminals hide to avoid detention.

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Save the Constitution!

India’s oppositional Congress party wants to impeach Dipak Misra, the Chief Justice of India, who stands accused of allocating cases to the respective benches at his own, politically right-leaning whim. In its fight against the governing BJP party, the Congress party has launched a "Save the Constitution!" campaign. Unfortunately, its leader Rahul Ghandi’s family has a history of entanglement with the constitution of its own.

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Four Indian Supreme Court Judges Accuse the Chief Justice of Wrongdoing

The judges should have been more considerate towards the institutional damage their actions have caused. They have hurt the court for decades to come. Institutional reform proves healthy when it comes from the inside; and one would like to think, that four senior judges wield a hefty amount of institutional power to transform the procedural mechanism without having to 'call upon the people' to intervene.This was little more than a political act in a country where politics and the law only function along the simple logic of institutionalising antagonism.

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