Stories about 2018 general elections

18th amendment: Teaching Pakistan’s children the importance of their vote

With July fast approaching, election fever is at a peak. The selection of the interim prime minister is dominating the news cycle, rallies are being held regularly, and parties have begun advertising their policies. But the question remains: have the structural problems pertaining to electoral quality been addressed?  They are wide and ever perpetuating; a lack of voter turnout, the gender parity in the turnout, non-coerced voting for women, representation in turnout from all areas of the federation, including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the question of escaping the seduction of dynasty politics. Keeping this plethora of electoral issues ...

Read Full Post

The tale of May 12, 2007: He was ordered to “go for the kill” and “take no prisoners”

What started as a casual chat over tea amid the winter season, turned out to be quite a tumultuous tale of violence and mayhem that erupted on May 12, 2007 in Karachi, narrated by one of the perpetrators himself. While sitting at roadside cafe in a dingy locality of Hyderabad and sipping tea with my friends, I somehow ended up chatting with this ordinary-looking chap (who would later identify himself as one of the perpetrators), a man who claimed to be distantly acquainted with one of my friends. The story he proceeded to narrate in a disdainful manner, as if sharing just ...

Read Full Post

In #PPPvsPTI, Bilawal wins the round and leaves behind a lesson for Imran

Finally the people of Karachi can sigh in relief, as the tussle between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has come to an end, with both parties agreeing to change the venue of their jalsa on May 12th. This conflict between the two parties over what was undoubtedly a petty issue, brought about a violence that the streets of Karachi, though familiar with, have not witnessed in a while. The clashes between workers of both parties over holding their jalsa at the Hakeem Saeed Shaheed ground left several people injured on both sides, while many vehicles were also ...

Read Full Post

The run for allegiance: Electables and political parties – a marriage of convenience

With only a few months to the next general elections, politicians are fast jumping ships to maximise their chances of getting re-elected. These career politicians, or “electables”, are the evergreen lot who choose to associate with the political party likeliest to win, as opposed to aligning with a certain ideology. If their allegiances are so fickle, and if they jump ship at the slightest hint of turbulence, why do political parties accept these mercurial characters in their folds? The answer lies in the dynamics of electoral politics. In order to win, any candidate relies on the sum of their personal ...

Read Full Post

Out with the new, in with the old: Is Imran Khan back to being the true face of change?

In Pakistan, Senate elections are coupled with horse-trading. It is perhaps one of the most essential components of the procedure, whereby votes are sold upon an auction price. Members of Parliament have for long engaged in this fallacious act, yet there is no one to call out against it. Perhaps the reason being the reconciliation of mutual benefits.   Since its inception, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been morally against all such acts and strongly advocated against immorality and injustice. However, since the inflow of tried and tested politicians into the fold, and Imran Khan’s straying from the basic agenda, there were doubts that PTI had ...

Read Full Post

Shehbaz, the dealmaker; Nawaz, the deal breaker – which direction will PML-N take?

Despite a faction in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) wanting an aggressive president like Kulsoom Nawaz at the helm of affairs, the nomination of Shehbaz Sharif did not come as a surprise to most critics and analysts. However, his nomination as president of the party has raised many questions regarding the road ahead for the PML-N as the country’s leading political party. With an increasing prevalence of a compromising attitude with the “invisible forces”, Shehbaz’s candidature might as well lead to a possible normalisation of relations between the PML-N and the aforementioned invisible forces. With Shehbaz in charge now, the most pertinent question is ...

Read Full Post

NA-154 was a litmus test for PTI – perhaps Imran Khan should stop relying on patronage politics

While the fraudulent Sharif clan haven’t recovered from the aftermath of the Panama verdict and are still facing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases, the battle of NA-154 by-poll has ended in a mammoth victory for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). To some extent, this result is not surprising. The trend of previous by-polls suggests that people typically prefer to vote for the ruling party. However, victory of a new candidate against Ali Tareen is a major setback for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). This election was a litmus test for PTI, particularly for Jahangir Khan Tareen, whose politics was on stake after disqualification from the apex court. After disqualification, many ...

Read Full Post

It is pretty clear that neither Ali Muhammad Khan nor PTI know why Pakistan was created

Recently, I had the opportunity to witness a panel discussion where the firebrand conservative MNA from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ali Muhammad Khan, delivered his, and for that matter his party’s, “vision” for Pakistan. According to him, Pakistan should be a theocratic state and seculars should either mend their ways or leave Pakistan. Moreover, he also brought in the havoc of the Partition riots, arguing that all the sacrifices were actually for the creation of an Islamic country.  PTI's MNA @Ali_MuhammadPTI calls secular people a threat to Pakistan and asks them to mend their ways or leave the country pic.twitter.com/R2tezc7QoV — Reema Omer (@reema_omer) ...

Read Full Post