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Articles in this section

  • Pakistan’s Pashtun Rights Movement is Alive and Kicking

    , by TAQI Mohammad

    In the grand scheme of things in Pakistan, the PTM is a breath of fresh air, yet a drop in the bucket.
    “In February, Arman Luni, a PTM activist from Balochistan, died after being beaten by police officers following his participation in a peaceful protest in the Lorelai district”, records a (...)

  • Pakistan: Zinda Hain Tulba! / The Students Live!

    , by BURIRO Ibrahim

    An energetic national student movement re-emerges in Pakistan
    November 2019 marked the 51st anniversary of the student revolts which led to the overthrow of Pakistan’s first military dictator, Ayub Khan, in 1968. Beginning in Rawalpindi’s Gordon College, the uprising soon spread across the (...)

  • Pakistan’s season of protests: The march and after

    , by ZIA Farah

    A week later, it appears that the purpose of the Students Solidarity March is served. The concerns raised by the students and organisers have forced everyone to sit up and take notice; a debate has started at several forums
    Photos by Rahat Dar
    It was a sunny, expectation-laden, afternoon at (...)

  • Pakistan Student Solidarity March : “We shall overcome”

    , by CHAUDHRY Amna

    The Student Solidarity March called for justice, not only on campuses but for all marginalised segments of society
    In early November, a video clip of student activists at the Faiz Festival in Lahore went viral. In the video, the students chanted a revolutionary poem and played the bongo drums, (...)

  • Pakistan: Are We Out of Our Minds?

    , by GILLANI Raza

    Why have we spent the last four years, presumably the most crucial time of our lives, organising at various campuses across the country and its administered areas on issues pertaining to student life, gender, education, class, ethnicity, race, etc.?
    Why have we wasted our time in searching for (...)

  • Pakistan: Who’s afraid of the youth?

    , by JAN Ammar Ali

    I recently met a student of mine who is from Fata. He was awarded a scholarship by the HEC that was abruptly discontinued this semester due to budget cuts. Forced to freeze his semester, he is now desperately looking for jobs in Lahore.
    So many bright and enthusiastic students having to fight (...)

  • 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 (...)