M A Niazi

  • TThere was as much of a frenzy here as when a sirloin steak, or a live rat, is thrown into a tank full of piranhas. You see, the IG Police Punjab was transferred, and replaced by another officer. The IG had only been posted a month ago, when the new government replaced the officer appointed by the ...

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  • TThe arrest of PML(N) President and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Shehbaz Sharif should have been an ordinary event, but was not. After all, though arrests are made every day, it was for the first time that a Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly was arrested by a ...

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  • TThe release of ex-PM and ex-PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar on bail represented a cause for celebration by the PML(N), but was a far cry from achieving the party’s avowed aim of returning him to office. However, the release is politically ...

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  • TPrime Minister Imran Khan, has had a strange relationship with the USA, and nothing illustrated more than the coincidence of the first visit of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State to the region, with the Atif Mian affair. Part of the reason for the convergence is that Dr Mian is US-based, teaching at ...

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  • TNow that the prize had been won, Imran Khan might well have realised the difference between winning at cricket, even if it is the World Cup, and winning an election. In cricket, indeed in any sport, the purpose of playing is to win. But when one contests an election, challenge begins when one takes ...

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  • TBy being named the next Chief Minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal Haider has managed to combine both ancient and modern forms of the hereditary principle. He is primarily the 13th Jam of Lasbela, a title which dates back to 1742, but he is also the first third-generation chief minister of ...

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  • TPakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) won the recent election, thus bringing to fruition the long effort of its founder, Imran Khan, to find a life after cricket. But in the process it also brought about a major change in the country’s political geography. It not only managed to replace the Pakistan ...

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  • TWhenever there is a hung parliament, I am reminded of the advice to bureaucrats: “When in doubt, mumble.” Well, the Pakistani electorate has mumbled. That did not stop the Tehrik Insaf celebrating, with party workers showing off the special dance steps they had been saving up for just ...

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  • TThere seem to be contrasting bits of evidence to show the attitude of political parties towards manifestoes. Manifestoes are supposed to represent the promises made by the parties to the electorate of what they plan to do if elected to office. In more experienced democracies, party manifestoes have ...

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  • TThat there was virtually no doubt about the decision in the Avenfield flats reference was not so much a tribute to the strength of the prosecution’s case, as it was a criticism of the country’s courts. The only element of doubt was the sentences that would be passed on the defendants. ...

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  • TIt almost seemed as if US President Donald Trump had gone too far. The reaction at the world’s grassroots to the separation of children asylum seekers from their parents at the US border with Mexico showed up President Trump for what he was: someone with power who was feeding on prejudices ...

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  • TOne of the most complicated challenges that Pakistan will face in the not-too-distant future is the opioid epidemic, which is not just wreaking havoc in the USA, but is also threatening to break out and become a worldwide epidemic. There is a definite problem in the USA, with 50,000 deaths there in ...

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  • TOne of the less noticeable distinctions between India and Pakistan has been the latter’s reluctance to change internal boundaries. While one of the first things India did after independence was to merge the princely states into it, Pakistan did not do so until 1958, when it formed one unit, ...

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  • TOusted Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif seems to be offering proof that no civilian Prime Minister can remain long enough without having the label of ‘traitor’ pasted on him. Or her, because this was first used against Beanzir Bhutto during her first term almost 30 years ago. Mian Nawaz ...

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  • TThe bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx was celebrated last Saturday much more quietly than the first, which was actually the first big occasion that was faced by the USSR, which had not yet taken shape, with the concatenation of dates meaning that the centenary came just after the new state ...

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  • TWhen Miftah Ismail rose to present the 2018-19 Budget to the National Assembly, it was as a Finance Minister in search of a seat in either House. His personal controversy did not eliminate, but accentuate the controversy over whether he should present a Budget for the whole of next year, or just ...

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  • TThe Cambridge Analytica affair was messy enough to force Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg into testifying to a US Senate committee. That the founder, and CEO of Facebook, which with two billion users is global, had to testify about the doings of a British firm in a US election, before a US ...

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  • TIt began as something in a spy thriller rather than real life, the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in UK, allegedly with a nerve agent. However, as the drama played out, fears were being raised of a new Cold War, what with the blasts of expulsions and counter-expulsions ...

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  • TSaudi Arabian Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman touched base with the USA and UK in his first trip abroad after his father had made him the first son of a reigning monarch to be designated heir to the throne since his grandfather Abdul Aziz made his uncle Saud Crown Prince. Another parallel with his ...

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  • TThe election of the PPP-backed panel for the Senate Chairmanship and Deputy Chairmanship showed that the PML(N) had failed to get a majority in the Senate, and thus unless it scores an overwhelming majority in the provincial assemblies in the coming two elections, it will not obtain the two-thirds ...

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  • TThat the law permitting disqualified persons to hold office in political parties would be struck down was perhaps inevitable. However, by declaring that all actions taken by Mian Nawaz Sharif as PML(N) President were illegal since his disqualification as an MNA, the Supreme Court did something ...

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  • TUS President Donald Trump is in his second year of office, but he continues to be dogged by the issues that arose during his campaign, and which illustrate the problems that are inherent in democracy. First came the first indictments recommended by the special prosecutor appointed to investigate ...

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  • TLet’s get things straight. The PTI lost the Lodhran by-election. That could only happen if there was rigging, which was what Jahangir Tareen, whose unseating caused the by-election, said. There was a theory that Imran Khan deliberately threw the election because otherwise the hereditary ...

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  • TSenate elections are not supposed to present a problem not just because they are held on the basis of a single transferable vote, but because they are indirect. The problems that face parties over candidate selection at the time of general elections are supposed to be over, having taken place then, ...

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  • TA census is an important event in a nation’s life, as it provides the basis for planning. The purpose of a census might be different from the use to which the information is put, and perhaps no example is better than the census which has just been conducted. The origin of censuses in the ...

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  • TThe catching of Zainab’s killer was supposed to bring some closure to the case, but the display of national outrage at the brutal rape-cum-murder in Kasur showed up some of the cracks in Pakistani society, and more particularly in its justice system. The arrest of a neighbor of the murdered ...

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  • TPAT’s Lahore protest and the Karachi police encounters apparently have nothing in common, except that the protest was against the killing of eight PAT workers by police firing, and the incidents in Karachi were of men alleged to have been killed by the police in fake encounters. However, the ...

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  • TThe scenes from Kasur were heart-rending – but not unfamiliar. The rape-cum-murder of seven-year-old Zainab was horrifying, but this was not the first time that Kasur had been associated with child abuse. Only two years before, a child pornography ring, involving as many as 280 to 300 ...

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  • TThe USA’s drawing away from Pakistan, is like its disengagement from Pakistan in the late 1980s onwards, though the dedication of the Pakistani establishment to the US alliance makes it seem Pakistan is being punished for something heroic. Another factor is US President Donald Trump. To what ...

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  • TI think it would be impolitic to intrude on PTI chief Imran Khan at this moment of grief. No, not because of the passing of Zubeida Apa, who had elevated household totkas to an art form. The only totka he would be interested in would be how to get hold of the Fountain of Youth. Or something to help ...

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