Stories about vote

Jibran Nasir 1 – 0 Religious intolerance

Over the course of last two weeks, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, an independent politician, has faced a thorough degree of inquiry regarding his beliefs about Ahmadis in Pakistan, and the legitimacy of them calling themselves “Muslim”. For his refusal to curse them – a condition set by a corner meeting attendee at the promise of a vote – he has been accused, publicly, of being a blasphemer. Being an army brat, I am largely reluctant to voice my opinion on matters that are rather political. Our conditioning, generally, is such that we maintain consistency in following disciplined lines of action – ...

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To vote or not to vote: 6 questions that need to be answered before Election Day

As General Elections are approaching, people are increasingly interested in discussing various aspects of elections. In a country that has seen martial laws most of its existence, it is indeed a good omen that slowly elections are becoming a predictable event of democratic development (touch wood) in Pakistan. The world has started excelling in the use of social media for meaningful purposes including electioneering; it’s not a bad start for Pakistan as well. There is, however, a huge class of “concerned citizens” (read: chattering class) who have started raising some questions on elections, ranging from why is there an election ...

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I am one of the ‘entitled millennials’ whose conscience got pricked by Mohammad Jibran Nasir

There was a post making its rounds on Facebook that caught my attention, which said, “If you were to meet your eight-year-old self today, what advice would you give?” And then a slightly more chilling question, “What would your eight-year-old self say about you?” I remember myself at eight, naïve and highly impressionable, living in a world of make-believe, convinced that life was as simple as being one of the good guys and standing up against all forces of evil. But with time and growth came the realisation that things aren’t so simple. This is a blog I may perhaps be better off not writing. ...

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As a Muslim American, I will abstain from voting this November

I am an American Muslim with one vote, and no person for whom to cast it. I became a citizen less than a year ago. This is my first election and yet, I won’t be joining the millions of other Americans going to the polls. How could I squander such privilege, particularly when so many Muslim women in the world never get to vote? Voting my conscience – by abstaining – is a painful decision. Friends are astonished by my dilemma. Yet Clinton, for some Muslims, remains a problematic choice, and one I am not able to embrace. Clinton’s complicity in entrenching and ...

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Why is Pakistan asking a foreign supplier to build our electronic voting machines?

Elections in Pakistan are going electronic. No announcement has been made yet but two tenders released last month by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) suggest that this is the way the country is going. In one tender the ECP would ask vendors to bid for 300 biometric verification machines (BVM). These will be tried out during the by-elections. If successful, the winning bidder will get an order for 300,000 machines for use in the general elections. The second tender is for 400 electronic voting machines (EVM) followed, in the event of a successful trial, by 300,000 machines for the ...

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No Action Plan

This poem is dedicated to all the martyrs of Pakistan who have lost their lives at the hands of terrorists, especially the martyrs of Army Public School (APS) and Bacha Khan University.   Is naye zamanay mein Roz naya charcha hota hai Khoon ki holi hoti hai Phir naya parcha hota hai No Action Plan bhi bantay hain Phir naya kharcha hota hai   (In today’s day and age, A new commotion is raised everyday, Holi is played with blood, New papers are filed, No Action Plans are also made, And to top it off, there is more expenditure.)   Pehle bhi sirf tasveerain theen Aaj bhi mehaz taqreerain hain Siyasi laffazi pehle bhi thi Aaj bhi kuch ...

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If not sanity, let democracy prevail

Aristotle once said that democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. To realise that very dream in my country of birth, I solely travelled across the continents to vote in the 2013 general elections. Pakistan, for the first time, was holding elections since its independence under civilian control and I, for the first time knew, who to vote for. For all the right reasons I decided to vote for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan. I pinned all my hopes on him, who swore to live by all the democratic values. But, just after ...

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May 11, 2013 changed Pakistan for the better, will May 11, 2014 do the same?

On the eve of  May 10 and 11, 2013 I saw a very different Lahore. Lahore was completely crowded with families and teenagers supporting their respective political parties, majorly PTI and PML-N. A poster in central Lahore asking citizens of Pakistan to vote. ‘Say yes to vote’ Photo: AFP From Liberty roundabout to Hussain Chowk and from Hussain Chowk to either side of Firdous and Mini Market roundabout, roads were jam packed with cars and motorbikes. It seemed like nothing else was more important to anyone that day, they came out to celebrate and their democratic festivity showed! To represent the spirit of ...

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Indian Elections: I vote ‘None Of The Above’

As India inches towards the half-way mark at the parliamentary elections, political commentary aside, what caught my interest, as a former citizen, was the ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) option on the electronic voting ballot. Just the fact that one could register a no-vote is in itself fascinating, as it moves the arm chair critic from the couch and into the voting booth. On digging deeper, it seems that this concept of registering a no-vote goes back to a recent Indian Supreme Court ruling where the voter, in all his or her wisdom, must be given the right to register a NOTA vote ...

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PPP wants Sindhi Hindus to vote for them, but won’t protect them!

On March 16, 2014, while Pakistan’s Hindu community celebrated Holi, the country witnessed an unpleasant incident in Sindh’s Larkana District, where a frenzied mob turned violent following a rumour that a member of the Hindu community, Sangeet Kumar, 35 – reputed to be a drug addict – had desecrated the Holy Quran. In Larkana, after the incident, people wanted to harm the accused man but the police and rangers, somehow, managed to take him away to a safe location. After his safe escape, however, the angry mob attacked and vandalised the Sindhi Hindus’ dharamshala (community centre) and also partially damaged a Hindu temple in the same ...

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