JIT and Nawaz Sharif’s fate: Five questions every Pakistani is asking about how it happened and what happens now?

On April 20, 2017, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan passed its order in Constitutional Petition Number 29 of 2016, commonly known as the Panama Leaks case. By a majority of three to two (Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and Gulzar Ahmed) dissenting, the honourable five-member bench ordered the Constitution of a joint investigation team (JIT) which would investigate into and find answers to 13 questions put forth by the honourable bench. It was ordered that the JIT should complete its investigation and submit its final report within a period of 60 days from the date of its constitution. In consequence, the investigation into one of the most high profile ...

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PPP claims to be cleaning up Karachi, but the looming stench in the city claims otherwise

The Karachi I grew up in was a city where garbage was picked up regularly. Swarms of jamadarnis (women sweepers) descended each morning to sweep the dusty streets in our neighbourhood in PECHS, picking up any plastic bags that the wind had blown overnight.  Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) trucks came in to collect the garbage from the corner garbage bins regularly. The law and order situation was such that my grandmother (who I admit was a bit of a maverick) felt no fear in taking a rickshaw by herself. She was fearless and she’d hold out her hand at the end of the journey with change so that the rickshaw driver ...

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It all comes down to PTI vs PPP: Will Imran Khan win the 2018 elections?

Due to a fairly recent conflict between Babar Awan (read the main pillar of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)) and co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Awan left PPP to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The end of a two decade-long association with PPP was a shocking piece of news for the opposition in the National Assembly. Furthermore, Awan is not the only individual parting ways with PPP, as a couple of others have decided to do the same as well. The Member of the Pakistan National Assembly (MNA) Noor Alam Khan also joined the PTI, whereas former state minister Imtiaz Safdar Warraich from Gujranwala has decided to quit PPP and is set to join ...

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You do not salute to the person, you salute to the rank – and that is exactly why Arsala Saleem saluted Maryam Nawaz

The Panama joint investigation team (JIT) is in town and it is making headlines for all the right reasons. The entire ruling Sharif clan has paid them a visit. The last person to make an appearance before the JIT was Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of the prime minister. Many are referring to this as her political launch. However, this news was overshadowed by a lady police officer, Miss Arsala Saleem, saluting Maryam. Miss Saleem accompanied Maryam to the JIT meeting, since all JIT members are male and are somehow deemed unfit to question a woman alone. She saluted Maryam when she arrived to appear before the JIT on ...

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Fighting mud with mud will only make you dirty, Imran Khan

The past two weeks have been a virtual dreamscape for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan. With the exception of concerns over foreign donations to his party that have raised some questions about disqualification, controversy has mostly evaded Imran. But on the other hand, controversy has plagued his political opponent Nawaz Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Most of the scandal, in some way, originates from the Panama case. In May, prominent PML-N leader Nehal Hashmi threatened the joint investigation team (JIT) mandated by the Supreme Court to investigate Nawaz’s financial holdings, culminating in his (short lived) resignation. Significant criticism has also been directed at the inconsistent answers given at hearings and in ...

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“Corruption is our right”: Have you not looted Sindh enough already, PPP?

Ask any schoolboy in Pakistan which political party is the most corrupt and he will reply at once, “Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).” Even before a Swiss court convicted the former president and his wife Benazir Bhutto of money laundering, the leaders of this party have been known to be highly corrupt. It was not for nothing that former President Asif Ali Zardari was known as Mr 10%. So it was highly ironical to see PPP stalwarts such as Aitzaz Ahsan in Parliament demanding accountability of Nawaz Sharif. Either he forgot the rampant corruption in his own party or deliberately chose to ignore it. Mr Ahsan, how can we ever forget ...

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Through the eyes of an American: The beauty that Pakistan and its people have to offer

“Bhabi ke liye hee hans do!” (Smile for the sake of our sister-in-law) The Empress Market shopkeepers teased the stoic sabzi wala (vegetable vendor), encouraging him to smile for my camera. This was my first visit to Pakistan and all I wanted was to capture that one perfect shot. The sabzi wala raised his head and grinned. I snapped the image.  Street photography, for most of these Karachiite shopkeepers wasn’t a novelty. However, I visited numerous places on my trip where street photography was seen with awe, and curiosity. Even in Karachi, I drew attention walking around the city with a Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) camera and lens. I noticed people staring at me ...

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Please let Pakistan’s national anthem be as it is – powerful and poignant

In 2011, while attending the opening ceremony of a Model United Nations (MUN) conference in Karachi, I came to an odd yet poignant moment. Before the ceremony officially began, it was announced that the national anthem was to be played and hence everyone should arise from our seats to show respect. Everyone did so accordingly. However, when the anthem was played, it was nothing like the powerful melody we have all been brought up listening to. Firstly, it was a guitar version of the anthem, without the robust drums which made the tune so colourful and lively. Secondly, it did not have lyrics. Both these things made the ...

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O’ Parachinar, your loyalty is not enough for Pakistan

Addey, my grandmother, would reminisce about memories of her father with pride in her eyes and say, “I was a little girl of seven and the memory of him sitting in a room and sewing green coloured clothes and the flag of Pakistan with his own hands before the Partition is still afresh in my eyes. He used to write letters to Mohammad Ali Jinnah on behalf of the people of Parachinar to express his willingness to join Pakistan. He received directions by him in return for the Pakistan Movement in this tribal region. He travelled on horses along with other companions from Parachinar to Delhi to meet Jinnah ...

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KGS, FPS, Nixor, Southshore, Lyceum or Cedar – The choices you make today will mould your future tomorrow

If you think you can relax right after taking your O’ level examinations, you’re wrong. Right after you’re done with your exams, people begin bombarding you with all sorts of questions, asking you what your plans are for college and what subjects you’re going to opt for. There is literally no chill, and apparently for all the right reasons. The decisions you make now will affect the course of your life. I know this sounds scary, but it’s true. After O’ level exams finish, the main concern is the arduous process of choosing a school for A’ levels. But before getting to that part, you ...

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