Farzana Shaikh (for Info only, not official)

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Farzana Shaikh

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    ... Yet again the world must look on in bewilderment as Pakistan emerges battered and bruised from a crisis precipitated by an obscure theological dispute that has forced the resignation of the country’s law minister and led to the dramatic mobilisation of religious forces directed by the ponderous sounding Tehreek-e-Labbaik ya Rasool Allah (or Movement in the Service of the Prophet [Muhammad]). Presiding over this version of Pakistan’s own passion play is the country’s military establishment. It has been credited with brokering a deal that ended the crisis, but on terms that raise doubts about the government’s Islamic credentials and leave it vulnerable to an early demise. Pakistan’s noisy commentariat meanwhile has taken in droves to the air waves, the press and social media. ...

    Indian Express on Dec. 9, 2017, midnight

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    ...Every once in a while Pakistan’s contested legacy of a state founded in the name of “Islam” bursts into the public realm to threaten the country’s fragile democratic culture. From its laws of evidence which deny equal status to the testimony of Muslim women to its laws against blasphemy which penalise its non-Muslim minorities — both introduced by a military dictatorship in the 1980s — Pakistan’s appeal to “Islamic injunctions” has long served its non-elected leaders to mould the political system in line with their own preferences The disqualification by the Supreme Court of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on grounds of “violating Islamic injunctions” under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution — also introduced under a military dictatorship in 1985 — which requires a member of parliament to be “honest” and “morally upright” (ameen and sadiq), is no exception. Nor indeed is Sharif’s dismissal. No prime minister in Pakistan’s 70-year long history has completed their five-year tenure. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 1, 2017, 12:05 a.m.