Osama Siddique Profile picture
Inaugural Henry J. Steiner Visiting Prof, Doctorate @Harvard_Law Rhodes Scholar @UniofOxford Faculty @IGLP_HarvardLaw Books #AnAlienJustice #SnuffingOuttheMoon
Aug 23 10 tweets 2 min read
Reminders for IK Red Liners. 1) we opposed illegal detention/torture against citizens in the past. You laughed & said they deserve it. 2) We always said don’t brand people as thieves, traitors & heretics. You continued to presume guilt & abused them 3) We said military has 1/10 always meddled in politics/has commercial agendas. You called us unpatriotic for this. 4) We said judiciary direly needs reforms. You called it contempt of court. 5) We said an elected PM ousted by deep state. You said he should be thrown in a dungeon for life. 6) We said 2/10
May 17 7 tweets 3 min read
What the #SupremeCourt Order fatally doesn’t appear 2 account for is the following: (1) Political parties run as fiefdoms/personality cults in Pakistan. What if the party head does egregious things or becomes an erratic & dangerous egomaniac or otherwise 1/5 #COAS #HamzaShahbaz undermines democratic principles/norms or commits other outrages? (2) What if he then becomes entrenched because of the initial calculus of seats? Is a member then bound to not dissent on essentially national & larger than party considerations? An additional question is that 2/5
May 14 12 tweets 3 min read
An ego-centric cricket player finally found prominence in politics when he was adopted/catapulted by Deep State. He made an ass of himself in office & was ousted by a valid VONC. His ego couldn't take it & he declared everyone except himself a traitor, claimed that a foreign 1/n conspiracy ousted him, announced threat to his life, said nation ought to be nuked instead of his opponents coming to power, & exhorted Deep State to readopt him or else. Along the way he started posturing as if divinely anointed, routinely slandered his opponents, & incited 2/n
May 11 10 tweets 2 min read
Imran khan came to power supported by a cultish fan base; a hopeful following; blatant military support; coalition partners; lotas & big financiers. This was the base of his so-called tabdeeli. He then strutted & fretted upon the stage for 4 years with very little to show. 1/10 His core cult is intact & vocal (amplified by some partisan media); chunks of his following (rural & urban working classes & more sensible middle/upper middle class voters - tired of empty slogans) has eroded, military has badly burnt fingers but some loyal top brass remains 2/10
May 1 9 tweets 3 min read
FIRs in #MasjidENabvi Outrage DON'T allege blasphemy. ESSENTIAL to understand. Context: Chapter XV of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) contains offences against religion. It has pre-Zia colonial era sections & post-Zia blasphemy sections. Colonial era sections stem from Indian 1/8 Penal Code, 1860. Meant to protect freedom of exercise of religion & prevent one person from insulting religion of another. Thus curbing of hate speech & resulting law & order disruption & dissolution of society. Importantly, they are meant for all religions & to protect each 2/8
Apr 17 11 tweets 3 min read
HOPE
These are dark times. But for different reasons for different people. In this doom & gloom I see 15 positives. Call me an eternal optimist. My perspective purely that of someone who wants to see civilian supremacy, democratic continuity & constitutionalism. So here goes 1/10 1) IK’s ouster has meant resounding PTI attack on role of Deep State (for wrong reasons - they want it to help) but that means a larger section of Pakistanis questioning Deep State
2) Deep State seems to be questioning its role & may likely stay neutral in next election 2/10
Mar 24 8 tweets 7 min read
Is voting against your own party’s PM allowed? Does it involve a moral issue? Is it allowed but carries a cost? Imp questions taken up by SC but in an opaque fashion? Snr & much respected SC lawyer Abid Hasan Minto sahib writes an open letter to SC raising imp Qs about its 1/7 ImageImageImageImage shutting out other imp stakeholders/interested parties in this matter of great public importance. It also raises questions as to whether a moral hazard attaches to such a vote. Related to these Qs is the imp question to my mind of whether the Vote of No Confidence mechanism 2/7 Image
Aug 2, 2021 11 tweets 2 min read
This is how Institutions Decline and Fall.

(A Tragedy in 5 Paragraphs & 20 Sentences)

A Con Man applied for a faculty position at a well known local university. He said he had a Master’s degree but that he was enrolled in a prestigious university abroad for a PhD. He wasn’t 1/ special but the PhD enrollment tilted the balance & he was hired with the expectation that he would finish his doctorate in a year.

A few years passed & then some faculty pointed out that there was no news on his PhD & the university should check. The Con Man made excuses & 2/
Jul 28, 2021 12 tweets 3 min read
A clarification for those who aren’t quite clear on concept of defense attorney. A just system of law aims to provide an able defense attorney to every accused as you are not guilty till proven to be & that too through a fair, transparent process. That’s what makes a system of 1/ justice based on due process of law actually just. We need due process because humankind has a long, terrible history of punishing the innocent, lynchings, inquisitions, kangaroo courts, one-sided trials & all kinds of travesties. Also because all cases not open & shut cases. 2/
Mar 15, 2021 11 tweets 4 min read
Bleeding 🩸 Heart ♥️ Alert: Just extricated my aged mother & aunt from the #ExpoCenter COVID vaccination 💉 experience as there was a much greater chance of getting run over by a wheel chair, suffocating or getting the virus 🦠 through the throng of disorganised people there 1/ The first few days were smooth because ruling party politicos & bureaucracy present & very few people came as rampant confusion on process. After registration, alerts as to date, location & also codes not received by many. So info through hearsay. We were registered at Health 2/
Mar 13, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
As good a morning as any to read The Old Testament. Illuminating to visit in entirety these vast, ancient texts/their well known edicts. Remarkable how profoundly western lit/thought/art influenced. Every 4th phrase the title of a book, every 3rd a proverb, every scene a painting ImageImageImageImage East of Eden - John Steinbeck. Genesis 4:16. Cain condemned to a lifetime of wandering after killing Abel and goes east of Eden to the Land of Nod.
Mar 12, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
From purely commonsensical standpoint the Senate rejection of votes ruling nonsensical (1) no separate box as such. It’s all one rectangle with name & some white space (2) Instructions don’t specify where in box to stamp - so can be anywhere (3) Footage that oral instructions 1/4 being given also vague & appear to allow stamping anywhere in the box (4) Even if stamp is on candidate name, intent of voter abundantly clear. No ambiguity who vote is for. Rejection of votes over technical & w/out basis. Could’ve designed better forms & been clearer that 2/4
Feb 28, 2021 11 tweets 5 min read
#AlBeruniRadius initiative is commendable. However, has to be approached with great sensitivity & sense. Else it too will turn into a dump. My 2 cents why. On a lovely spring day 5 yrs ago I hiked up Nandana hill with a cousin. The hills are steep, stark & riddled with scree 1/ wild vegetation & boulders. Approaching it, there's a lovely little village with ber & date palm orchards, large banyans & clear water channels. The hike takes one along a seasonal spring, lush vegetation & dense thickets. The climb up not tough but the winding path overgrown 2/
Dec 26, 2020 11 tweets 6 min read
Friends. Some months ago I had shared the idea that acclaimed writer & translator Musharraf Ali Farooqi & I had to excavate, annotate & print in high quality a classic of world literature – Tilism-e-Hoshruba. I had also shared why this magical piece of work has tremendous 1/ literary, cultural & civilizational significance for us & why it needs to be made available in a much more authentic, approachable & attractive form. Together we, therefore, put together Project Hoshruba to take this forward. Project Hoshruba website now up. 2/
Sep 12, 2020 11 tweets 3 min read
In 2007 during #Musharraf’s #Emergency I was invited by my alma mater in US to come & speak about it. This was a time when Musharraf Govt sent a delegation with Kashmala Tariq as part of it to promote it’s stance. My talk went well. There was a clear divide between US Govt’s 1/ & US academia’s stance towards Musharraf & his travesties. As it turned out I was then invited by several other universities/other platforms to speak & did my best to push back against Musharraf’s illegal policies. A day or so before my departure back home some lawyer friends 2/
Sep 3, 2020 9 tweets 5 min read
Not so long after #ASuitableBoy came out I first met #VikramSeth autographing copies at #Blackwells at #Oxford. When my turn came he asked where I was from. I told him. He warmed up - he was already fairly jovial with those present - & told me how he learnt Urdu for the novel 1/ that he loved Urdu poetry & wished to visit Pakistan. He wrote a couple of sentences in Urdu on my copy. Turned out he was an alumnus of #corpuschristi which I was attending & which had recently made him Honorary Fellow. I asked him for an interview which he very graciously 2/
Jul 22, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
Remembering #Anarkali (from #SnuffingOuttheMoon)"he caught sight of a pomegranate tree & its blood‑red blossoms—& he thought of Anarkali. Only a score of years had passed & yet, Anarkali was already a legend
rather than a memory. Being entombed alive in a wall had
that effect 1/ But that face—like a dew-­covered pomegranate blossom—still lingered in the mind. Had she breathed her last in the close embrace of brick & mortar or was the rumour
true that her mother managed to contrive her escape? In the days after her condemnation by Emperor Akbar for 2/
Jul 17, 2020 11 tweets 5 min read
Some years ago Oxford University Press embarked on an exciting venture to reprint classics of Urdu literature in highly readable, carefully edited/researched & aesthetically produced texts. Under @microMAF’s driven/inspiring watch many lovely vols came out including 3 vols 1/ of Tilism-e-Hoshruba, 4 of Ratan Nath Sarshar’s Alif Laila, & Ghalib Lakhnavi’s brilliant condensed version of Dastan-e-Amir Hamza. For the 1st time these texts being made available in readable scripts, professionally edited versions with great cover art by Michelle Farooqi 2/
Jun 30, 2020 11 tweets 6 min read
Majlis-e-Taraqi-e-Adab is a public sector institution 4 promotion of #Urdu language/literature. I have admired their publications (they have scores) in the past. Today on a whim (while looking for full version of Hatim Tai epic) I went masked & all to their premises. It's just 1/ off Mall Road past GOR 1 entrance & before PC Hotel, Lahore. Inside are acres of evacuee property land, old bungalow styled buildings with high ceilings, peeling paint & airy verandahs, & vast tree shaded lawns. The Majlis is housed in one of the buildings at the very back. 2/
Jun 30, 2020 11 tweets 6 min read
Majlis-e-Taraqi-e-Adab is a public sector institution for promotion of #Urdu language & literature. I have admired some of their publications in the past. Today on a whim (while looking for a full version of the Hatim Tai epic) I went masked & all to their premises. It's just 1/ off Mall Road past GOR 1 entrance & before PC Hotel, Lahore. Inside are acres of evacuee property land, old bungalow styled buildings with high ceilings, peeling paint & airy verandahs, & vast tree shaded lawns.

The Majlis is housed in one of the buildings at the very back. 2/
Jun 29, 2020 8 tweets 3 min read
Many yrs ago the Warden of #RhodesHouse said to us. “Cecil Rhodes was a great man. That doesn’t mean that he was a good man.” He was an eminent philosopher. We mulled over the important distinction whereby someone could unleash tremendous events while being morally bankrupt 1/ While Rhodes Scholarship stands today for academic excellence/is open to many developing country students (but still heavily tilted towards Americans whom #Rhodes wanted to woo) the Q remains how to denounce his racist & imperialist legacy while recognising his founding of the 3/