Stories about Naya Pakistan

PTI and the status quo

Every political party uses slogans to expand its membership and to energise its existing base. Some slogans articulate a party’s vision, some summarise its central narrative, while others highlight the steps the party will take once in power. Slogans are a powerful political marketing tool and can be extremely effective if they are catchy and easy to understand. For example, Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” was extremely successful because it was catchy and effectively articulated Trump’s narrative that America had lost its ‘past glory’ and that he was the right person to restore it. In Pakistan, the ...

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Asad Umar – second time lucky?

Political promises are like ephemeral realities. Parties who win the hearts and minds of people do so on the back of the promises they make, and its no surprise that heartbreak generally swiftly follows every new regime. Imran Khan’s government is no different. The economic mess has meant that a lot of people who were vying for change are now running away from it. This is due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, Imran appointed Shabbar Zaidi, the man who showed people ways of saving taxation for a living, as the head of Federal Board of Revenue. Secondly, he made deals with ...

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#CleanPakistan: A plastic ban with no alternatives

Every now and then, Naya Pakistan surprises us from its bag of wonders. Every new policy is a roller-coaster turn. While one is still gasping from the last swirl, the next one is even steeper and more unpredictable. The recent drive to de-plasticise the capital territory is the latest.  Although going plastic-free had been on the cards for some time, its implementation plan seems to have been not. The Ministry of Climate Change announced plans in early August to abolish the manufacture, sale and purchase of plastic bags in the capital. The local administration too announced to make Islamabad plastic-free ...

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Imran-Trump meeting: A step in the right direction on the million-mile journey

Here’s the good news – Imran Khan and Donald Trump’s face-to-face meeting was cordial, to say the least. There was no bromance or physical gestures of affection, which Imran’s Indian counterpart is known for, but all in all, not a bad first step towards normalising relations between the two countries. Considering what happened in November last year – i.e. the Twitter fireworks that essentially tore apart any hope or chances of rapprochement or reconciliation – other than showing a few signs of nervousness, Imran handled the most unpredictable character ever to grace the halls of the White House pretty ...

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Imran Khan wins America

It was a Sunday night and Washington’s large Capital One Arena was packed. But it wasn’t packed for basketball or a music concert; it was 20,000 people who came to listen to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. It was at this moment when on a cultural level, decades of mistrust and bad blood between Pakistan and the United States (US) evaporated. Prior to the formation of Imran’s government, Pakistan’s prime ministers were the kind of people who could only fill large public squares at home by mobilising a network of bribery and patronage. Such politicians could not attract any great ...

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Iftikhar Lund as a human rights advisor is like a wolf drafting a charter on the rights of sheep

From the ashes of World War II rose the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This international instrument granted a special place to the concept of human dignity. Article 1 of the UDHR states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Today, more than a hundred constitutions across the world make some reference to human dignity, either as a right or as a value that the state is to aspire towards. Although there is a wide disagreement about the ...

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Imran Khan is holding everyone accountable, but who will hold him and PTI accountable?

As part of the ongoing ‘Benami’ drive, jump-started by Imran Khan and zealously being carried on by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), assets belonging to several influential bigwigs have been exposed. Be it Nawaz Sharif’s possessions, Asif Ali Zardari’s Omni Group or the illegal properties owned by other leaders, the authorities are probing into the slightest indication of ill-gotten wealth as ordered by PM Imran. In addition to this, bank accounts holding exorbitant amounts are under investigation too. Meanwhile, the salaried class is bearing the brunt in the form of numerous taxes and levies, placed on their property, vehicles ...

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In conversation with President Arif Alvi: ‘Pakistan’s fourth industrial revolution is here’

Dr Arif Alvi is an acquired taste. He isn’t your typical flash in the pan Pakistani politician who rides his 1,000-watt charisma to answer difficult questions. Instead, Alvi is that rare Pakistani leader whose substance overwhelms his style. He quotes ideas from Plato, Maulana Maududi, Karl Marx and Thomas Piketty with equal ease. Even if you’re a resident of his former constituency in Karachi’s Defence area, you might not know that he was shot twice while protesting against Ayub Khan’s military rule. I got the opportunity to interview the president over Eid at the Governor’s House in Karachi. We had ...

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A fruitless Ramazan

The people of Pakistan are finding it incredibly difficult to keep up with the extremely high prices of fruit this Ramazan. Of course, it doesn’t help that they are already bearing the brunt of an economy that appears to be going through its worst phase. The festive occasion of Ramazan, which is followed by Eidul Fitr, has never been particularly kind for the poor or middle classes in Pakistan. Unlike other Islamic countries where Ramazan is a month of ensuring ease for the poorest, the opposite is witnessed in Pakistan, where prices of basic amenities such as wheat, sugar, pulses, ...

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9 times PM Imran Khan made us cringe and laugh our way through ‘Naya Pakistan’

There has hardly been a moment of peace over the past eight months since Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power, given the sheer number of controversies he has caused on a regular basis. Imran is famous for speaking extemporaneously and saying whatever comes to his mind; facts and reason be damned. It doesn’t help that his army of cult followers do not have the ability to think past his persona and move beyond the Kaptaan fan club. But Imran often moves beyond saying controversial things to making statements that are absolutely ridiculous, resulting not only in national embarrassment but also ...

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