Stories about Pakistani politics

Remembering Saghar Siddiqui: The maverick who poetically bared corruption and opportunism

Today marks the 44th death anniversary of maverick Pakistani poet Saghar Siddiqui, who died from an overdose of morphine on the streets of Lahore, the city where he found a home after migrating from India to Pakistan in 1947. He was only six years short of turning 50, joining the ranks of legends such as Asrarul Haq Majaz, Saadat Hasan Manto, Miraji and Mustafa Zaidi, who were equally consumed by the callousness and opportunism of a predatory system. Had Saghar lived longer, I have no doubt he would have been as popular among the youth of Pakistan as Jaun Elia ...

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Why an alliance with PTI will prove to be detrimental for MQM

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about the possibility of an alliance between the Muttahida Quami Movement – that is now divided into MQM-Pakistan (MQM-P) and MQM-London (MQM-L) – and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at a federal level. Furthermore, this alliance is allegedly to replace the current opposition leader, Khursheed Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), with someone nominated by PTI. It is said that all politics are realpolitik and eventually realist concerns dictate what political parties actually do. PTI and MQM, given their history of intense confrontation, would prove this saying true if this alliance materialises. Both the parties have been clashing ...

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Is Singapore turning into Pakistan with its uncontested and undemocratic election of Halima Yacob?

Halima Yacob, a former advocate of women rights, of psychological health and senior citizens, and the speaker of the Parliament of Singapore, was recently sworn in as the first female president of Singapore. Her election may be a milestone for Singaporean women, but nothing more. The Singaporean government curtailed the presidency criteria, which authorised Yacob as the most befitting candidate for presidency. Her selection met with social media outrage that is justified due to the fact that it was a uncontested election. come on. only Halimah received the eligibility certificate. did you guys have to make it THAT obvious? #NOTMYPRESIDENT — Edward C. Yong ن (@infernoxv) September 11, ...

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If the basis of PML-N’s unwavering support is blind devotion, would reason even matter at all?

An impeached prime minister, an overjoyed opponent, scandal relishing media outlets and 197 million whispering spectators – welcome to Pakistani politics. Every day here is better than your average soap opera and provides fodder for your next gossip session. Don’t get me wrong. I am highly sensitive to the ‘delicate junction in history our beloved country currently stands at’. However, I cannot help but question how much we needed to sacrifice in order to get here and if it could have been done any other way. Why do some nations only need the fall of confederate statues to trigger a movement, whereas others have human bodies falling every ...

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Bhutto to Bhutto, Sharif to Sharif: This is Pakistan and blood (nepotism) is thicker than water (meritocracy)

“Tum kitnay Bhutto maro ge? Har ghar say Bhutto niklay ga.” (How many Bhuttos will you kill? A Bhutto will come out of every house). Truer words may have never been spoken. After Benazir Bhutto’s untimely demise in 2007, political analysts feared the Bhutto legacy and lineage may be severed for good. But lo and behold, we saw Bilawal Bhutto Zardari emerge from the shadows and pushed to the forefront of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Party stalwarts may never have imagined the English-speaking, Oxford graduate to take up a position which may very well have been better suited for someone more ...

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Fighting mud with mud will only make you dirty, Imran Khan

The past two weeks have been a virtual dreamscape for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan. With the exception of concerns over foreign donations to his party that have raised some questions about disqualification, controversy has mostly evaded Imran. But on the other hand, controversy has plagued his political opponent Nawaz Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Most of the scandal, in some way, originates from the Panama case. In May, prominent PML-N leader Nehal Hashmi threatened the joint investigation team (JIT) mandated by the Supreme Court to investigate Nawaz’s financial holdings, culminating in his (short lived) resignation. Significant criticism has also been directed at the inconsistent answers given at hearings and in ...

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It wasn’t state facilitation but years of political neglect that turned FATA into an extremist stronghold

Whilst our civilian rulers have borne significant calumny for their dismal governance since the return of the democratic regime in 2008, there remain some feathers in the cap they can yet point to when juxtaposed with their military counterparts. Take the 18th Constitutional amendment for example. Since independence, successive military regimes have sought to consolidate power in the centre, perpetrating a phantom federation which in turn fuelled discontent and separatist-ism throughout the smaller provinces. The unitary propensity of the establishment also played a vital role in the East Pakistan debacle in 1971. The 18th amendment represented a break from this past, bringing about an inclusive administrative system by ...

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Jemima Goldsmith loves Pakistan more than many of us, even Imran Khan

Jemima Goldsmith recently tweeted that she found documents which would prove Imran Khan’s innocence in court regarding the purchase of his Bani Gala residence. The media has been gripped by this tweet and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) fans are ecstatic. On social media, they are raving about Jemima and her loyalty to the great Imran. Finally tracked down 15 yr old bank statements to prove Imran Khan money trail/ innocence in court. Now please go after the real crooks… — Jemima Goldsmith (@Jemima_Khan) June 1, 2017 What’s great about this tweet is not only the fact that it revealed proof to vindicate Imran and showed Jemima’s loyalty to him, but more ...

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Our greatest sin: Letting our founder die in vain

The shape taken by Pakistani politics over the past few decades serves as an indication of the coming times. I have no qualms about the fact that the young heirs of the political families, currently in the phase of growth, will be the ones forming the government in the future. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan were among the most prominent politicians of their time but they cannot be viewed in the same light as the conventional Pakistani politicians. Even comparing them to their successors or the present day political elites makes them sound like a species of some kind that did ...

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The women molested were your responsibility, Khan Sahib, and you fed them to the wolves

Dear Imran Khan, I write to you today, not as a woman, but as one of those supporters who, whilst having issues with your ideology, had belief in your ability to unite the nation. You are one of the few leaders the nation believed in and idolised for being vocal about equal rights for all. Women, in this misogynistic society, needed a leader like you to stand up for their rights. But disturbing events have started to occur. While on one hand, you talk about women empowerment and equal rights for every individual, your female supporters are still being harassed and physically abused, as was seen in your ...

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