Stories about elections

Despite increasing the education budget, the Sindh government is failing its youth

If you want to see how Sindh has failed its children, visit a public school in some of the obscure towns of the province. I was well aware of the fact that government-run schools had flaws, but the extent of this problem was always abstract for me, up until I had a first-hand experience. I was in Shikarpur recently (the city once known as the Paris of Sindh) to attend a cousin’s wedding. While in town, I thought it would be a great idea to see how education was faring in a place known for its academic excellence, considering Shikarpur ...

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Mustafa Kamal or MKUltra?

MKUltra was a top-secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mind control program initiated in the 50s. It involved the use of drugs, chemicals and other sensory stimuli to breakdown an individual’s will. Other implications of the program included brainwashing and indoctrination, which would lead to the creation of sleeper agents to be used for ulterior purposes. Once you gain control of a subject, the possibilities are endless. On a larger scale, gaining control of peoples’ minds or the group mind depends on several factors most important of which is opinion leadership. When several individuals identify with each other in a personal relationship, they form a ...

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I am the daughter of a man who served in PIA for 37 years

In wake of PIA’s possible privatisation, a lot of people have taken to social media to give their two cents worth. Fair enough, it is a debate of public interest. However, most of the statuses I have read are targeted towards PIA’s employees – not the organisation as a whole, but the employees alone. Facebook statuses and subsequent comments have said things like, “Good for nothing (employees)”, “Useless employees”, “They are being overpaid”, and “Now who would want to lose a job which pays even when you are sleeping.” I am the daughter of a man who served for 37 years in PIA. All of my life, my father ...

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No Action Plan

This poem is dedicated to all the martyrs of Pakistan who have lost their lives at the hands of terrorists, especially the martyrs of Army Public School (APS) and Bacha Khan University.   Is naye zamanay mein Roz naya charcha hota hai Khoon ki holi hoti hai Phir naya parcha hota hai No Action Plan bhi bantay hain Phir naya kharcha hota hai   (In today’s day and age, A new commotion is raised everyday, Holi is played with blood, New papers are filed, No Action Plans are also made, And to top it off, there is more expenditure.)   Pehle bhi sirf tasveerain theen Aaj bhi mehaz taqreerain hain Siyasi laffazi pehle bhi thi Aaj bhi kuch ...

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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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Why my father devoted his life to jailbirds, and so will I

A poor person isn’t one who has no money or riches, but the one who holds no love in his heart for those who are suffering. This has been my father’s motto ever since I can remember. My father has devoted his entire life to the well-being of prisoners in Pakistan, be it Muslims or Christians. I grew up watching him attend to his duties at the prison and working amongst prisoners for their betterment, and I always used to wonder why he worked with them. Why did my father have this particular job? Why was he not a ...

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Did the Judicial Commission and dharnas even benefit PTI?

The Judicial Commission has finally given its conclusion that the 2013 elections were fair and in accordance with the law. Some who are against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) would perhaps only see this as an opportunity to mock the 126-day dharna (protest) which apparently for many only benefited one man, DJ Butt. On the other hand, those in favour of PTI would perhaps see this as another failure of the system to deliver justice and would conclude that the Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk is also incapable of holding a fair inquiry. This is exactly where we fail time and again that we tend to adopt extreme views ...

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Punjab is Pakistan and Pakistan is Punjab

As 83 mutilated corpses are found in Balochistan, I further lose hope in our crumbling system and the state. A state which has failed its citizens over and over again.  Every man with an empty head and fickle mind is trying to formulate his own creed and ideology. It is tantamount to saying, in the presence of various man-made beliefs, that it is hard to follow one ideology with zeal and enthusiasm. The case of Pakistan is verily the same. In Pakistan, people are blind followers of false narratives, whether enforced by the mighty army or by the corrupt and incompetent politicians. I pity the ...

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What a local from Gilgit-Balitistan thinks of the G-B elections

During a chat with a local, who in his opinion, highlights the major causes and precursors (whether correct or not) of the shift in trend of the traditional voters in Gilgit-Baltistan. It was 10:45am when I received his call, “Doctor sahib, I am outside waiting for you, no one else turned in today.” Askari (name changed), is around 50-years-old and is a van driver from my company. He belongs to the Gilgit-Baltistan area and has characteristic facial features of a Balti. As I stood up, switching off the news being aired, the last few remarks I heard were from Syed Mehdi Shah of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), ...

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The ‘missing’ person in Balochistan – A Chief Minister who is willing to step up

After the general elections of May 2013, there were high expectations from Balochistan’s first middle-income group chief minister, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch. It was perceived that he would take serious and effective steps to address the frustration and deprivation felt by the Baloch people in their insurgency-marred province. But nothing has been done so far. The climate of enforced disappearances and discoveries of bullet-riddled bodies still continue with a great deal of impunity. The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), a human rights group seeking the recovery of missing persons in Balochistan, reports that the number of missing persons is higher than 18,000 ...

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