Into the Snake Pit

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha

The Pakistan cricket team hasn’t played a Test match against India since 2006. India considers Pakistan to be an unsafe place to tour and has often accused Pakistan of facilitating ‘terrorism’ in Kashmir. Pakistan accuses India of the same, especially after capturing an Indian spy in 2016 who confessed of funding and facilitating terrorist groups in Balochistan and Karachi.

India’s concern that Pakistan is unsafe for cricket is ironic because never has any Indian cricket squad been threatened with violence in Pakistan; whereas it was in India that the Pakistani cricketers were threatened in 1999, 2013 and then again during the 2016 T20 World Cup held there.

One of the most prominent examples in this respect stretches back to Pakistan’s 1999 tour of India where it played 3 Test matches. This was Pakistan’s first Test tour of India after 1987. The relations between the two countries had nosedived in 1998 when both the governments conducted multiple nuclear tests.

In January 1999, a 16-men-squad captained by Wasim Akram landed in New Delhi. The players had not even left the city’s Indira Gandhi Airport when reports of a possible attack on the team’s hotel began to circulate. Newspapers had earlier quoted some members of a Hindu nationalist group in Delhi who said they would storm the hotel where the Pakistani players were to stay and put them back on a plane to Pakistan.

Even though the players managed to make it to the hotel, Shiv Sena activists entered the stadium in Delhi (which was to host the second Test) and dug up the pitch, destroying it completely. Then as the Pakistani players flew to Chennai to play the first game, a Hindu nationalist outfit asked the spectators to stay away from the game because they were going to release hundreds of poisonous snakes in the stands.

After the police closely inspected the stands, the Pakistan’s squad reached Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium to play the team’s first Test match in India after 11 years. The stands were packed with people, even though security personnel could be seen on the concrete gables above the stands and outside Pakistan team’s dressing room.

The pitch had some grass on it but seemed good for batting. Akram won the toss and elected to bat. Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi opened the batting for Pakistan. But with the score at 32, Afridi was squared up by a zippy Srinath out-swinger and caught by Ganguly at first slip. At 41 Pakistan lost Anwar and then quickly collapsed to 91 for 5.

Yousaf Youhana (later Muhammad Yousaf) and wicket-keeper Moin Khan stabled things a bit for the tourists and took the score to 154 when Yousaf was trapped LBW. Moin was joined by Akram and both pushed the score to 214 before India managed to dislodge Moin for a gritty 60. However, Pakistan were eventually bundled out for just 238 an hour before the close of the first day’s play. In this hour Indian openers struck a quick 48.

Pakistan got its first breakthrough in the first session of the second day’s play when Akram removed the stylish Laxman with the score at 67. 67 for 1 soon became 71 for 2 when Akram also removed the second opener, Sadagoppan Ramesh. Almost immediately, prodigious off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq got the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, caught by Saleem Malik. India was now tottering at 72 for 3. Azharuddin went at 103 but Dravid and Ganguly managed to stem the rot and pushed the score past 150 when Dravid fell, padding up to a straight one from Saqlain.

Ganguly’s fifty and some last minute hitting from Sunil Joshi helped India reach 254 (all out), gaining a 26 runs lead. Saqlain picked up five wickets. In its second innings, Pakistan lost Saeed Anwar early and at the end of the second day’s play Pakistan were 34 for 1, just 8 runs ahead.

After the day’s play Akram was quoted by Indian newspapers as saying that Pakistani players were still receiving threats of violence but the team had decided to just concentrate on playing cricket. On day 3 of the Test, Ijaz Ahmed was sent packing very early but Inzamam-ul-Haq and the 20-year-old Shahid Afridi added a quick-fire 92 for the fourth wicket, both sprinting past their fifties in style.

With the score at 139, Inzamam fell but Afridi continued to score freely. He soon posted his first ever Test century. But when Afridi lost his wicket with the score at 279, rest of the batting collapsed. Pakistan were all out for 286. India had 271 to chase with two days of the Test remaining. Now favorites to win the Test, India’s chase began disastrously. Rippers from Akram’s fellow fast bowler Waqar Younus removed the Indian openers cheaply. At the close of the third day’s play, India were reeling at 40 for 2. On day 4, Pakistan reduced India to 82 for 5 by lunch. The Pakistani players were jubilant and enjoyed their lunch. But Akram told a BBC reporter that the political and sporting pressure on his men and him was immense. But now they were sensing a win.

However, after the lunch break, as Tendulkar and Mongia went about repairing India’s innings, Pakistan began to slightly panic. The pair first took India past 150 and then 200. Soon, India just needed 52 to win with five wickets still in hand.

Tendulkar was playing brilliantly; middling the ball and making the Pakistani bowlers (suddenly) look rather ordinary. He quickly reached his century. Mongia began playing his shots as well but with the score at 218 he tried to loft Akram out of the ground but only managed to sky the ball towards Waqar who ran in and held the most important catch at mid-off.

Joshi came in and just blocked, letting a Tendulkar do all the scoring. The pair took the score past 250. Then at 254 India just needed 16 to win and it still had four wickets in hand. Surely, Pakistan was staring at defeat now? It seemed that way until Tendulkar tried to lift Saqlain over mid-on for a boundary. The ball seemed to hang high in the air for ages. Akram ran in and placed himself underneath it and cupped it successfully. A deafening silence descended over the packed stands.

Just two runs later, Pakistan grabbed another two quick wickets, leaving India 14 to get and with just one wicket in hand. The tables were being turned. Srinath and Prasad added two runs and India now needed 12. But Saqlain produced a jumpy off-break to Srinath which the batsman went back to defend. He was successful, but the ball hit the ground and rolled back to hit the stumps. Pakistan won.

It was the most esthetic victory for a team under threat of violence. Even though Pakistan lost in Delhi it came back to post a win in Kolkata. Pakistan’s manager, Shahryar Khan later wrote that this was the tensest and most stressful series he had ever been a part of. He added that relations between the two teams were cordial but the crowds (especially in Delhi and Kolkata) were hostile and threats of violence from Hindu nationalists never stopped. But Pakistan managed to come out the better side.


The writer is a Pakistani journalist, cultural critic and satirist. He is the author of a detailed book on Pakistan’s ideological, political & social history, called ‘End of the Past.’

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تحریر: مجاہد بریلوی

شاعر انقلاب و رومان فیض احمد فیض نے جیل کے دنوں میں لکھا اپنا مجموعہ کلام ''زندان نامہ'' ایلس فیض کو دیتے ہوئے کہا ذرا ''مولانا'' کو دکھا دینا زبان و بیان کی کوئی غلطی نہ رہ جائے۔فیض صاحب خود اپنی شاعری کے حوالے سے اُس وقت تک بین الاقوامی شہرت حاصل کر چکے تھے مگر اُن کی عظمت اور انکساری کا عالم دیکھیں کہ اپنے کلام پر نظر ثانی کے لئے مولانا کو بھجوا رہے ہیں۔ یہ مولانا کون تھے؟ آج کا ہمارا آزاد پاپولر میڈیا نہ اُن کے نام سے واقف ہو گا اور نہ ہی اُن کے گراںمایہ صحافتی کام سے۔ ''مولانا'' کے نام سے شہرت رکھنے والے چراغ حسن حسرت کے بارے میں آغا شورش کاشمیری کا کہنا ہے ''سیرت بھی لکھی' افسانے بھی تحریر کئے۔۔ شاعری کے ہر کوچے سے آشنا رہے۔۔ غزل ہو یا نظم، طنز کریں یا پیروڈی، نعت لکھیں یا منقبت۔۔ قلم اُن کا موتی بکھیرتا تھا''۔ چراغ حسن حسرت نے ابتدائی صحافت کا آغاز مولانا ابوالکلام آزاد کے اخبار الہلال سے کیا۔ وہاں سے انہیں بابا ئے صحافت مولانا ظفر علی خان لے اُڑے۔ پھر میاں افتخار الدین کے پروگریسو پیپر کے اخبار امروز کی ایڈیٹری کی۔یہاں سے نوکری چھوڑی تو ریڈیو میں گئے اور وہاں بھی اپنی دھاک جمائی اور ''کالم نویسی'' تو خیر اُن کا خاص میدان تھا ہی۔ چراغ حسن حسرت کے نام کے ساتھ مولانا کا لاحقہ کب لگا۔۔ کیسے لگا۔۔ کیوں لگا؟ یہ ایک الگ تحقیق کا موضوع ہے کہ چراغ حسن حسرت میں معروف معنوں میں ''مولانا یا مولوی'' والی کوئی خصوصیت نہیں تھی۔ محض ''رند'' نہیں رندِ بلا نوش تھے۔ موسیقی سے شغف تھا اور اس کے لئے باقاعدہ جا کر گانا سُنتے۔چراغ حسن حسرت میں انا کُوٹ کُوٹ کر بھری ہوئی تھی۔ اُردو، عربی، فارسی اور سنسکرت کا بے پناہ علم اور دسترس تھی۔ صحافت اُن کے گھر کی باندی ہی نہیں تھی بلکہ ہاتھ باندھے کھڑی ہوتی تھی۔ دوسری جنگِ عظیم کے دنوں میں جب جرمنی کے خلاف کمیونسٹ روس بھی جنگ میں شامل ہو گیا تو انڈین کمیونسٹوں نے بھی اسے قومی جنگ قرار دے دیا۔ اور تو اور جب فیض صاحب جیسے شاعر نے بھی کرنل کی وردی پہن لی تو چراغ حسن حسرت بھی فوج کے تعلقات عامہ کے شعبے میں بھرتی ہو گئے۔ سنگاپور جا کر ایک جنگی جریدہ نکالا۔ جنگ ختم ہوئی تو واپس پھر صحافت میں آگئے۔ قیامِ پاکستان کے وقت جب امروز نکلا تو اُس کی ایڈیٹری کے لئے خود فیض صاحب نے جو ایڈیٹر انچیف تھے، انہیں بلا کر ایڈیٹر بنایا۔ مولانا کا زیادہ وقت دفتر میں گزرتا یا پھر چائے خانوں میں محفلیں جماتے۔ بڑی بڑی ملازمتیں ملیں مگر اپنی انا کی خاطر ہاتھ جھاڑے اور دفتر کی سیڑھیاں اُتر گئے۔ میاں افتخار الدین پر وگریسو پیپرز کے مالک تو تھے ہی مگر پنجاب کے ایک بڑے جاگیردار اور سیاستدان بھی تھے۔ آغا شورش کاشمیری مولانا پر اپنے مضمون میں لکھتے ہیں۔ میاں افتخار الدین سے کوئی بات ایسی سرزد ہوگئی جو ان کی منشا کے خلاف ہوتی تو اس پر بگڑ جاتے، اب انہی کے دفتر میں بیٹھ کر انہی کے خلاف تبصرہ ہو رہا ہے۔ ترکیبیں وضع کی جا رہی ہیں، فقرے گھڑے جا رہے ہیں۔ طنزیں چلی آرہی ہیں۔ یار لوگ اس وقت تو سنتے اور سردھنتے لیکن پھر میاں صاحب تک پہنچا آتے۔ میاں افتخار صاحب دل میں گرہ باندھ لیتے۔ حسرت صاحب دل کا غبار نکال کے صاف ہو جاتے۔ میاں افتخارالدین کے ہاں معافی کا خانہ ہی نہیں تھا۔ اسی اثناء میں میاں افتخار الدین کی زبان سے نکل گیا: ''حسرت صاحب آپ مذہبی اردو لکھتے ہیں''۔ حسرت صاحب تاڑ گئے کہ انہیں یہ پٹی پڑھائی گئی ہے اور کس نے پڑھائی۔ بھڑک کر بولے ''میاں صاحب ! یہ مذہبی اردو کیا ہوتی ہے؟ معلوم ہوتا ہے آپ سے کسی مذہبی سکھ نے روایت کی ہے''۔ سگریٹ کا ایک لمبا کش کھینچتے ہوئے کہا ''معاف کیجئے میاں صاحب! زبان ہرایرے غیرے بیچ کلیان کے بس کا روگ نہیں۔ آپ نے اردو میں کتنی کتابیں پڑھی ہیں؟ اسکول کالج میں تو آپ انگریزی پڑھتے رہے''۔ پھر ایک لمبا سا کش اور پھر وہی کچو کے '' اجی میاں صاحب ! یہ لڑکے حقے کی نَے ہیں۔ آپ کے منہ لگے ہوئے ہیں۔ آپ کو فرصت کہاں کہ امروز پڑھیں۔ جو کچھ آپ کے کان میں ڈال دیا آپ نے 'آویزہ' بنالیا۔ انہیں تو اپنے نام کے ہجے تک نہیں آتے۔۔ رہ گئے معنی تو وہ انہیں کیا معلوم؟ ان کے ابا جان بھی نہیں جانتے۔ بھلا ان سے اپنے ہی نام کے معنی پوچھئے بتادیں تو میں اپنی زبان گدی سے نکلوادوں گا۔ غضب کرتے ہیں میاں صاحب! آپ لسانیات پر بھی سیاسیات کی طرح بلا سوچے سمجھے طبع آزمائی فرما رہے ہیں؟'' اب میاں افتخار الدین جان چھڑا رہے ہیں اور چھوٹتی نہیں۔ خیر وہاں سے اٹھ کر حسرت صاحب اپنے دفتر میں آبیٹھے ۔ چپڑاسی سے کہا حافظ یوسف کو بلاؤ۔ حافظ صاحب آگئے۔ ''سنا آپ نے؟ میاں صاحب کیا فرماتے ہیں؟'' سگریٹ کا ایک لمبا کش لگایا، سرد آہ کھینچی، مونچھوں کو تاؤ دیا، قصہ بیان کیا، قلم کو میز پر رکھا، سلپیں اٹھا کر پرے پھینک دیں۔ ''اجی چھوڑئیے۔ ناقدروں کے پاس کیا رکھا ہے؟ میاں افتخار الدین تو دولت کا حادثہ ہیں۔ ان سے شالا مار کے آموں کی فصل کا حال پوچھئے ۔ یہ کیا جانیں کہ زبان کیا ہے؟ ادب کسے کہتے ہیں؟ شعر کس باغ کی مولی ہے؟'' پورا دفتر سن رہا ہے اور یہ تمام باتیں بہر حال میاں صاحب تک پہنچ جاتی ہیں۔ ''حافظ جی! آج حرف و حکایت نہیں ہوں گے۔ محرم علی سے کہہ دو طبیعت منغض ہوگئی ہے۔ میاں صاحب کی صورت دیکھنے کے بعد قلم میں شگفتگی کیوں کر رہ سکتی ہے؟''
دفتر سے اٹھ کر کافی ہاؤس میں محفل لگی ہوئی ہے اور ذکر وہی میاں افتخار الدین کا ہو رہا ہے۔ امروز اخبار سے فارغ ہوئے تو کراچی میں ذوالفقار علی بخاری نے ریڈیو میں بُلا لیا۔ ذوالفقار علی بخاری کے بڑے بھائی احمد شاہ بخاری پطرس تھے۔ پطرس بخاری کیا تھے اُن کے لئے خود ایک الگ کالم باندھنا پڑے گا۔ اُستاد، ادیب، براڈکاسٹر اور اس پائے کے اسکالر کہ بعد میں اقوام متحدہ میں پاکستان کے مندوب بنے۔ یہاں سے ریٹائر ہوئے تو یو این کے سیکریٹری ڈاک ہیمر شولڈ نے اپنا مشیر بنا لیا۔ بخاری برادران کا تقسیمِ ہند سے پہلے آل انڈیا ریڈیو میں طوطی بولتا تھا۔ بلکہ یار لوگوں نے بڑے بخاری یعنی پطرس بخاری اور چھوٹے بخاری یعنی ذوالفقار علی بخاری کے حوالے سے
یعنی بخاری برادران کارپوریشن رکھا ہوا تھا۔اب ''مولانا'' کا ریڈیو کے دفتر میں اُٹھنے بیٹھنے، بولنے لکھنے کا ایک علیحدہ انداز اور مزاج۔ بھلے ریڈیو کے سربراہ ذوالفقار علی بخاری ہوں مگر مولانا کہاں خاطر میں لاتے۔ بخاری صاحب ہر سال ماہِ محرم میں مرثیہ ریکارڈ کرواتے اور بعد میں سارا عملہ باجماعت سُنتا اور داد کے ڈونگرے برساتا۔ اب بخاری صاحب کی خواہش کہ ''مولانا'' بھی اُن کی مرثیہ گوئی پر کچھ فرمائیں۔ مولانا نے ایک لمبی ہوں کے ساتھ میر انیس کی ''مرثیہ خوانی'' سے گفتگو شروع کی تو بخاری صاحب تک آتے آتے یہ تک کہہ بیٹھے کہ ''مولانا! یہ مرثیہ گوئی ہر ایرے غیرے کے بس کی بات نہیں۔ اس کے لئے پہلے امام بارگاہوں کے پھیرے شب و روز لگانے ہوتے ہیں۔۔منبر پر ایک سلیقے سے نشست و برخاست ہوتی ہے۔۔ ایک ماحول ہوتا ہے۔۔ ایک فضا ہوتی ہے۔۔'' اب بخاری صاحب پہلو بدل رہے ہیں۔ ارد گرد اُن کے ماتحت ایک ایک کر کے کمرے سے نکل رہے ہیں۔ بخاری صاحب اُس وقت تو مولانا کی گفتگو سن کر نکل گئے مگر چند ہی دن میں مولانا کا یہاں سے بھی دانہ پانی اُٹھ گیا۔ واپس لاہور پلٹے تو روزی روزگار نے نڈھال کر دیا۔ پھر بڑے بیٹے کا غم اور بیماریوں نے بھی پکڑ لیا۔ اگر مستقل شاہانہ نوکری نہ ہو تو پھر مے نوشی کی لت بھی قبل از وقت موت کی دہلیز پر پہنچا دیتی ہے۔ مجاز لکھنوی اور اختر شیرانی کے ساتھ بھی یہ ہی ہوا۔ مولانا چراغ حسن حسرت پر جب قلم اُٹھایا تھا تو مجھے احساس تھا کہ ''مولانا'' جیسی شخصیت کا ایک مضمون میں ''احاطہ'' نہیں کھینچا جا سکتا کہ خود اُن سے منسوب لطائف ایک پوری کتاب کا تقاضہ کرتے ہیں۔ چلتے چلتے مولانا کا ایک لطیفہ سُن لیں۔ ''مولانا کافی ہائوس میں بیٹھے تھے۔ ایک سیٹ کافی کا آرڈر دیا۔ گھنٹہ گزر گیا ویٹر نہیں آیا۔ کافی ہائوس کا مالک پاس سے گزرا تو شکایت کی۔ مالک نے پوچھا کس کو آرڈر دیا تھا؟ وہ کالے بالوں والے کو؟ مولانا نے اپنے مخصوص انداز میں کہا جب آرڈر دیا تھا تو بال کالے ہی تھے مگر اب تو سفید ہو چکے ہونگے''۔ یہ لیجیئے میں مولانا کی شاعری کو تو بھول ہی گیا
باغوں میں پڑے جھولے
تم بھول گئے ہم کو ہم تم کو نہیں بھولے
ساون کا مہینہ ہے
ساجن سے جدا رہ کر جینا کوئی جینا ہے
مولانا نے جس صنف پہ لکھا، جیسا کہ ابتداء میں بھی میں نے کہا تھا… کہ نثر ہو کہ نظم، کالم نویسی ہو کہ خاکہ نگاری۔۔ اُسے کمال تک پہنچایا۔ افسوس کہ مولانا جیسے نابغہِ روزگار ہماری آج کی صحافت کے نصاب سے ہی اُٹھ گئے ہیں۔ اور یوں بھی ہماری آج کی صحافت کو مولانا جیسے صحافیوں کی ضرورت بھی نہیں۔

مضمون نگار پاکستان کے ایک معروف صحافی اور تجزیہ نگار ہیں۔ آپ ایک نجی چینل پر حالات حاضرہ سے متعلق ایک پروگرام کے میزبان بھی ہیں۔

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Reforming The Justice System

Written By: Feisal Naqvi


Pakistan's legal problems need to be viewed in the same manner as Pakistan's traffic problems. To clarify, the standard response to urban congestion is to widen roads. But as the well-known saying goes, "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." The solution to increased car traffic is, therefore, not to add lanes but to get people to stop using cars (and use bicycles or mass transit options instead). Similarly, the solution to legal congestion is not to add more judges or to try and browbeat judges into disposing of cases more quickly. Instead, the solution is to rework our legal architecture so that litigation becomes less likely.

Let's start with an obvious fact: Pakistan's justice system is broken. There are millions of cases pending and rich and poor alike are frustrated with their inability to get justice. So far, so good. There is broad consensus among all stakeholders in Pakistan that the justice system is highly unsatisfactory. What then is to be done?

Till date, the standard approach toward legal reform of the justice system in Pakistan has been to focus on making the system more efficient or on expanding the size of the system. Standard remedies for dealing with legal issues in Pakistan include calls to increase the number of judges and for cases to be disposed of more expeditiously. This is fundamentally a misguided approach. The reason why Pakistan's legal system is broken is not because there are insufficient judges (though that is also a limitation). Instead, the fundamental reason, why Pakistan's legal system doesn't work, is because the system itself allows, and encourages, needless litigation. Fixing the system is, therefore, beyond the scope of executive action. Fixing the justice system requires legislative action. In simple terms, there are two types of cases: criminal cases and everything else (i.e., civil cases). Let's focus first on civil cases. The vast majority of civil cases pertains to real property – the sale of land, the rental of land, the inheritance. Any which way you choose to deal with it, land causes problems. More importantly, land doesn't only form the basis of most civil disputes, it also forms the basis of many criminal disputes.

Finally, it needs to be understood that a dysfunctional land regulatory system isn't only a legal problem but also an economic problem. The primary form of wealth in Pakistan is land. If you can't sell land without legal hassles, if you can't rent your house because you're scared of the litigation that might follow, and if every death is to be followed by endless years of dispute amongst children bickering over who gets what share, then it's not just the people involved who have a problem, it's the country as a whole.

Let me make the above point in simpler form. Assume that you want to start a business and that you need a loan. Assume further that you own a piece of land which has a market value of US$ 1 million. If you happen to live in the United States, chances are that a bank will be willing to lend you up to US$ 900,000. On the other hand, if you live in Pakistan, no bank is going to lend you more than US$ 600,000. That difference (between 90% and 60%) is dead value. What it represents is the difference between a system in which you can actually rely upon systems of title and one in which you can never really be sure as to who owns what.

What then is the systemic problem in Pakistan's land regulation framework? Well, to begin with, there are several. The most fundamental problem though is that we do not have a system of recorded title. When you buy land in the United States (or any other developed country), your agreement to buy the land is in writing and recorded in some sort of centralized registry operated by the government. When the government issues you a title deed, you can relax. If there is a problem in the title, that problem is the government's problem, not yours. In other words, the government both records title to land and guarantees title to land.

The opposite system operates in Pakistan. Our government does not record title to land. And it does not guarantee title to land. Instead, every time you buy land from another person, you are taking a punt on the bona fides of the person selling you that land. Unfortunately, even if the seller is a person of good morals, and even if he has evidence to substantiate his claim to be the legitimate owner of the land, there is no definitive way for buyers to confirm that sellers do indeed own the land that they are selling. And if there is indeed a dispute over title then the problem is yours, not that of the government.

Let me give you a simpler illustration of the difference between the two types of systems. Prior to 1997, Pakistani companies issued actual, physical share certificates. If you bought shares, ultimately you wound up in possession of heavily embossed paper proclaiming themselves to be share of a particular company. If you bought fake shares or if the person selling you shares was not authorised to sell you shares, then that was your headache. It was your job to make sure that the person selling you was indeed the owner of the shares in question and that he was indeed authorised to do so. Not surprisingly, litigation often ensued.

In 1997, this system was changed through the promulgation of the Central Depositary Act, 1997. What this act provided was that shares were to be deposited with a particular company (the depositary) and after that the shares were to be sold and traded electronically. More importantly, it was the job of the depositary to guarantee that the shares were valid and that the transaction was valid. So, as long as you bought your shares in electronic form, you were guaranteed both that the shares were authentic and that nobody could take the shares back from you (on grounds of their being sold in an unauthorized manner). Instead, what the law provides is that even if the sale to you was unauthorized, the person defrauded can only sue the fraudster for damages and cannot ask for his shares back.

Electronically traded shares can still result in litigation. But the litigation is now of a different type (i.e. regarding the quantum of compensation, not whether or not shares are to be given back). The result is that more shares are getting traded in Pakistan, there is more confidence in the share markets and there is less litigation – all because of certain, very simple, very obvious legislative choices.

Pakistan needs to do with land what it has already done with share certificates. In other words, Pakistan needs to examine the way in which the sale, purchase and transfer of land now occurs and make amendments to the legislative framework so that transfers are made safer and more secure. Obviously, since land is a far more complicated subject than share certificates, the solution will not be as simple. But there is no shortage of low-hanging fruit which can be plucked. For example, oral transfers of land have been banned in England since 1604.

In Pakistan, oral gifts of land are still possible! Let me return to my basic point: if we want to fix the justice system, it is not enough to try and make the justice system more efficient in terms of processing the disputes presented for adjudication. Instead, if we want to fix the justice system, we need to review and revise our legislative choices so that less disputes arise. In blunt terms, most of the disputes which are adjudicated in Pakistan simply don't exist in other countries because their systems of law do not allow for the existence of such types of disputes.

To take another example, the Government of West Pakistan promulgated the West Pakistan Urban Rent Restriction Ordinance in 1959. What that law provides is that no matter how long the lease, every tenant is entitled to stay on as long as he likes unless he defaults in payment of his rent or unless the landlord can show a bona fide personal need for the rented property.

The obvious consequence of the law was an explosion in rent litigation. In 1991, the Pakistan Law Commission wrote that landlord-tenant disputes accounted for more than 1/3rd of all cases pending in the courts. It became normal for rent cases to be litigated all the way up to the Supreme Court. And as a consequence people either stopped renting their properties or starting demanding huge security deposits. In 2009, the rent law was changed in the Punjab. It is now possible for landlords to simply tell their tenants to leave when the lease terminates. And, lo and behold, the number of rent cases has gone down too.

The point to note regarding the impact of the change in the Punjab Rent Law is not that it had an impact. Instead, the point is that its impact has gone unnoticed. In 2009, the National Judicial Policy Making Committee of Pakistan issued the Judicial Policy of 2009. That policy is still in effect as of today. And it contains not a word which would indicate any awareness that the legislative framework can, and should, be changed. Even in terms of rent laws, none of the other provinces has followed the Punjab.

Pakistan's legal problems need to be viewed in the same manner as Pakistan's traffic problems. To clarify, the standard response to urban congestion is to widen roads. But as the well-known saying goes, "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." The solution to increased car traffic is, therefore, not to add lanes but to get people to stop using cars (and use bicycles or mass transit options instead). Similarly, the solution to legal congestion is not to add more judges or to try and browbeat judges into disposing of cases more quickly. Instead, the solution is to rework our legal architecture so that litigation becomes less likely.

The writer is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He is also a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.

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An Interesting Secret of Biological Life

Written By: Dr. Gulfaraz Ahmed

Biologically speaking, life started when some complex chemical molecules in the primordial soup in high energy environment of the hot deep-sea plumes mimicked a biological cell and divided into two. Biological division of a cell is the starting and crowning point of life. Progressively thereafter, the high energy environment led to the explosion from simple single-cell life to complex multicellular forms that include mammals. There are over a trillion cells in the human body and the growth in the growing years and ageing in waning years still takes place at the cell level through healthy division, sluggish division or mutation as the case might be.

When a fertilized egg cell divides at the starting point of conceptual life, slight imperfection in division known as mutation causes genetic variations leading to a wide array of biodiversity. The body remains youthful as long as the adult cells continue to divide efficiently. However, brain cells do not divide as the production of new cells could result in the loss of memory. The synaptic connections continually reformat that maintains the brain health and function. This reformatting takes place during sleep at night and deeper the sleep, better is the mending of the brain. Similarly, cells of the heart muscles also do not divide, possibly because the fresh cells created might not be strong enough to contract to the required extent as the old cells for sustaining the required pressure in the blood vessels. It is now considered that about 3% of the heart cells do divide but that is not enough to repair the damage suffered in a heart attack. If a way could be found to induce the heart cells to divide, it could lead to the repairing of the damage to the heart suffered in an heart attack without any surgical intervention. Rest all cells in the body continue to divide during the life. Progressively with age, cells become sluggish or stop to divide that causes ageing. The retired cells reside next to the active cells which in due course become sites for inflammation that causes myriad problems and damages to the body tissues.


It is interesting to know that the optimal level of food is a touch towards starvation than to overeating. When the stomach is empty with a long gap after eating the food, the growth hormones are stimulated which promotes healthy cell division that checks or slows ageing. This condition can be achieved by intermittent fasting for about 16 hours. In practice it is comparable with religious fasting, except that in intermittent fasting one could take simple water any number of times to avoid dehydration.

Human Growth Hormones (HGH) operate at cell level and stimulate active cells to prolong their life of efficient division. The body produces its own growth hormones which provide a good index of ageing in advancing years. Although, one could take HGH as supplements also but this is not as effective in prolonging youthfulness as the body’s own energized growth hormones.

The central idea of this article is that there are ways through which one could stimulate body’s own growth hormones. This secret was revealed during the biological experiment of the procreation of the sheep ‘Dolly’ in 1996 by a team of British scientists. They picked two genetically different types of sheep and started with an egg cell of one sheep but enucleated it by removing the nucleus, leaving only the proteins inside the cell membrane. Then they took the differentiated adult cell from the mammary gland of the second sheep and inserted the nucleus of this adult cell into the enucleated cell of the other sheep. They were trying to grow the clone of the sheep that had provided the adult cell. Cloning of a mammal from its adult cell had never been achieved before this experiment.

During the course of the frustrating experiments, hundreds of attempts led to no breakthrough as the adult cell did not start dividing to replicate life. What they observed in these failed attempts provides a very intelligent clue to the secret of the cell division. When there was excessive protein food around the adult cell nucleus, the cell would grow bigger and bigger, become sluggish and not divide. On the other hand when there was too little protein food, the adult cell became emaciated and died. When they accidently hit upon the optimal level of the protein food, the miracle happened and the cell started dividing that led to the development of 'Dolly'. The sheep lived about six years and produced 5 lambs.

These observations provided an evidence that excessive food protein or very low food protein suppress growth hormones leading to lethargy, inactivity or death of adult cells in human body. It points to the secret of finding an optimal level of food protein to stimulate the health of the body cells. The individuals who consume excessive food suffer from inactive cells which becomes the cause of various health issues and faster ageing. The starvation on the other hand causes early death of body cells leading to the loss of muscles and bone mass that advances the process of ageing.

It is interesting to know that the optimal level of food is a touch towards starvation than to overeating. When the stomach is empty with a long gap after eating the food, the growth hormones are stimulated which promotes healthy cell division that checks or slows ageing. This condition can be achieved by intermittent fasting for about 16 hours. In practice it is comparable with religious fasting, except that in intermittent fasting one could take simple water any number of times to avoid dehydration. Translating it into a daily routine the requirement can be achieved if one takes the last meal of the day along with the required amount of water in the late afternoon at say 5p.m. and the only second meal of the breakfast at 9a.m. Except these two timed meals one observes intermittent fast. Apart from energizing growth hormones it has other spectacular health effects. Between 5p.m. and sleep, say at 9p.m., the food gets digested and there is no need for the heart to continue to pump the blood into stomach during the sleep. When one goes to sleep with all the food digested, the heart, kidneys and the brain all can sleep at night. The sleep is undisturbed and one gets up very fresh the next morning. This quality of sleep is conducive to synaptic reformatting and the repairs in the brain. This routine can improve health, check or slow ageing and increase active hours adding vitality to life.

As a general guide, eating moderately especially in advancing years is a recipe for better health. Most health issues arise from eating excessively especially the unhealthy food. We heard a golden rule from the elders to stop eating, leaving some appetite unsatisfied. Energizing body's own growth hormones is an effective way to slow down ageing and prolong healthy life. Although the humanity continues to make spectacular advances for treating diseases there ought to be sufficient development for promoting a style of life that supports good health in the first place. A flurry of fads, exacerbated by the globally connected social media, often sponsored by vested interest-groups continue to add confusion to what to eat and how much to eat. An intelligent recourse to eating less and selectively would save resources, increase food security and above all promote health and extend useful life span adding to the well-being of the human society. Eating less is the end secret.


The writer holds a PhD degree from Stanford University, California USA. He is a former Federal Secretary and has been CEO/Chairman of OGDCL and Chairman NEPRA.

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