Stories about politicians

10 things I hate about TV talk shows

There was a golden time during my father’s childhood when the only available channel was Pakistan Television (PTV). This showcased enjoyable shows that were informative at the same time. Sadly, this time is long gone.   Today, even though television offers many channels, all I find when I flick the TV on is annoying talk shows. These talk shows give rise to other talk shows that are later talked about on other shows… and the cycle goes on and on. To depict my distaste for these shows, I have come up with a list of 10 things that I cannot stand about talk ...

Read Full Post

What the PML-N got wrong

In the last eight months or so, the PML-N has done pretty much everything a party can do in an election year. They have dug up every road in Punjab, raised concerns about problems in other provinces and have even recruited avidly to beef up their party ranks. Effectively, they have prepared well for the upcoming elections. And even though the tsunami is coming for them, they are still focused on the real competitor. One would say that they are ready to go to the polls and seize power. However, all is not what it seems to be – my personal ...

Read Full Post

Are public schools not good enough for you?

It was surprising to hear that a senior official of the Capital Administration and Development Division had his three children enrolled in a private school. But what was even more shocking was that over 95 per cent of bureaucrats, politicians, business tycoons and corporate employees send their children to private elite schools rather than to government institutions. I asked the official why he preferred to enroll his children in a private school since he himself is looking into the government education system in the Islamabad Capital Territory. His answer was indirect but simple: If you have the choice to buy an ...

Read Full Post

It’s the law, stupid!

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s conviction for refusing to reopen a corruption investigation against the president consequently made him the first serving prime minister in Pakistan’s history to be convicted by a court. In a country like Pakistan, the list of firsts seems never ending. Regrettably, most firsts don’t give our people an opportunity to gloat. And yet yesterday, the Supreme Court gave us a first we can, or let me rephrase, we should take pride in. Some would question my assertion of believing that we have good reason to revel in our prime minister’s conviction. But this is bigger than ...

Read Full Post

A question of loyalty

Are flexible loyalties all that one needs to resurrect a political career? Are there ideological reasons behind such decisions or are they just a matter of profit and loss?  Did any leaders who switched sides bother to take into confidence those whose votes helped them achieve the political stardom? Did they feel that they were on the wrong paths earlier in their careers? Or, perhaps, they are not answerable to anyone? The season, with elections inching closer, is ripe for more such announcements but there already exists a long list of these ‘awakened’ politicians. Hina Rabbani Khar, Jehangir Tareen, Javed ...

Read Full Post

Sorry ladies, no protection for you

Everyone knows that Pakistan does not have the most efficient of governments. Neither would one argue that our politicians are the brightest of the bunch, nor the most honest. Tales of corruption, incompetence and nepotism are so widespread that the average Pakistani has become immune to them. The common man on the street has enough problems on his plate, ranging from high inflation to loadshedding, and is already struggling to make ends meet, to really care about what the government is doing. In all honesty, we don’t really expect that much from our government. In fact just getting through the allotted five years ...

Read Full Post

Not impressed by Pawnay 14 August

With great expectations, I ventured into the Arts Council auditorium to see Anwar Maqsood’s humour come to life for the first time on stage. I had been warned that there would be seating problems, and there were. The production planning was disrupted due to the two days that the city was ablaze, and so people were accommodated well beyond the capacity of the hall. The producer tried to calm everyone’s nerves as more and more people poured into the hall. Honestly though, it was a tinderbox in there, and it seemed like a war of nerves between the people already ...

Read Full Post

Why the Pakistan Army makes state policies

It is difficult to assess whether the Pakistan Army is naïve or strategically calculated to step in the Supreme Court on the Memogate scandal. Obvious, however, is the fact that the critical step has brought the Army out in public, where previously only politicians and bureaucrats were mocked and sorted out. The Pandora’s box has popped open and an influx of articles criticising the unlimited power of the armed forces on defense, foreign and domestic political policies of Pakistan have been unleashed. While political pundits have declared the notion that the army makes the foreign, defense and domestic political policies of Pakistan as a ‘fact’– ...

Read Full Post

Inside Parliament: A state of oblivion

Disillusionment is the word that comes to mind when I recall my first assignment of covering the proceedings of the National Assembly of Pakistan a few years ago. The reason behind that disappointment, which I guess is not cynicism, is that I did not find it the place where legislators assemble for the sake of legislation, where elected representatives of the people join hands to steer the country out of its many crises. How many politicians are there who are absolutely above-board, against whom no one can point fingers? How many have the charisma to mould public opinion? How many have ...

Read Full Post

PTI and Marvi: A love story turned sour

When the PML- Q joined hands with the current PPP government, Marvi Memon took a stand (along with some other MNAs and MPAs of her party) and decided not to join the federation. She even went a step ahead and tendered her resignation from the National Assembly. This move improved her image in the public eye and people began to feel that she will take revolutionary steps in politics; that she will use her political standing for the people of her country. Political analysts and critics were of the view that Marvi Memon will join the PTI after she left her parent party. But due ...

Read Full Post