Laptop Warriors

After reading Ayaz Amir’s article and his use of the term “laptop warriors” (about Dr Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi etc), I googled the term and discovered this picture. Now Aitzaz Ahsan’s remarks have caused a major disappointment to them; he will be a target of their wrath as we will shortly see…

Even SC can’t take away president’s immunity: Aitzaz

LAHORE: The constitution is very clear about a president’s immunity against criminal litigation and even the Supreme Court cannot take it away, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Aitzaz Ahsan said on Tuesday. Talking to reporters at the Lahore High Court, where he had appeared in connection with a case, Aitzaz said he had not changed his position on presidential immunity. “A president does not enjoy any immunity in civil cases, but he does in criminal cases,” he said. He said the constitution had given unconditional protection to the president against criminal litigation under Article 248(2), and there was no ambiguity in constitutional provisions on the subject. He said this protection to the president of Pakistan was not new, as the head of the states in any country enjoys the same immunity. To a question, he said the president could only be removed through impeachment, and this option was open to all political parties in the parliament. staff report

2 responses to “Laptop Warriors”

  1. Comments on Aitzaz Ahsan remarks on PTH…
    February 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    President Asif Ali Zardari is not a criminal. He has been prosecuted but never been convicted. The failure to get him convicted does not make him a criminal.

    No one has denied that he has been under a cloud of intense suspicion for the past two decades. But he has spent years in jail with no conviction. This is a marked failure of the judicial process in Pakistan and judiciary itself shares the blame for its failure to prosecute the accused within a reasonable time frame.

    Constitution provides absolute immunity to the President and the Governors during their term in office from any criminal prosecution or any prosecution related to their work responsibilities (see article 248 in total at the end).

    If you wish to have a politician with an absolute spotless and unclouded past as well as vote of the Pakistani electorate, to be the Prime Minister or President, do keep looking. For now you have to work with the best the system offers. Mr. Zardari falls short of my yardstick of a perfect leader; he has assumed leadership of a political party while holding the office of the President of a nation (shameful), his reputation as an honest individual leaves a lot to desire, and he needs to devolve his Presidential powers to the PM as per his agreement with the other political parties.

    But let’s get the priorities straight; he is still an elected President; his party is in power due to a democratic election, and he is one of the very few leaders who have substantial representation in all parts of the federation of Pakistan.

    He enjoys complete immunity from criminal prosecution while he holds the office. And unless you want to see his downfall by subverting the constitution, he is not going anywhere under the threat of an impending prosecution.

    As much of a demon as you want to make out of him, realize that he is still one of the better options we have in our democratic process. For Pakistan to have better leaders, the feeble democratic system needs to strengthen. For the democratic system to strengthen, Mr. Zardari must be confronted by democratic means only. We must loudly condemn the irresponsible section of the media clamouring for his prosecution, or the judiciary Sue Moto notices that are focusing on one person with the constitutional protection out of the 8,041 persons who got the immunity under NRO. They are not playing ball right now, and are desperately trying to dislodge Mr.Zardari by any means possible due to their intense dislike for the man. This is not a valid reason to pull the rug from under an elected official.

    Unless we get it that we have to work with the present democratic system within the constitutional means, we will be repeating the same clamour 30 years from now. Try to pull the leg of the leader of the largest political party of Pakistan by unconstitutional means, and you can say goodbye to democracy now. Why even indulge in the charade of democracy if what you elect is what you desperately want to get rid of any way possible just two years later?

    Let the constitutional system go on by supporting the President. This support is not unconditional; it is based on a healthy understanding that he deserves it for what constitution grants to him. It is also based on our calm realization that despite his imperfections, the consequences otherwise are far more dire.

    Otherwise, it will be another 30 years, another failed autocratic regime and another Movement for Restoration of Democracy pitted against the omnipotent Pakistan Army ruling the country. And we’ll be yearning back for democracy which will have same popular but quite imperfect leaders to choose from.

    Article 248 of the Constitution of Pakistan: Protection to President, Governor, Minister, etc.

    (1) The President, a Governor, the Prime Minister, a Federal Minister, a Minister of State, the Chief Minister and a Provincial Minister shall not he answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions:

    Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as restricting the right of any person to bring appropriate proceedings against the Federation or a Province.

    (2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during his term of office.

    (3) No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President or a Governor shall issue from any court during his term of office.

    (4) No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the President or a Governor shall be instituted during his term of office in respect of anything done by or not done by him in his personal capacity whether before or after he enters upon his office unless, at least sixty days before the proceedings are instituted, notice in writing has been delivered to him, or sent to him in the manner prescribed by law, stating the nature of the proceedings, the cause of action, the name, description and place of residence of the party by whom the proceedings are to be instituted and the relief which the party claims.

  2. The nation hailed decision of SC on NRO, for they thought that a process of accountability would be launched and a cross board accountability would be carried out but the innocent and ill-fated people were totally unaware that the purpose to strike down NRO and cross board accountability was just a selective attempt to gain political points by one group or another, it will add to the fragmentation of the country. For true accountability, targeting just a few politicians is wrong. If the armed forces are immune from corruption charges, as well as the lawyers, then after a while the selective nature of the process will leave the country more cynical than it already is.

    The rumor and speculation mills were already into overdrive, with our relatively recently acquired plethora of private TV channels in paroxysms and twisting themselves into several knots in trying to anticipate the verdict. Even many politicians, started dreaming of mid-term polls. They are constantly pursuing Zardari to step down. Yes, of course it was the planned game to dislodge Zardari. It is remorseful that these elements went down even to defy constitution of Pakistan, that gives immunity to Zardari. Their level of cheapness can go further down, if they fail to axe Zardari. Pakistan is no more important for them but rule.