Stories about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

I fought terrorism last weekend, what did you do?

I promise this blog will not bash Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). My stance on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is extremely straightforward. I strongly feel there is no room for negotiations because there is simply no middle ground. There is nowhere that the TTP can be met halfway. They have two very clear demands – Pakistan must break off all relations with the United States and Pakistan must accept their version of Shariah law. The first demand might be a matter of foreign policy, but the second is a matter of lunacy. How would these negotiations even go about? What we can do is ban ...

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Were Pakistan’s 2013 elections really rigged?

13 months on, and the issue of electoral rigging is still alive and well. Many of us wish this were not so; that Imran Khan would just give it a rest and get on with his parliamentary duties rather than taking his band of merry men town to town, stirring up the same issue like a broken record. Quite a few also suspect that the purpose of his actions may not simply be the pursuit of justice or even electoral reform. For them, it seems quite logical to assume darker motives. Such speculation is eminently justified given the events currently unfolding in ...

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Khan sahib and the PTI cheer leading squad

In the political rhetoric of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), analyses of class and institutions are conspicuous by their absence. PTI has simplified the complex political-economic debate into the good-guys-versus-bad-guys anecdote.  In PTI’s dictionary, good guys are those who are ‘honest’ and bad guys are those who do ‘corruption’ as pastime; all the trouble in which Pakistan finds itself today is because ‘bad’ guys rule the country. And PTI is very clear on this – bad guys are either from PML-N or PPP, period. PTI loves to note that the hereditary chain of command in the power structure of the major political parties’ namely, the PPP ...

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When giants come to play

The whole council was meeting today in the Parliament house, major leaders from  Pakistani Awami Tehreek, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Pakistan Muslim League- Q were present in a large brightly lit conference room, which was dominated by a huge mahogany table in the middle. It could seat 20 people; Qadri had taken up the chair at the head while Khan Sahab occupied the chair on the other side and in the middle sat, the Chaudhry brothers, quite strategically. Barely a couple of days had passed since their momentous victory in the elections; no one could challenge this bullet proof coalition. They swarmed into Islamabad in their containers ...

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Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri and Sheikh Rasheed: Recipe for disaster?

In January 2013, Dr Tahirul Qadri, author of a renowned fatwa against terrorism, held Pakistan’s capital hostage for several days while making a categorical litany of demands that had to be met within 15 minutes by the government “or else”. It was a four-day-long drama but the crowd of 25,000-60,000 remained remarkably peaceful. A similar carnival is coming to town again. This time not only does it feature Dr Qadri and his followers, but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shiekh Rasheed and the Jamaat-e-Islaami’s (JI) alliance as well. It’s a peculiar bunch but that is often what makes the carnival more appealing – one ...

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Déjà vu! Are the 2014 elections in India a replica of the 2013 elections in Pakistan?

In India, the election fever is in full swing these days. All the major political parties are busy, day and night, with their election campaigns. Amid all this rush, we see a blame game being played – something which is very common in any country’s politics. As they say, it is easy to point out others’ mistakes than finding your own faults. And these political parties seem to follow this idea vehemently. Almost a year ago, the same situation was present here, in Pakistan, during the 2013 general election proceedings. We had the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as the major ...

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Governments should encourage sports, not sports festivals

While the world develops sports through long term planning and investment, in Pakistan, it is still stuck within an outdated system – a system where everything is done to boost the government’s reputation, much like a communist state. This system has become more evident nowadays, with provincial governments taking it to next level to prop up their image and use sports as a propaganda tool. Sport, like many other important issues of this country – health and education, for instance – have been made provincial subjects under the landmark 18th Amendment. Since then onwards, sports has seen a steady decline at national level ...

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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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DI Khan prison break: Is the PTI to blame?

In lieu of the Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan) Central Prison attack, the media mounted one of its own. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came under strong criticism for its failure to initially prevent, and then contain the incident. Prominent MQM politicians, for example, took to social media to openly question the whereabouts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak as the fight between the militants and the security forces raged on. Meanwhile, PTI leader Imran Khan found his hands tied in a different issue altogether – that of Ayla Malik’s fake degree. It was disappointing to see both Imran Khan and ...

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Attack on tourists: Yes, you condemn, but what’s next, dear leaders?

We were just coming to terms with the blast that wrecked a student bus in Quetta and the bomb that destroyed the Ziarat Residency. Then, news broke that up in the northern most part of the country, 10 foreign mountaineers – belonging to Ukraine, China, Russia and the United States – have been shot dead in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  One cannot help sounding downright pessimistic when the subject of Pakistan is broached these days. We have become a country that has no dearth of news that horrifies the world; a country that is capable of producing a shocking ...

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