Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar

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

PTI calling the kettle black: What they call ‘tabdeeli’ in Naya Pakistan is mere sloganeering in old Pakistan

The appointment of Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari as a special assistant to the premier has shocked many, even within the ranks of the Pakistan-e-Tehreek Insaf (PTI). His designation is in many ways equivalent to that of the minister of state, and he will subsequently be availing the perks and privileges given to a minister of such a position. On the face of it, Bukhari came close to Imran Khan when he assisted him in finding forensic companies to investigate the business dealings of Nawaz Sharif’s sons, Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz. As a result, he quickly became Imran’s blue-eyed ...

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RIP Kulsoom Nawaz: An embodiment of ‘when they go low, we go high’

The death of Kulsoom Nawaz, three-time former first lady and wife of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is a loss deeply felt by all, but especially by those who have an inkling of her role in our political history. Kulsoom was diagnosed with throat cancer in August 2017, and she passed away in London at the age of 68 after fighting a long and strenuous battle. The entire nation prays she rests in peace. Kulsoom will undoubtedly always be remembered as the woman who stood against the military dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf, and pushed him on the back foot by not ...

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Damage control: Why Imran Khan needs to put foreign diplomacy before domestic issues

In the globalised world of today, the foreign policy of any state is the most vital component to its progress. This is how states interact with each other and negotiate their interests, as you have to figure out how to fulfil your national interest while also giving other states a way to fulfil theirs. In Pakistan, it has been the control over foreign policy that has been the cause behind major rifts between civilian governments and officials of other institutions. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were all elected leaders thrown out of power due to their efforts ...

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Why Dr Arif Alvi should not be the president of Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Arif Alvi is one of the few politicians respected widely for his honesty and modesty. In a political party like the PTI – which mostly consists of intolerant and impulsive politicians, or people like Aamir Liaquat – Arif’s constant presence is like a calming presence for supporters. Dr Arif has now been chosen by the PTI as their candidate for the president of Pakistan, and given the fact that the opposition has not been able to agree on one candidate yet again due to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he will likely become another head of ...

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Like him or not, Jahangir Tareen won the game for PTI

The saying that one man’s hero is another man’s villain was perhaps meant for Jahangir Khan Tareen. For the opposition and forces against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Tareen is a villain going around ‘buying’ the loyalties of legislators. For his own party, Tareen is a hero who, despite being disqualified for life by the Supreme Court, still works round-the-clock to fulfil Imran Khan’s mission.    Tareen’s wealth (and his airplane) has always been the focus for both the media and his critics. In particular, the way he approached the independent candidates for the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly after ...

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PML-N and the lost fort of Punjab: Why Shehbaz can never be Nawaz

The elections are over and debating whether they were engineered or not is unfortunately useless, as we are inevitably headed towards the oath-taking of the newly elected members of the Parliament. Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) will form coalition governments in the centre and in Punjab, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will be sitting in the opposition. PML-N has missed the chance to create history by defeating the powers that be. Shehbaz Sharif’s lacklustre electoral campaign and his inability to convince the voters with his narrative “khidmat ko vote do” (vote for those who served you) led to the demise of ...

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PML-N’s new manifesto has more hits than misses, giving it an edge over PPP and PTI

It is the month of the General Elections, and all parties are busy in attempts to attract voters before the big day. Something that plays a major factor in whether voters are attracted to a political party or not is the election manifesto, as it gives the people an opportunity to become familiar with the vision and aims of political parties before they decide their vote. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has also unveiled its manifesto, and it seems quite a decent one, especially compared to the manifestos of the other leading political parties out there. PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif unveils the ...

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If Nawaz Sharif wants PML-N to survive and win, he should go to jail

The Avenfield verdict did not come as a surprise to anyone – after all, almost every informed person in the country knew that Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz would both be found guilty and indicted in this case. Strangely, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir mentioned in his decision that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was not able to prove any charges of corruption and money laundering on both the accused. On the contrary, the court actually gave a verdict on the basis of insufficient proof submitted by Nawaz and Maryam in their defence. As per the decision, ...

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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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