Stories about PTI rally

Imran Khan wins America

It was a Sunday night and Washington’s large Capital One Arena was packed. But it wasn’t packed for basketball or a music concert; it was 20,000 people who came to listen to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. It was at this moment when on a cultural level, decades of mistrust and bad blood between Pakistan and the United States (US) evaporated. Prior to the formation of Imran’s government, Pakistan’s prime ministers were the kind of people who could only fill large public squares at home by mobilising a network of bribery and patronage. Such politicians could not attract any great ...

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It’s time Nawaz Sharif realised the importance of women in politics

I am very much a child of the ‘90s. The decade has had a profound impact on my intellectual development and has ended up shaping my political ideology. It was during that time that I started to realise that religious extremism, mistreatment of women, political conservatism, and civil military imbalance were the gravest problems which Pakistan faced. It was during that decade when a string of  incidents involving blasphemy charges shook me to the core and changed me as a person. It was during that time when I began to realise that our mind-set is largely misogynist and our ...

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They call it Taharrush gamea

Author’s note: Islam has nothing to do with taharrush gamea; the act contradicts the teachings of the religion. At the same time, there is no denying where the incidents are taking place, and who the perpetrators are. Denying this out of some misplaced sense of political correctness has only exacerbated the issue. Not surprisingly, the attacks are more sophisticated than a coordinated assault from a pack of hyenas. These are predators after all. The incidents usually take place in the cold black of the night at locations where women are more vulnerable; at the end of an alley, near a tunnel, in ...

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PTI, stampeding its way to democracy?

Imran Khan’s Multan rally, in which seven people died and more than a 100 were left wounded, has Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf hopping mad, as expected. Not only has the party suffered a blow of embarrassment in front of their workers, the incident has also provided the media with enough ammo to criticise the party for their faulty arrangements and planning. The government, apologetic as expected, has immediately put together another one of its bootless, good-for-nothing committees to conduct a more or less useless ‘probe’ into the matter. However, if one just views the situation objectively, despite the culpable reasons such as ...

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Taking a cue from Islamabad: A satire

Good morning. This is Aalia Suleman reporting from Karachi, where the two notorious marches currently in progress in Islamabad have ironically managed to spur off similar vehement sentiments in other areas of the population. It won’t be surprising if similar marches start raising heads all over the country. Currently we are interviewing the leaders of the two grand marches that are staging a sit-in at one of the largest grounds in Karachi, venue of hundreds of marriages every year. Mehrul Jafri (MJ) leads the Azad-Biwi-Tehreek (ABT) while Afreen Khan (AK) chairs the Jahez-Jalao-Tehreek (JJT). Though the mandates of both parties are pretty much ...

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Tahirul Qadri’s increasing popularity

It’s amazing how quickly a leader or an ideology can win over the country’s youth. As I headed to office one fine day, I confronted an excited youth from our neighbourhood who said, “I am going to Lahore to attend a jalsa on December 23!” I was startled. Knowing that the young man had exams coming up, I asked him how he’ll manage the trip. His reply was, “I’ll skip exams. This public gathering by Dr Tahirul Qadri is so much more important.” I drowned into thought. The young man’s enthusiasm reflected that of thousands of people across the country. Several young people ...

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Stop blaming the US and India for our problems!

Last Week, Qazi Hussain Ahmad held America and India responsible for the suicide attack aimed at him. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) took the same stance when the attack on Malala Yousafzai took place.   This may all be well and good, however, a question I would like to pose to them is, “Why would the US and India target both pro-Taliban and anti-Taliban forces in Pakistan?” Many religious parties hold the sentiment that the Taliban are justified for their attacks on the Pakistani security forces because of Pakistani’s involvement in the war on terror. These parties consider the Taliban nationalist as ‘freedom fighters’. To ...

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Columnists vs burger babies: And the winner is…

Imran Khan and the PTI’s ‘tsunami’ are both ever present in today’s online, print and social media society in Pakistan. Views vary but it is two groups in particular that I will speak about in my post today. On one hand, you have Pakistan’s regular columnists who heavily criticise the Tehreek-e-Insaf, and on the other, you have PTI Facebook fans and Twitterati – the newly politicised urban youth or famously titled ‘burger-baby revolutionaries’ that support and defend the party. I don’t want to generalise, so just to be clear when I say columnists, it includes a newspaper regular who has ...

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PTI & PML-N: Saviours of justice or a national joke?

There is never a dull moment in the land of the pure. We have a special knack to turn even solemn things into national jokes. A few leading political parties of the country have tried to hoodwink gullible people by posing to be ‘saviours of the judiciary.’ Unfortunately, they have been doing so with complete impunity and have, so far, remained successful in their designs. The PPP-led coalition government has also been accused of hatching conspiracies against the independence of the judiciary. This spectacle began on January 19, 2012 when Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani appeared before the Supreme Court in a ...

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PTI rally: Sights, sounds, observations from Karachi

Participating in the PTI jalsa on Sunday was a transformational experience for me. Originally, I did not plan to attend the rally because I didn’t agree with everything Imran Khan has to say, and felt his policy platform was too vague. Plus, there was a small chance that a bomb might go off, or something else would go wrong – it’s Karachi after all. The tipping point came when Imran Khan positioned this rally as an opportunity to usher a new era of peaceful politics in Karachi. Sitting with friends the night before the rally, we made an impulse decision to attend. “You’ll tell your grandchildren that you were ...

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