ad info




TIME Asia
TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Entertainment
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia

TIME.com
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Asiaweek
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

 ASIAWEEK.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL


Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME ASIAWEEK ASIANOW TIME
SEARCH  GO

about Asia Buzz  |  more Asia Buzz

Subcontinental Drift: Trials and Errors
Justice isn't served by scared judges and politicians
By APARISIM GHOSH

July 27, 2000
Web posted at 12:00 p.m. Hong Kong time, 12:00 a.m. EDT

It has been a sad week for justice on the subcontinent. First, an anti-corruption court in Pakistan sentenced ousted Prime Minister Mohammed Nawaz Sharif to 14 years in jail. Then a Bombay judge threw out a case against the city's most infamous resident, Bal Thackeray.

Both verdicts owed less to evidence than to intimidation. Pakistan's judiciary is cowed by the country's dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, who has forced judges to pledge loyalty to his regime -- those who refused were sacked. In Thackeray's case, a succession of politicians lacked the courage to order a proper investigation into his activities, leaving the court with little option but to dismiss the charges of inciting religious hatred and violence.

    ASIA BUZZ
Subcontinental Drift: Second Affront
Christians vs. Bigots II -- Islamic bombers join Hindu mobs
- Thursday, July 20, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: The Mind of the Mob
Why India's Christians are under attack
- Thursday, July 6, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Artless Advani
India's Home Minister doesn't make minorities feel at home
- Thursday, June 29, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: Farooq's Folly
Or, how bad leaders can undermine good ideas
- Thursday, June 22, 2000

Subcontinental Drift: What Really Happened?
Pakistanis deserve an explanation for Kargil
- Thursday, June 15, 2000

  ASIAWEEK
Intelligence
The story behind today's news from the editors of Asiaweek

From Our Correspondent
Personal perspectives on the news
Few Pakistanis will shed any tears for Sharif. He is widely regarded as one of the country's most corrupt politicians, and his 14-year jail term for tax evasion seems, if anything, charitable. (He is still being tried on a number of other charges.) But justice served by a shackled court is no justice at all, and it is rarely carried out in full. A reader of recent South Asian history can confidently predict that, when Musharraf goes the way of previous dictators, Sharif will reemerge from prison and successfully challenge the verdict, on grounds that it was delivered by a judge whose own hands were tied.

 INTERACTIVE  
The Subcontinental Drift message board -- sound-off about the news in South Asia to TIME
 

If Pakistan's judiciary is shackled by a military ruler, India's judges are often blindfolded by its political leaders. So it was in the case against Thackeray, leader of the Shiv Sena, a hard-line Hindu-fundamentalist party. The charge was seven years old: Thackeray was accused of writing inflammatory essays in the Shiv Sena newspaper Saamna, exhorting party workers to attack Muslims in revenge for the killings of Hindus in the religious riots that wracked Bombay in 1993. There were a number of other charges relating to his role in those riots, but most were dropped by a coalition government that included the Shiv Sena. Even when the party was defeated in elections last October, the new government was reluctant to order a thorough investigation of the charges, for fear that Thackeray might again order his "troops" to run riot. As a result, when the sole surviving case against him was brought before the court Tuesday, the judge ruled that it was too old to try.

The sorry episode allowed Thackeray to reprise the role he has perfected over the years: the schoolyard bully. When rumors of his likely arrest spread last week, he threatened to unleash another round of rioting, effectively holding India's commercial capital to ransom. In the end, he was indeed arrested, but for only two hours.

What a sham. What a shame.

The Subcontinental Drift message board -- sound-off about the news in South Asia to TIME
Write to TIME at mail@web.timeasia.com
Search for recent Asia Buzz

TIME Asia home

AsiaNow


   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN

 Search

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.