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Saturday, August 29, 2009

PILDAT, Beena Sarwar, Running on empty, Sufis in Egypt

The troubling question Amir Mir is why SC Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is NOT taking notice of this? Ardeshir Cowasjee has raised this issue over ten times in his have others. ~~t

Chief justice (retd) Siddiqui told a private TV channel that the ISI was an intelligence agency and it should not interfere in national politics, or be used against politicians. Seasoned politician Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan had gone one step ahead in asking Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to reopen the case he had filed with the apex court almost 13 years ago with a view to take the culprits to task. Amir Mir

The introspection, debate and outrage generated a month ago by the attacks on two villages in Gojra on July 31 and Aug 1 may be out of public sight, as happened all too often in the past, but the nine people murdered and the homes and churches gutted are not out of mind. Neither is Najeeb Zafar, the young factory owner in Sheikhupura, Punjab, killed on August 4 for allegedly desecrating Quranic verses when he removed a calendar from a wall. The following day, police in Sanghar, Sindh, saved a similarly accused 60-year old woman, Akhtari Malkani by taking her in protective custody. Those inciting violence and murder from mosque loudspeakers and public accusations, true or false, must be held culpable, charged, tried and punished according to law. This also goes for those who desecrate a holy book or symbol of any religion. There must be accountability for those who allow these murders to take place. The political leadership is responsible for providing police with the training, means and the orders to prevent such violence. Finally, religion cannot be used or allowed to justify murder. Beena Sarwar

The advent of Ramadan prompts Gamal Nkrumah to probe Egypt's fasting traditions Running on empty

To better appreciate the precision and sophistication of the organisation of the Sufi movement in Egypt, one has to go into the details of every society and its affairs. There is hardly a village or town in Egypt that does not have followers of Sufi societies. They hold nights of zikr (religious chanting) and hadras (religious parades) on given days. The sheikh tariqah (society chief or grandmaster) is superior to the sheikh seggadah (carpet chief or local chief), who tells the naqeeb noqaba seggadah (chief of deputies) what to do. And the latter supervise the khalif al-kholafa (chief of sub-deputies) and the khalifs (sub-deputies), who in turn keep an eye on the noqaba (acting deputies), the munshids (singers), and the murids (beginners or seekers). An indepth account of the Sufis, their movement and organsiation in Egypt by Ammar Ali Hassan

Referring to the main highlights of the bill, the Pildat said besides limiting the accountability regime to holders of political office, the bill redefines corruption to exclude owning unaccounted for property disproportionate to one’s means, misuse of authority and the granting of concessions for one’s own benefit; introduction of a limitation period of three years for prosecutions; limitation on the powers of the accountability commission to seek information during an investigation both within Pakistan and abroad; removal of powers to freeze and seize assets during investigations; removal of the plea bargaining and pardon process; removal of powers of arrest and the introduction of the availability of bail; transfer of jurisdiction to try offences from a specialist accountability court to sessions courts; and shortening of the disqualification period, barring the holding of limited range of public office for those convicted from 21 to five years. The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) has expressed its dissatisfaction over the government’s draft accountability law and seeks its serious review and re-drafting.


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