Stories about anp

Elections 2013: A bomb about to explode, or be delayed?

The assassination of prominent politician Bashir Bilour has sounded a serious alarm bell for the upcoming elections in Pakistan. Many theories are circulating all over the media suggesting that the present intense political turmoil, ethnic killings, bomb blasts in Balochistan, sectarian violence, target killings in Karachi and ongoing acts of terrorism will be enough cause for the powers-that-be to delay the elections. Political disagreement among the regional and national political parties are expected to tot up additional justification to delay the elections for an indefinite period of time soon after the establishment of an interim government. But what other option is there? • We can safely assume that the election process will provide ample opportunities for terrorist groups to destabilise Pakistan.  • We may very likely see more prominent ...

Read Full Post

The PPP is not a liberal party, and never has been

Most of the time when I read op-eds about the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the English dailies, they’re almost bilious – especially if they’re meant to eulogise the party. Normally this is how the course of such articles go: High words fly, lofty ideals are cited, arbitrary versions of historic incidents are recounted with more than a tinge of bias, grand titles and appellations are quietly slipped into what is pitched as a balanced opinion piece and the masses are told, yet again, that in the PPP is embodied the ultimate saviour of this nation. I have often read such pieces and tolerated ...

Read Full Post

SPLGO 2012: If anything goes wrong, PPP is to blame

The new Local Government Ordinance, since its promulgation and passage in the Sindh Assembly, has become a source of nuisance. On one hand, nationalist and other parties strongly oppose it, terming it a conspiracy towards the division of Sindh, while on the other hand, PPP ministers and members exert their energies to a great extent to prove it beneficial for Sindh — with whatever knowledge they possess about the new system. Though people throughout Sindh are agitated against the controversial new system and violent protests claimed a life in Shaheed Benazirabad, a bigger tragedy took place in Khairpur, where six ...

Read Full Post

Is democracy for us?

It is a popular opinion these days that democracy is the best form of government available to the countries of the world. Perpetuated (and forcibly implemented in some cases) by the west, the system of democracy seems to be the preferred system in the minds of the people of the world; more so after the events of the Arab Spring. My main contention against democracy is this: is it the best mode of governing a country for every country of the world? It seems to work great for the west and developed countries but does it necessarily work for developing ...

Read Full Post

Why divide Punjab?

“Why not create a Seraiki province in Sindh?” This is my cardinal question to all those who want Punjab to be divided. The MQM’s recent call for new provinces to be carved out in Pakistan has irked me a great deal. To explain my sentiment, here’s some background on the province of Punjab.  Many different dialects are spoken in this province, some of which include Majhi, Jhangochi, Pothohari, Saraiki, Jatki, Hindko, Chhachhi, Doabi, and Derewali. The MQM has submitted a bill to the National Assembly calling for Punjab’s division on linguistic basis. What they don’t understand, perhaps, is that Seraiki is a just dialect of ...

Read Full Post

KP politics: Of name changes and one-line manifestos

Walking out from parliament is one of the oldest forms of expressing dissent or dissatisfaction with the government. However, on December 9, there was a walkout in parliament over an issue of immeasurable proportions. No, not drone strikes. No, not memogate or Ghulam Nabi Fai. No, not Zardari’s health or Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif’s exchange of dirty laundry and certainly not pictures of Veena Malik. This was much bigger, yet it could be summarised in three letters. KPK. Apparently the ruling party of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the ANP, decided that the abbreviated use of the province’s name in ministries’ written ...

Read Full Post

Musharraf is just not a good brand

The Musharraf brand, if you will, is pretty toxic. For all the talk of grassroots contact campaigns, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) rarely hits headlines, or captures public imagination. It doesn’t help that the leader of the APML, Pervez Musharraf himself, is not in the country. He is spending most of his time criss-crossing the United States (US), meeting various local support bases among the expatriate community. I guess his brand value is greatest among ineligible voters. APML’s political strategy remains a mystery. The much publicised Facebook support base cannot be counted on. Musharraf has stated that he will return to Pakistan ...

Read Full Post

Karachi politics: Make space for the Pashtuns

Karachi hosts the largest concentration of the urban Pashtun population, surpassing Peshawar, Quetta and Kandahar. It is the largest Pashto-speaking city in the world. In fact, by some accounts, Pashtuns make up for more than 15 per cent of the total population in Karachi. Pashtuns contribute significantly to the economy of Karachi through business and labour. The fact that the Awami National Party (ANP) managed to win two seats in the 2008 elections is evidence for large Pashtun existence in the city. ANP, as a party, is changing and is becoming a counter-force to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Karachi is ...

Read Full Post

Why PPP will be re-elected in 2013

For some reason, every four to five months, Pakistan’s politicians and media start talking about elections. Although everyone says they hope the government will complete its five year term, this does not stop them from making wild predictions about the upcoming elections, whenever they will be held. Based on what I have observed, this is the harsh truth that the people will eventually come to terms with:  Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is going to win the next elections. Before you start sharpening your knives and take a run at me, logically think about the electoral map of Pakistan. In order to ...

Read Full Post

Two party system and ethnic politics

It is often debated why the political process is so weak in a country as old as Pakistan. Yes, the direct and indirect military intervention is one of the primary reasons, but the poor performance of political parties must share the blame as well. The country is bitterly divided on ethnic and, arguably in some cases, religious lines. This division impacts political parties to a great extent, as they are in essence a reflection of the sentiments and views of the general populace. Ethnic politics Sadly, right after its inception, the founding political party, the Muslim League was divided and subdivided into ...

Read Full Post