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  • Author: H.S. Sharif, Jafar Riaz Kataria
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This paper would discuss freedom of expression and restrictions on the freedom with particular reference to the provisions of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the „Justiciability Doctrine‟ as enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). The question whether the freedom of expression claims are justiciable or not, in third world countries like Pakistan and how it helps in the advancement of rule of law and good governance would be explored. The focus would be on the cultural relativism narrative developed ever since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The claims of „Universalism‟ associated with human rights especially freedom of expression would be criticized with respect to the Margin of Appreciation Doctrine as reflected in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and adopted in other jurisdictions. Freedom of expression and the rights of minorities in Pakistan would be discussed with a special mention of proselytization and forced conversions. Lastly, the role of legislation and judiciary in Pakistan for the protection and advancement of the freedom of expression guarantee would be discussed.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance, Culture, Freedom of Expression, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Shehzadi Zamurrad Awan
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: On women issues, the response of democratically elected governments of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), remained vague and noncommittal. Both parties in their manifestos for general elections, vowed to take steps for women socio-economic and political empowerment. However, after assuming power, these parties could not fullfill their promises. They could neither enact appropriate legislation on women issues nor they repealed or amended gender discriminatory Hudood Ordinance of Zia-ul-Haq. More so, these two leading parties failed to restore the expired women quota in National and Provincial Assemblies, resulting in insufficient representation in the legislative bodies. Nevertheless, in comparison with conservative PML (N), the expectations from a liberal Benazir Bhutto to enforce pro-women policies was more promising. Both parties formed coalition governments, thus remained incapacitated to enact women related laws. Furthermore, they were confronted with orthodoxy within and outside the legislative bodies, posing challenges to their political agendas. Nonetheless, the last two tenures of both parties marked a little difference in their approach towards women issues, resulting in some serious legislation, targeting women problems in socio-economic and political domains. It is imperative to say that the effectiveness of these newly in-placed women related laws and policies has yet to bring change in society as their proper implementation and required institutionalization is in its infancy stage.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Governance, Elections, Women, Legislation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Khalid Manzoor Butt, Naeema Siddiqui
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The word 'Islamic Republic' is debatable among scholars as what meaning and role the word 'Islam' adds to the republic is still not agreed upon. Therefore, there is a need for resolving this ambiguity by explicitly defining and explaining the meaning and role of Islam in an Islamic Republic. Pakistan, too, is an Islamic Republic, which got the name 'Islamic Republic of Pakistan' for the first time in the constitution of 1956. This study intends to comprehend the mentioned issue by highlighting the similarities and differences between democracy and Islamic system of governance. In this qualitative study, iterative analysis of semi-structured interviews of ten doctorate scholars is carried out. The study comes across primary contradictions between the two systems and gives a way out for a system having characteristics of both Islam and democracy.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Islam, Religion, History, Governance, Democracy, State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Ahmed Ijaz Malik
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The relevance of theory of democratic peace to the case of Pakistan has been a topic of discourse in western academia, as Pakistan struggles to develop democratically and subsequently regarding its efforts to minimise the chances of war and maximising the possibilities of economic cooperation with its adversary India, therefore contributing towards possible regional economic development in South Asia. Considering the significant aspect at the core of these issues the focus of this article is primarily on the Pakistan’s domestic factors playing a significant role in its foreign policy making. Regarding foreign policy vis-a-vis India, the diplomatic and militarystrategic engagement over the issue of Kashmir remains pertinent. Broadly the analysis of these issues shall be accomplished by focussing on the governments of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz group PML (N) from the post-second martial law years (1985 onwards) till the most recent elections in 2013. Considering the history of electoral politics in Pakistan, PML (N) has been inclined towards introducing advanced economic and developmental reforms in Pakistan therefore may be regarded as favouring economically liberal reforms. In order to ascertain the role of democracy as a form of governance in affecting the foreign policy making and conflict resolution, the interactions of these PML (N) governments with their Indian counterparts, on the issue of Kashmir shall be examined. This also contributes to the assumption at the core of democratic peace theory that as Pakistan evolves democratically, the chances of peace and economic cooperation in South Asia may be maximised. Therefore this article engages with the themes of separation of powers and problems of governance, different types of governments and regimes, civil-military relations, and possibilities of peace between historical adversaries through domestic economic progress and regional trade and cooperation. Moreover, in the South Asian perspective, it includes the liberal and internationalist discourses that expect regional economic blocks to develop in South Asia supported and guided by economically, financially and strategically advanced states.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, History, Bilateral Relations, Governance, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Punjab