Stories about Gilani

Three Ps of Ramazan: Pakoras, piety and politics

Those who believe that piety and politics can never be mixed have obviously never spent Ramazan in Islamabad. Anyone who has a cause to promote, or an issue to lobby hosts a lavish iftar, complete with small talk and even smaller samosas. In the spirit of a month where forgiveness and charity are supposed to be paramount, the guest list does not take into account political differences. The iftar hosted at the Serena hotel by the Indian High Commission reflected the casual nature of these gatherings. There was meant to be a strict guest list with the coveted invitation, not ...

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Dear PM Gilani, Pakistan’s fate is in your hands

Dear Prime Minister Gilani, I am delighted by your political maneuvering and how smoothly you have bailed out a failng government. It is smart of you to abandon personal and political egos, and pursue policy of reconciliation. The strategy has worked well and you have garnered support. You are still the prime minister of Pakistan. The fate of Pakistan is in your hands. I hope that your recent decisions were not just an attempt to save President Zardari or your highly unpopular government. Hopefully the MQM and PML-N have reminded you of what your priorities should have been in the first place. ...

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Maulana tantrums Part II: PM Gilani’s removal

Our favorite maulana has lost all his patience now. He is demanding that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani be removed. Seriously? This is the same person whose nomination the maulana supported, the same person he praised multiple times, and the same person whom he congratulated on defusing the judicial crisis. And after all that, just because the prime minister used his authority, Maulana Fazlur Rehman wants him to be fired from the job? This brings to light a number of interesting things about how our politics functions. Firstly, people like the maulana hold a huge sway in our political system because they ...

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WikiLeaks 2.0: Full marks for Gilani, Shahbaz strikes out

So far a few hundred cables have been released – this is out of approximately 250,000 that WikiLeaks say will be eventually released. Newspapers, television channels, blog sites and other sources of information and media dissemination are having a field day, both in Pakistan as well as overseas with the wealth of information that has come out. The head of Russia’s intelligence service has said that the cables provide a “treasure trove” of information and that his analysts will go through them in detail. Meanwhile Israel is gloating that its stance on many things is the same, both in public ...

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‘Democracy’ with daddykins

Some of you may have witnessed a flurry of photographs on Facebook some time back boasting the Matrix-like poses of a young fellow of no more than 25, receiving in his words ‘the gun salute and government protocol in Malta.’ Under what authority may I ask? Another bombastic snap provides the answer to the mystery, our hero in tow with the Pakistani High Commissioner to Malta at the Maltese Presidential Palace with the caption reading “aka Dad”! Apparently, the highest positions of our Foreign Office are now decreed under inheritance laws. Father and son on a mission to build the country’s credibility ...

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Does Forbes support dictatorship in Pakistan?

I found this year’s Forbes list of the most powerful people illuminating. Most revealing was the inclusion of General Kayani on the list. The military has always played a role in Pakistan’s politics. Be it the overt martial law regimes or the democratically chosen politicians, it is the army that has the power. We, of course, remain happy in the illusion that we have the power of choice. But the Forbes list is a rapier of piercing light that shreds the magician’s cloth of delusion, shining on the single most important fact for Pakistan – the military is and has always ...

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Gilani’s speech: Meet the obfuscators

On a Sunday night, Prime Minister Gilani came on prime time television at about 8:30 pm to deliver a much-anticipated address to the nation. It contained a half-hour of monotone sentences harkening to a few ‘golden eras’ in our country’s history and was delivered with as much gusto and verve as an anecdote by a comatose Mitch Hedberg. For the first time, we have had the prime minister address the nation while flanked by ‘representatives’ from all the provinces. The simple act of overdoing this show of unity and strength shows that the government has definitely been affected by the ...

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The case for martial law

In any respectable society, a parliamentarian discovered to be holding a fake degree, involved in corruption and mismanagement would resign. In extreme cases, like in Japan, some may even commit suicide to avoid the shame and disgrace. The leader of any political party would remove anyone found guilty. In Pakistan, however, this is not the case. Surprisingly, during the time of these floods, India had to beg us to take aid from them rather than the other way around. So misconceived, in certain ways, is our pride and dignity that we will only take aid from them if they beg us to ...

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A disaster commission that is sure to fail

As the popular Pakistani saying goes ‘If you don’t want anything done, set up a commission to do it.’ I would not be surprised if it turned out that this very saying was the ‘hidden’ agenda behind Nawaz Sharif’s brainwave of setting up an authority to ensure that the incoming aid was actually spent to help the flood victims. Keeping in tune to the renewed vows of ‘walking together’ in these chaotic conditions, the Prime Minister announced the setting up of the National Oversight Disaster Management Council (NODMC) to ensure transparency in distribution of aid for flood victims. The council will ...

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The mathematics of disaster

Can anyone – anyone at all – in this country do some simple math? The Pakistani premier, Yusuf Raza Gilani (whom I imagine all those wonderfully enlightened Zardari-bashers will vote for in the next election, given how badly they wanted someone on the ground, overlooking the relief efforts… what’s that? You don’t vote at all?) has said that 132,000 square kilometers of Pakistani territory has been affected by these floods. According to Wikipedia, Pakistan’s total territory cover 803,940 km-sq. Sixteen percent of our total landmass is currently inundated with water. And that’s just KP and Punjab. By the time that flood hits ...

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