Stories about coup

The Turkish Republic, as we know it, is dead

In perhaps the most important election of the past two decades, Turkey has given its verdict, electing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the president and also giving his party, Justice and Development Party (AKP), who fought the elections in coalition with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a majority in the Parliament. President Erdogan called an early election because he was expecting to win at this time, and therefore, wanted to use the opportunity to consolidate his presidency, which after last year’s referendum had become an extremely powerful post. Just to reiterate that presidency after the referendum is no longer a ceremonial post but gives ...

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Erdogan is to Turkey what Ziaul Haq is to Pakistan

When Recep Tayyip Erdogan recited the following verses whilst serving as the Mayor of Istanbul back in 1999; “The mosques are our barracks, The domes our helmets, The minarets our bayonets, And the faithful our soldiers…” Turkish citizens should have known better than to vote him in as prime minister for 11 consecutive years, and eventually, the president of Turkey. Known to the world of politics since decades, Erdogan isn’t a stranger to how the political clock ticks. He created the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001, which raised him to unprecedented heights. To date, his status within the party remains ...

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Imran still in the game, but will civil disobedience work?

In the movie Jinnah, there is a telling scene when Mountbatten asks Mahatma Gandhi to give up his protests and play “by the rules”. Gandhi replies, “In order to play by the rules, you have to include us in the game.” Imran Khan feels similarly cheated of things promised by the Constitution. I disagree with him but why are many PTI supporters on the defensive about civil disobedience? What are the objections? The most obvious is that it is ‘illegal’. A simple, and powerful, retort: “so what if it is illegal?”.  The call for a mid-term election might have been couched in a different language ...

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Is India’s BCCI planning a cricket coup with the ICC?

As old colleagues renew acquaintances at the current cricket board moot at the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai, they will share uneasy stares – the big elephant in the room is nothing short of a flashback to the colonial days, where might was right. The ‘Big Three’ – India, Australia and England – based on their financial muscle and certainly not on merit, will table a proposal to take over the reins of the cricket world. I should point out that the word ‘proposal’ is only a misnomer. This document, in substance, is an ultimatum and shall be treated as one. The gist of this document ...

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Baby Bhutto, his superman ajrak and the ‘cultural coup’… yeah right!

It was quite entertaining to watch Bilawal Bhutto speak of Sindhi culture, dressed up in a presidential style sherwani and speak in roman Urdu. The most amusing part of the ‘address’ was him putting all the blame on successive governments for the destruction of Sindhi heritage. What Bilawal did not notice, or his speech writer probably overlooked, was the fact that Sindh has predominantly been ruled by his own political party, PPP, which for the record, hasn’t been able to carry out any development work in any of its strong holds in interior Sindh and has, instead, destroyed whatever little heritage was left. The ...

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Egypt: Does the West change the definition of democracy when it comes to Muslims?

While the Egyptian army is busy massacring Morsi supporters in Egypt, the west and local liberals both have turned mute and silent. Hundreds have been killed and it is feared that the violence will escalate once the Egyptian army resumes its standard operating procedure of ‘find-torture-kill’; something it has mastered for a number of years. Champions of freedom and democracy, the US and the West, have once again shown their true colours of deceit, deception and hypocrisy as they fully support the Al-Sisi led coup without once thinking of the impact this could have on a ‘democratically elected’ government; ...

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Pakistan Army: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus while compiling his literary work Chiliades Adagiorum (Thousands of Adages) never would have thought that one day his words ‘can’t live with them, can’t live without them’ would be used to describe the Pakistan Army as viewed by Pakistanis.  The Pakistan Army is seen both as white knights and ravagers by the common man. Some consider the army as the author of every ill that afflicts the country while others view it as the sole reason of its sustenance. Commentary on the Pakistani military is aplenty on the internet and while the positive comments at times can be attributed ...

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Fear and loathing for military coups

Three unrelated stories reported in the mainstream media recently gave me an emotional high — and a low. The first story was about a decision by a court in the Turkish capital of Ankara to indict and charge the leader of that country’s 1980 coup with crimes against the state. Bravo! This was a high. But a sudden low came with a news piece on a tribunal’s decision in Bangladesh to send 90-year-old Ghulam Azam, the country’s most prominent Islamist leader, to jail, pending trial for war crimes. The 90-year-old was accused of helping the Pakistan Army in the 1971 ...

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Who will save democracy now?

I was 15 when Musharraf toppled the elected government in Pakistan. I’m a middle class guy who grew up reading Urdu dailies. I grew up thinking that our politicians are incapable of doing anything good and that the military should govern the country exactly like it does in Myanmar. I grew up thinking that Pakistan and India can never be friends. With time, I started reading publications from different parts of the world. This made me rethink my perceptions regarding democracy. When the elected government of the Peoples’ Party returned to power in 2008, I was as happy as any other ...

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Double standards and the infallible military hierarchy

US President Harry Truman famously placed a sign on his desk in the Oval Office that said “The buck stops here”. Thousands of miles away and some 60 years later, the only message on anyone’s desk appears to be “The buck stops anywhere but here”. Memogate has been an embarrassment for the sitting government, even though the credibility of the memo seems to be shrinking day by day. Meanwhile, the ever-reliable Mansoor Ijaz has become a media darling for his incessant, single-source (at best) allegations that have essentially revealed that everyone in power, elected, selected or promoted, just wants to rubbish ...

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