Stories about 2018 general elections

In a party of U-turns and double standards, one man rises to the occasion

Known for beating the democratic and ‘ethical’ drum, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has consistently maimed and shamed opponents for destroying the democratic culture within political parties, meant to harness debate and difference of opinion. However, in recent times, under the political authority of PTI, circumstances have changed and the bold narratives of transparency, openness and honesty have long subsided. It comes as no news that the power centres in PTI have been preoccupied due to a harrowing tug of war; a cut throat competition meant to shamelessly obliterate the rival group. In this scenario, senior member of the PTI and Pakistan’s ...

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12 times Pakistani sense of humour stole the show on Twitter

The end of the year is upon us, and yearly roundups are spreading like wildfire. After all, for Pakistan alone, this was the year of the elections, of some intense accountability and of some horrendous behaviour by politicians and celebrities alike. International news didn’t fare any better. In a year that is certain to be remembered as a dumpster fire, the only thing that kept us going was a platform where all the dark souls on this planet gather to laugh at their misery – Twitter. They say things get worse before they get better. Pakistanis can attest to that, ...

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A dealer in hope: Why Imran Khan’s leadership has become invaluable for Pakistan

According to Napoleon, a leader is a dealer in hope, which is something Pakistan dearly needs in these testing times. And for us, Imran Khan is the leader who can instil that sense of hope and pride back into our people. For a nation that turned numb to pervasive misgovernance and rampant corruption, and had resigned itself towards inefficiency and incompetency as the hallmark of the political system, this vision of a new Pakistan presented by Imran is nothing short of revolutionary. The style of governance we have become accustomed to over the years in our nascent democracy has failed ...

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Should Pakistan Post be disbanded, privatised or revived?

Earlier in the year, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government tried to initiate a bid to privatise Pakistan Post, even running an advertisement in the papers. Dr Arif Alvi, simply a member of the opposition back then, criticised the government for this initiative, saying, “We want to know why the government is in a hurry to sell assets worth billions of rupees of the state-run Pakistan Post, which is giving huge revenue to the national exchequer.” The former ruling party argued that due to its 97,000 employees, the postal service was bringing in a loss between Rs7-8 billion per annum. However, ...

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NAB’s ‘selective accountability’ is only adding fuel to PML-N’s ‘victimised’ fire

Shehbaz Sharif’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) right before the by-elections raised legitimate concerns in the opposition regarding the impartiality of the accountability institution. Currently, the leader of the opposition and president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shehbaz has been charged with misusing his former authority as chief minister of Punjab and for his alleged involvement in the Ashiyana housing scam. While he is currently under investigation by NAB, a perception has been created in the country that the PML-N is seemingly being targeted and punished for crimes other parties and politicians are exempted from. The spin wizards ...

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Differently-abled, not disabled: A ramp may not solve all our problems, but it will make us feel ‘included’

With Naya Pakistan having officially dawned, and Prime Minister Imran Khan having taken oath, I am hopeful that the tabdeeli that was promised to us – the Naya Pakistan we have put our faith in – will also be an inclusive Pakistan. A Pakistan where we are all given the same opportunities; one where our identities are not confined to labels and stereotypes. A Pakistan where we, the differently-abled, will not be seen as ‘disabled’, but as persons with different capabilities. A Pakistan where we are not defined by our wheelchairs, but are instead recognised for the individuals we ...

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Why Dr Arif Alvi should not be the president of Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Arif Alvi is one of the few politicians respected widely for his honesty and modesty. In a political party like the PTI – which mostly consists of intolerant and impulsive politicians, or people like Aamir Liaquat – Arif’s constant presence is like a calming presence for supporters. Dr Arif has now been chosen by the PTI as their candidate for the president of Pakistan, and given the fact that the opposition has not been able to agree on one candidate yet again due to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he will likely become another head of ...

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PML-Q may be an underdog in this game of politics but their contributions speak for themselves

The “king’s party” is back in mainstream politics after a hiatus of almost 10 years. They have done much to rid themselves of this tag since Pervez Musharraf’s downfall. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) performance in Pakistan’s largest and administratively difficult province, Punjab, has been exemplary during the Musharraf rule, after both supported each other for almost eight years. After losing strong candidates, PML-Q has seen many lows but remained steadfast and persevered to now make a coalition with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). With PTI’s support, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was elected as Punjab Assembly’s speaker – the province he once governed as ...

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The diaspora of Naya Pakistan: The time is ripe for us to pay back to the motherland what is due

Some years ago, summer of 2012 to be precise, I hosted an informal morning tea for Maleeha Lodhi, and while discussing the upcoming 2013 elections, she said to me, “It is not the Pakistan that this diaspora may have left 20 years ago, it’s a different Pakistan. The public is more desperate, the crises are much more and the conscious awareness that every vote counts is on everyone’s mind.” Hence, to me, her statement implied that Imran Khan was going to be elected prime minister in the 2013 elections, but history tells us a different tale. Imran fell, and with ...

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Zia thought he was going to China to sell his liver, but he didn’t know what was waiting for him

Being a journalist in Pakistan, I frequently come across crimes committed, sentences pronounced, culprits getting caught, and in many cases, culprits getting away. Thought I may not be physically present every time, I rely on certain ‘sources’ within the respective setup to bring forth the facts, if not the whole truth. On July 30th, I was contacted by one of my sources within the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) who informed me about a poor soul and a ring of criminals caught at the airport. I asked for adequate information on the issue, and in response, I was not only ...

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