The situation in Pakistan is troublesome probably the worst in the history of the country. The security situation deteriorates continuously – the country is challenged by growing Islamic militancy and terrorism, which already caused hundreds of casualties. This crisis is intensified by an economic crisis, water and energy shortage as well as drug and human trafficking. In order to encounter and solve these complex problems the state of Pakistan must ensure rule of law particularly a well-established and independent judicial system.
Pakistan is an embattled state, but at the same time Pakistan and its people are also a misunderstood nation.
This article is a contribution to the ongoing debate about implementing rule of law in Pakistan. Rule of law requires the unity of law which is mostly in the form of state law. Pakistan is a legally plural society where completely different and independent systems of law like the Islamic law, the state law and the traditional law exist. The state and the state law though do not acknowledge and accept the non-state laws as laws but the reality is that the dominant practiced law in Pakistan is the traditional law. Traditional law is found in a variety of forms like panchayts, jirgas, informal meetings of families, is dispensed by pirs, or chaudharys, etc. This is because people practice law according to their social structure and value system.
Pakistan is a war zone facing serious threats from militants and terrorists besides a number of other problems and difficulties that urgently demand the establishment of democratic structures as well as rule of law. In the light of the current crisis, high-ranking guests from Pakistan and various German experts discussed structures and deficits of rule of law as well as the current state of affairs, parallel legal systems, the relationship between politics and judiciary and the role of political parties and society.