Stories about 2018 elections

My journey with Imran Khan: From the ‘tanga party’ to a ‘one-man show’

My journey with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan began perhaps when I witnessed his win in Mianwali in 2002. The results were coming in from all across the constituency, and he won by a margin of around 5,000 votes. I was 14-years-old then. Although it was one seat, it felt like we had won a majority in the National Assembly. But when I woke up the next day, I realised this win was just a drop in the ocean. Back then, I had only heard the famous Urdu quote, “Katra katra kar kay darya banta hai.” (Every drop makes a river.) But ...

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The status quo vs the dark knight – who is the right candidate for NA-247?

In the scorching heat of May 2013, my brother and I stood in line for eight hours straight at our designated polling station to vote for the one party we believed would bring revolutionary change for all of us – the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Perhaps if it hadn’t been for PTI, I wouldn’t have had the passion and resilience to believe in the power of my vote. Even though polling in NA-250 started later than the other constituencies of Karachi – a way to sabotage PTI’s vote back from this seat by the ruling party in the city at the ...

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From PML-Nawaz to PML-Nobody: Who’s calling the shots?

Ours is a great country. We love our politics as much as we love our curry with laal mirch masala (red chilli powder). Perhaps one of the primary reasons we are as emotional as we are is because of the laal mirch (read laal, hari, peeli mirch) in our food. It makes us exciting, passionate and restless. A little moderation in our masala intake might make us more tolerant and peaceful, and this definitely is the case for most of the nations of the subcontinent. Seems like at this moment the greatest need for moderation is in Islamabad, where judicial activism is at its ...

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Winning the 2018 elections with Zardari and PPP, or saving his party’s ideology – what will Imran Khan choose?

The election, or as some experts satirically call it, the “selection” of the relatively unknown candidate as the Chairman of the Senate, has jolted the political landscape of Pakistan. It is now clear that those who removed Nawaz Sharif – right or wrong is a different matter altogether – are going to use all the tactics at their disposal to prevent his political comeback. The objective in the Senate election has been achieved brilliantly by both, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). They have been brought together in a surprising alliance, despite Imran Khan’s tall public promises of never shaking ...

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Five reasons why PTI supporters should be alarmed ahead of the 2018 election

The 2018 election season is heating up in Pakistan, and in a few months, millions of Pakistanis will cast their ballot in what is promising to be a crucial election in the country’s history. The stage has been set by the dramatic ouster of one of the most influential men in Pakistan’s political history, and the unlikely political movement and slogan that the aforementioned ouster has led to. On the other hand, Imran Khan continues to be the wildcard choice to lead the country, should all elements come together at the right place and the right time. However, a string of crucial electoral losses, divisions within ...

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The rise of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Much more than a poster boy of Pakistan’s family-dominated politics

In the midst of the political tussle between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been a distant observer for the large part. For a party with rock solid ideological roots, this is not a healthy sign. For a party that has historically been Pakistan’s most potent left-wing force at the federal level, this is even worse. The PPP was outmuscled, outwitted and completely blown away in the 2013 General Election. Statistically, the PPP’s seat count in the National Assembly went down to 42 seats from the 118 it won in the 2008 General Election. ...

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Sadiq and ameen, Imran Khan is the cleanest politician in Pakistan and an evident choice for the 2018 election

In the wake of the Supreme Court (SC) verdict, which disqualified Jahangir Tareen, Imran Khan has been accused of hypocrisy by his critics who continue to defy logic by drawing similarities between his behaviour and Nawaz Sharif’s rhetoric of, “mujhe kyun nikala?” (why was I disqualified?) After his disqualification, Nawaz started a campaign bent on maligning the judiciary and pitting the public against it, arguing that since the public had elected him, only they had a right to hold him accountable. This is, undoubtedly, a faulty argument, because if the public began meting out justice, Nawaz and his partners in ...

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MQM-P vs PSP, PML-N vs PPP – Who will secure more ‘biryani’ votes in the 2018 general election?

The great comedian Umer Sharif once said that Karachi only has two seasons – summer, and hotter summer. Given the U-turn Karachi’s weather has taken over the past few weeks, from extreme cold winds to sweaty afternoons, he was right. Similarly, Pakistan also has two kinds of political seasons – elections and political turmoil. Another element similar between the two is that the first season transitions into the other only for a short while, and then swiftly returns back to its default setting. Since the 2013 General Election, Pakistan has been in a state of political and administrative commotion. The government ...

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Why an alliance with PTI will prove to be detrimental for MQM

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about the possibility of an alliance between the Muttahida Quami Movement – that is now divided into MQM-Pakistan (MQM-P) and MQM-London (MQM-L) – and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at a federal level. Furthermore, this alliance is allegedly to replace the current opposition leader, Khursheed Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), with someone nominated by PTI. It is said that all politics are realpolitik and eventually realist concerns dictate what political parties actually do. PTI and MQM, given their history of intense confrontation, would prove this saying true if this alliance materialises. Both the parties have been clashing ...

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Is the NA-120 by-election a preview of PTI’s prospects in the upcoming 2018 elections?

The voters of NA-120 have given their verdict and have elected Kulsoom Nawaz by a healthy, though reduced, margin of around 14,000 votes. Although I have been following elections for decades now, I don’t recall any election of an individual seat in which the stakes were so high. Normally by-elections are predictable and frankly boring affairs. This by-election, however, was anything but boring or even predictable. It is said that all politics is local and one should exercise a lot of caution in extrapolating the results of one seat to predict the future general elections. Like all constituencies, NA-120 has its own local ...

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