Stories about PTI

PTI and the confederacy of dunces

I remember watching an interview of Hassan Nisar, an ardent supporter of Imran Khan, in early December 2018, when the PTI government was still in its relative infancy. In the video, Nisar, while lamenting the poor performance of the government, pleaded with the ministers to at least stay quiet on social and electronic media and keep their public profile low. He was visibly irked due to a bevy of irresponsible statements and several other blunders made by a long list of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers. A few months later, Mohmmad Hanif, renowned Pakistani novelist and columnist, wrote that the provision of constant entertainment ...

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The problem with Munir Akram’s UN appointment

While Munir Akram officially taking over as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) on Friday did make headlines, a petition filed in the Sindh High Court against him did not, quietly slipping through the cracks. After Maleeha Lodhi announced her departure, the appointment of Akram was met with muted applause for several reasons. It was argued that Akram had already served as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN during Pervez Musharraf’s regime and that his return would only herald in more of the same polices. The bringing back of the old vanguard and a failure to bring something new ...

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The Maulana and the liberal predicament

The right wing party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has now sent an ultimatum to Imran Khan. How this situation transpires over the next couple of days will reveal a lot about not just the parties involved and the establishment but will also shed light upon how various groups in Pakistan view the ‘Azadi march.’ Interestingly, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his march have found some support from certain liberal corners of the country, at least through social and conventional media, despite the fact that many of these individuals share very little ideological DNA with these parties. Whenever it comes to ‘ideology,’ the ...

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How Nawaz Sharif’s illness has changed Pakistan’s political chessboard

As per expectations, the Islamabad High Court suspended the imprisonment of Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference case for eight weeks. The high court cited his deteriorating health condition as the reason for doing so. Since being hospitalised last week, Nawaz has been battling ill health while the current government and its backers are praying for his early recovery. This is perhaps a situation where even the worst of Nawaz’s visible and invisible opponents want him to recover from his illness as soon as possible. As a result, Nawaz’s critical illness has actually changed the dynamics of the power chessboard, and the government of Pakistan ...

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The curious case of Pakistan’s political prisoners

On Monday night, Nawaz Sharif was taken to a hospital for a medical check-up, but Maryam Nawaz’s request to visit her father at the hospital was rejected by a court in Lahore today. Similarly, Asif Ali Zardari was taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) for treatment yesterday. Both these visits come after intense back and forth between the ruling party and the opposition regarding the conditions of the jail cells in which several politicians are currently being kept. The state of the jail cells, and the charges under which these politicians have been arrested has led to much scrutiny ...

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The Maulana and his army

If Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman goes ahead with the plan he has announced, hordes of khaki-clad men wielding sticks will descend upon the federal capital. No matter how many times Rehman insists that these men will remain peaceful, the striped sticks they will be brandishing are by no means for playing dandiya (a folk dance performed with sticks) with the law enforcement personnel deployed to deal with them. Rehman recently flexed his muscles in Peshawar, staging a gathering of this militia called Ansarul Islam and then letting them loose on the streets of the city, giving the ...

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Is a Karachi uplift package the solution to the city’s woes?

It is no secret that the urban centres of Sindh have been ignored for quite some time now. The city of Karachi voted for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the last general elections hoping that Imran Khan would change the fate of this neglected city, yet no concrete policy measures have been put in place in order to help solve the myriad of problems that this city is facing. The 18th amendment has further complicated matters and left the city to a government that is essentially ruling an urban centre with a rural mandate. Therefore, in light of the city’s deteriorating ...

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Fazlur Rehman and the art of staying politically relevant

Maulana Fazlur Rehman is well versed in the art of staying relevant. Despite the constant shifts on the political chessboard, Rehman has proven himself to be a very shrewd politician with excellent political acumen. Rehman’s ‘Azadi march’ aims to end as a sit-in against the incumbent government until Imran Khan resigns and dissolves the National Assembly. The fervent support base that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazl (JUI-F) enjoys means that Rehman and his followers are unlikely to be deterred by the continuous warnings from Interior Minister Ijaz Shah. If the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government really wanted to avoid Rehman’s impending march and sit-in, it ...

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Why can’t a non-Muslim dream of becoming the prime minister or president of Pakistan?

When Sajid Javid announced that he would join the race for 10 Downing Street earlier this year, the news was met with a joyous reception in Pakistan. Just the thought that a man who was raised in a Muslim household was even in contention to become the next prime minister of Britain was seen as a matter of great pride; after all, we feel it is imperative that all other nations ensure an equal access to opportunities for all religious minorities and do not discriminate on the basis of religion. However, how many in Pakistan would be celebrating if ...

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The curious case of Pakistan’s dependence on Indian pharmaceuticals

As relations between India and Pakistan soured as a result of the Kashmir crisis, Pakistan stopped all trade with India. Some even went so far as to prophesise that this in turn would wreak havoc for the Indian economy. It appears that such measures are usually taken in a sudden burst of nationalist fervour, and usually ignore Pakistan’s economic realities. The simple truth of the matter is that many sectors in the country are unable to sustain themselves on domestic products alone; case in point the lifting of the ban on Indian pharmaceuticals.  Under Imran Khan’s orders, Pakistan had suspended all ...

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