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Current Affairs

Noam Chomsky on Pakistan Elections
Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky

Pakistan will never be able to match the Indian militarily and the effort to do so is taking an immense toll on the society. It’s also extremely dangerous with all the weapons development. The two countries have already come close to nuclear confrontation twice and this could get worse. So dealing with the relationship with India is extremely important. And that of course focuses right away on Kashmir. Some kind of settlement in Kashmir is crucial for both countries.....

Nawaz Sharif Makes a Comeback in Pakistan, Faces Numerous Challenges
Nawaz Sharif

In many ways, analysts say, Sharif's return reflects the slow and steady maturing of democracy and politics in Pakistan, which has been run by the military for more than half of its 66-year history.  And it is Sharif's relationship with the powerful military, which sets the agenda for foreign and security policies that will largely determine the country's future. The PML-N is set to bag over 125 of the 272 parliamentary seats for which polls were held on Saturday, with the party performing better than expected in the face of a last minute surge by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf. .......


The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) may be down after Punjab ignored its call for ‘change’ on Saturday, but it is not out. “Overall the PTI has emerged as the second largest national party, capable of playing the role of a strong, active opposition in the National Assembly and independently forming the provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Asad Omar, a central PTI leader, told Dawn. Omar sounded confident of a future for his party in national politics and did not appear disappointed at its poorer-than-expected electoral performance in Punjab……….


'Pakistan Votes In Landmark Election: Nawaz Sharif 'Set For Victory'
Nawaz Sharif

Former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif is celebrating with his supporters, amid early signs that his party will be the largest after parliamentary elections.

Media projections based on partial results suggest a big lead for Mr Sharif's Muslim League, and he has already claimed victory.

The election should lead to the country's first transition from one elected government to another.

The turnout was huge but the poll was marred by violence. In Karachi, the Pakistan Taliban said they planted a bomb which killed 11 people and wounded 40 others.

The bomb was placed outside the office of the Awami National Party. There were also attacks in Balochistan and the north-western city of Peshawar. Voting was extended for an hour across the country before closing at 18:00 (13:00 GMT). 'Thank Allah' An election commission spokesman said they hoped for a turnout of 60-80%. In 2008 it was 44%.


Election Mubarak: The World’s Bravest Democracy Rejected Those Who Supported Drones
Murtaza Haider

Pakistan may not be the world’s largest democracy, but is certainly the world’s bravest. Over 50 million voters braved heat, violence, and terrorism to cast their votes and wrote a new chapter in the history of democracy. The al Qaeda franchise in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), had vowed to target anyone who would participate in the electoral process in Pakistan. Numerous attacks and suicide bombings by the TTP targeted liberal-minded candidates resulting in the pre-poll deaths of over 100 individuals......

A Personal Perspective on the Pakistan Elections
Zulfiqar Shah

Pakistan is in the midst of the most violent and an anarchic election of its history. The electoral politics in Pakistan has polarized the internal factions of society and more importantly of the powerful security establishment. Hundreds have been killed so far in dozens incidents of violence, mostly taking place during the elections campaign. It is widely believed that the results of these elections are strategically important to decide the narrative about the future of Pakistan......

A bomb blast targeting an election candidate killed eighteen people and wounded dozens near Dawood intersection in Quaidabd area of Karachi as historic elections got underway on Saturday, police told. "We have received 11 dead bodies and several injured people," said doctor Semi Jamali, head of the emergency department at Jinnah Hospital in Karachi.  The target was an election candidate of ANP (Awami National Party). He was travelling in his car when the bomb exploded," senior police official told.......

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Israel Rescues wounded Al-Qaeda Terrorists From Syria, patches them up and sends them back into battle
Paul Watson, Infowars

(PaulWatson) – Israel is sending military vehicles into Syria to pick up wounded Al-Qaeda terrorists involved in the fight against the Syrian Army before patching them up and sending them back into battle, another startling example of how the Zionist state is working with its supposedly sworn enemies to topple President Bashar Al-Assad. That’s a not a claim being made by Iranian or Syrian state media, it’s calmly admitted in a report by the staunchly pro-Israel DebkaFile.

The brave fallen prosecutor had therefore three potent foes: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (the Pakistani Taliban known as the TTP) who are thought to have killed Bhutto; Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT); and, standing behind both, the Pakistan army's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). LeT was founded with help from the ISI….


Pakistani voters are a fragmented bunch, divided along party lines, castes and regional differences. Add to it the shoddy track record of most political parties and it seems virtually impossible for anyone to get the majority vote here....


Pakistan's Historic Ballot
Rana Banerji

India-baiting or the Kashmir issue did not figure significantly in the election campaign, though there were stray references to the Afzal Guru hanging. ….


Pakistan Elections: The Mosque and the State
Shamila N. Chaudhary
There seems to be some disagreement between Pakistan's extremists over participation in the May 11 elections. Pakistani Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan recently told Pakistanis to boycott the elections because democracy is un-Islamic, while Maulana Sami ul-Haq, a conservative cleric who runs a religious seminary that trained many Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, said in a follow-up statement that voting is a religious obligation. ....


Pakistan’s Bloody Road to Democracy
CP Bhamri

The story of Pakistan is quite complex. This is perhaps best exemplified by the fact that even though the country’s former dictatorial President Pervez Musharraf is being tried for his various crimes on the eve of a historic general election, Pakistan cannot wholeheartedly celebrate the arrival of democracy as violence and bloodshed continues unabated. Pakistan is still a long road away from democracy as those opposed to such a system are still embedded within the system....


Pakistan Elections: Imran Khan and the Charge of the Lights-Out Brigade
Jon Boone

The flimsy, £4,000 cars, which are assembled in Pakistan, are an emblem of the country's emerging middle class. They dominate the roads, either as battered taxis or as private transport for families, who always seem to squeeze into the tiny car.....


A Vote to Decide Islam’s Role in Pakistani Politics
Shahid Javed Burki

What replaces it will be determined by the shape of the new political order that finally emerges in the western Islamic world. In other words, more is at stake in Pakistan's upcoming election than just the future of Pakistan. The election has engendered both hope and anxiety among Pakistanis. It could go either way. And, for good or bad, where Pakistan goes, other Muslim countries could follow....


On May 3, 1913, Dadasaheb Phalke, an Indian director, producer and screenwriter, released India’s first full-length feature film titled Raja Harishchandra. I did some quick math, failed, tried again and in due time figured that this happened 34 years before the partition. For over three decades after its first release, the Indian film industry produced numerous films many of which originated in Lahore, present-day Pakistan.....


Pakistan Election Campaign: The Terrorists Are Clear In Their Objectives, But Are We?
Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, New Age Islam,

Election 2013 has become a turning point in Pakistan tumultuous political history rather a matter of survival especially in the war against Terrorists. Terrorists, like other political parties are waging their election campaign as well, with blood and fire, death and devastation. Terrorist related violence has become a regular theme in Pakistan’s election campaign.

Terrorists are waging their campaign with a clear head. Their strategy and objectives are simple but clear. They reject the so called democratic system in Pakistan on the grounds that it is against the basic precepts of Islam and in contrast with Sharia. Their objective is to take over the political control of Pakistan and implement a system based on their own peculiar notions of Sharia. Since they do not believe in a democratic political system, therefore, the democratic path of assuming power through elections is not an option for them. The only choice at their disposal is the medieval method of an ultimatum which presents the adversary with two options, either submit to our authority or get ready for war. Terrorists believe in this historical and traditional methodology of political warfare. From their perspective the options are defined and there is no room for confusion or a lack of clarity. On the other hand, Pakistan as a state, and we, as Pakistani nation find ourselves in a deep quagmire and are confronted with a multitude of dilemmas in this scenario. We do not have a clear strategy to combat this menace since we do not even have a consensus on whether or not this is a menace…..

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) Way
Rahimullah Yusufzai

The founders of some militant groups were associated with the JUI-F but abandoned the party because they found its policies too moderate. Some Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan commanders as well as a few leaders of Deobandi militant groups such as Harkat ul Mujahedeen, Harkat ul Ansar and Jaish-e-Mohammad, for example, started out with the JUI-F but left to chart their own radical course by picking up the gun to first fight in Kashmir, then Afghanistan and finally, Pakistan....


Imran Khan, Can He Be an Exemplary Prime Minister?
Mike Ghouse

The Fitna was started by Maulana Maududi; had it not been for him, Ziaul Haq and Bhutto, the Pakistanis would not have been belligerent towards fellow Pakistanis. Had that evil draconian anti-Islamic Hudood laws was not shoved on to Pakistanis, they would be standing up for the rights of all Pakistanis. Dictator’s Hudood laws have become Allah’s laws now, what an Irony. The germs have infected Bangladesh and Indonesia, and now affecting a few Indian Muslims as well....

Terror In Texas: Why The 14 Dead Do Not Matter While The 4 At Boston Do?
Richard Kim

Ask yourself this: Do you know the name of any one of the people killed in the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company disaster? Do you know how many of them there were? Their ages, aspirations, what they looked like, whether they left behind children or what messages they last posted on Facebook? Do you know what the cause of the explosion was or, if investigators are still searching for an explanation?...

To Win Elections in Pakistan, Islamists Resort To Takfeeri Politics

Actually Maulana Fazl ur Rehman has been using Islam to consolidate his political power in Pakistan. His JUI formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ruled the state for five years. But as BJP did not build the Ram Temple during its six years in power, Fazl ur Rehman’s JUI also did not try to implement the Sharia in the state. On the contrary he has given tickets to some clean shaven Young men against Imran Khan’s party while rejecting the applications of some ‘Hajis’ and ‘Maulanas’. This speaks of his hypocrisy......


Murder in Jail: We Are Now Just As Guilty Of Cruelty As We Accuse Pakistan to Be
Prashant Panday

I can also imagine hardliners like Modi making it a campaign point. An eye for an eye should be India’s approach, Gandhi be damned, is what he will say. I can imagine a lot of people – with right-wing leanings no doubt – speaking in defence of what an ex-Army man did to the Pakistani prisoner, even calling him a hero. Pathetic! The real truth is that we have been shamed by this murder inside our jail. We are now just as guilty of cruelty as we accuse Pakistan to be....

Every issue in Malaysia — political, economic, educational or cultural — is dominated by an ethnic shadow. When the British transferred power, it was preceded by a “bargain” between the Malay and the non-Malay political elite that political power will be in the hands of the Malays, while economic power will be retained by the non-Malays, mainly the Chinese. The Constitution was enacted and the political system functioned on the basis of this bargain....


Dealing With a Cussed Pakistan
Dileep Padgaonkar

A joint India-Pakistan commission on both counts should go some way to calm Indian fears and suspicions. So would a reciprocal release of prisoners held in the two countries. A consensus on these modes of action between the government and the opposition parties deserves priority attention once the legitimate cries of grief and outrage begin to turn into whispers – and once the high-decibel drum-beats of jingoists begin to get muffled....

Pakistan Elections: Is the Decision in Taliban’s Hands?
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

To ensure victory in the elections, one of the political beneficiaries of the unconditional support of the  Taliban in Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-N has succeeded in roping in the former extremists and communal forces who can not only help in the increase of their seats in Parliament but also provide armed support on some sensitive election centres on May 11. ....

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