Dr Reeza Hameed: Constitution Changes – Points to Ponder

Originating in the works of Henry de Bracton and William Blackstone, the doctrine of necessity has plagued Pakistan’s history and M Munir CJ has rightly been labelled “the destroyer of democracy in Pakistan”. From that perspective, the doctrine of necessity will never get stale in Pakistan’s history. To be sure, our country has, through its law courts, which ought to have protected democratic virtue but opted to fall into despotic vice, set unparalleled standards for venality by being the first free nation to apply “the doctrine” to murder democracy in its nascency. In this old post from the archives, our friend Dr Reeza Hameed, examines the extension of the doctrine to Sri Lanka and we are grateful to him for his contribution to our blog. His article, which also analyses the case of Pakistan, follows below.

The government has claimed that it has a mandate from the people to implement its manifesto promise to convene a constituent assembly consisting of the members of parliament to formulate and promulgate a new constitution, that will derive its form and validity from the expression of the political will of the people and that the proposed constitution will strengthen democracy by abolishing the executive Presidency and replacing it with a Cabinet and the doctrine of necessity and Kelsen’s theory of pure law have been pressed into service to support the introduction of a constitution outside the framework of the 1978 Constitution. Continue reading

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Filed under Constitution 1973, Dr Reeza Hameed, Europe, Legislation, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Dr Reeza Hameed: That Third Term

President Rajapaksa’s eligibility to seek a third term as President has become a contentious issue ever since former Chief Justice Sarath Silva declared several weeks ago that President Rajapaksa is legally barred from contesting a third time. Some commentators have challenged Sarath Silva’s views and Chinthaka Mendis was one of them (see his September 2014 article ‘Why Sarath Silva is wrong’). In my view, Sarath Silva is right in his assertion that President Rajapaksa is disqualified from bidding for a third term and that the Eighteenth Amendment (to Sri Lanka’s Constitution) did not remove the disqualification to which he became subject no sooner he was elected for a second term.

The view that President Rajapaksa is disqualified to contest a third term follows from a reading of the Constitution as amended by the Eighteenth Amendment, read together with the Interpretation Ordinance. A correct interpretation of the Constitution would lead one to the conclusion that the Eighteenth Amendment was only prospective in its operation and despite that amendment President Rajapakse’s disqualification continues. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, Dr Reeza Hameed, Nadesan QC, Sri Lanka

Goodwill Ambassador Named

Dr. Masuma HasanDr. Masuma Hasan, former Cabinet Secretary and Ambassador of Pakistan has been named Goodwill Ambassador of the World NGO Day Initiative.

This invitation was extended to her in recognition of her leadership and experience as Chairperson of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs and her commitment to the cause of women’s empowerment as President of the Board of Governors of Aurat Foundation.

The World NGO Day Initiative is a new designated international calendar day dedicated to all NGOs worldwide and the people behind them.

Its purpose is to raise positive awareness of the work being done in the non-governmental sector in different communities and countries throughout the world, especially in caring for humanity, promoting education and protecting the environment.

Empowering NGOs is a crucial part of the post 2015 Millennium Goals.

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Filed under Discussion, Pakistan, Women

Dr Masuma Hasan: Our Women Police on the Alert

They looked quite impressive in their dark grey uniforms, those women police officers, whose appointment and career Aurat Foundation celebrated in an event on 3 July 2014. They included the first woman district police officer (DPO) in Pakistan, Naseem Ara Panhwer, who is credited with countering dacoits on her beat, and finding her way well into criminal gangs, Shehla Qureshi, assistant superintendent of police in the Frere area of Karachi, resplendent in her slightly different uniform as she came into the police force through the government’s competitive examination, Azra Memon assistant deputy inspector general of traffic in Karachi, Masuma Changezi who is superintendent of police traffic also in Karachi and Hajra Sabiha, who is the station house officer (SHO) of the Artillery Maidan women’s police station in the heart of Karachi. 

Although some of the officers mentioned above are senior, the most significant appointments are those of two station house officers in charge of all-male police stations in Karachi, Ghazala Siddiqui who holds charge of the Clifton police station and Inspector Zaibun Nisa, chief of Bahadurabad police station. The station house officer is the lynchpin of the policing system and the original power lies with her or him because the police station is the very place where the community interacts with the police. In Urdu and local languages, the police station is called a “thana”, a word which evokes fear and apprehension. Continue reading

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Filed under Criminal Justice, Criminal law, Discussion, Events, Police, Women

President Addresses PIIA Members

th-6Address by Mr. Mamnoon Hussain

President Islamic Republic of Pakistan

At The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs

(Karachi, 29 April 2014)


Dr. Masuma Hassan, Chairperson Pakistan Institute of International Affairs,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am truly delighted to be amongst you and have this opportunity of speaking to the distinguished members of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs.

I thank Dr. Masuma Hasan for her kind invitation and her gracious introductory remarks.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for the meritorious services that PIIA has rendered to the nation over the last 67 years. Continue reading

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Filed under Events, Karachi, Pakistan

President’s Visit: Dr Masuma Hasan’s Speech

Dr MasumaAddress of Welcome

Dr. Masuma Hasan

Chairperson, The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Honourable Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan

Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, Governor of Sindh

Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is indeed a great privilege and honour for me to welcome you, on behalf of the members of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs and on my own behalf, to this session which the President of Pakistan has graced with his illustrious presence. I am truly grateful to the President for having found the time to be with us today in spite of his numerous other engagements.

Those who are even vaguely familiar with our national politics know how committed the President has been to strengthening our democratic system and how strong is his grasp on international politics. Since the present government came to power, he has led many delegations to countries abroad. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, Events, Karachi

Arif Hasan at PIIA: Karachi’s Changing Demographics and Urban Strife

images-29It is my belief that even if we get over ethnic violence and terrorism, Karachi will continue to have strife and conflict. At best, it will be like Rio de Janeiro, separated into rich and poor areas. At worst, it will be like Mexico City.

These were Arif Hasan’s opening remarks at the beginning of his presentation at The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs on Karachi’s Changing Demographics and Urban Strife on 12 March 2014. Mr. Hasan is a renowned architect, urban planner, social activist, researcher, widely-published author and recipient of the Hilal-e-Imtiaz. He is the founder and Chairman of the Urban Resource Centre Karachi and Chairperson of the Orangi Pilot Project-Research & Training Institute, Karachi. Arif Hasan, in his comprehensive presentation, outlined the changing trends in Karachi’s demographic shift since Partition and presented an analysis of the societal repercussions of uneven densification of the metropolitan city. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, Events, Karachi, Legislation