despite productivity: Part 1
The soul of Islam
The 'secular' vs. 'religious' binary is extremely problematic, and there is a need to look towards a third alternative that recognises the Muslim sensibilities of ordinary people
By Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
September 11, public discourse in the western world has revolved around a
handful of polemical debates, none more controversial than that over the
'soul of Islam'. Many Muslim and non-Muslim intellectuals alike have
dismissed the violence that has been perpetrated by 'Islamists' as having
nothing to do with Islam. Others have been more bold and insisted that
violence and intolerance are not as recent phenomena as one would like to
think and that, in actual fact, the use of violence for religio-political
ends has been a constant in the Muslim world since the time of the Prophet.
Indeed, the title of this article owes itself to the analyses of British
Muslim scholar Ziauddin Sardar.
would expect, this debate has been coloured by the insecurities and biases
about the Muslim world that remain deeply ingrained in western societies.
Importantly such biases and insecurities can be traced at least as far back
as the Crusades that marked medieval Europe's emergence from the so-called
Dark Ages. Notwithstanding the racist tendencies latent in western countries,
the debate over the 'soul of Islam' is a crucial one and it is unfortunate
that this debate has not originated in the Muslim world rather than in the
biggest supporters of the present regime have submitted that the 'enlightened
moderates' have attempted to take back the 'soul of Islam' from the forces of
bigotry that have monopolised public discourse on Islam at least since the
Zia dictatorship. This is the constituency that roars in approval when
hundreds of 'mullahs' are killed in commando operations or because thousands
of tonnes of bombs are dropped on them from a mile high. This also happens to
be the constituency most alienated from the vast majority of Pakistanis
because of their lifestyles, their culture, and their politics.
little sense amongst this high elite that a large number of ordinary
Pakistanis are deeply offended by the blatant surrender of sovereignty by the
current regime to the United States, and the death and destruction that this
surrender has visited upon hundreds, and maybe thousands of innocents. For
the elite, the only thing that matters is that the 'mad mullahs' do not make
further inroads into the 'civilised' world that they inhabit.
of the matter is that the majority of Pakistanis, even if they are not
particularly won over by the revivalist and utopian ideology that informs
contemporary Islamic religio-political movements, share even less with our
'secular' elite. In fact, if anything, at least part of the reason why
religious parties and groups are able to garner support in the wider society
is because they work within the people, and have, to some extent, won the
battles of hearts and minds, whereas the 'secular' elite have succeeded only
in maintaining their many social privileges while failing miserably in the
post-colonial nationbuilding project.
said that it is always important to reiterate that the 'secular' elite has
instrumentalised Islam to no end to maintain its dominance. It is only
because of the changed geo-political realities after 9/11 that the state has
had to stop patronising the very same elements that are now said to be
causing immense harm to the image of the Muslim world and indeed endangering
the 'soul of Islam' itself. There is no attempt to historicise any of the
analysis, nor would such an effort serve the purposes of empire and its
henchmen running Pakistan.
there is an urgent need to mobilise political and intellectual circles within
Pakistan, and indeed within the Muslim world more generally, to fill the huge
gap in our collective memory without resorting to reactionary rejection of
Islam under the guise of reviving that elusive 'secular' nationbuilding
project. In other words there is a need to debunk the almighty myth that
seems to be almost uncritically accepted throughout the Muslim world that
Islam 'in history' was a holistic political, cultural and economic system
that, if not perfect, closely approximates perfection.
this need to objectively study history, there is also a need to recognise
that our secular elites do not offer a way out of the quagmire that is
contemporary political Islam. Indeed the 'secular' vs. 'religious' binary is
extremely problematic, and there is a need to look towards a third
alternative that recognises the Muslim sensibilities of ordinary people while
doing away with the instrumentalisation of Islam that has been the primary
ideological tool employed by the secular state elite to maintain its
alternative should build upon the numerous competing visions of Islam that
have also existed alongside the highly orthodox and intolerant visions that
inform political violence. In particular, the mystic tradition which has deep
cultural roots across much of Pakistan offers a compelling challenge to the
violence of 'Islamists'. This practice of Islam celebrates art and culture
whereas the orthodox scripturalists reject such practices as un-Islamic. It
allows space for dissent and difference, whereas the orthodox scripturalists
condemn dissenters to the hell-fire.
the state has attempted to instrumentalise the mystical tradition as well.
The current regime comically formed the 'Sufi Council' in which the
officebearers are none other than Pervez Musharraf, Chaudhry Shujaat and
Mushahid Husain. This effort can be traced back to the Ayub period when the
Auqaf Department was created to take over the direct administration of
shrines. Such initiatives are no less cynical than state patronage of religio-political
movements committed to violence. Ultimately the objective is only to ensure
that the state remains the repository of Islamic ideology, whatever its
high time that those who purport to be intellectually and politically
committed to democratic values and practices stop propagating the binary of
'religion' and 'secularism' and thereby empowering the state to protect the
cause of secularism against religious bigotry. Ultimately, a state that has
always instrumentalised Islam cannot be trusted with doing anything other
than changing its tune according to its perceived needs; it will never
relinquish its ability to manipulate society through the use of Islam, and so
to expect it to do away with a problem that it has itself created is simply
given that religio-political movements still do not represent the dominant
vision and practice of Islam in Pakistan, it is essentially to recognise that
many activists of such movements can and will respond to principled
anti-imperialist political alternatives that do not romanticise violence and
purport to revive a perfect past, if such alternatives were to exist. To
reject all of the large and growing number of young people drawn to such
movements as 'mad mullahs' is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
in this part of the world, have our rumour and
conspiracy--theory factories, people in the United States of America
have their White House fib factory. That fib factory has been working three
shifts ever since George W. Bush was sworn in as president and became the
holder of an office once occupied by such towering figures as Thomas
Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Clinton was impeached and nearly removed from office for lying to the
American people about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. But President Bush and
senior administration officials have been repeatedly lying through their
teeth about far more serious issues, such as the war against Iraq, and
getting away with it.
administration lied about Iraq posing an 'imminent threat to the national
security of the United States.' There was no such threat. It lied about Iraq
'possessing weapons of mass destruction.' There were no such weapons. It lied
about Iraq attempting to buy 'yellow-cake uranium' from Niger to make WMD.
There were no such attempts. It lied about a mobile laboratory that was found
by US troops in Iraq being a 'laboratory for making chemical weapons.' In
fact, the 'laboratory' turned out to be a facility for filling weather
balloons. And it lied about there being a 'link' between al-Qaeda and Saddam
Hussein's regime in 'planning the 9/11 attacks' against the United States --
a claim rejected not only by American intelligence agencies but also by the
bipartisan commission appointed by Bush to investigate the attacks.
since the US launched its war against Iraq in violation of every canon of
international law and in flagrant defiance of world public opinion, the Bush
administration has been coming out with ever--changing explanations about why
it invaded and occupied the country. All these so-called explanations are
nothing but lies, lies and more lies.
4, 2007, Bush came out with yet another lie about why the United States had
invaded and occupied Iraq. That lie came in a Fourth of July (US Independence
Day) speech delivered by Bush to the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia
National Guard in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
the war against Iraq with the 1776 US war of independence against the
British, Bush said that like those American revolutionaries who 'dropped
their pitchforks and picked up their muskets to fight for liberty,' American
soldiers in Iraq were also fighting 'a new and unprecedented war to protect
freedom now depends on reducing Iraq to rubble and killing hundreds of
thousands of Iraqi civilians, does it? If Bush expects us to believe that, he
must think we are so gullible that we'll believe anything, no matter how
absurd or divorced from reality it is.
reprise of speeches he delivered throughout the 2006 US congressional
mid--term election campaign (in which Bush's Republican Party lost control of
the Senate and the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party), Bush
told his audience in Martinsburg that the threat that emerged on September
11, 2001 'remains,' and that 'a major enemy in Iraq is the same enemy that
dared attack the United States on that fateful day.'
Fourth of July message, Bush was adamant that he would oppose calls to end
the war in Iraq before he believes it has been won. "Withdrawing our
troops prematurely based on politics, and not on the advice and
recommendations of our military commanders, would not be in our national
interest," he said.
was unable to explain just how the US national interest would be served in
any way by carrying out more bombing campaigns and missile strikes against
Iraq and killing more Iraqis.
latest whopper from the White House fib factory, Bush not only claimed that
US forces in Iraq are fighting 'the same people' who staged 9/11, he also
claimed that withdrawing US forces from Iraq would mean 'surrendering Iraq to
Margolis noted in an article in The Toronto Sun newspaper on July 15, 2007,
"These absurd assertions mark the latest steps in the Bush
administration's evolving efforts to depict the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
as battles against al-Qaeda."
saying what he did in his Fourth of July speech about the withdrawal of US
forces from Iraq meaning 'surrendering Iraq to al-Qaeda' Bush also
conveniently failed to mention the fact that there were no so--called al-Qaeda
fighters in Iraq before the US invaded and occupied the country. He also
failed to mention that the vast majority of those fighting US forces in Iraq
are, in fact, not al--Qaeda fighters but Iraqis who want the American
occupation forces out of their country.
Geneva Convention, to which the US is also a signatory, states that the
people of a country occupied by foreign troops have every right to attack
them in an effort to drive them out.
article in The Toronto Sun, Margolis said, "When marketers want to
change the name of an existing product, they first place a new name in small
type below the existing one. They gradually shrink the old name, and enlarge
the new one until the original name vanishes."
Margolis noted, that's what's been happening in Iraq. When the US invaded,
Iraqis who resisted were branded 'Saddam loyalists, die-hard Baíathists or
dead-enders.' Next, the Pentagon and mainstream US media (led by the likes of
Fox News) called them 'terrorists.' Then, a tiny, previously unknown Iraqi
group appropriated the name 'al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia' -- Mesopotamia being
the ancient name for the land now known as Iraq.
upon the name, the White House fib factory then began calling all of Iraq's
22 or more resistance groups 'al-Qaeda.' Gung--ho sections of the US media
were quick to join this deception, even though the vast majority of Iraq's
resistance groups had nothing to do with any so-called al-Qaeda movement.
Indeed, it is far from certain that any such thing as al-Qaeda even exists.
and terrorism are the curse of the contemporary world, whether it is in the
form of neo-conservatism of President Bush or the clerical extremism in the
Muslim countries, especially Pakistan.
terrorism is not a new phenomenon or is linked with Muslims as is generally
perceived. The Nazi agenda of Fuehrer Adolph Hitler in 1930s and 1940s in
Germany, and the Fascism of Mussolini in Italy were epic examples of
extremism. However, presently, the Muslim countries especially Pakistan are
experiencing the emergence of radical extremism. The country has, of late,
faced its worst ever cases of extremism and terrorism in Islamabad at Lal
Masjid and a consequent spree of suicide bombings that killed hundreds of
people. Also, the country has had to bear with the May-12 carnage in Karachi
at the hands of the non-religious extremists.
clutches of extremists and terrorists seems to be getting stronger by the
day. Apparently, the state and the society have fallen prey to their
stranglehold. The odious aspect is that the extremists and terrorists are
pursuing and implementing their radical agenda in the name of Islam.
a general consensus among the intellectuals, scholars, writers, and
researchers that the underlying political reason for the spread of extremism
in Pakistan is the absence of democracy or representative government. This is
true to a certain extent because the unrepresentative regimes and the
military authorities have had to depend upon clerical groups and the power of
the pulpit to depoliticise the society. Depoliticisation naturally went in
favour of the unrepresentative authority. It is generally believed that the
seeds of extremism were sown far and wide during the rule of dictator General
Zia ul Haq (1977-88). A migrant from Indian Punjab, Zia had a tendency
towards clerics. He was lucky enough that due to the Soviet Invasion of
Afghanistan in December, 1979, the US badly needed religiously motivated 'jihadis'
to become cannon-fodder in the anti-Soviet Afghan resistance. Although there
had been religious and ethnically based extremist demands in the early years
too, the interplay between the rise of militant religious groups, government
policies, and the growing poverty was unprecedented in the two decades
spanning Zia's military regime and even in the subsequent years of
'democracy'. This period also witnessed the rise of sectarian and ethnic
violence in Pakistan on a scale never seen before.
the misfortune of Pakistan and particularly the Frontier territories
straddling all along the Durand Line to become frontline territories and a
base for the recruitment, training and organisation of anti-Soviet resistance
elements. The traditional political vacuum in FATA with no universal adult
franchise and the extension of Political Parties Act were instrumental in
converting these areas into dens of extremists. Whereas, in the rest of NWFP
where Pakhtoon nationalist, reformist movement with its anti-violence
philosophical traditions and Deoband Madrasa-linked JUI -- also with its
anti-violent traditions -- were politically strong, but could not resist
extremism to thrive under the military junta. In fact, the Pakhtoon
nationalists having many links with the erstwhile Soviet Union could not
openly condemn Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, thus losing ground to
extremists in Pakistan. The fact of the matter is that the larger political
parties sticking to their earlier policy of ignoring the Frontier, despite it
being internationally and strategically very important, could not play their
role in countering the establishment chicanery of turning these areas into
same time, in the rest of the country, the draconian dictatorship of General
Zia kept mainstream political leadership either exiled or jailed and the rest
concentrated on struggling for the restoration of democracy. Therefore, it
could not directly comprehend the thriving extremism under the veneer of
pseudo-Islamisation of Zia. During this era, hundreds of madrasas sprang up
like mushrooms throughout the country. Initially, a large number of Afghan
refugees became students and a large number of those madrasas were run with
the financial assistance of the Arab countries. By 1988, when Zia was killed,
the clerical extremists took an undue advantage of the political vacuum
created by his dictatorship, specially in FATA, and started playing a direct
role in the making and unmaking of governments. Benazir Bhutto has time and
again stated that Osama Bin Ladin used his fortune to dislodge her
governments. However, until recently, despite decades of military patronage,
flow of governmental and international funding, and a political discourse
dominated by Islam, the constituency of militant Islam has been smaller. This
trend had borne out in the elections, and the electoral performance of
religious political parties remained dismal. However, with Pakistan's
involvement in the US military offensive against Afghanistan in 2001, these
political parties have been able to mobilise support for their political
agendas and have even succeeded in coming into power.
important political reason for the thriving of extremism in Pakistan during
Zia was the erroneous thinking of Pakistani policymakers. It is often
discussed that Pakistan supported the US-backed anti-Soviet resistance for
its own security. However, the informed circles are of the view that the
foremost reason of this was the elimination of unfounded threat embedded in
history from Afghanistan. Zia thought that the best way to eliminate any
threat such as the Pakhtoonistan Movement that always haunted Pakistani
establishment through stepped up support to clerical elements within
Afghanistan. As the perpetrators of the Pakhtoonistan Movement in Afghanistan
were secular, liberal elements, Zia thought the clerics of Afghanistan could
be supported to overtake the weak Afghan state. Through pumping billions of
rupees from Pakistan's own exchequer along with US financial assistance,
extremist clerics were made so strong to weaken the already enfeebled Afghan
state where the tribes always had a voluntary allegiance with the rulers of
Kabul. In fact, after the fall of Dr Najeeb, the last non-clerical head of
Afghan state in 1992, the first so-called Mujahideen and then in 1996 Taliban
overtake Afghanistan. The Afghan clerics also ran a number of madrasas in
refugee camps of Pakistan and keep their war machines going in the ensuing
civil war in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Soviet troops. However,
these muhajir-turned-mujahids were also used to fan sectarian extremism by
the establishment in order to pursue their divide and rule policy with the
assistance of Arab countries who wanted to wage a sectarian war far away from
Pakistani origin extremist militants who took part in Afghan war energies had
to be diverted after they had no scope in Afghanistan so Zia had a plan to
use them to engage India in Kashmir through a guerrilla warfare which was
implemented after his death that culminated in Kargil War. After the change
in the state policy of reversal of traditional Kashmir policy these elements
imbued with pseudo-Jihadi sentiments felt betrayed along with all those in
the establishment who nurtured them. Perhaps a reverse brainwashing occurred
and the passive schemers within the establishment emulating the active
militants they initially tried to brainwash. Presently, the jihadis finding
no space for expression of their inculcated dogmas and physical actions have
now found it expedient to declare a war on Pakistan state. The ability of the
extremist groups was enhanced by the deteriorating social and economic
conditions, easy access to weapons on account of the Afghan war, support by
the government and intelligence agencies to different groups for their own
political goals, including the use of media to promote their causes.
be mentioned that it was not only clerical extremism that was given an
opportunity to thrive in Pakistan but also ethno-nationalist extremism. In
Karachi, Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) was propped up by the Zia-led military
to counter the then most popular party the PPP in order to dismantle its
stronghold in Sindh and Sindhi nationalist credentials. The ugliest
manifestation was on May 12 this year when MQM bandits went on a killing
spree in front of TV cameras.
in view the background a number of political measures are needed both at the
macro level of society and micro-level. The foremost panacea is the
introduction of genuine democracy which hitherto has never been allowed to be
evolved and practised. Holding of rigged and suspected elections is not going
to work at all. Even as a result of elections if a party or coalition gets
government and de jure powers rest with the military and agencies as has been
between the so-called democratic era of 1988-1999 extremism cannot be
quarrantined. Transparent election without pre and poll day rigging by the
establishment and political parties and even media should be ensured. The
majority parties have to be given all the powers by the military while
judiciary perhaps for the first time is favourably poised to play its
constitutional role. Giving powers to the people's representatives would lead
to formulation of rationale foreign and domestic policies in which people's
interest would be given precedence instead of using extremism as a tool for
attainment of objectives of foreign and domestic policies. However, polices
could only be reflective of national interest and pragmatic if debated at
length in both houses of parliament.
Maqsood ul Hassan Nuri, a senior research fellow at Islamabad Policy Research
Institute (IPRI) told TNS, "The problem of militancy and extremism
should be approached politically and we have examples internationally. The
Sikh insurgency in Eastern India could not be curbed through military means
and it was the political engagement of the Sikh community and leadership
which solved the problem befittingly. Now you see that despite being a
religiously in minority Sikhs have their prime minster in the Hindu dominated
to make realise the extremists and militants that they have legitimate stakes
in Pakistani state and unravelling of it is not going to serve their
interests. Through this way their extremist proclivity could be marginalised."
to check extremism Pakistan has to formulate consistent policies.
Inconsistent policy of the state has wreaked havoc. First, the policy was to
make terrorists and then try to dismantle them. So the state has to pay a
heavy cost for these discrepancies.
important political measure to counter extremism is to affect meaningful
change in Pakistan's Afghan policy which instead of our strategists thinking
to be our strategic depth has become a strategic ditch for us. Pakistan
Afghan policy is mainly responsible for extremism in Pakistan. Dr Noori said,
"An important aspect of extremism is that Pakistan has to review its
Afghan policy as the policy of strategic depth is not relevant. We also have
to realize our Afghan brethren that Pakistan is not against them. Recently, I
visited Afghanistan and I got the feeling there that the Afghan
intelligentsia think Pakistan is out there to turn their country into its
fifth province. In fact, we in Pakistan should not be worried who is in power
there. Pakistan and Afghanistan interest are symbiotic and no one can
compromise other's interest to serve its end. Instead we should also increase
our consulates in Afghanistan.
Alam Mehsud, who is a Vice President of Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP)
in NWFP and a tribesman from South Waziristan told TNS: "Unless the
strategic depth policy is reversed and the Afghan phobia of our establishment
ends I don't think that the state support to extremists could be scotched.
giving another suggestion said, "Pakistani agencies should be brought
under the control of parliament and they should be made accountable for their
activities to the people of Pakistan. The problem is that our agencies have
become adept in waging proxy wars and they did so in Kashmir, Bengal, Kargil,
Kabul and FATA. Now these agencies without any responsibility towards the
people do what they deem correct. There is urgent need to bring our foreign
and domestic policies in people's hand our policies would remain
domestic front there is need to be creating a balance between the units of
federation. Otherwise, in order to keep the lopsided status quo and highly
centralised federal structure in which the central government amass resources
and provinces cant' meet their expenditures, the state and its establishment
had to depend upon extremists and other elements. Decentralisation and giving
financial and executive powers to the provinces would make them more
resourceful to challenge militancy.
extremism and terrorism in Pakistan especially pertain to Frontier including
NWFP and FATA, therefore, some drastic political measures need to be taken.
The foremost is making FATA a settled areas and the best way to do is to
merge FATA with rest of NWFP and giving it representation in NWFP Assembly.
An important aspect of political reforms in FATA is to replace the draconian
Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) with law of the mainland. In fact, one of
the reasons for tribesmen tendency towards extremism is due to repressive
ruling methodology of top officer political agent and his administration in
every tribal agency. These steps along with a popularly elected agency
councils would be instrumental in filling the political vaccum in FATA. Thus
checking any possibility of using there areas by certain elements within our
establishment or by foreign countries like India to create instability in
said an important aspect of marginalising extremists in Pakistan particularly
their hideouts and influence in FATA is to allow political parties to carry
out their activities there and organize tribesmen politically. He said,
"To curb extremism economic development in marginalised areas especially
the Frontier is very important. However, it should be ensured that the
development process should be in harmony with the culture of these areas.
opined, "Force is not a good option to curb militancy as it would
further make the problem complex. In Bangladesh we tasted massive collateral
damage and presently we cannot afford any large-scale such damage.
Frontier especially, the FATA traditional leadership structures and power
centres have been dismantled and replaced by clerical extremists. These
structures need to be brought back, reinforced and modernize," Dr Noori
strand in strategy should be to that all foreigners from FATA should be
expelled. The view that the Pakhtoons under their traditions have been
hosting militants is fundamentally wrong. Because Pakhtoons definitely have
the traditions to give shelter in their homes those who ask for the same, the
foremost prerequisite for this is to take any arms which the guests have and
never allow them to use the guest's house to attack the neighbours or someone
else," Dr. Mehsud said.
opined that the tribesmen owned 'jirga' should be restored.
Frontier, the nationalist parties have also had to play a more proactive
role. They do not have to restrict to mere slogans for provincial rights
because due to their inactivity and failure in delivering despite having a
popular mandate in Pakhtoon areas disenchanted people and made them fall into
the lap of clerical and militant groups.
so-called religious parties having their government in NWFP and Balochistan
since 2002 have to be asked by the state to clarify their position over
militancy and extremism. They have either to operate in democratic, electoral
politics and have to stop their support to extremists and terrorists and also
to use their own youths in militant activities. For instance, the recently
wanted militant Taliban leader Abdullah Mehsud was found in the house of JUI-F
leader in Zhob while the party is also said to have links with Taliban in
Waziristan. This hobnobbing with the militants is due to the self-centred
approach of its head Fazur Rahman. He by having links with militants on the
one hand want to have influence in the extremist controlled areas in order to
win some seats in elections and on the other using this influence enhance his
bargaining position to secure benefits from the government and establishment.
When Fazl says the key of "peace in FATA and Afghanistan lies in his
hands," he means business. The JUI has to go back to its pacifist
anti-extremist traditions otherwise, there are ample chances of the
radicalization of its organisation. This has already started on the grass
Jamaat-e-Islami has to renounce links and declare that it does not, as a
policy, believe in militancy. Otherwise, its record in taking part in
militancy against Bengalis in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Kashmir suggests
otherwise. The establishment also has to stop supporting the JI for its
vested interests as it did in the past.
Mehsud said, "Religious parties should give a clear 'fatwa' if suicide
attacks are 'haram' or not. In Pakhtoon areas, all the political forces -- at
least the nationalist democratic parties -- should put their heads together
and join hands to find a solution even if the clerical parties are not ready
to do so."
(The writer is a journalist/political analyst and
the second week of July 2007, sections of the press reported that City
District Government Karachi (CDGK) is facing acute problems in locating and
allocating plots for CNG stations in the city, especially for buses. Safety
measures, statutes related to land use conversion and public concern are some
of the reasons in this regard.
of appropriate spaces for standby generators, shortage of parking spaces for
the exponentially rising number of vehicles, safe locations for erecting
publicity signage and billboards, informal conversion of residential
properties for educational and commercial purposes are some of the chronic
matters that are faced by civic agencies.
be taken into account that cities are living entities. With the passage of
time, the need for transformation becomes unavoidable. Civilised societies
choose a path of planned transformation to benefit all sections of
communities. Corresponding management, financial and technical capacities are
developed by civic authorities to deal with these issues. In contrast, we
find that our civic agencies and upper tiers of government prefer to entirely
depend on foreign agencies to share this burden.
agencies have offered to lend funds for urban development assistance in
Pakistan during the last few months. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the
most prominent of them. Amongst the several packages announced by ADB,
funding for urban renewal programmes in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and
Peshawar is an important mention. A potential loan of USD 800 million -- tied
with an expensive technical assistance package -- is being pushed with new
vigour and zeal. Whereas one can question this programme on the basis of
ADB's funded ventures of the past, there is no denying the fact that there is
a desperate need to introduce strategic urban renewal and revitalisation
progammes in almost all large cities of the country.
burdened and dilapidated infrastructure; unplanned conversion of land uses;
rampant rise in densities (especially in city centre areas); run down status
of public building stock and amenities; medieval modes of commuting and
public transport systems and incompatibility of existing cities with the ever
pressing demands of contemporary living are few reasons that can justify the
initiation of urban renewal progammes. However, wisdom demands that this
initiative has to be self planned and home grown. Its agenda should be
developed through independent studies and analysis.
rational approach would be to evolve indigenous strategic and institutional
frame work as well as implementation mechanisms for this vital assignment. It
is common sense that when the local capacity for planning and execution will
be developed, the absorption of any relevant international or local funding
shall generate useful results. Many useful feedbacks can be obtained from
Indian government launched Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)
in 2005 in a bid to focus attention on integrated development of
infrastructure. For this seven years initiative, 63 cities have been
earmarked including the mega cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai. It
may be noted that the total allocation is a whooping one trillion Indian
rupees through the combined portfolio of national and international funding.
JNNURM has given an enormous opportunity for the revitalisation of Indian
cities in an institutional manner. The fact that all provincial capitals and
cities of historic, cultural and touristic significance are included clearly
shows that a massive uplift is expected from this indigenous exercise.
However, the approach outlined for planning and implementation is fairly
scientific in nature. The release of investment funds is made conditional to
the preparation of a city development plan (CDP). This plan has to be based
on assessment and analysis of existing situations, review of potentials and
constraints, vision building for the city, formulation of city development
strategies and preparation of city investment plan/financial strategies.
Amitava Basu -- a New Delhi based development practitioner -- puts it, it is
a laudable effort that will surely improve the fast urbanising regions in
India. It will also act as a consolidating tool for urban governance as the
local bodies shall plan and implement the most strategic urban development
projects with institutional assistance from JNNURM.
urban context is now replete with dilapidated and run down neighbourhoods
where the basic ingredients of life are difficult to sustain. In other words,
these localities have become slums. Apart from the spread out squatter
settlements most of which are passing through different levels of urban
metamorphosis, many planned localities have become run down and dilapidated
due to neglect and haphazard development. City cores, walled cities of
Lahore, Multan and Peshawar; the Hyderabad, Quetta and Rawalpindi city
centres as well as older neighbourhoods in Faisalabad are some visible
examples. Two types of strategies have been applied in such circumstances.
participatory strategies have generated useful results where slum dwellers
have been motivated to evolve through cooperative action. There are many
examples from South Asia that can be taken as examples. A Slum Improvement
Project (SIP) was launched in Dhaka, Bangladesh in the 1980s to upgrade the
spread out slums. Unemployment and under employment amongst slum dwellers;
absence of urban basic services including water supply, sewerage and
drainage; vulnerability to disasters such as cyclones and torrential rains;
organic layouts and high density settlements; acute problems in public
health; very limited literacy and absence of governmental interest were some
of the prominent ailments.
introducing simple but doable interventions such as capacity building of
local bodies and municipal corporations, community mobilisation (particularly
women) and sustained provision of basic health services, a sizable impact was
created. In a time period of 15 years, 32000 slum households could be
directly benefited in 185 slum clusters in 25 cities. The project was
acknowledged globally, especially in the Second UN Conference on Human
Settlements in Istanbul.
of urban renewal schemes that are conventionally planned show that they focus
on the supply of physical ingredients with an objective to raise economic
returns. As the point of view and interest of poor and weak communities are
set aside, they become a nightmare for the down trodden.
example, local bodies in Pakistan begin upliftment exercises by demolitions
and evictions of the poor and vulnerable. One finds that helpless hawkers,
vendors and the like are pushed away from their locations of petty business
and even residence. The same administrative bodies look the other way when it
involves encroachments and land grabbing by powerful land mafia, members of
law enforcement agencies and political groups. Whereas illegal occupation of
properties and land is not a commendable option, the corrective actions have
to treat all the violators alike.
rising tide of commercialisation and real estate development, it is feared
that the entrepreneurs will now colonise strategic squatter settlements/low
income localities as the prospective sites of re-development. Locations close
to city centres and business districts will be the most affected sites. In
the prevailing tense social situation, such actions are likely to generate
unwanted unrest in our cities and towns.
revitalisation is a much needed intervention for a sizable number of
Pakistani cities. The relevant knowledge from the field experiences and
existing situation demands the development and application of carefully
drafted approaches. The federal government must consider the creation of a
federal support body for urban renewal and re-development with a clear
mandate. As urbanisation is rampant and its effects have already begun
developing complexities in various regions, this matter can not deferred any
longer. The next issue is the availability of qualified and motivated human
resource. If the respective municipal institutions and development bodies
possess appropriate staff strength, many of the imminent issues can and will
be resolved at the local level. The next issue is to evolve a system of
participatory planning and decision making.
decisions related to the choice of locations of new urban facilities and
upgradation of older ones can only prove effective when the area interest
groups are taken into confidence. Efforts should be made to raise the local
finances for development and management of urban renewal and re-vitalisation.
Even large cities such as Karachi and Lahore have to reinvigorate options of
raising revenue for such ventures.
local bodies must also recognise the local initiatives for community
improvement. Such examples which have generated useful results must be
upgraded and replicated in other similar contexts.
Poverty despite productivity: Part 1
Pakistan's economic engine is fuelled by cotton, yet the people in the cotton sector belong to the poorest segments of society
By Karin Astrid Siegmann
is grown on more than three million hectares (ha) in Pakistan, that is about
one sixth of the total cultivated area. Annual production surpassed 2.4
million tonnes in the 2004/05 harvest, Pakistan's highest ever cotton
production. It made the country the fourth largest producer world--wide.
Directly, the 'white gold' accounts for a tenth of the value added in
agriculture. Through its use in the textile and clothing industry, Pakistan's
industrial backbone, it is indirectly responsible for another tenth of the
GDP and about two thirds of total merchandise exports. Pakistan's
productivity fares well in international comparison (Table 1). Although, for
example, Pakistani cotton is sown on about a third of the acreage that is
covered by Indian cotton fields, its harvest is not substantially less.
important cotton--growing districts in Punjab are located in the Seraiki belt
of Southern Punjab and include Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Vehari,
Muzzafargarh, Lodhran, Khanewal, Rajanpur, Multan, Bahalwalnagar and Dera
Ghazi Khan. Sixteen cotton--growing districts of Punjab account for about 80
per cent of the national area under cotton, whereas the remaining share of
fields are almost entirely found in Sindh. The hot and dry climate,
especially in the districts of Sanghar, Ghotki, Khairpur, Nawabshah,
Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Nowshero Feroze, and Sukkur, is conducive to
cotton-farming. In terms of acreage and harvest, cotton production is larger
in Punjab as compared to Sindh, though. average yields are higher in the main
cotton--cultivating districts of Sindh..
the productivity of its cotton-based agriculture hasn't made the cotton belt
itself rich. Access to food in cotton growing districts of Pakistan is low to
-- mostly -- extremely low.
the poor, women and girls are further marginalised. Women of rural Pakistan
including the cotton belt play a major role in agricultural production,
livestock raising and cottage industries. A majority of women, working as
unpaid family helpers, are not paid for their crucial economic contribution.
They participate in operations related to crop production such as sowing,
transplanting, weeding and harvesting, as well as in post-harvest operations.
They carry out these tasks in addition to their domestic chores of cooking,
taking care of children, elderly and disabled, fetching water and fuel and
cleaning and maintaining the house. Obviously, these women work longer than
men do. Surveys have revealed that a woman works 12 to 15 hours a day on
various economic activities and household chores.
their involvement in the rural economy, women have hardly any ownership of
nor control over resources. Women work and produce on land they commonly do
not own. Due to the societal perception of men as the household's main
'breadwinners' and women as supplementary income-earners, they are prevented
from searching for paid employment and, consequently, have limited access to
and control over financial resources. Where women do earn an income it is
often rather the stick of poverty rather than the carrot of gainful
employment, which persuades them to join the labour force. Patriarchal gender
norms reinforce this economic subordination. Girls are taught not to value
themselves when it comes to equality with males in the family. This is
expressed in the distribution of food between female and male household
members as well as in the lack of decision--making power regarding,
education, health, marriage, family-planning etc.. Significant gender gaps in
education and health indicators are the result. For instance, in rural Punjab
and Sindh, female adult literacy is 30 per cent and 14 per cent,
respectively, on average as compared to 56 per cent for men in both
provinces. The cotton--growing districts of Punjab are at the bottom of the
provincial ranking of female literacy.
than one and a half million farmers produce cotton, that means the
gold' contributes to the income of every tenth household in the country. Of
these, more than two--thirds own some or all of their land, whereas one fifth
are share--croppers with no fields of their own. Earnings from cotton sales
accounts for 40 per cent and 45 per cent of household income of landowners
and sharecroppers, respectively. Rather than making them rich, this high
degree of dependence on one crop makes them vulnerable. As compared to wheat
farmers, for example, who use their produce for household consumption as
well, cotton-producers are entirely at the mercy of market fluctuations.
Resultantly, among cotton farmers, 40 per cent of landowners and two thirds
of sharecroppers are in the lowest two fifths of the consumption
distribution. Households depending on sharecropping and selling labour for
their livelihoods include about one fifth of the rural population and have
the highest incidence of poverty.
and marginal farmers face risks due to the high incidence of pest infestation
-- and equally great financial and health hazards resulting from the use and
overuse of pesticides for 'plant protection.' About eighty percent of all
pesticides consumed in Pakistan are used on cotton fields. The so--called
'pesticide treadmill', i.e. the necessity to use more and more pesticides due
to resistances developed in pests as well as the fact that pesticide prices
have dropped since imports were liberalised in 1995, have raised consumption
considerably. During the same period, yields have not risen significantly,
though, raising questions regarding the effectiveness of increased pesticide
consumption. The effects on their own, their workers and communities' health
are disastrous. Pesticide poisoning with symptoms ranging from mild headache
via skin allergy to cancer of internal organs is chronic among cotton
pickers, especially in the post-harvest period.
and fertilizer alone represent about a third of the costs incurred in cotton
cultivation. Lacking storage facilities and the money to hold on to the
produce for better prices, forces farmers to sell their produce immediately
after the harvest in order to meet cash requirements for the purchase of
inputs. Often, they would even sell their standing crop. The high rate of
inflation during the past years has aggravated the situation. Resultantly,
many farmers get trapped in a spiral of indebtedness. The resulting enormous
pressure to produce higher yields especially on low--income small farms and
for tenants also induces a lack of concern for health risks, degradation of
water and soil, and, thus, future productivity.
dramatic growth rates in cotton production have generated high demand for
women's labour as harvesting cotton is an almost exclusively female task.
Million tonnes of cotton are hand-picked by women and girls every year
between August and February in Pakistan's cotton belt. In an environment
characterised by poverty, cotton pickers are socially and economically even
more disadvantaged. As compared to other agricultural workers, their wages
are low. Their precarious status as seasonal, contract and piece rate workers
as well as their poverty and poor bargaining power contribute to suppress
their earnings. Their health is at risk by the chronic exposure to poisonous
pesticides - but they lack the means for medical treatment.
study undertaken by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research
Institute (IFPRI) identifies close ties between global cotton markets and
poverty in Pakistan's cotton belt. It shows that lower cotton prices in
Pakistan resulting from the decline in world prices in the second half of the
1990s contributed to the rising levels of poverty among cotton--producing
households. A simulated increase of low cotton prices in 2001/02 back towards
the higher levels of earlier years is assumed to move a substantial number of
cotton farmers out of poverty. At the national level, a 20 per cent increase
in cotton prices is estimated to reduce poverty among all cotton-producing
households from 40 per cent to 28 per cent. According to the simulation,
almost two million people would thus be pulled out of poverty. The findings
stress the case for a reduction of subsidies for cotton farmers, especially
in the USA, which artificially increase global prices for the 'white gold' by
10-25 per cent.
practice, it is questionable, whether global price increases would trickle
down to those at the beginning of the cotton chain as smoothly as assumed in
model simulations. Power differentials between different players in
Pakistan's 'cotton league' has a crucial role to play. The substantial market
power of yarn manufacturers in particular obviously has helped them to ensure
low input costs and thus their competitiveness and economic gain. The picture
that emerges here rather displays economic and export growth that is based on
the weak bargaining power and, resultantly the poor earnings of the most
labour--intensive part of cotton and cotton-based T&C production. It is
time to acknowledge that national economic successes are based on
exploitation of the marginalised -- and to change this situation.
Astrid Siegmann works as a Research Fellow at the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad. This article series on Pakistan's cotton
sector is based on the SDPI study 'Weakest link in the textile chain.
Pakistani cotton pickers after the quota expiry'.
The uncounted half
Despite being major food producers, the women in Pakistan remain dependent on their male relatives for access to land and housing
By Aoun Sahi
women are an integral part of the agriculture sector in Pakistan as,
according to the Economic Survey, they contribute 43 per cent of the total
labour force in agriculture. They participate in all operations related to
crop production such as sowing, weeding, and harvesting, as well as in
post-harvest operations such as threshing, winnowing, drying, grinding,
husking and storage. They carry out these tasks in addition to their normal
domestic chores. Despite the fact that they share an equal or, at times,
greater workload, the rural women are not fully involved in decision-making
about the growing or sale and purchase of crops or the selling and owning of
the family land and property.
to the official data (based on the Labour Force Survey), in the year 2005-6
in Pakistan, 68.9 per cent of women as compared to 38 per cent of men were
engaged in agriculture and related activities. Nearly 36-38 per cent of the
economically active rural women work on their own family farms.
our constitution and religion both give women the right to possess property,
it is the legal complexities, the lack of political will, and discriminatory
cultural practices that make it almost impossible for women to own land or
involve in decision making in agriculture.
Bibi of village Arrakh in district Swabi, NWFP, is the mother of three sons
and four daughters. Her husband owns two acres of land and they both work on
this land to earn bread and butter for their family. "I suggested my
husband to take some land on lease as an additional source of income.
Initially, he rejected my idea but when I insisted that our daughters, who by
virtue of of them being girls were not 'entitled' to study in schools, would
help us at the farm, he agreed and took two acre of land on 2/3 shares. Now
we work together on that land. Although our level of effort is more than that
of the men in the family, I feel so discouraged when my husband and sons do
not value our suggestions or judgement," she says.
most part, her husband grows tobacco, but the post-harvest work that is
considered more hazardous and involves greater hard work is looked after by
the women folk.
finally, when tobacco is ready for sale, it is entirely my husband's decision
that counts. We have no say in the process of sale and after-sale. So, all
the money goes to my husband, and he spends most of it on himself and, at
best, on our male children."
happy anyway that her sons are getting education, though she feels sorry for
her daughters at the same time.
the main reasons for this injustice, according to Rahat Bibi, is depriving
the women of their right to the land. She says that her brothers are also not
ready to give her her due share in her father's property.
situation is, unfortunately, the same almost everywhere. "If I am
allowed to make the decision about what to grow, my first preference will be
growing wheat to ensure the availability of food for my family all through
the year and other cash crops," she adds.
civil society organisations are of the view that government departments are
equally responsible for the situation. Sameena Nazir, Executive Director,
Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA), says that the role of
the government in the lives of the rural women in the Potohar region -- as in
other areas of the country -- is minimal or nonexistent. "For example,
there is not a single female agriculture extension worker in district Chakwal.
It is rare to see the local agriculture officer or extension worker making
any effort to meet the rural women farmers. This happens because the rural
women are not considered farmers but are viewed as women who work on the
land," she says.
according to Sameena, women are not considered the rightful owners of land
and are not involved in decisions about land disputes that are usually
settled among the males of the community in local mosques or in courts.
that in order to empower women farmers in her region PODA -- with the help of
Action Aid -- initiated a Seed Bank project two years back. "At the
start of the project, only five women farmers were members of Seed Bank. But,
the number has crossed 150. Our members, in order to gain maximum profit,
have switched from food crops to cash crops and are also using imported
believes that the Seed Bank project has given women farmers an opportunity to
store and conserve the seeds, and enhance women control over productive
Ali Khan, Secretary Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG), a network of
civil society organisations and farmer groups, says that 70 per cent of women
labour force in Pakistan is engaged in the agriculture sector. Yet, women
farmers' contribution is not recognised. "They don't even have the right
to get loans from banks as access to agriculture support and extension
services (including agro micro-credits) are strongly linked to land ownership
which they do not have," he tells TNS.
Nations study shows that in agricultural activities women spent 39.34 per
cent and 50.42 per cent of their time in rice and cotton growing areas of
Pakistan respectively while a survey conducted in five districts of NWFP
reveals that 82 per cent of women participate in agro-based activities.
to Shujaat, it is considered that only two per cent of women in Pakistan have
the right to own the land while in decision-making only one per cent have
some kind of say.
that according to a survey of 1,000 households in rural Punjab in 1996, only
36 women owned land in their name, while only nine had the power to sell or
trade it without obtaining prior permission from their male relatives.
land rights and their importance in decision-making are closely linked to
their social, political, and economic status, as well as other broader issues
such as economic development and the availability of food," he adds.
situation is worse in Sindh. Mir Zadi, a 40 years old woman from rural Sindh
tells TNS that the women farmers in her area are forced to live like animals.
"They work all day in the fields besides managing home, whereas the male
members in the family spend their time playing cards or gossiping with
friends," she says, adding that when it comes to reaping the crops it is
the male members who dictate the process and grab all the income.
Pakistan, in collaboration with SAAG, has started a campaign on women's
rights with regard to land owning and decision-making in the agriculture
sector. Aisha Mukhtar, Programme Officer Women's Right ActionAid tells TNS
that despite being major food producers, the women in Pakistan remain
dependent on their male relatives for access to land and housing.
want that women farmers should be given their rights. As part of our
awareness-raising campaign, we formed a women farmers' national assembly on
July 10, 2007, in Islamabad. Hundreds of women farmers from around the
country participated in the programme and shared their experiences."
to Aisha, the various ill-famed traditions in our society such as marriage to
the Holy Quran, 'watta satta', and honour killings are linked with depriving
the women of their inherited land.
are lobbying so that women should be given the right to their land, access to
information and agriculture services. Their right to own the agricultural
produce and income must be recognised, and women farmers should also be given
access to the market."
way, she adds, the women farmers will be in a better position to educate and
train their children and also to ensure food security for their families. She
also says that the government can play an important role in empowering women
as such, "but it is, in fact, the duty of the society at large to ponder
over the situation and to permit women their basic rights."
Necessity of doctrine
Judiciary has to prove that it stands between the state and the individual to supervise a regime of the rule of law and not the rule of men with might
By Amjad Bhatti
infamous presidential reference of March 9, 2007 has decidedly changed the
contemporary juridical discourse in Pakistan. Nonetheless, three core issues
emerged as the eventual dividends namely: irrelevance of 'doctrine of
necessity'; judicial review or judicial activism; and public trust in
of necessity has served as a theoretical tool orchestrated by the pragmatics
of power not only in countries like Pakistan but in the US as well.
S. Davis, a biographer of America's thirty-second president Franklin D
Roosevelt (1882-1945), termed the Roosevelt-Supreme Court conflict of 1930 as
"the gravest constitutional crisis since the Civil War". This bid
in which US president wanted to pack the court with his favourites is still
known as the 'court-packing fiasco' in American history.
Pakistan the doctrine of necessity was first used in 1954 as a judicial logic
-- termed by some as 'judicial fiction' -- to validate the dissolution of
first constituent assembly headed by Khawaja Nazimuddin and presided over by
Maulvi Tameezuddin as a speaker. The then chief justice Munir sided with the
then governor-general Ghulam Mohammad by giving the reason that constitution
had to be held in abeyance to preserve the country.
the martial law of General Ayub Khan was upheld by the Supreme Court of
Pakistan which later remained intact for 11 years suspending civil liberties
in the country. In 1977 General Ziaul Haq dissolved parliament and abrogated
the constitution, which had been unanimously approved by all political
parties in 1973. Nusrat Bhutto of the Pakistan People's Party knocked at the
doors of Supreme Court but once again the doctrine of necessity came to
rescue the military dictator.
recently, in the Zafar Ali Shah case the full bench of the Supreme Court of
Pakistan not only validated the military coup by Pervaiz Musharraf in 2000
but also extended some powers to the regime to amend the constitution.
the verdict of Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramdey's larger bench is believed to
have dealt a fatal blow to the 'doctrine of necessity' by setting aside the
president's reference of misconduct and forced leave against the Chief
Justice. During the four month-long proceedings and public protests, the
infectious doctrine was brought under rigorous scrutiny. The superior court
resumed to wash the blot, which has subsequently raised high hopes for
questioning the legitimacy of present regime.
activism is divided into two broader categories i.e. interpretive and
legislative. The dominant narratives of modern history suggest that John
Marshall (1755-1835), a captain-turned federalist politician, lawyer and
chief justice of American Supreme Court was a proverbial architect of
judicial activism in the US. Some view this judicial logic as trespassing in
legislature's domain and some term it a buffer against the arbitrariness of
executives and legislatures in the course of social policy.
to Waseem Ahmad Qureshi, a legal expert "judicial activism is the last
refuge against an arbitrary and irresponsible government... a vigilant
judiciary upholds the constitution, confining the legislative and executive
to their constitutional spheres. It acts as a check against the privileged
power abusers of the society i.e. the building, crime and drug mafias,
corrupt parliamentarians and the influential 'law moulders."
the restoration of chief justice, the future contours of judicial review and
activism are being discussed amongst legal and political fraternity. Will the
renewed spirit of Supreme Court steer up these issues of greater importance
which have a direct bearing on the civil and political choices of the people?
Can president be elected from the incumbent assemblies? Should Musharraf
contest presidential election in uniform? Would exiled leadership be allowed
to mobilise and organise their parties for the forthcoming election? Should
the authors of presidential reference be held accountable for the cost they
caused to the nation and public exchequer? Would the apex court strike down
on public policies persuaded by the regime? Would the judiciary become more
pro-active and benevolent for the public interests?
the lawyers movement one concern that was raised time and again was that it
was a judicial issue that should not be politicised. The apologists of this
version wanted to keep the issue confined to the folds of legal debate
without allowing it to slip into the public and political spheres.
Musharraf was quoted saying repeatedly that the judicial controversy was 'a
temporary irritant'. He also advised in one of his public gatherings:
"We must stop taking this issue on to the streets and making it into a
vision was not shared by the people at large. People poured their support in
this legal battle as proponents of judicial autonomy. The case was argued in
and out of the court simultaneously. The resisting lobbies argued that the
suspension of CJ itself was a politically motivated initiative. Public stood
by the lawyers which gave the apparently judicial controversy a political
overtone of resistance.
triggered the debate: Is justice apolitical, anyway? Is there any correlation
between justice and public trust? Is public not entitled to hold and exercise
its perspectives in the affairs of governance -- judicial dispensation being
one integral part of it?
access to and trust in the justice system is still an unanswered question in
Pakistan. It draws a line of power between influential and disenfranchised.
The future course of judicial activism would provide a baseline for the
public trust in judiciary.
aftermath of CJ verdict, the leading lawyers of the movement affirmed that
"this was only the first phase of the movement; the second phase had
begun now which would be directed towards the supremacy of civilian rule in
Pakistan." This was asserted by Munir A Malik, the president of Supreme
Court Bar Association and endorsed by his colleagues and core group who
spearheaded the movement with professional diligence and intellectual acumen.
parties and civil society groups also expressed their hopes for a more
organic change in the country empowering people to make and break their
representative governments. This public demand underlines the need of
'paradigm shift' in judiciary -- a shift from the 'doctrine of necessity' to
the 'necessity of doctrine'.
contours of this new doctrine would have to be determined by the will of
people rather than the will of powerful. Military rules, executive coercion
and legislature arbitrariness need to be countered and regimes should be sent
back to public to seek the legitimacy instead of giving indemnity to those
who step in conveniently and abrogate the constitution.
this doctrine judiciary has to prove that it stands between the state and the
individual to supervise a regime of the rule of law and not the rule of men