Stories about vote

Justice Ebrahim, when will you tell us if overseas Pakistanis can vote or not?

This is a sincere request to our Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Justice Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, to take emergency notice of the matter regarding voting rights of overseas Pakistanis. Officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have buried the issue by saying that bureaucratic hurdles are making it impossible to grant voting facilities to expats. Currently, there are around 7.5 million Pakistanis abroad, and our economy is primarily running on remittances sent by them. Pakistan was ranked number ten for remittances in 2012, which totalled around $13 billion that year. Due to meagre employment opportunities, many leave the country in search of a better livelihood so that ...

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Do we even have a leader to vote for?

In my 20 years of life, I have never seen such a level of excitement amongst people to vote, especially when nothing has changed. The political parties are the same, their members are the same and the leaders are also the same. Some of the parties contesting have already had the opportunity to rule Pakistan and their performance is there for all to see. The other two, supposedly the ‘underdogs’ and extensively branded as the ambassadors of the much-needed and labelled ‘inevitable’ change, don’t seem to be too promising either. Former army chief Pervez Musharraf, who reigned the country for eight ...

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None of these people represent me! Why can’t I vote ‘none of the above’?

You know what, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), I wanted to exercise the ‘none of the above’ option in my vote but you backed out by deciding against introducing it. I don’t know, nor do I care if I was alone in rejoicing the commission’s decision to put in that option in the ballot paper, because for the first time, I thought I would go and vote my heart out. I would rather go to the ballot and tell the world that none of these people represent me. This is so much better than just sitting back and not casting one’s vote ...

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I am a common man and I am contesting in the elections

My name is Mohammad Jibran Nasir. I am 26-years-old and a lawyer by profession having completed my LLB followed by an LLM. I finished my studies in 2010 and upon my return to Pakistan after my two year stay in the UK, I started my first philanthropic venture, “Pehla Qadam“ (first step). Pehla Qadam was a flood relief camp I set up in Karachi with another friend to generate Rs100, 000 in a month so that the same may be donated towards relief efforts. At the end of that month we had collected funds and donations in kind worth over ...

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Elections 2013: Make it your decision, vote!

Come election year, political parties bring out the big guns to strengthen their political campaigns and make their case for the right to the electoral mandate. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has offered higher minimum wages in an effort to appeal to the masses, or perhaps, cloud voter decisions with promises of money The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has resigned from the Sindh government because evidently it takes five years to realise that an alliance is dysfunctional. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has shiny new buses and underpasses to show “real development”; even ex-dictator Pervez Musharraf is all set to return and ...

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K-P elections 2013: A farrago of hope and fear

Pashtuns are generally the most democratic people in Pakistan. By looking at the history of elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), it is safe to say that they have voted for parties with leftist, rightist or liberal religious ideologies. Furthermore, it shows that unlike others provinces, K-P voted for all parties in the previous elections and yet no one brought tranquility and development to this region. 2013 is another election year in Pakistan and the country will brace itself to one of the most crucial elections since its birth. In K-P, every political party has an active presence and as elections draw near, political parties ...

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Drones strikes and Obama, two things I’m not voting for this year

After what seems like a quick four years, elections are only a month away in the United States and the two candidates are Mitt Romney of the Republican Party and the current President who is up for re-election, Barack Obama. Whether the American citizens like it or not, Pakistan is a strategic ally in the so-called ‘war on terror’ and relations with Pakistan have never been so important. Pakistan also has its share of issues and dissatisfaction and hatred for the United States is definitely one of them. Of course, this year election year is important not only for ...

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Not all Republicans are Islamophobes but all Islamophobes are Republicans

The straw man of the famous post-Sept. 11 slogan, “Not every Muslim is a terrorist but every terrorist is a Muslim” was debunked by a 2005 FBI report. It showed that only six percent of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by extremists calling themselves Muslims. But one group has sustained the Islamophobic rhetoric, nonetheless. So I wonder if Muslims would rally outside the Republican National Convention this week carrying a banner stating, “Not all Republicans are Islamophobes but all Islamophobes are Republicans” Trust me. The data supports it. A new poll conducted by the Arab American Institute asked the attitudes of voters, ...

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PTI and PML-N: Pro-US or anti-US?

Recently, in an interview with BBC Urdu, the US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter revealed that he had met with PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif. He further stated that both leaders had assured him of a pro-US government if elected. Now, this has come as a huge surprise to many people given that these two leaders have portrayed a distinct negative stance towards the US in their political statements in the past. However, should we really be surprised? This is not the first time Nawaz Sharif’s links with the US have come into the limelight. Earlier in 1999, during the ...

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Upholding the law, undermining the ballot

Pakistan has always been a tough case for those who like to see democracy as a black and white affair; either a country is a democracy or it is not. The periods in which elected governments have held power have been described as “quasi-democratic”, “sham democracy”, “civilian autocracy” and other such unpalatable terms. However, many were looking towards the completion of this particular elected government’s term as a historical first in Pakistan’s intermittent democratisation process. Would the term completion have amounted to mere symbolism and what does the judicial ouster of the Prime Minister imply for Pakistan’s political future? From a ...

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