Stories about politics

Trump’s bullying tactics will not work with Iran

Iran, it seems, is undergoing an internal change – one which neither America nor any other nation can alter; as evidenced by the fact that Faezeh Hashemi, political activist and daughter of one of the founders of Islamic Republic of Iran, stated that, “In my opinion, the collapse of legitimacy has already happened, and only a physical collapse has not happened, and chances are high that this will happen.” Her words echo the tumultuous period Iran has had to endure over the past year due to persistent protests which have taken place against the Iranian regime, and the crackdown which has ...

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Should Faisal Vawda be given the boot for his eccentric antics?

Just when you think Pakistan’s politics could not get any more embarrassing, some politician will decide to surprise you by stooping to a new low. Recently, Faisal Vawda, the federal minister for water resources decided to place a military style boot on the table during a political talk show in an attempt to theatrically mock the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Admittedly, politics does involve a certain degree of theatrics the world over, but in Pakistan, it is purely melodramatic. Issues of genuine significance are rarely discussed and most politicians do little more than point fingers, accusing each other of being ...

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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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In conversation with Zulfi Bukhari: “My loyalty to my country is questioned daily”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfi Bukhari is a man on an unstoppable mission when it comes to fighting for Pakistanis living overseas, and the fight is fuelled by his own personal struggle. I was able to recently catch up with Bukhari for an exclusive interview at his residence in Islamabad, where he shared that his nationality was still questioned and said, “People still question whether I’m even Pakistani or not. I’ve been called a ghaddar, an MI Agent, Mossad and what not. My first piece of advice for overseas Pakistanis who want to serve ...

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Has dynastic politics damaged democracy in Pakistan?

Strong electoral competition is imperative for a functioning democracy and it only increases if every individual has an equal right to contest and participate in politics. Theoretically and constitutionally, this right exists for every citizen, however, practically, this may not be the case. Among other socio-economic and political factors, the presence of dynasties in politics serves as an impediment in the quest for increased electoral competition. Political dynasties undermine the right of an individual to contest in an election on equal footing with other candidates. Dynastic politics is palpable across sectors, strata, and classes in rural and urban Pakistan. ...

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Should we pretend to be surprised at Zardari’s release?

Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supremo, Asif Ali Zardari has been granted bail by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). A two member bench of the IHC, which comprised of Justice Athar Minhullah and Justice Amir Farooq, granted bail to Zardari on medical grounds. Zardari, who was taken into custody by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) earlier in July, had already been admitted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences previously where he was under treatment for diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Zardari’s bail did not come as a surprise, especially after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was given bail on ...

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Cyber warfare or ‘How to win a war without fighting’

Sun Tzu’s first rule in his famous treatise ‘The Art of War’ was to win, if possible, without fighting at all. Since his time, warfare has evolved through many generations – where first generation warfare saw brave generals and their forces fight face to face in pitched battles, second generation warfare ushered in the age of indirect fire and combat between adversaries who could not even see each other. The second generation morphed into the third generation as adversaries attempted to infiltrate each other’s lines to create havoc among their counterparts’ ranks, and it then gave way to fourth ...

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Communism’s love-hate relationship with Pakistan

A sizable amount of literature suggests that the Left supported the Pakistan Movement. However, a deeper reading into the politics of the Left in the crucial last decade of the British Raj reveals a far more complex situation. In 1936, three young communists, namely ZA Ahmad, Sajjad Zaheer and Kunwar Muhammad Ashraf, upon the alleged instructions of the Communist Party of India (CPI) [1], joined the All India Congress Committee under Nehru’s presidency. Nehru had initiated the Muslim Mass-contact Programme (MMCP) to increase the Muslim members of Congress and had placed it under KM Ashraf. He and his two ...

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A visiting Indian delegation opened my mind and heart

When all eyes were on Kartarpur Corridor’s landmark inauguration scheduled for November 9, a day before the main event (on November 8), a group of Indian journalists crossed into Pakistan via the Wagah Border. They were in Lahore to attend the opening ceremony of the corridor ahead of the 550th birthday of Baba Guru Nanak on November 12. Baba Guru Nanak is also respected among the Muslims of Pakistan because of his teachings on humanism and unity, and against separatism and barbarism.I was the part of a team tasked with hosting the Indian journalist delegation and it was a riveting experience ...

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Modi was all set to win the upcoming elections. Enters Priyanka Gandhi

Politics is the prisoner of context and timing. The entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into mainstream politics in India comes at a time when Indian politics senses a new opportunity that is beyond the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the main opposition Congress winning three important regional elections recently, the party sees a beginning of a new momentum which has been missing ever since its worst ever performance in the last General Elections in 2014. The victory in the regional elections consolidates the positions of the party president, Rahul Gandhi, and also heralds him as a prominent face of the ...

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