Thursday, November 8, 2007

A comedy of terrors =)

(Theemergencytimes Eds- Cannot resist putting this one up. Its good to see that humour is still alive even as the despots in the corridors of power tighten the noose around popular opinion. This piece very amply jests out the deep disgust we civilians feel today)

In a case involving three culprits accused of having burgled a house, a local court decided that even if the act had taken place, since the court was only called upon after the happening, it has no option but to let the accused off

All the reports in this issue have been filed by our correspondent Jaajee Cigrutnosh (Eds- hehehe)

LAHORE: Jurists across the world are discussing the revolutionary formulation that has informed the decision by the New Court of Pakistan (NCP) which set aside on Tuesday an earlier order by the Old Court of Pakistan (OCP) against the decision by Big Bro to declare Emergency and promulgate the PCO, a combination referred to as Emergency-plus.

The NCP, working under the PCO, reached this verdict on the basis of a simple logic: the previous order by the OCP ruling the promulgation of Emergency-plus as unconstitutional is null and void because Big Bro had moved before the OCP passed its order nullifying the move by him.

This correspondent has learned that while jurists are panting with excitement at the prospect of this conceptual breakthrough in the discipline, a topic to which we shall return shortly, the Bush White House has also commended the NCP for a decision that, according to White House spokeswoman Snow White, has revolutionised not just domestic but international law as well.

Speaking to Daily Times on the phone, Ms White, said: "This verdict vindicates America's offensive against Iraq. If it is legally tenable that an action cannot be judged against because it has taken place before a judgement on it could be passed, then America was within its legal rights to have invaded Iraq."

Another set of experts, the civilian warriors in the think-tanks as well as military generals, are also euphoric following this verdict. Admiral Dhai'n-Pattas of the US Central Command told this correspondent that the decision provides perfect cover to the so far nettlesome issue of pre-emption and preventive war.

"There was moral hazard in these doctrines," said Admiral Dhai'n-Pattas, "but it is now clear that if an action has been carried out, any subsequent invocation of law to set it aside is void for the simple reason that such action has already been carried out."

Admiral Dhai'n-Pattas likened it to a tennis (or Squash, if any reader is more inclined towards the latter) drop shot, saying: "You just can't pick this one up; it's sheer beauty".

Jurists are still trying to understand the full import of the decision by NCP, but most are agreed that its application has posed a major conceptual challenge to the entire spectrum of law.

"If it can be determined that a bench of judges cannot declare void an order that has been passed prior to such adjudication because that order has also deprived those judges of their legal mandate before they could adjudicate against it, then we have a whole range of possibilities here," said a professor of law talking to Daily Times.

The professor said that this would mean any ruler could get rid of the judges as and when he/she so desired and any court ruling against such a decision would be unacceptable because the verdict would inevitably follow the action.

However, this is a minority, spoiler view. Most decent professors of law Daily Times talked to were of the view that this judgement removes the misconception that law can override power. "Power has historically created law; we are happy that this decision has put paid to the nonsense trotted out by the classic liberal literature on jurisprudence," was how one of them put it.

These professors are of the view that by pushing law onto the Shakespearean heath, the NCP had done a tremendous service to the profession. "Nuances are good but of late we have gone too much into them, losing sight of the fact that power creates law and that is an historical reality," said another professor.


Elsewhere in Pakistan:

CHAK 69 ULTA-PULTA: In a case involving three culprits accused of having burgled a house, a local court decided that even if the act had taken place, since the court was only called upon after the happening, it had no option but to let the accused off. The court then chided the owner for living in opulence which it said was an act of provocation.

The honourable judge also averred that the act having been successfully committed, its success itself was a determination of its legality. To this end the judge cited various cases including the French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions.

He later sent a press release regretting that he had forgotten about the Iranian revolution and requested, in the same breath, that the reference to that great event may also be included in any report on the story.


RAWALPINDI: After the great success of television channels such as Emergency Food, Dalda ka Dustarkhan and Masalah, cable operators have decided to bring in more entertainment for Pakistani viewers.

Talking to Daily Times, residents of Makhanpura in the city said that the one good thing about Big Bro's gag order was the absence of garrulous and quarrelsome talk-show hosts and politicians.

"At least we are spared the news channels; they were always moaning and groaning; my husband wouldn't let me watch Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi; now even he watches it," said a housewife who was too shy to tell her name and said that she may be identified simply as Munnay ke Amma.

Another resident, a girl who is the first one in the family to go to college and is eager to speak English, told DT that "Mein tau drawmas like karti hun; shukar hai yeh news ke bakwas has ended."

There is also a sense among women that watching food channels is likely to kitchen-train men.

The boys, while happy that new channels have been taken off the air, however, want the government of Pakistan to introduce FTV and such other channels as Trendz etc. "Just because we are sick of moaning and groaning politicians doesn't mean we don't like moaning and groaning per se," said one. (Ed's note: He never used 'per se' but this being a quality English-language newspaper, we need to retain our sense of the language.)

A highly placed official told DT that given the rising demand for entertainment through economy of clothes the government was seriously thinking of taking a positive decision in this regard. As one official put it, "It's the government's job to respect public opinion and if this is what people want, we will do whatever we can to come up to their expectations."

LAHORE: Our final political story of the day deals with an announcement about the coming to Pakistan of Ripley's Believe It or Not (second Season). AXN advertises Ripley as "a name that's synonymous with the strange, the fantastic and the bizarre". Sources close to Murree Brewery say Ripley is just what the doctor prescribed for viewers in Pakistan.

Ejaz Haider is Op-Ed Editor of Daily Times and Consulting Editor of The Friday Times. He can be reached at

The room is empty,
And the window is open

"My secret identity is" by Charles Simic

'...And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture':) Neruda

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