Stories about democracy in Pakistan

A presidential system will only ‘save’ Imran Khan, not Pakistan

A presidential system does not mean one person can wield unlimited power. Sorry to break this to those who have recently grasped on to the idea that a presidential system will somehow save Pakistan. If you want that kind of government structure, you’re looking for a dictatorship. Most advocates of a presidential system in Pakistan are hoping for an unchecked executive being granted limitless powers. A person above the petty politics of Parliament, and who – through their iron resolve – will steer Pakistan out of the choppy waters it has found itself in and on towards the shores of ...

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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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Can the 2018 General Elections be rigged?

Let’s get it out of the way: the caretaker or interim government setup for the General Elections 2018 will not be in a position to influence the results the way it did back in May 2013. After all, the chief secretaries appointed in this tenure will be scrutinised by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) very strictly, while the political parties, especially the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), are very determined to develop consensus when it comes to the names being included in the interim government. The provinces failed to develop consensus for the selection of caretaker chief ministers (CM) within the given ...

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Is Singapore turning into Pakistan with its uncontested and undemocratic election of Halima Yacob?

Halima Yacob, a former advocate of women rights, of psychological health and senior citizens, and the speaker of the Parliament of Singapore, was recently sworn in as the first female president of Singapore. Her election may be a milestone for Singaporean women, but nothing more. The Singaporean government curtailed the presidency criteria, which authorised Yacob as the most befitting candidate for presidency. Her selection met with social media outrage that is justified due to the fact that it was a uncontested election. come on. only Halimah received the eligibility certificate. did you guys have to make it THAT obvious? #NOTMYPRESIDENT — Edward C. Yong ن (@infernoxv) September 11, ...

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No, Nawaz Sharif must not be allowed to complete his term, if democracy is to prevail

(This article is intended as a rebuttal to the blog titled “Nawaz Sharif must be allowed to complete his term as his dismissal will do no good.”) I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when this article caught my eye. With the wave of antagonism and criticism of Nawaz Sharif that has swept social media following the release of the infamous so-called joint inverstigation report (JIT), it is always interesting to see pockets of support for the embattled prime minister pop up every now and then. However, to my surprise, the article advocated allowing Nawaz to remain in office. Not out of political allegiance, but based on the ...

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No, Maryam Nawaz can never emulate Benazir Bhutto or her political legacy

Amidst the uproar of the joint investigation team (JIT) findings over the Panama Leaks case, some people began comparing Maryam Nawaz Sharif to Benazir Bhutto. Personally, I was taken aback by such a comparison because Maryam may be the rising star of Pakistani politics but it is too early to compare her to a political icon like Benazir. Efforts made by Fatima Jinnah and Benazir for establishing democracy in Pakistan are unmatched in the annals of Pakistani politics. Fatima, due to her deteriorating health, was unable to fight the vultures that conspired against democracy. However, Benazir was able to fight the dictators of her time and was able to restore democracy in Pakistan, which is an admirable ...

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Was Nehal Hashmi’s outburst orchestrated by the PML-N leadership?

When things are going bad for you, the last thing you should do is issue a threat to those who are controlling your fate in any way. This bit is common sense, a sense that does not seem to be common. When I saw the video of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senator, Nehal Hashmi, openly threatening the Supreme Court judges and members of the joint investigation team (JIT), I was literally dumbfounded.

At a time when the fate of the prime minister is hanging by a thread, this guy had the audacity to sprout words which could potentially seal Nawaz Sharif’s fate. The senator did not limit his threats ...

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In four years, PTI did more to restore faith in democracy than PML-N or PPP did in decades

Whether Imran Khan wins the 2018 General Elections or not, he has given to our democracy what he gave to his down-and-out team during the World Cup of 1992, and to millions of despairing cancer patients across Pakistan – hope. If we move the clocks back to the last quarter of 2011, we can distinctly recall the sense of utter frustration that was prevalent in the country. People had voted for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with great expectations to get the nation back on its democratic footing. Unfortunately, Asif Ali Zardari and company wasted this golden opportunity to strengthen the transition to democracy. In fact, they made a mockery of the ...

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What’s aiding Pakistan

I was recently in Pakistan after a long gap and observed first-hand how the country functions. After years of learning about Pakistan through electronic media and personal accounts of recent immigrants in North America, I was a bit guarded when it came to what I would find in the country. Most of the experiences I heard about from people returning from Pakistan ranged from bad to catastrophic. What I found was a country that was crazy and chaotic yet chugging along. Below are some things that I walked away with: 1. In all the companies that I have worked for in ...

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What is so similar about Nawaz, Modi, Erdogan, Duterte and Trump?

The new millennium has hardly started, and already we are witnessing unsettling tectonic shifts in politics all over the world. One such example is the emergence of a covert, scheming approach towards attaining power, embodied by certain group of people, who under different circumstances, ended up occupying the highest seats of power in their respective countries. We will pivot our discussion around five such individuals: Nawaz Sharif, Narendra Modi, Rodrigo Duterte, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump. Though each of them was elected to office democratically, ask any unbiased political analyst or academic, and they will invariably conclude that these five leaders have all the makings ...

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