Stories about JI

It is pretty clear that neither Ali Muhammad Khan nor PTI know why Pakistan was created

Recently, I had the opportunity to witness a panel discussion where the firebrand conservative MNA from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ali Muhammad Khan, delivered his, and for that matter his party’s, “vision” for Pakistan. According to him, Pakistan should be a theocratic state and seculars should either mend their ways or leave Pakistan. Moreover, he also brought in the havoc of the Partition riots, arguing that all the sacrifices were actually for the creation of an Islamic country.  PTI's MNA @Ali_MuhammadPTI calls secular people a threat to Pakistan and asks them to mend their ways or leave the country pic.twitter.com/R2tezc7QoV — Reema Omer (@reema_omer) ...

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Why is there a religion column in advertisements for sweepers anyway?

Whenever a local body like a municipal or town committee advertises for jobs involving ‘dirty work’ (like sweeping floors or cleaning bathrooms), the religion of those applying for the job is also specified. And the advertisement usually mentions that the applicants should be Christians or Hindus (Dalits). Though why sweepers and cleaners have to be non-Muslims is not clear. Who does the dirty work in countries where there are few, or no, Christians or Hindus (like Saudi Arabia for instance)? One such advertisement went viral recently. But this time the advertisement stated that applicants for the job should be “Shia, Hindu/Balmikis or ...

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Is observing Kashmir Day enough to show your support for Kashmir, Pakistan?

In Pakistan, February 5th is observed as Kashmir Solidarity Day. It is a national holiday in the country. A number of solidarity rallies, seminars and awareness programmes are organised across Pakistan in support of the political struggle of the people of Indian-controlled Kashmir. By observing Kashmir Day annually, Pakistan expresses solidarity with the people of Kashmir. What relevance does Kashmir Day hold for Kashmiris as on date? Has the pro-Pakistan sentiment in Kashmir enhanced or diminished over the last 28 years? Does Pakistan need to move beyond symbolism vis-à-vis Kashmir? Is it time for Pakistan to accept that the new, assertive, young and educated ...

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Does Pakistani law allow you to deport Turkish teachers, Nawaz Sharif?

The recent controversy that has emerged regarding the PakTurk school system is troubling to say the least. PakTurk schools started popping up all over Pakistan during last decade. Turkey has always carried a strong brand value in Pakistan and it is therefore not surprising that the school system ostensibly embodying the best of Pakistan and Turkey was an instantaneous hit with parents.  This school system allegedly has connections with Fetullah Gulen, the reclusive Turkish Islamic scholar now living in the US. In the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup, President Recep Erdogan and his government have accused Gulen and ...

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I voted at NA-246 and this is what I saw

I am very excited today. The exhilaration, the thrill of being part of something greater has made me very eager for today’s by-election. And I am not the only one. Every person whose vote belongs to NA-246 is excited today. It is common knowledge that the NA-246 constituency of Karachi is a bastion of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). But this time, the interesting involvement of leaders like Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) ameer Sirajul Haq has turned this simple by-election of one seat into an electoral battlefield of national importance. When I stepped inside the polling station, I was really surprised to see the arrangements: voters ...

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If you think NA-246 is about MQM versus PTI, you’re wrong

Who bags NA-246 and which party stands victorious tonight makes little difference. What matters is that today’s election will put an end to the environment and politics of fear prevalent in Karachi for years. Active campaigning by other candidates in Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) stronghold, polling agents standing brave at polling stations that were once no-go areas for all political parties and candidates except MQM and fearless voters walking into polling booths with the intention to not vote for MQM, and then being able to walk out and go home, are all a breath of fresh air for Karachiites. This by-election ...

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Will Nabeel Gabol’s twist to the NA-246 by-elections help PTI?

NA-246 was left vacant when Nabeel Gabol, under mysterious circumstances, stepped down and separated his ways from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The move, back then, was dubbed as a strategic one by the once blue-eyed boy of Pakistan Peoples Party, in order to escape the much-predicted military crackdown on MQM. And while the MQM Rabita Committee kept convincing the media about their close ties with Mr Gabol, he issued statements otherwise. The NA-246 constituency comprises of areas in Karachi that have been the epicentre of political power for more than two decades now. This constituency has a number of heavily populated concentrations of Mohajirs (Urdu-speakers) ...

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#NineZeroRaid: Why is MQM the only one being targeted?

The early morning raid at Nine-Zero, the headquarters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has raised a series of questions. On one hand, it seemed like a well-coordinated search operation carried out reportedly upon a tip off by the intelligence agencies, while at the same time, the timing of the raid right after the Senate elections and especially when MQM, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had apparently turned over a new leaf, gives credence to some political back channel arm twisting either by PML-N or the ruling party in Sindh, PPP. Such serious actions are usually taken when either there ...

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Do human rights activists hate Imran Khan because he is not a leftist?

The young girl who works as domestic help for me said, “Baji, do you know why our men don’t want Imran Khan to come into power? It is because they are scared that women in the villages will gain strength if he becomes our prime minister. Already, he supports women standing up for their rights. The jalsas are a proof of this. But we will make sure he wins. We are by his side.” This was the morning after Imran gave an inspiring and honest talk from his container as PTI celebrated “Justice for Women Day”. I had heard that Pakistan ...

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An older, scarier version of ‘tabdeeli’

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has become quite a talking point these days. Its chairman, Imran Khan, has been giving ‘dharnas’ for the past 50 days (though one must question the legitimacy of the dharna since it keeps hopping from Bani Gala to Karachi to Lahore and so on and so forth) in the name of… well, I’m not really sure. Perhaps some of the angry, cussing, hatred-filled insafians can enlighten me with their version on this. I’ve faced enough abuse from PTI trolls for not supporting PTI and openly criticising Imran’s version of facts and events. Khan sahib wants a ‘Naya Pakistan’ and chimes for ‘tabdeeli’ (change). He ...

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