Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar

The writer is a columnist and writes for various English and Urdu publications. He tweets at @rjimad (twitter.com/rjimad)

Why Imran Khan’s HARDtalk interview would make every Pakistani cringe

Leaders and polished politicians are frequently called masters of the art of spin. They use this ‘spin doctrine’ in debates and interviews to satisfy the viewers, all the while deflecting from the real questions being asked. Similarly, even second-tier politicians know that defensive body language like hand-wringing, arms folded across the chest, clenched fists or narrowed eyes should be avoided during interviews, so as to seem collected in their responses. But perhaps Imran Khan is not a seasoned politician yet, or he simply is not good at being asked critical questions. His recent interview to Zeinab Badawi, the host of the famous ...

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Sorry PTI, but the game of elections is poised between PPP and PML-N

The stage is all set for the battle of the General Elections 2018, with all major political parties eyeing the throne. Though we are more than a month away from the big day, the three leading parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are all hoping to make the government in the centre as well as in their respective provinces. Given the dynamic circumstances of our political arena, it is almost impossible to predict a winner at this stage. Nonetheless, looking at the present situation, one can try to assess ...

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How controversial is ‘The Spy Chronicles’?

The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, co-authored by former ISI Chief Asad Durrani, former RAW Chief AS Dulat, and journalist Aditya Sinha, has rightly created a buzz around the subcontinent. After all, two former counterparts from rival agencies coming together to compile a book on sensitive issues – especially pertaining to backchannel diplomacy and events relating to security and foreign policy matters – is a unique experience on its own. The book is narrated conversationally, where Sinha initiates the conversation between Durrani and Dulat. It has seven chapters, and each and every one is detail oriented. It ...

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“Mr Clean” caught with his hands dirty?

It came as a surprise to many of us when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) filed an application in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), requesting to scrutinise the party’s foreign funding in secrecy. The ECP is hearing a case against the PTI regarding violations of the law while receiving funds. Imran Khan always speaks a lot against white collar crimes and claims to possess the highest level of honesty; after all, he was proven to be sadiq and ameen (honest and truthful) by the court. His followers blindly follow him, as he is deemed to be the most ethical and ...

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Justice or victimisation: Did Nawaz Sharif launder $4.9 billion to India?

In the latest update on Pakistan’s political sphere, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accused former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of laundering $4.9 billion to India. The order by the antigraft authority to probe Nawaz for money laundering allegations came in light of an article written in an Urdu newspaper, Ausaf. In its press release, NAB stated that on the basis of the opinion published in the newspaper, it is initiating an inquiry into the alleged scam. It seems that in its bid to convict Nawaz at any cost, the institution of NAB has made a mockery of itself. Any sane individual ...

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In #PPPvsPTI, Bilawal wins the round and leaves behind a lesson for Imran

Finally the people of Karachi can sigh in relief, as the tussle between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has come to an end, with both parties agreeing to change the venue of their jalsa on May 12th. This conflict between the two parties over what was undoubtedly a petty issue, brought about a violence that the streets of Karachi, though familiar with, have not witnessed in a while. The clashes between workers of both parties over holding their jalsa at the Hakeem Saeed Shaheed ground left several people injured on both sides, while many vehicles were also ...

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509 Hazaras killed in five years and Pakistan is still not ready to wake up

According to a report, released in March 2018, by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), around 509 people from the Hazara community have been killed and 627 have been injured in Quetta during the last five years. The Shia and Sunni sectarian rift started in Pakistan by the then military dictator General Ziaul Haq in a bid to legitimise his martial law. Pakistan has since been facing ethnic and sect-based wars between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Members of the Hazara community are easily recognisable due to their distinct features that separate them from other communities. The banned Sunni outfits, mostly backed ...

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Khawaja Asif’s disqualification is not a case of victimisation, but nice try, Nawaz Sharif

The season of disqualifications is on the trot for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The disqualification of Pakistan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Khawaja Asif, is just the latest blow to not only the PML-N, but also to Pakistan’s reputation. In its verdict, the Islamabad High Court has stated that Asif was found guilty of not declaring his iqama (foreign work permit) in his nomination papers. As per the Constitution, every elected representative has to submit an affidavit at the time of filing their nomination papers to declare they will not engage in any other job. As per our law, ...

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Shehbaz, the dealmaker; Nawaz, the deal breaker – which direction will PML-N take?

Despite a faction in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) wanting an aggressive president like Kulsoom Nawaz at the helm of affairs, the nomination of Shehbaz Sharif did not come as a surprise to most critics and analysts. However, his nomination as president of the party has raised many questions regarding the road ahead for the PML-N as the country’s leading political party. With an increasing prevalence of a compromising attitude with the “invisible forces”, Shehbaz’s candidature might as well lead to a possible normalisation of relations between the PML-N and the aforementioned invisible forces. With Shehbaz in charge now, the most pertinent question is ...

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