Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar

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

The ghosts of Imran Khan’s past: When PTI criticised PML-N for petroleum price hikes

The rising inflation, the dwindling foreign reserves and the growing current account deficit have all practically halted the progress of the country’s economy for the last seven to eight months. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government still seems clueless about how to put the economy on the right track again, and in order to collect more revenue to generate resources for its expenses, it has now increased the prices of petroleum products. After a price hike of Rs6, petrol now stands at Rs98.89 per litre. At a time when the masses are finding it almost impossible to manage necessary expenses ...

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If BRT Peshawar is still incomplete under PTI, what chance does BRT Karachi stand?

Peshawar’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) seems to be a never-ending project as once again Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’ s (PTI) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has postponed its launch. The inauguration ceremony of the BRT was supposed to be held on March 23rd, but because the project is yet to be finished, K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, after consulting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, decided to cancel the opening ceremony. Ever since PTI announced to launch BRT in October 2017, the project has seen many delays because of the inefficient management. The BRT is a 26 kilometre-long bus corridor designed to carry thousands ...

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Unregulated social media, slow police response, rising Islamophobia: The faultlines of the #NewZealandShooting

In what can only be termed a barbaric and inhumane act, 49 Muslims were murdered and another 20 seriously injured in two mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. The unfortunate victims were offering jummah prayers when they were attacked by a terrorist. Introducing himself as Brenton Tarrant on his Facebook livestream, he went on to telecast the entire massacre live as he stormed into the mosque and shot at worshippers of all ages. He was able to do so for 17 minutes. We are once again at a place where Muslims living in the West are paying the price for rising ...

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Alive on a political ventilator, can the PTI government really gamble with Nawaz’s life?

There is no question that Nawaz Sharif’s health is rapidly deteriorating. Even a board of doctors at the Jinnah Hospital advised him to get an angiography, which he of course refused. Apart from heart-related problems, Nawaz also has diabetes and kidney problems. His personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan, has told this writer on many occasions that Nawaz immediately needs intensive care, and will perhaps need to go under cardiac catheterisation and possibly a coronary intervention. However, Nawaz’s refusal to be shifted to any hospital is a sign he is not ready to trust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government again. ...

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Why must Pakistan wait for international pressure to mount to tackle extremism?

The state has finally come out of a long slumber and has launched an operation to eliminate the religious extremist groups who are allegedly using Pakistan’s soil to create disturbances in India, Iran and Afghanistan. In the wake of the rift between Pakistan and India, this can be termed as a positive development since Pakistan is now keeping its word and investigating these non-state actors. According to Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi, 44 people affiliated with extremist organisations, including Masood Azhar’s son and close relatives, have been arrested. The matter is under investigation and further action will be ...

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Will returning IAF pilot Abhinandan stop India from attacking?

It seems that the situation between Pakistan and India is gradually settling down, as Pakistan has agreed to return the captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot to India as a goodwill and peace gesture. Addressing the parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he will be sending Abhinandan Varthaman home on today and also made it clear that Pakistan’s desire to deescalate should not be mistaken as weakness. This move has been welcomed by New Delhi, who had been calling for their pilot to be returned to them safely. Many from the international community have also commended the decision, including ...

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Our hospitals aren’t good enough for Nawaz Sharif – whose fault is that?

In an important advancement on Monday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected the appeal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who was seeking suspension of his sentence due to his medical condition. A two-member bench of IHC involving Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani read the short request of the court decision saying that the appeal was dismissed because it holds no credible grounds. It further informed that Nawaz is being given the best medical treatment and the court does not feel that his case is that of unusual circumstance. The court in its nine-page decision additionally expressed that ...

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#BalakotAttack: Should Pakistan strike back?

Today, Indian fighter jets violated the Line of Control (LoC) and entered the Pakistani air space, albeit for a few minutes. This incident has further raised the tension between both the countries in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack. Both countries are showing their citizens different pictures of the air attack and overall the situation seems confusing. Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow. — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 25, 2019 The Indian side maintains that it successfully destroyed the training camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) during the operation. ...

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We let Kulbhushan meet his family and you let Shakirullah die in prison – where’s the justice, India?

In what can be termed as an inhuman and barbaric act, a Pakistani prisoner named Shakirullah was beaten to death in Jaipur Central Jail at the hands of Indian prisoners. Shakirullah hailed from Sialkot and was serving life imprisonment in India. It was no coincidence that he was murdered in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, which claimed the lives of atleast 44 Indian soldiers. Since the attack, the Indian government and Hindu nationalists are threatening Pakistan of dire consequences whilst harassing Kashmiri Muslims across India. According to Jaipur Central Jail’s official, Shakirullah got into a quarrel with his ...

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Give PTI six months, they said – now we have Rs2.42 trillion added to our debt

A historic problem in Pakistan, one it has been facing for quite some time now, is the debt trap. Each successive government in Pakistan keeps borrowing for temporary fixes, which only helps in the short-term but has made us worse off in the long-run. However, even before it was elected to power, the incumbent government consistently maintained it would get Pakistan out of this trap once and for all (but only they knew how). Thus far, not only has the government been entirely unsuccessful in getting us out of this mess and bridging the gap between expenditures and revenue, it ...

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