Stories about politicians

Definition of a ‘traitor’ in Pakistan: An honest army general

Pervez Musharraf’s indictment in the high treason case has opened up a Pandora ’s Box; with this, our corrupt politicians will no longer fear an army clamp down on their evil doings, only because now they know that the judiciary already provides complete shelter to their corrupt practices. The army will obviously stay away regardless of how much the public may plead. But this is what Pakistan wants, right? This indictment will also ensure that the title of ‘traitor’ is exclusively reserved for an honest army general who sent a group of corrupt politicians packing, gave strength to a failing state by giving ...

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An open letter to the Sindh Chief Minister: Tharparkar needs you, Sir

Dear Sir, I wonder how you sleep at night, because I am, honestly, having a tough time sleeping peacefully these days. I have visited Tharparkar a few times. And every time I came back, it took me a long time to get the images of Tharparkar out of my system. You and your government, Sir, have visited one too many times. These people have voted for you and trusted you. I wonder how you get those images out of your system. I will not be unfair. So I have to say that visits to interior Sindh have told me enough to say ...

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48 Laws of Power: A con man’s guide to the big bad world

When I first read Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, I found it difficult to decide whether the writer was being pragmatic or just plain evil. Take these two ‘Laws of Power’, discover each man’s thumbscrew (Law 33) and pose as a friend, work as a spy (Law 14). The wickedness of what Greene is suggesting will shock some, while others will appreciate the practicality of the book. Greene himself has said that he does not consider himself a genius, just a realist. In an interview with Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian for an article, he said, “I believe I described a reality that no other book tried to ...

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Baby Bhutto, his superman ajrak and the ‘cultural coup’… yeah right!

It was quite entertaining to watch Bilawal Bhutto speak of Sindhi culture, dressed up in a presidential style sherwani and speak in roman Urdu. The most amusing part of the ‘address’ was him putting all the blame on successive governments for the destruction of Sindhi heritage. What Bilawal did not notice, or his speech writer probably overlooked, was the fact that Sindh has predominantly been ruled by his own political party, PPP, which for the record, hasn’t been able to carry out any development work in any of its strong holds in interior Sindh and has, instead, destroyed whatever little heritage was left. The ...

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Pearls of destiny… deprived

Her face glowed as she reached the gates of her college. Her eyes sparkled with ambition as she took each step towards her classroom, aided by her faithful crutches. Slowly, she approached the front desk of the class, kept her bag on the seat next to her, sat down and neatly hid the crutches under the desk. It had been another usual day for Anika. She had enjoyed every bit of her lessons, making it a point to answer all the questions she had answers to when asked by the teacher. When she didn’t know the answer, she would eagerly wait ...

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ZA Bhutto was put on trial, why not Musharraf?

There is no doubt that Pakistan has suffered at the hands of corrupt politicians since its very inception. These politicians came and led the state to ruin, forcing/enabling the military to intervene on multiple occasions. This ultimately led to a nation where martial law governed for more than half of its life. However, our history shows that these military coups were never successful for the country. Many wonder if these military dictatorships were more beneficial for Pakistan or for the foreign policies of the US. After all, General Ziaul Haq served the US and that helped the country, or so we thought until much ...

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Toronto: Beware of cameras, lest you end up like Mayor Rob Ford

“Kursee kabhee na chorna, (don’t ever leave the seat)” is something we say to our politicians in Pakistan all the time. That is the same thing I wish I could say to Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford, if I ever get an opportunity to meet him. Talking about meeting him, I did meet him once this summer in a desi food street festival in Toronto. It was in a Pakistani restaurant called ‘Lahore Tikka House’ in Gerrard Street and he was invited to honour the South Asian festival by his presence. We shook hands and with his permission also took a few ...

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A chat with a 21st century Pakistani patriot

Interviewer (I): Assalamu alaykum. My name is Sanjay. Patriot (P): Sanjay? Are you Indian? I: No, I’m Pakistani. P: How come? I: Well I was born and raised here. P: However, people of your belief are born and raised in India. Sanjay Dutt is an example. I: A large number of people of my belief live in Pakistan as well. Seen the white in our flag? P: Oh. That’s Odd. I: What do you think about Pakistan? P: I love my country. It’s a great country to live in. I: What do you like about Pakistan? P: I know the funded media is trying its best to ruin Pakistan’s image, but we need ...

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Standing up against militants of K-P: How my father died for Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are in state of war. Everyone here, including the politicians, are bearing the brunt of state policies, in the makings of which they share no role. Amongst this lot of politicians was my father Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand shaheed. A member of the provincial assembly (MPA) from Shabqadar, Charsadda, he was well known to K-P and Fata. However, few in Pakistan know of his heroic story. Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand became an MPA from Shabqadar in 2008 on a Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (now Qaumi Watan Party) ticket. The victory delighted all ...

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The other side of the coin

Looking at the current state of Pakistan’s electoral politics, one side of the coin portrays the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his idea to change the way traditional political outfits operate in the country. Imran Khan has undoubtedly put Pakistan’s politics on a new course, attempting to inject fresh blood in the system, which may eventually enter parliament. But looking at the other side of the same coin, one sees dynastic politics remaining dominant in the country. I witnessed its prime example in south Punjab when our former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar announced the withdrawal of her nomination ...

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