Stories about Gilani

Welcome home to a Very Important Person from us mortals

Welcome home, Ali Gilani. I am sure the entire family bowed down before God in gratitude for your safe return. They should also be thankful that you bear the name ‘Gilani’, for the fact that your father is an influential person; a VIP (Very Important Person). Many mothers have lost their Alis, they are never to be found or heard of; erased from all nooks of reality except from the hearts of a few loved ones and a dust laden FIR eroding away in some record room. Many wives lost their Shahbazs, only because they did not bear a last name ...

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Why is Manmohan Singh’s village better than mine?

Reading the tale of a ‘modern village’ Gah, I was amazed at how each word painted a surreal picture of an ideal village. Was this village really in the same country and the same province as my village? Gah happens to be the birth place of the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. As a friendly gesture, Musharraf’s government labelled Gah as a ‘modern village’ and what followed miraculously helped to improve the standards of living of the poor people there. Commendably, Manmohan Singh stayed in touch with his roots played a pivotal role in supplying the village with solar energy. Thus, the people of Gah are heavily in ...

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They do leave, Mr Prime Minister

Despite calls from Pakistan’s opposition to step down or be ousted, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani  is still in charge. Fresh from his triumphant reception outside the Supreme Court, Gilani took on a different kind of challenge when he sat down for an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson last week. I have to say, the prime minister has come a long way since his television debut as the bumbling leader of a parliament of dunces. Throughout the CNN interview, he sounded confident and combative. His answers were mostly canned responses to the usual canned questions ...

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Erdogan in Pakistan: Of speeches and bloopers

Recently, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan addressed a joint session of the Pakistani Parliament for the second time in four years. In his speech, he took the opportunity to offer his condolences for the Siachen tragedy, discuss bilateral trade, economic cooperation and generally about the strong bond of friendship between Pakistan and Turkey. The premier also had something to say about the role of opposition parties, commenting that opposition parties exist to reform the government, not to kick it out. Mr Erdogan also talked about the very important role of the Parliament and finally, lauded Pakistan for upholding democracy. In short, ...

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The story of Baba Jan Hunzai

About a month ago, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the world that there are no political prisoners in Pakistan. But allow me to bring to notice the case of a political prisoner who is close to me and one whom our government repeatedly tries to silence. His name is Baba Jan Hunzai. He is an activist for the Labour Party Pakistan and a leader of the Progressive Youth Front. Baba Jan, along with four fellow activists, spent the greater part of last year languishing inside various jails throughout Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B). His story is not told in mainstream media but ...

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It’s the law, stupid!

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s conviction for refusing to reopen a corruption investigation against the president consequently made him the first serving prime minister in Pakistan’s history to be convicted by a court. In a country like Pakistan, the list of firsts seems never ending. Regrettably, most firsts don’t give our people an opportunity to gloat. And yet yesterday, the Supreme Court gave us a first we can, or let me rephrase, we should take pride in. Some would question my assertion of believing that we have good reason to revel in our prime minister’s conviction. But this is bigger than ...

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A reporter’s eye: Inside the Supreme Court

Among heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies and hovering helicopters, a horde of people marched towards the Supreme Court yesterday. As they crossed countless walk-through security gates with special entry cards in their hands, they looked excited about catching a glimpse of the soon-to-be-convicted prime minister. While it is totally in keeping with local tradition to create such a scene, at the contempt hearing yesterday, goras (foreigners) too joined us at the forefront. Inside courtroom number 4, the environment was electric. All seats in the courtroom were filled hours before the proceedings began. Besides lawyers, the room was packed with federal ...

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Missing prisoners: Skeletons with urine bags

For many the media is a watchdog, but some want to make it a scapegoat to achieve their short-term personal goals. The prevailing crises in the country have also increased the challenges for the media to maintain its credibility and impartiality. I have no words to highlight the threats made to media people by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, or certain terrorist groups. But today I still have something to say. One of the country’s top lawyers, defending the prime minister in a contempt of court case, also accused the media of negatively portraying the issue. “Don’t get into this controversy, they are ...

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Why Arsalan was arrested

The Pakistani media is playing a proactive role in bringing forth cases of victims who have been dealt with unjustly or ignored due their poverty or social status. I have seen various cases being brought forth by broadcast media, which highlight the plight of poor people who are suffering from health ailments that can easily be cured if they had the resources. By putting the spotlight on such issues, they have helped these individuals by giving them exposure, sometimes the needed funds and also government intervention. In other cases, they have highlighted the stark contrast in how justice is delivered ...

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Is Gilani’s indictment good for democracy?

With the news that the Pakistani Supreme Court, in a widely expected hearing, indicted Prime Minister Gilani yesterday morning, it is becoming increasingly clear that the two national institutions, the judiciary and the civilian government, are headed for a full-on collision. Despite statements over the weekend, where the Prime Minister seemed resigned to losing office, there is little indication that a resignation from the PPP stalwart is coming any time soon. If Gilani is indeed destined to cede power, it will likely come at the behest of the Chief Justice Chaudhry and his court. As chaotic and unpleasant as the ...

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