Stories about NRO

Can Maryam Nawaz and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi break PML-N out of its shackles?

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has finally realised that it will reach nowhere if it keeps riding two boats at the same time. The current changes in the ranks of the PML-N, as well as removing Shehbaz Sharif from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairmanship, are all signs that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has learnt from the mistakes of the past two years and a new dawn is coming for PML-N. Shehbaz was against his brother’s ‘respect the vote’ narrative from the start, and had an approach similar to Chaudhry Nisar, as they both favoured working towards maintaining the ...

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While PML-N, PPP drown in accountability and PTI figure out how to run the country, TLP fills the vacuum

Ever since his release from jail, Nawaz Sharif has been visibly absent from the political arena. He is seemingly cautious while talking to the media, his tone is softer, the victimisation narrative is no longer brought up, while he also does not delve into his plans for the future, or that of his party. A similar change can be witnessed in his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, who has practically disappeared from the limelight. Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif is under the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), battling for political survival by defending himself on all the charges levelled against him ...

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Sharmila Farooqi’s Disney wedding and Pakistan’s plight

The coverage of Sharmila Farooqi’s nuptials on national media and the hype associated with it had all the hallmarks relevant for a royal fairy tale wedding. The glorification of the ceremony, pictures of opulence and extravagance, and a happy couple starting a new phase – the event represented everything good in life. Unfortunately, these were pictures of beautiful dresses and lavish feasts set in the backdrop of an impoverished country. Photo: Aysha Saleem This is not the first political wedding on which the national media went gaga. A couple of months ago, we had the Imran and Reham Khan wedding madness, that ...

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I do not support PAT, PTI or the government

The scenes shown on television Saturday night were nothing short of shameful, disappointing and uncivilised for a nation like Pakistan. Unconsciously, I was continuously comparing the events of that night with the horrors shown in The Purge, a movie about a night when laws cease to exist. Surely, we did not deserve that as a nation. Or did we, by blindly following egotistical leaders with a thirst for power without realising the true purpose of democracy? I do not agree with the fiery rhetoric of the protestors nor do I agree with the blunt attitude of the government. There was no need to ...

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Musharraf returns: Give the devil his due!

The former dictator is back, and this time, he is not wearing his uniform. I seriously do not know what our dear Commando is up to; do I hear anyone chanting “Pervez Musharraf Zindabad”? A very small number of people, gathered outside Karachi airport to welcome Musharraf upon his return and this did not portray the entirely rosy picture he had painted for himself. As expected, and rightly so, the government had cancelled the congregation that was to greet Musharraf at his arrival and I think that bit of reality served him well. However, his return has made me recall the ...

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The return of Musharraf

General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is all set to return to Pakistan by March 24. Listening to the numerous interviews being broadcast on Pakistani channels, one gets the impression that he fervently believes he will don his shining armour, mount his white steed and ride into the country to save it. However, does he ever once pause in his righteous declarations to ask the question: does Pakistan want him back? When Musharraf left Pakistan, it was considered a win for the democratic forces in the country, a country stunned and reeling from his draconian measures. The NRO and the suspension of the chief ...

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Imran Khan’s strategy: End corruption

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf  leader Imran Khan has pledged in his political manifesto to eliminate major corruption in Pakistan within his first 90 days as prime minister. This is a tall order and was being derided by Nawaz Sharif yesterday as impractical and naive. Despite his tenure in office, Sharif has failed to understand the different modes and echelons of corruption in Pakistan. Khan intends to target specific government level corruption which is most damaging in a series of enforceable reforms based on forceful transparency and assertive accountability. Imran Khan is right to see the fight against corruption as a priority and instead of criticism ...

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Corruption farce?

The present era is being called the age of corruption by many in Pakistan. Ranging from the National Reconciliation Ordinance to the growing allegations of corruption within state institutions, the perception of the current regime being highly corrupt has solidified. Despite its dominance in popular discourse, there has been little effort made to understand the global political context in which the anti-corruption rhetoric has developed. It is essential for Pakistanis to understand where the anti-corruption slogan is coming from. Ivan Krastev in his 2004 book titled Shifting obsessions: three essays on the politics of anti-corruption, writes: “It was the new anti-corruption rhetoric ...

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The president’s immunity

The question of whether President Asif Ali Zardari enjoys immunity against criminal or civil proceedings requires an analysis of Article 248 of the Constitution. This states that: Article 248 (1) : The president shall not be answerable to any court….for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions. The article goes on to state that: Article 248 (2): No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the president or a governor in any court during his term of office. Article 248(3): No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the ...

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Why democracy should stay

Pakistan’s administrative setup was modeled after the British system: an elected legislative assembly was to give form to an executive government headed by the prime minister. The president was to hold a symbolic role while the judiciary was set to be independent. It remains a reality that despite the narrow scope in the electorate, Pakistan was a product of democracy, and will only thrive and succeed if it is democratic in structure and spirit. The continuous hampering course that Pakistan is passing through is not helping it become a truly democratic nation which can grow strong economically and deliver welfare to ...

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