Stories about corruption

Why is Pakistan asking a foreign supplier to build our electronic voting machines?

Elections in Pakistan are going electronic. No announcement has been made yet but two tenders released last month by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) suggest that this is the way the country is going. In one tender the ECP would ask vendors to bid for 300 biometric verification machines (BVM). These will be tried out during the by-elections. If successful, the winning bidder will get an order for 300,000 machines for use in the general elections. The second tender is for 400 electronic voting machines (EVM) followed, in the event of a successful trial, by 300,000 machines for the ...

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Will Nawaz Sharif be so easily NAB(bed)?

On one hand is the National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan (NAB) whose very name belies a sense of security and reassurance. On the other hand is the nation’s self-chosen symbol of democratic hope, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, elected by the people, for the people. Problem is, neither have proven to be very trustworthy. Sharif, as always, is deeply embroiled in several scandals including the high-profile Panama Papers leak. NAB is facing a litany of its own problems. A recently filed FIR alleges that NAB tortures its detained suspects, that it is bought out by the very criminals it is supposedly prosecuting, that it is a lazy, inefficient ...

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Pakistan: A democracy abducted

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent exposure in the Mossack Fonseca Scandal comes as no surprise to those familiar with Pakistan’s perennial opportunities for corruption amongst her ruling classes. While enraging much of the nation, the surfacing of these ugly realities has inspired its Islamist clergy. Painting themselves even more ‘holier than thou’, Pakistan’s religious clerics are uniting in extraordinary consensus. Seizing on Sharif’s suddenly weakened position, they gather to oppose the Anti-Honour Killing amendment bill, the Anti-Rape amendment bill and the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act presented in Pakistan’s joint parliamentary session last month. Apparently laws containing ‘remedies for victims of violence’, criminalising ‘all forms of violence against women’ ...

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The only good thing about Jai Gangaajal is Prakash Jha himself!

Priyanka Chopra is making headlines as a cast member in Baywatch and recently the actress made ripples in Bollywood again by playing the role of SP Abha Mathur in Jai Gangaajal. Chopra has been mesmerising audiences with her bubbly appeal, however, in Jai Gangaajal she brings out a more sombre and mature look. The story revolves around SP Abha Mathur who, is Bankipur District’s first female SP and, is burning midnight oil to catch the corrupt. She stands tall amongst other police officers of her district, and upholds her integrity whilst fighting criminals. Piggy Chops has the looks and certainly ...

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Why do Pakistanis cheer Brandon Stanton, but attack Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy?

Like so many in Pakistan, I was pleased when American photo-blogger Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York, visited the country to tell the stories of every day Pakistanis. As with his other excellent work, Brandon shared some moving tales, creating empathy as only he can. At the end of his Pakistan series, Brandon moved on to a despicable social ill of Pakistan: Bonded Labour, which is used to victimise thousands of Pakistanis and has been described as modern day slavery by the United Nations. Like any good journalist, Brandon highlighted the issue by sharing several heart-breaking stories alongside striking photos while relating some ...

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Unless PIA is privatised, it will continue to hijack the nation

Having already confirmed with Pakistan International Airline (PIA) my return flight to Karachi a few days earlier, I was feeling relaxed on the penultimate day of my lovely vacation in Nepal, but when I called the Pakistani national airline’s office in Kathmandu to re-confirm my flight, I received a surprise. According to the PIA representative, my flight had been cancelled days ago, and I was to wait another four days to fly to Karachi. As much as I was fascinated by Nepal, I didn’t wish to spend more time in the country. For one, I was running low on cash ...

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Is it game over for Imran Khan and PTI?

Remember when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as a popular party in the country ahead of the 2013 general elections? Everybody was swept away by Imran Khan’s tsunami rhetoric and we all thought we had found Pakistan’s saviour. It received an overwhelming response from its supporters in various consistencies, which made it the second largest party after Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The urban middle-class was thrilled. They all swayed to the chants of ‘real change’ and ‘naya Pakistan’. They were spellbound and euphoric. They thought they were part of a historic movement that would end corruption, nepotism and injustice in Pakistan. The idea that ...

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I am a Hindu and I will not remove ‘Inzamam’ from my name

It happened seven years ago in Surat, Gujarat. My sixth grade hockey team was staying back for practice, and we were taking a break, cooling off beneath the shade. Suddenly, one of my friends went a bit to the side and spat. This odd behaviour by my well-mannered teammate aroused my curiosity, and I questioned him about it. He explained that it was the month of Ramazan and he wasn’t supposed to swallow anything. I took it as a quirk of his religion and let it go, remembering the several fasts kept by the Hindu aunties in my colony. Looking back, it ...

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Revolution 2020: Corruption, injustice and inequality, what more can one ask for

Chetan Bhaghat’s Revolution 2020 is a stirring story which mirrors love, corruption and ambitions. Bhaghat is a well-renowned Indian writer, who is famous for his novels such as Half Girlfriend, Two States, Call Centre, among others. We have also seen depiction of his novels in Bollywood movies. Revolution 2020 revolves around three childhood friends Gopal, Raghav, and Aarti. Gopal belongs to a middle-class family and aims to become a rich man. Hence he uses his knowledge to make money. On the other hand, coming from a wealthy family, Raghav’s goals are to use his intellect to start a revolution and make a difference in the society. Aarti comes from a ...

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Dear Zardari, you weren’t above the law in the 90s nor are you above it today

In his fiery and ‘courageous’ speech, followed by his ‘courageous’ exit from the country, Asif Ali Zardari seemingly tried to intimidate the country’s establishment in general and the army in particular. The speech was filled with direct and indirect attacks at, and threats to the Pakistan Army, apparently as a pre-emptive response to what followed. It was later that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) clarified that these accusations and threats were actually hurled at former army men and not ones currently in service. This was the first of many unbelievably lousy explanations put forth by PPP as part of a damage control exercise. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ...

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