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Articles in this section

  • Pakistan: A year of reversals

    , by JAN Ammar Ali

    A year ago, Imran Khan was sworn in as the newly elected prime minister of Pakistan. It appeared Khan had cemented his legacy as someone who could achieve the impossible, fitting into the carefully cultivated narrative around his cricketing and philanthropic achievements. The headlines were (...)

  • Pakistan, corruption, military: The Continuity of Imran Khan

    , by AHSAN Kamil

    Corruption and military might have long dominated Pakistani politics. And Imran Khan’s reform-minded rhetoric is unlikely to change that.
    Some time ago, a Pakistani political party gained at the expense of the Pakistan Army. The year was 1971. The army had suffered a humiliating defeat at the (...)

  • Pakistan’s most rigged general elections

    , by KHAN Lal, TARIQ Farooq

    ON 26 July 2018, in his election victory speech, Imran Khan gave a sober talk contrary to his very violent language used throughout the election campaign. He has “won” 116 seats of the 342 seats National Assembly of which 278 seats are contested directly on First Past The Post (FPTP) system. He (...)

  • Pakistan: Labour & manifestos

    , by AHMAD Iftikhar

    POLITICAL parties seek the mandate to run the country and provinces based on the agenda they plan to launch. Thus, they can be held accountable for their pledges.
    Of the 207 million population of Pakistan, 106m are registered voters (18 and above). Nearly 15 per cent of these voters are above (...)

  • Pakistan’s July 2018 elections: the certainties

    , by HOODBHOY Pervez

    Pakistan’s elections will not be free or fair. But the AWP and some progressive independents are taking part - to keep hope alive.
    Controlled elections are always a blow against democracy. Among other things, democracy needs elections. And proper elections need a level playing field. Else, (...)

  • In Pakistan: evading censorship of Pashtun struggle news

    , by SARWAR Beena

    In Pakistan, a youth-led, social media-powered movement is gaining ground – despite a media blackout of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and it’s struggle for justice and dignity.
    The revolution will not be televised in Pakistan. Unless it has the blessings of the powers-that-be. This has (...)

  • The bittersweetness of dissent in Pakistan

    , by SHEHRBANO ZIA Afiya

    I was introduced to the concept of dissent in the 1980s when I overheard a conversation among my father’s friends. They said a group of women had scared Gen Ziaul Haq so much that in a televised address he warned the people not to be misled by these few 200 bourgeois westernised women who were (...)

  • Pakistan: marches and democracy

    , by JAN Ammar Ali

    Don’t be fooled by the media blackout and prejudice. The Islamists are not the only social movements on the march in Pakistan. Over the last few months, Pakistan has witnessed a plethora of long marches and square occupations in the country.

    The long march led by the Islamists of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) remains the starkest example of the power of this new form of political claim-making. Thankfully, there are more progressive examples.

    For example, an under-reported but (...)

  • Pakistan’s aid class

    , by ZAKARIA Rafia

    Cuts in US aid mean the collapse of many CSOs and a career crisis for the middle class managers of “civil society” We take a look at the winners and losers

    The cuts have already come but the crisis will come later. The budget passed by the United States Senate and House of Representatives announced an $8.8 billion shortfall in the amounts allotted to the US State Department and to USAID, the United States Agency for International Development. Money for the Overseas Contingency Operations Budget, (...)

  • Pakistan (Islamabad) and the Faizabad surrender – Capitulating to fanatics – The timeline, the demands

    , by AHMAD Usman, Daily Times (Pakistan), Dawn (Pakistan), Pakistan Today

    The ugly history of intertwining fanaticism with the mainstream means next time the extremists play their hand the consequences will be worse, the capitulation greater and the surrender more abject than the one we have just witnessed [see below the description of the events].
    The idea the (...)

  • Pakistan, Faizabad (Islamabad): Surrendering to mob rule

    , by HUSSAIN Zahid

    THERE has hardly been an instance where the state has capitulated so humiliatingly to a group of extremists holding the nation’s capital hostage . The six-point agreement brokered by the military leadership is virtually a document of surrender. A beleaguered civilian administration has signed on (...)

  • Pakistan: protest by Baloch and Pakhtun students

    , by JAN Ammar Ali

    In October 2017, the Quaid-e-Azam University campus has witnessed some ugly scenes. Hundreds of students were protesting for a number of days against fees hike, improving hostel and medical facilities and restoring students expelled a few months ago in clashes between ethnic groups. All demands (...)

  • Pakistan’s universities are radically unjust

    , by JAN Ammar Ali

    Best There is growing concern in academic, policy and political circles on the radicalisation in educational campuses. A serious debate is taking place to change the narrative on Pakistan’s history to prevent the proliferation of extremist ideas among the youth. What this debate implicitly (...)

  • The Pakistan experiment

    , by JAN Ammar Ali

    We recently witnessed the country celebrating its 70th anniversary of independence. Until a day before, there was fury at the corruption of the elites and the impending clash between national institutions. On the 14th of August, the language of doom and gloom was abruptly replaced with (...)

  • Pakistan: Between Judges and Generals

    , by SULEHRIA Farooq

    A coup in Pakistan’s checkered political life is never news. However, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification from his post on corruption charges through a court verdict on July 28 has an element of newness about it. Instead of the Pakistan Army, the recent coup has been carried out by (...)