Stories about PTI

Pakistan can’t afford a political crisis during a pandemic

Within a fragile and deceptively undulating ‘democratic’ landscape, politics and politicians in Pakistan have consistently maintained a rather adversarial character. In fact, at any given point in the erratic democratic history of the country, all leading national political parties have shown their tenacious adherence to adversarial politics. Perhaps, this is the only kind of mainstream politicking that party leaders are capable of doing in Pakistan. What unraveled in the wake of COVID-19 crisis was no different, a severely adamant inability of the country’s political leadership to conduct consensual politics. Spain or Senegal, no matter how rich or poor the economy, presently ...

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What someone with a disability wants Fayyaz Chohan to know

Savoyard philosopher, Joseph de Maistre has been quoted, saying, “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” Indeed, leaders do mirror the qualities of a nation. The intellect, gestures and mannerisms of men and women in power reflect a nation’s character and so, the civility of Pakistani society may be judged by the problematic mindset of a spokesperson that is supposed to represent the country’s most populous province. The subsequent apathetic response by the state also speaks volumes about the polluted ethos that characterises certain sections of our society. Thus, in light of the aforementioned sad state of affairs, I felt obliged to express ...

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Sindh coronavirus lockdown: The unfamiliar sight of leaders, leading

We often see the chicken and the egg problem in political systems; chronically bad leaders and a cynical populace coexist in mutual contempt. In this scenario, if a leader tries to do good, the population is ill-equipped to recognise it because, like a snarling, abused street dog, it has known only ill treatment and neglect. Such has been the case in Karachi during the recent weeks. Unused to leaders leading or, indeed, fulfilling even the basic requirements of governance, Karachiites have been treated to the unfamiliar sight of the Sindh government taking proactive measures against the COVID-19 menace. From the prescient decision ...

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The case for Imran Khan’s coronavirus speech

In most of my conversations about the political state of affairs in Pakistan, the consensus is often on two topics: a) critique of the performance of the Imran Khan-led government over the past few months, and b) an appreciation for Khan’s oratory skills after most, if not all, broadcasted speeches. In an age of populist politics, political divisiveness, online echo-chambers, there are few global leaders who have the unique capability to make people listen to them beyond the divides of politics, class, and religion. After listening to his speeches, I often go online and find people mentioning how they fall ...

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Lessons Pakistan should learn from America amidst the coronavirus panic buying

A few weeks ago, when the coronavirus was largely affecting mainland China, a friend of mine called me from Pakistan and complained about the sudden shortage of face-masks in Pakistan. He said, “We are a completely uncivilised society with no regard for any ethics or morals. You are lucky that you live in a morally upright nation (America).” At the time, I agreed with his assertion and thought that I could easily compare the two societies since I have spent a considerable amount of time in both the countries. Most of my personal as well as professional life was spent in ...

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Dissecting the political future of PML-N

It is naturally impossible to speculate upon what the future holds for the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) if one is first unable to understand the history of the party. PML-N was founded by Nawaz Sharif, a Punjabi businessman turned politician, who gained popularity in Punjab in the 1980s during the dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq. His loyalty to Zia resulted in Sharif being appointed the chief minister of Punjab after the non-party elections of 1985. After the demise of Zia, Sharif fought in the elections on the platform of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), and in 1990 he managed to become ...

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Dissecting the political future of PPP

Democracy in Pakistan has never been allowed to flourish and has always been subject to direct and indirect military interventions. The graves of former prime ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, and those of their family members buried at Garhi Khuda Baksh, are a testament to the price which the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has paid for taking a stand against the powers that be. However, since the demise of Benazir, the PPP, which once enjoyed a strong vote bank in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), is not doing so well there during the recent elections. It seems that PPP has now only been limited to the province ...

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Did Maulana Fazlur Rehman commit treason?

An allegation of treason should not be made lightly. Especially not by the prime minister of a country against a political opponent. It takes away from the gravity of the only criminal offence proscribed in the Constitution of Pakistan. It also equates a political opponent with this country’s rogues’ gallery of past authoritarian rulers. But most importantly, throwing around an allegation of treason against politicians critical of the ruling party delegitimises another part of the Constitution: the part that guarantees the freedom of speech. All these factors should have been weighed by Prime Minister Imran Khan before he expressed his desire ...

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The Musharraf verdict: Of spin doctors and legalities

The doctrine of necessity refuses to go away.  It is something of an  extra constitutional anomaly which acts as a panacea for a whole host of unconstitutional acts and illegalities. Wherever logic fails, this doctrine comes to the fore. It gives legitimacy to unconstitutional acts, allowing the judiciary to compromise with the deep state in order to surrender institutional independence. Chief Justice Muhammad Munir sowed the seeds of this notorious doctrine in the Molvi Tameez-ud-Din case when he ruled that it was the governor general who was sovereign, not the general assembly and ever since then, it has deeply rooted itself in ...

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An in-house change will not solve the problems Pakistan is facing

The winds of change have started blowing in the power corridors of Pakistan. We recently saw how the main opposition parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), compromised on their so-called ideologies when the matter of giving Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa an extension was presented in the assembly. Evidently, PML-N and PPP have been trying to mend fences with the powers that be, and it seems that under Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N is ready to present itself as the new ‘King’s party’. Given the economic turmoil burdening the incumbent government, and the fact that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) does ...

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