Stories about leaders

The well-remembered Gandhi, but the oft-forgotten Bacha Khan

When we look back at our history, almost every country in the world has experienced some form of foreign occupation, colonisation, massive violence and bloodshed simply based on either regional, religious, ethnic, or racial conflict. And while most of the leaders, who’ve led such warfare and occupations, have been violent and tyrannical, there have also been a few, very few, leaders who have gone against the status quo, and only believed in and promoted non-violence. These exceptional leaders have hailed from all over the world, of which some prominent examples include Baha’u’llah from Persia, Martin Luther King Jr from America, the Dalai Lama from Tibet, Nelson Mandela from ...

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Been there, done that: How ‘Naya’ will Naya Pakistan be anyway?

Can big names and old faces bring a revolution and change the system or are they just another step towards decadence? This question needs to be asked about the leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) trying to win ‘freedom’ for the people of Pakistan and who are also, directly or indirectly, equally responsible for the current condition the people are in. PTI’s top leadership is notorious for jumping parties, and loyalties, but the party has yet to deliver what it has promised to the masses – even after governing a province for the past 14 months. Most people lost hope when many old ...

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My leader can do no wrong

The air is ripe with the smell of revolution, amongst other more pungent smells, in the Red Zone of Pakistan’s capital. The Parliament and PM House remain under siege by a large number of supporters of both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri. In competition, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has rallied its troops across the country for a show of strength. Protestors, on all sides, adamantly seem to believe that their respective leader holds the key which will change the fortune of this country. It is only a matter of time, some believe, that Imran or Qadri will end the rule of the corrupt ...

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An open letter to Imran Khan

Respected Sir, Of all the leaders in the Pakistan today, we see you as having one thing in common with Quaid-e-Azam; purity in intention. We don’t want Quaid-e-Azam’s image to be a mere wall hanging, but a symbol of the true ‘Azadi’ that he and our ancestors strived for. The freedom they intended to gain encompasses all that we Pakistanis need today. And this is enough for us to believe, once again, in faith, discipline and unity; the three roads that together will not only lead to the rebirth of a country, but a nation: Pakistan. The Quaid did not overrule his decisions based on the overpowering ...

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We should have seen it coming…

In hindsight, I suppose we should have seen it coming. Karachi had been a great city, once called the Queen of the East, but for a long time now it had become unlivable, given the daily killings, terrorist attacks, the rampant looting of pedestrians and motorists by armed gangs. We should have seen it coming. The city was the most highly taxed in the country, but no one knew what happened to the hard-earned money we gave as tax. It was widely believed, though, that our corrupt rulers were siphoning away most of the budget amount into their foreign ...

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Is Nawaz Sharif doomed to repeat history?

A wise man once said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” But the tragedy here is that our rulers have been completely blinded by power and they are repeating the same mistakes over and over again. What was supposed to be a democracy is beginning to look like an anarchical dynasty. They have ignored the basic facts of history which occurred not too long ago. In this regard, there are two sets of dates that I would like to draw your attention to: June 19, 1992 versus June 17, 2014 – state terrorism On June 19, 1992, a clean-up operation was launched ...

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The South Korean president did not ‘condemn’ the ferry accident, she apologised for it

About a month and a half ago, a group of students and teachers left their school for a field trip; hundreds of excited students were part of this trip, they were headed to a popular island resort at Jeju. However, when they returned, the group was short of 300 people, mostly students – students who had drowned at sea. Yes, I am talking about the South Korean ferry accident that took place on April 16, 2014, when a 6,825-tonne Sewol, with 476 people on board, sank near the country’s southern coast. Can you even imagine the loss the parents of those children must ...

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Will Sharif be able to follow Mahathir and Erdogan?

As I read some of the statements made by the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan, and the reactions following them, a feeling of deja vu overcame me. Haven’t I heard (all) this before? In the late 1990s, the former prime minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was facing an Asian financial crisis. Just like Erdogan is doing now, he blamed the West, the Jews and the currency speculators for the crisis and thus, restricted people’s right to freedom. Unsurprisingly, he was also accused of being authoritarian, anti-Semitic and a propagator of far-fetched but dangerous conspiracy theories. But these are not the only similarities between the two prime ...

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Advani’s predicament: Has BJP become a one-man party?

The way the Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) old stager Lal Krishna Advani and other senior leaders have been left out in the cold, in the run-up to the 2014 general elections, and meted out with a shabby treatment by Narendra Modi and his obsequious, lackey followers, reminds me of the case of the cuckoo. For those who are not aware of what a cuckoo is, it’s a medium sized, slender bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. For instance, let’s assume that a cuckoo has laid an egg in the nest of a hedge-sparrow. When the egg hatches, the sparrow feeds the ...

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The Aam Admi Party: An Indian version of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf?

Politics between India and Pakistan have essentially been dominated by upper-class families, feudal lords and tribes. These politicians have a history of dividing the public on the basis of religion, ethnicity and class. Since the creation of both countries, we have witnessed the politics of hatred against people of other ideologies, religions and ethnicities. It is quite apparent that both countries are not running on the principles set by their founders, Quaid-e-Azam and Mahatma Gandhi. Both these great leaders dreamt of a state in which all citizens would be treated equally without any discrimination on the basis of colour, caste, class and religion. Even ...

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