Stories about vote

PTI and Marvi: A love story turned sour

When the PML- Q joined hands with the current PPP government, Marvi Memon took a stand (along with some other MNAs and MPAs of her party) and decided not to join the federation. She even went a step ahead and tendered her resignation from the National Assembly. This move improved her image in the public eye and people began to feel that she will take revolutionary steps in politics; that she will use her political standing for the people of her country. Political analysts and critics were of the view that Marvi Memon will join the PTI after she left her parent party. But due ...

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Don’t vote (but don’t complain)

As a young Pakistani I often feel patriotism is a virtue deficient in the Pakistani youth. To us, the phrase, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ is a suitable misfortune. We dwell upon how to escape – to a different country, a country more ‘suitable’ for the development of our skills or a country swelling with appreciation for individuals from other nations; those individuals being us. We, who didn’t like the working of the corrupt government in our country and didn’t bother making it suitable. Us, who didn’t vote and chose the ‘corrupt’ government by default. ...

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The problem with the expat vote

The Election Commission of Pakistan recently announced that in principal, it had agreed to franchise overseas Pakistanis by allowing them to participate in the electoral process. However, going through the minutes of the meeting conducted by Secretary ECP Mr Ishtiak Ahmad Khan, it’s quite clear that things are not as done and dusted as news reports have made out to seem. Quite rightly, the ECP is still considering the most efficient and transparent way in which to conduct elections for overseas Pakistanis. Setting up voting booths in high commissions, embassies and consulates across the globe is quite an expensive option as many Pakistanis may not live ...

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Does the American Muslim vote count in 2012?

During President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he was hopeful and positive; his speech, like most of his speeches, ignited a fire amongst those watching. One felt a sense of pride and hope as he spoke about the state of the country and his future plans. And while he addressed all areas he could, he may have missed out on a group. President Obama mentioned the Hispanic/Latino population in the country and the African American population; he also extended strengthened support to the United State’s biggest ally in the Middle East, Israel. And while I understand that the president cannot ...

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Irresponsible patriot or mature voter: which are you?

I will be the first to admit that it was wrong of me not to vote in the last elections. I regret that decision now, and it seems very irresponsible, especially since I took part in the student movement against former president Pervez Musharraf. My reason was simple: I did not like any of the candidates. In hindsight, that was not a good enough reason to not protect my vote because even though I did not go to the polling station, in all likelihood, my vote was used in rigging. I failed to protect my vote and for that I have to ...

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Obama’s unfulfilled promises

For Americans and a huge chunk of non-Americans who (sometimes unwillingly) are affected by American policy and rhetoric, the annual State of the Union (SOTU) address makes for important TV. Oh, except that one time in 2010 when that episode of Lost was nearly delayed thanks to competing airtime forcing many to directly question the President’s Office if their president was even aware of this pending catastrophe. Very kindly, the White House assured America’s citizenry that President Obama would “not pre-empt the premier of the show’s final season”. Returning to tonight’s SOTU. On January 24, 9 pm President Obama’s third address to ...

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Another Imran Khan article that’s not about Musharraf’s rally. Sorry.

If Pakistan were a school and voters were the graduating class, then we’d know exactly where Musharraf would fit in. Musharraf would be the angry guy who sits at the front of each class and has a problem with things no one cares about, like the colour of the chalk the teacher uses. He would be a suck-up to everyone but his peers, and be like the head boy or prefect who gets the job done, but really, does anyone like him? His dog (his profile picture on Facebook) would probably be a lot more popular than he is. This was ...

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A Pakistani Spring is not enough

The Arab Spring has captured the imagination of young people around the world with a powerful message about people taking control of their own destiny. In Pakistan, the spirit of the Arab Spring is playing out to a different tune. Instead of adopting “overthrow of the system” as their battle cry ala the Arab Spring, a visible and growing number of young, educated professionals in Pakistan are channeling their energies to incrementally improve the system by engaging with the current set up. Young Pakistanis, including many who have traveled to the West to get educated, are returning home to make active contributions ...

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Let transgenders vote!

It appears to be the season for new voter demographics. With perhaps the largest, long-dormant voting segment – the Pakistani youth – finally energised to cast their ballots in the upcoming elections, it is heartening to see that a much smaller and traditionally ostracised segment of the population will also be voting next year. The latest decision, on the part of the Supreme Court, to register transgenders as voters could not have come at a better time. Tentative estimates put the ‘third gender’ population in Pakistan between 80,000 and 300,000 people, and SC Chief Justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhery, has ordered ...

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Yes we Khan, but should we?

Pakistan is not immune to the insurrectionary air of the Arab Spring or the international “Occupy” movements. There is a genuine appetite for change, and Imran Khan is adeptly channelling it. Buoyed by these sentiments, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf jalsa (rally) in Lahore on October 30 was undoubtedly a huge success. Imran Khan is the harbinger of the Pakistani Spring. Change is coming. Yes we Khan.  Clinging to this simplistic hope, throngs of urban, middle-class, and typically election shunning Pakistani youth have gravitated towards the PTI. Politicization of this section of society is, of course, a welcome development. The highly conservative, Islamist ...

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