Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar

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

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Asif Ali Zardari’s days in politics may be numbered

Finally, the noose has tightened around Mr Asif Ali Zardari and other stalwarts of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). A joint investigation team (JIT) report presented before the Supreme Court (SC) accused Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and others in 16 different cases pertaining to money laundering, misuse of authority and allotting government land to a private housing society at low prices. The 128-page long JIT report is comprehensive and can be termed as solid evidence of the wrongdoings committed by Zardari and his accomplices. How Zardari will defend himself in the court remains ...

Read Full Post

Why 2018 will go down as an unforgettable year in Pakistan’s democratic history

This year can rightfully be termed the year of change for Pakistan. After all, the General Elections held this year saw the rise of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) into the power corridors. While the political temperature in Pakistan remains high despite the cold weather of December, the following are glimpses of the main political events that had an impact on Pakistan’s political dispensation this year.  January: US President Donald Trump lashed out at Pakistan in a tweet and withheld aid worth millions of dollars. February: Renowned human rights lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir passed away. March: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Nihal Hashmi, Talal ...

Read Full Post

Nawaz Sharif has been imprisoned yet again – but will he stay in jail this time?

The Accountability Court has finally announced its verdict against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. For the second time in a year, Nawaz has been sentenced to prison, this time for seven years in the Al-Azizia corruption reference case. According to the court, Nawaz was not able to produce a money trail in this case, while he has been acquitted in the Flagship reference as the court deemed the evidence provided by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to be insufficient. The Flagship corruption reference was based on the allegation that through his son’s offshore companies, Nawaz received his salary in ...

Read Full Post

Aleema Khanum walks away with a fine while Maryam Nawaz was sent to jail – double standards of justice?

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khanum has been fined for not disclosing her property in the UAE, with the Supreme Court (SC) ordering her to submit Rs29.4 million as a fine. However, she was not asked to disclose her source of income and neither was a joint investigation team (JIT) ordered to probe her source of income or for the authenticity of the money trail she presented in court. No reference of assets beyond known means was filed against her in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) either. On the other hand, on the same day, the SC ordered a JIT against ...

Read Full Post

The comeback after the setback: The ‘silent’ return of Maryam Nawaz

There is an ongoing debate in certain inner circles regarding the possibility of Maryam Nawaz being ‘re-launched’ into politics sometime soon. Some of these people are of the view that she is currently inactive, which is actually not true – Maryam is still very active in the decision-making of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). However, she has not made any public appearances or used her famous Twitter account as of late.  The PML-N has planned a convention on December 30th to commemorate the foundation of the All India Muslim League on the same date in 1906. Both Nawaz Sharif and Maryam are expected to attend and ...

Read Full Post

Human Rights Day: What will you ‘celebrate’, Pakistan?

Every year, December 10th is marked as the Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that lists down basic human rights guaranteed to the population of the world. This year marks the 70th anniversary of this resolution. It is important to note that sustainable growth is not achievable until and unless the human rights of the world are protected. Besides commemorating 70 years of the resolution, we should vow to stand for the civil, economic, political and cultural rights of our people; after all, ...

Read Full Post

To solve the economic crisis, PTI will have to move beyond optics and IK’s persona

The Pakistani rupee plunged against the US dollar yet again last week, this time by almost Rs10. The sudden fall of the rupee, which traded for around Rs140 against the dollar, gave birth to speculation and as a result also led to the stock exchange witnessing a sharp decline in index points. On Monday, the Karachi Stock Exchange saw another bloodbath as it lost 1,355 points. The premier’s statement regarding the possibility of early elections and the forecast by the State Bank of Pakistan that 2019 will slow economic growth from the projected 5% to 4% played a crucial ...

Read Full Post

Walk it like you talk it: What (little) did PTI achieve in its first 100 days?

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has finally completed its first 100 days in power. While the number itself is insignificant to judge any government’s performance, it was Imran Khan and the rest of PTI that created the hype over the 100-day agenda to begin with, even before the party won the General Elections. It was perhaps this promise and this plan that played a role in the PTI winning the elections. However, contrary to expectations, these 100 days were not smooth sailing for the PTI. On the contrary, they were marked with controversies, cases in the Supreme Court, U-turns, ...

Read Full Post

Why is Pakistan’s information minster so misinformed?

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has come across yet another controversy after he was banned from entering the upper house by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. Speaking on the floor of the house, not only did Chaudhry accuse Mahmood Achakzai of corruption and of making anti-state statements, he also accused the former governments of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for embezzling funds given to Balochistan during the last 10 years. This ended up disrupting the senate session, as Achakzai’s Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), PML-N and PPP retaliated by levelling accusations at Chaudhry. The ...

Read Full Post

While PML-N, PPP drown in accountability and PTI figure out how to run the country, TLP fills the vacuum

Ever since his release from jail, Nawaz Sharif has been visibly absent from the political arena. He is seemingly cautious while talking to the media, his tone is softer, the victimisation narrative is no longer brought up, while he also does not delve into his plans for the future, or that of his party. A similar change can be witnessed in his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, who has practically disappeared from the limelight. Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif is under the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), battling for political survival by defending himself on all the charges levelled against him ...

Read Full Post