Showing posts from April, 2013

Choose wisely

General elections in Pakistan are just around the corner. Everyone is waiting to see which party will be able to form the next government. Chances of a hung parliament are quite high as no political party is in a position to win a simple majority. While the real battle is between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), all eyes are on Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to see how much of an impact PTI’s recent rise in popularity will have on election results. Most political pundits are of the view that Mian Nawaz Sharif can become the next prime minister of Pakistan but it largely depends on voter turnout as well as how voters in Punjab, especially in urban Punjab, choose to vote.

PTI is expected to cut into PML-N’s traditional vote, i.e. centre-right and rightwing vote but another factor that goes in Khan’s favour is the youth vote. There is a large section of population under 35 years of age in Pakistan. At least 20 percent are between t…

A dangerous precedent

In the aftermath of the disastrous implementation of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan by the Election Commission’s returning officers (ROs), many are asking why the political parties did not remove General Zia-ul-Haq’s amendments from the Constitution when they had a chance during the previous democratic government’s tenure. It is indeed an omission for which they are now paying heavily but, predictably, the opposition to these amendments came from the religious and rightwing parties. In a country like ours, getting an ‘anti-Islam’ label can be quite damaging and dangerous so the previous parliament was cautious enough to let these articles remain in the Constitution.

Journalist Iftikhar Ahmad (@jawabdeyh) tweeted, “Height of McCarthyism”, after news broke out that noted columnist and PML-N leader Ayaz Amir’s nomination papers were rejected by the Election Commission for writing columns against the ‘ideology of Pakistan’ and Islam. Iftikhar Ahmad is right. The ROs p…

Cracks In The House Of Bhutto

Differences between President Zardari and his son Bilawal underline tensions within Pakistan's largest political party ahead of a historic election

On April 4, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was to kick-start its election campaign at a rally in the village of Garhi Khuda Baksh to mark the death anniversary of founder-leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Security threats had turned it into a small meeting, to be held in the district town of Naudero, in the presence of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, 24. Less than a week after news filtered out of his departure from Pakistan in the aftermath of an alleged tiff with his father, President Asif Ali Zardari, 57, the PPP scion flew back into Pakistan. According to reports, denied by PPP, Bilawal had an argument with his father over the party's performance in power, and his aunt Faryal Talpur's refusal to accommodate Bilawal's recommendations for tickets in Sindh.

Faryal's claim to fame is that she is Zardari's sister and runs the day-to…