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 False Democrats: edit in the Nation, Oct 3, 2014

Democracy is in the air. Imran Khan has been raising a hue and cry about stolen election mandates and the people’s power. The joint session of the parliament repeatedly affirmed its faith in the democratic process and an ardent desire to protect it at all costs. MQM and even Tahir-ul-Qadri have been demanding that new provinces be made, so that power is decentralised. Yet despite all this, when it comes to turning all these glorious sentiment to reality, by holding Local Government (LG) elections, all parties cling to power.

November 15, the extended deadline for holding LG polls is almost upon us, and the governments of Punjab, Sindh and KPK are nowhere close to holding the election. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued notices to attorney generals of these provinces to file reports on the preparations of the provincial governments to hold the LG polls within 15 days. Will the unwilling government be pressurised into moving forward through this order, remains to be seen. The ....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments

Wazirabad scuffle  : Editorial in Dawn in Oct 3, 2014

THE anti-government ‘go Nawaz go’ slogan seems to have gone viral, thanks largely to the campaign being run by the PTI and PAT in Islamabad.Over the past few days, we have come across numerous reports of the slogan being raised in different forums, usually where members of the PML-N are present.Understandably, the N-League is extremely displeased with the frequent repetition of the stinging phrase. Patience in the party’s ranks is wearing thin and matters came to a head at an event in Wazirabad in Punjab’s Gujranwala district, where the prime minister had come to distribute cheques to flood victims.The situation turned ugly when PML-N workers, reportedly led by a provincial lawmaker, thrashed PTI supporters for raising the slogan after Nawaz Sharif had left the venue.As per remarks on television, Taufeeq Butt, the MPA in question, said similar treatment would be meted out to protesters who raised the dreaded slogan again.

 

Deplorable as the violence is, what....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments

The writer is a US-based freelance columnist Failing state, failing governments:  Dr Farzana Bari  in Daily Times, Oct 03, 2014

The power struggle within the factions of the ruling class has embroiled the country in its worst political crisis. While the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) are all three pro-status quo, pro-establishment parties, they do represent the interests of different sections of the ruling elite. The PML-N represents certain factions of big business whereas the PAT and PTI represent the middle class and sections of the elite. Unbridled squandering of national resources, rampant corruption, patronage, bribery, absence of merit and breakdown of the rule of law in the country have attracted urban youth to the rhetoric of good governance put forward by the PAT and PTI. Establishing the rule of law and meritocracy is the genuine need and concern of the middle class. They feel that they cannot compete with rich business and the capitalist and feudal class within the system that is based on corruption and bribery.

However, ....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments

 The London plan: by  Syed Kamran Hashmi  in Daily Times, Oct 03, 2014

Let us start our discussion with a simple fact: spy agencies cannot reveal the details of their operations to the public. It would be like shooting themselves in the foot if they did, would it not? Their profession demands that they work in the shadows, stay well below the radar of public attention and do everything within their means to avoid media scrutiny.

In national security states like Pakistan though, where intelligence agencies already have tremendous control over the state machinery, this rule of secrecy is sometimes compromised. That should not be a surprise. With the best of intentions, they raise their heads above the ground under arduous circumstances to maintain public appeal, to cast fear in the hearts of nonconformists and to uphold the general narrative of “virtuous us” versus the “evil enemy”. Portrayed as an evil yet powerful character, according to the agencies, the enemy is eager to wipe us off the face of the earth. Is it our unfaltering faith that ....... Read more

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Parliament Watch: Murky politics hang over Bilawal’s entry into arena

By Khawar Ghumman in Dawn, October 3rd, 2014

 

“What an irony!” Many in the Pakistan People’s Party are heard exclaiming these days.

 

They feel distressed that despite having seasoned and battle-hardened leaders like Aitzaz Ahsan, Raza Rabbani, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Qamar Zaman Kaira and others, the leadership thought it fit to pin hopes on the young Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (BBZ) to revive the party’s lost fortunes.

 

Granted his middle name still has emotional appeal for the masses but whether this inexperienced Bhutto can win same trust that his mother and grandfather were able to win is a question only time will answer.

 

PPP has chosen a somber date, October 18, for his formal entry into the political arena. Seven years ago, on that date, a huge rally had greeted Benazir Bhutto at Karachi airport on her return from self-exile and was taking her home when terrorists struck her convoy, killing and wound....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments

LHC admits petition against PM’s foreign visits

LAHORE: Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of Lahore High Court overruled the registrar office’s objection on the petition challenging foreign tours of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his stay at expensive hotels and other privileges he enjoyed in and outside the country and ordered to fix it for hearing before some bench.

The LHC registrar office had raised the objection that that more than one petition should have been filed as the petitioner sought multiple relief. On Thursday it was fixed as objection case before Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

Petitioner Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree said that the objection by the Registrar’s Office was fabricated and against the public interest. He said that the court had to decide the relief for the petitioner and not the registrar office.

He requested to overrule the objection to his petition by the registrar office and hearing of the petition, so that he public interest could be protected. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/03-....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments

Commission finds irregularities in NA-125 election

By Wajih Ahmad Sheikh  in Dawn, October 3rd, 2014

LAHORE: A commission appointed to examine polling bags and other records in NA-125, Lahore, has found several irregularities in the election, which was won by Khwaja Saad Rafiq of the PML-N.

 

Lawyer Hamid Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who was the runner-up in the constituency, had challenged the result before an election tribunal and sought to inspect the polling record.

 

The hearing of the petition was transferred to Faisalabad after the PTI candidate showed distrust in the presiding officer of the Lahore election tribunal. The Faisalabad tribunal appointed a retired district and sessions judge, Sheikh Mohammad Tareef, as head of the commission, which submitted its report to the tribunal on Sept 29.

 

The petitioner’s side will carry out cross-examination on Saturday (Oct 4).

 

The head of the commission said in his report: “After examinin....... Read more

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ROs under fire in electoral reform body

By Iftikhar A. Khan   in Dawn, October 3rd, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers on Thursday criticised the role of returning officers (ROs) in the 2013 polls and regretted the inability of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to act against polling staff involved in irregularities.

 

Members of the parliamentary committee on electoral rigging recounted instances of irregularity in the election process from their own experiences.

 

The Pakistan Peoples Party’s Aitzaz Ahsan said that as many as 152 of a total of 264 bags of votes in NA 124 – where Mr Ahsan’s wife Bushra Aitzaz had lost the election — had been opened in contravention of election rules. He said that this clearly showed that the votes had been tampered with.

ROs under fire in electoral reform body

By Iftikhar A. Khan   in Dawn, October 3rd, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers on Thursday criticised the role of returning officers (ROs) in the 2013 polls a....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments

PAT will contest next polls: Qadri

ISLAMABAD: The chief of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), Dr Tahirul Qadri, has announced that his political party will contest the next general elections.

 

Following Imran Khan’s pattern, PAT chief Dr Qadri has also announced his new plan to bring a revolution in the country by holding public meeting and showing public strength in two big cities, including Faisalabad and Lahore.

 

Addressing the participants of the Inqilab march here on Thursday, Dr Qadri said the desired change could only be brought about through parliament. “PAT will restore the decorum of parliament,” he said

 

“PAT will emerge as the largest political party of the country”, he claimed.The PAT chief said that his party would nominate election candidates from every corner of the country. “Those meeting the required standards will be issued PAT tickets to contest the polls”, he added.

 

He said they had spent around 50 days in ....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments

PM, COAS, Imran, others will have to appear: SC 

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday observed that everyone, including the prime minister (PM), chief of army staff (COAS) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan would have to appear before the court.

 

A three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad and Justice Mashir Alam resumed the hearing into the petition seeking the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday.

 

During the course of the hearing, Justice Dost Muhammad asked the petitioner’s counsel Tahir Nawaz Sindhu if he could present the COAS as a witness or put forth his statement in court.

 

Justice Khawaja remarked, “The petitioners did a good job to bring the matter to the Supreme Court. The prime minister, army chief, Imran Khan and all others will have to come. Some talks have taken place between the political establishment and the army and we will reach the bottom of it. No one ....... Read more

October 3, 2014   No Comments