Stories about President

From Fatima Jinnah to Nasira Iqbal: Can Pakistan make the choice 53 years later?

The first woman to run for Pakistan’s presidential elections did so in 1965, and it was Fatima Jinnah versus Ayub Khan. The latter swept the elections and was sworn in as president. That was 53 years ago. Now, 53 years later, is Pakistan ready to make history and elect the first woman president of the country? Recently, social media was rife with speculation that Justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal, a Pakistani jurist and law professor who served as a justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) for eight years until 2002, was being considered for the office of the President of Pakistan. ...

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The Turkish Republic, as we know it, is dead

In perhaps the most important election of the past two decades, Turkey has given its verdict, electing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the president and also giving his party, Justice and Development Party (AKP), who fought the elections in coalition with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a majority in the Parliament. President Erdogan called an early election because he was expecting to win at this time, and therefore, wanted to use the opportunity to consolidate his presidency, which after last year’s referendum had become an extremely powerful post. Just to reiterate that presidency after the referendum is no longer a ceremonial post but gives ...

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Will Hillary Clinton be another George Bush? Probably!

Donald Trump’s heavy tread has swept the path clear for liberals of all stripes to present or reinforce their creds by giving him a sustained, collective bashing. While he has succeeded in getting all guns to turn on him, his gleeful opponent seems to be getting off scot-free. It is perhaps time to wonder what sort of president Hillary might be, if elected. Unless Donald pulls a last-minute rabbit out of his ear, Hillary is liable to return to the White House, this time on the arm of the First Gentleman whose dubious comportment record will always haunt the ...

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Mr Nawaz Sharif, you should not be the foreign minister of Pakistan

Since a foreign minister represents his or her country at all international conferences, he or she has to be highly educated. Sometimes a very experienced diplomat is appointed as foreign minister, at other times a popular politician is selected. Pakistan, being a nuclear armed state with plenty of problems of its own, is in urgent need of a foreign minister. But at present, it is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (NS) who is doubling as the foreign minister of the country. We have had some very good foreign ministers, one of them being Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, the longest serving foreign minister of the country. Besides being a retired general, ...

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Will the Judicial Commission be the answer to Imran Khan’s prayers?

With the formation of a Judicial Commission (JC), the ball is now in the Supreme Court’s court. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had reached an agreement over PTI’s longstanding demand of establishing a JC to probe into rigging allegations pertaining to general elections held in 2013. Although it may seem like a victory for PTI, it may turn out to be anything but that. The news of PML-N giving in and agreeing to form a commission as per PTI’s demands implies that the see-saw has tilted Imran Khan’s way. But a thorough perusal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the parties, and the consequent General Elections 2013 Inquiry Commission ...

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In Pakistan, the #VIPCulture has to go

Commuting in metropolitan cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad often bestows upon you the unforgettable experience of being reminded how ‘ordinary’ you are. You may only use the road when it isn’t being used by a Very Important Person (VIP). When a policeman raises his hand or puts a picket to stop you, he may only be saying ‘stop and wait’ but what you actually hear is, “Wait, you ordinary, worthless citizen! Your time, life and business are of no value. Wait while the all-important VIP passes”. It is quite similar to how when kings and queens passed through markets and ...

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Musharraf: Free to leave the country?

After nearly six months of being in a sub-jail (read, residing comfortably in his Chak Shazad Farmhouse), former President and General (retired) Pervez Musharraf is finally free. His sub-jail was de-notified upon submission of merely two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each. Many believe that much like his arrest, his release is part of a script. The arrest, notification of the farmhouse as a sub-jail and speedy justice delivered at the doorstep of the former president, is a deviation from the past actions and attitudes of the higher judiciary that gave no such concessions to the likes of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. However, there ...

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Mr Asif Ali Zardari, you have done it!

September 8, 2013 is a day for both history and headlines in Pakistan. A historically unprecedented and smooth transfer of presidential power has taken place in our constitutional and political history. There has been no coup d’état by a general, no declaration of emergency, no suspension, abrogation or subversion of the constitution and no declaration of a fifth martial law in the country. A democratically elected head of state has completed his full term and has vacated the office in line with the theory and practice of constitutional provisions. All the headlines emanating from former president Asif Ali Zardari’s completion ...

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Celebrating 95 years: Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela. Having lived in Zimbabwe as part of larger Southern African community for more than a year or so, I have found that you cannot remain untouched by the magic of Madiba. Probably one of the most influential icons of African history and a sparkling star of our times, Nelson Mandela is fighting the ultimate battle for his life today, physically. However, his legacy will remain as ...

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Michelle Obama is more than just a dress

Yes I admit, after spending eight hours at a news desk in Pakistan, I curled up in front of my laptop –to follow more political theatre – in this case President Barack Hussein Obama’s (BO) second inauguration. Since The Guardian does great ‘live text’, embedded with videos, tweets, and (to-be) memes, that’s where I was keeping up with the Obamas. I realised as I scrolled down The Guardian ‘As it happened’ page to the am (Eastern Time) posts, ‘what the First lady of the United States wore’ was getting ink. No details of what the President of the United States ...

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