Afrasiab Khattak

  • TIt is not for the first time that democracy in Pakistan looks moribund. This has happened before on several occasions, notably when the army moved in to take direct control of the state power by launching at least four direct military coups in the last seventy years. Under martial laws, democracy ...

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  • TThe creeping coup that had started in 2014 under the slogan of protest against rigged elections and subsequently adopted the slogan of accountability ( the favourite weapon of every coup maker in the past) after the leakage of Panama papers wasn’t meant for holding free and fair elections. It ...

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  • TAn important but not properly debated aspect of GE 2018 is participation of militant/suspected terrorist organisations in the electoral process as a part of the “mainstreaming ” launched by state security agencies. The recent criticism of Nawaz Sharif at not taking the case against ...

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  • TThe much talked about democratic transition that was supposed to have started with the general elections in 2008 and continued through the general elections of 2013 has for all practical purposes died down. The so called soft creeping coup which was conceived by the deep state and midwifed by ...

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  • TDespite several bad omens, hiccups and uncertainties election season has finally arrived. Electoral machine has started rolling. Election Commission has announced schedule for the general elections of 2018 and count down for July 26, the polling day, has started. National Assembly and Provincial ...

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  • TUltimately the 31st Constitutional Amendment bill, providing for merger of Federally Administered Tribal Area ( FATA ) and Provincially Administered Tribal Area ( PATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on May 24. The bill is now to be passed by ...

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  • TF ormally the constitutional term of the present government will come to an end with completion of the term of elected assemblies by the end of May but power has already been shifted from elected to non elected executive far before that. The black out of the entire press conference of the sitting ...

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  • T8th of April was yet another watershed moment for the hardly three months old Pashtun Tahafuz Movement ( PTM). In fact it was a milestone on the path of  redefining Pashtun political discourse in Pakistan. But  it is also pertinent to note that this development has significant ...

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  • TIn a free season on the Constitution some people have floated the idea of imposing a judicial martial law for holding general elections in the country. Apart from being a contradiction in terms it’s also a totally meaningless concept because a martial law is martial law and a prefix or a ...

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  • TThe brazen manipulations, corruption and intervention by intelligence agencies in the recent Senate elections has exposed the hollowed and farcical nature of the current “ republic “ which doesn’t qualify anymore to  be called even a  mere facade of democracy. On the one ...

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  • TTraditionally elections for Senate, the house of federation, held every three years to elect 52 senators ( half of the total) would be held without much suspense because of its limited electoral college and predictability of the results due to the already known strength of the political parties in ...

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  • TThe civil military row or to be more precise the wrangling between PML (N) led elected civilian government and the military establishment is quite open and public by now. But the dark prophesies about complete derailing of democracy, postponement of the Senate election and general election ...

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  • TThe ten days long sit-in by Pashtun youth in Islamabad in the beginning of February has been followed by powerful protests in Swat and Bajour Agency. In Swat people were protesting against security checkpoints where people have to wait in long queues and they are allegedly humiliated. People of ...

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  • TSad news of the sudden death of Asma Jehangir on February 11 not only shocked to core her family, friends and followers in Pakistan but it also hit hard  many people around the world as she was one of the  internationally best  known Pakistanis with a positive image. As a woman of ...

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  • TMore than a week of peaceful protest by thousands of Pashtun activists ( mostly from Waziristan and FATA) in front of Islamabad Press Club may or may not succeed in forcing the government to accept their reasonable demands but it has definitely redefined Pashtun political discourse in Pakistan. The ...

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  • TIn recent times Pakistani political and military leadership has come around to the position where it is publicly accepting the fact that General Zia’s policy of supporting private Jihadist networks in 1980s was actually a fassad (turmoil) as according to them Jihad is  sole domain of the ...

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  • TThe rapid expansion of electronic media followed by the equally impressive growth of social media during the last two decades in Pakistan has opened up immense possibilities for the people to connect and we have witnessed massive rise in connectivity among individuals, social and political groups ...

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  • TFormer Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while commenting on the current political impasse in the country in a recent speech mentioned the crises of 1971 in the then East Pakistan ( now Bangladesh) when disrespect for the aspirations of people expressed through vote had led to the disintegration of ...

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  • T“Don’t be fooled, the abatement of the darkness is not here yet The deliverance of the eye and the heart is not here yet Keep moving, for the awaited destination is not here yet “. –Faiz Ahmad Faiz.   Challenges faced by democratic project in Pakistan aren’t new ...

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  • TIt is not surprising that the debate about the murder of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (SMBB), even ten years after its occurrence, is raising such deep emotions. After all, she was one of the most charismatic and popular leaders in Pakistan’s history, who was killed on December 27, 2007, ...

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  • TImportant  developments during this week ( public explanation by the Chief Justice about recent court orders and the COAS’s Senate briefing) seem to have somewhat helped in defusing the crippling tension that had gripped the political situation  during the last few weeks with a ...

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  • TAfter politically almost choking Islamabad to death through a sit in by a violent band of religious zealots in November, the action of the unfolding coup has shifted to Lahore in December to demolish the provincial government which is the actual base of PML-N rule over the country. By stopping Mian ...

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  • TThe pro establishment tv anchors and the so called defense analysts disparagingly comment on the “oppositional” attitude of PML (n) government. They ridicule it for making demands like a party sitting in opposition. But with the three years plus old creeping coup having entered quite an ...

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  • TThe news about unannounced military operation in the Masood area of South Waziristan came in bits and pieces in second week of November as the government was secretive about it. But the news could not be kept secret as 1100 plus families of Shabi Khel sub tribe of Masood from Shaktoi, Small and ...

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  • TExtraordinary prolongation of the simmering coup against the PML (N) government has been painful for the entire country but it has been particularly excruciating for the capital city Islamabad. Characters change in this live and ruthless political drama serial but signature of the deep state as ...

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  • TEurope is recognised to be the birth place of the modern national state. The processes of ethnic consolidation and socio political development triggered by industrial revolution and followed by democratic transformation between 15th and 19th centuries were supposed to have shaped the phenomenon. In ...

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  • TThe latest round of the so called Great Game which has started recently, like the previous ones played in 19th and 20th centuries, has brought new troubles for South Asia in general and for Afghan/Pashtuns in particular. The first round of the Great Game is supposed to have started between the ...

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  • TThe creeping coup has taken quite a long time to reach the endgame. It all started soon after the newly elected government of Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif assumed power after winning the general election in 2013. The fault lines between the elected civilian government and the so-called ...

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  • TThe bloody summer this year in Afghanistan wouldn’t have been different from the last two years that saw a similar bloodshed had it not been for important political developments at the tail end of the fighting season. On August 21 US President  Donald Trump declared a fresh strategy ...

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  • TThe events taking place in Islamabad over the last few days leave no doubt about the aggravation of the crises in the state system of the country. The said crisis has reached a stage where it is too big to be swept under the carpet. Refusing ministers including the Minister Interior during a ...

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