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Showing posts from April, 2018

Controlled democracy

"Pakistani democracy is like a vehicle that the prime minister may be steering but those driving it are invisible people sitting on the backseat. Such a vehicle is doomed to meet a terrible accident," said Farhatullah Babar at the Asma Jahangir Convention on Sunday. The former senator's words are not far from the truth.

Pakistan is facing one of its worst political crises at the moment. Last month, the elections for chairman senate showed how they were manipulated. The Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf cobbled together an alliance with some independent candidates to elect Sadiq Sanjrani as chairman senate in order to defeat the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. But this was not a natural alliance. As the senator, Hasil Bizenjo, pointed out during his speech after Sanjrani's victory, there are some forces in the country that are 'more supreme' than Parliament. While talking about these 'forces', Bizenjo kept patting his shoulder, a si…

A moral compass

Bravery, thy name is Asma Jahangir

As a Pakistani woman, this year's International Women's Day somehow felt incomplete because of the loss of one of our most iconic feminist figures, Asma Jahangir, who passed away in February due to cardiac arrest. She had only just turned 66. The news of her sudden death jolted each and every one of us. It was a personal loss not only because a lot of us knew her closely but also because she was an inspiration to millions of men and women around the world.

Asma Jahangir was a champion of human rights, an untiring campaigner for women's rights, a voice for minority rights, a democrat to the core, a brilliant lawyer and a crusader who did not bow down to pressure. There was no one like her, and there may never be another as brave and courageous as Asma ji. As Mohammad Taqi put it, she was our moral compass. If she took a position, it meant that we should do so too because she had always been on the right side of history. She was a class apa…