Umair Rasheed

Works at the Lahore desk of The Express Tribune and tweets @umairrasheed1

An alienating identity

The cold-blooded murder of Baloch nationalist Habib Jalib, suicide attacks on Ali Hajveri’s shrine and last month’s brazen strikes on the Ahmedi places of worship in Lahore are three seemingly separate incidents. Yet they point to a harsh reality that we have to live with – there is no room for dissent in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Dissenters, whether religious or on other important questions that challenge the hegemony of the small Punjabi-dominated establishment, get exterminated at will. Groups like Khatam-e-Nabuwat and Jammat-Ahle-Sunnat (an offshoot of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba) openly issue statements condemning Ahmadis and Barelvis respectively, guarding their narrowed and ...

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The by-polls’ conundrum

Had the frequency of elections been a measure for democracy, Pakistan in the last two years could have given the best of democratic countries a run for their money. A series of resignations or disqualifications and subsequent by-elections has been the hallmark of democratic Pakistan. How much has this chain reaction helped strengthen democracy is open for debate. We’ve just witnessed the drama that is Pakistani politics unfold on our television screens during PP 160 by-poll in Lahore: A fake election commission office, a stubborn but loyal to its masters (read: government) Punjab police and brazen government spokespersons. Another one ...

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