Stories about dictator

Musharraf’s politics: A Pakistani love affair

Enough has been written on APML’s Karachi jalsa on January 8. Much has been said about the not-so-intelligent choice of venue, drawing immediate comparisons to the mammoth PTI crowd just two weeks earlier. Perhaps its time to dwell on why there were less supporters (read 8,000 – 10,000) in the ground. General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is undoubtedly among the few love affairs of the Pakistani public. At a certain time in recent history, millions of us worshipped him, liked and loved him, defended his actions and chanted his slogan ‘Sab se Pehle Pakistan’. We were proud that we were led by ...

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Dear dictator, your rally really sucked

Dear dictator, Your ‘show of power’ in Karachi was, if I may respectfully say disappointing and anti-climatic. Despite all your tall claims of having massive public support, and an equally large Facebook following, you did not garner enough support to draw even close to 10,000 people at your rally. Leaders from your party proudly boasted that your rally would be bigger than Imran Khan’s, yet one can only wonder what happened and where you went wrong. Maybe if the attendees were paid more than Rs1,000 and a plate of biryani, you would have been able to fill the ground.  Not only ...

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After Kim Jong-il

As the international community and regional stakeholders look to take advantage of the small window of opportunity to reform the ‘hermit kingdom’ following Kim Jong-il’s death, it seems premature to predict a “Pyongyang Spring” in the making. As a New York Times editor who visited the country a few years back put it, the regime under Kim Jong-il might be the most totalitarian in the history of mankind. Unlike Stalin, Kim Jong-il took advantage of emerging technologies to perpetuate the regime’s propaganda unlike no other while blocking its use for his citizens and keeping them isolated from the rest of the world. North ...

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Protecting democracy, destroying Karachi

Nothing exasperates me more than reading literature bashing Pakistan, so let me spare us all that twinge and cut to the chase. Things are not well. Aside from the terrorism, obvious over stated lack of electricity, gas and employment, the city of Karachi has become an open battlefield. The nature of this situation is very disturbing. Not only has the violence been continuing without signs of subsiding, it is getting worse. The police has been ineffective, and the government of Sindh likewise. In fact, such is the level of helplessness of the think tank of our leadership, that the army ...

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Muammar Qaddafi: The coolest dictator ever!

Libya has turned into a warzone, the global media, led by Al Jazeera has gone rabid against Muammar Qaddafi. Twitter and Facebook have erupted with Qaddafi hatred – but hold on, there are a whole bunch of reasons why Qaddafi is really a great guy. 1. His dress sense. Who can hate someone who defines his own style, and sticks with it year-after-year? I personally think any man who can carry off swathes of cloth wrapped around him with a messy unkempt I’m-a-70s-rocker hairdo deserves some credit, no? 2. Call me Pakistani, but I find dictators who usurp power and hold onto it ...

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Pakistan does not need a revolution

This spirit of revolt witnessed in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Libya is being termed a new era of democracy, liberalisation and freedom. It is spreading like wildfire. Some people are asking whether this fire will ever reach Pakistan. One can only wonder what they are talking about. The conditions that provoked the uprising in Tunisia are not at all identical to Pakistan. People here are discontented due to unemployment, poverty, inflation and widespread corruption. But in Pakistan we have a free press – the most free media in the Islamic world, a democratic government that works in fits and ...

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What Al Jazeera did right: This revolution was televised

My friend, a fellow news junkie, asked me, “What’s the difference between CNN and Al Jazeera?” Answer: “CNN shows the missiles taking off, Al Jazeera shows them landing.” If any amongst us had doubts about this subtle difference, they were most certainly removed after following the Egyptian revolution unfold on Al Jazeera and its sanitised coverage on other mainstream western news networks. To further substantiate Al Jazeera’s credentials as the peoples’ news network that brings forth the people’s perspective devoid of an imperialist agenda, I can tell you this; Donald Rumsfeld condemned it, George Bush allegedly said he wanted to bomb it ...

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Sympathy for the dictator: How Musharraf lost a fan

Let’s face it. Media fraternities hate ex-President General Pervez Musharraf. Yes, they do and for obvious reasons actually. Ironic really as General Musharraf did sow the magic beans of ‘free media’ that later grew to become a monstrous self-defeating beanstalk. It shouldn’t come across as a revelation when I say that supporting General Sahab is considered somewhat taboo in the media community – it is pretty much like venturing on a cross-country road-trip in Vietnam holding an enormous American flag. But me? Being a staunch enthusiast of his rule, I refused to let one crazy-speech and a bunch of my colleague’s prickly ...

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The predictable politics of Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani politics is quite unpredictable and a person like me who isn’t the smartest guy around can’t truly understand it. Yet, I am forced to think about it and according to Nikolai Lenin, one of the chief symptoms of every revolution is the sharp and sudden increase in the number of ordinary people who take an active, independent and forceful interest in politics. The same happened when PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif went to Muzaffarabad to announce the establishment of his party in Azad Kashmir. During his speech, Nawaz Sharif strongly criticised the MQM and accused the party of supporting dictators ...

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Shariat Court vs Parliament: Who cares about women?

I am not a lawyer but I have been a keen observer of how courts work and how they deliver their verdicts for long enough to make some sense of them. In this regard, without getting into the legal aspects of the judgment delivered by the Federal Shariat Court on December 22, one point does need to be made, and that is that the judgment of the court (now headed by a judge who was seen by some as being a nominee of the president) effectively undermines the sovereignty of parliament and the mandate it has to make new laws ...

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