Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yale Law Hosts Panel Discussion on Events in Pakistan

A panel discussion about the ongoing legal crisis in Pakistan and its implications for rule-of-law movements in Pakistan and South Asia was held Monday, Nov. 26, at Yale Law School.  Titled “Rebellious Lawyers:  The Pakistan Crisis and the Rule of Law,” the panel came several weeks after Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh and other members of the law school and legal communities released a statement denouncing “General Pervez Musharraf's recent assault on the rule of law in Pakistan.”

“General Musharraf is trampling upon the very system of law that alone can justify a ruler’s power over his people,” read the statement in part. “We stand in solidarity with our fellow lawyers and the democratic values that they represent, and we urge an early restoration of legality and legitimate authority in Pakistan.”

The panel discussion, moderated by Yale Law School Professor James Silk ’89, featured the following Pakistani speakers:

• Professor Osama Siddique of the Law & Policy Department of the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan;

• Nighat Saeed Khan, an activist in the Pakistani women’s rights movement and the Pakistan-India civil society peace movement;

• Yale Law School graduate Ali Ahsan ’02, who currently works at the United Nations as a speechwriter for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ahsan’s father, a Pakistani lawyer, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and member of the Pakistan People’s Party, represented the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court deposed by General Musharraf and was representing parties challenging Musharraf's eligibility for election as President when he was arrested and detained without charge in solitary confinement.