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PML-Nawaz Policies Turned Balochistan Into ‘Pakhtunistan’: Former PM Jamali

“I haven’t joined PTI but have allowed my sons to shake hands with Imran” JUN 10, 2018 — Days after quitting Nawaz-led ruling party the PML, former prime minister and senior Baloch politician Zafarullah Khan Jamali has upped the ante against the deposed prime minister. Jamali has criticized Nawaz Sharif’s policies towards his resource-rich province, saying the PML-N-led government has turned Balochistan into ‘Pakhtunistan’ — an apparent pointer at Sharif’s alliances with Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) and Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s JUI-F party — both these parties’Read More


‘We Need Completely Clean People to Contest Polls’: Supreme Court

An implementation bench by the top court would be formed on how to conduct the elections;  the court would itself ensure that election rules regarding expenditure and banner sizes are followed. Jun 6, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) —  Considered one of the defining moments of elections 2018, the country’s top court on Wednesday made it mandatory for all candidates contesting in the upcoming polls to submit an affidavit that would require them to disclose all the information omitted in the new forms designed and approved by the Parliament as part of theRead More


Benazir and Zardari’s Son Bilawal Seeking Revival of Bhutto Legacy in Elections 2018

Most likely route back to power could be a post-election alliance with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) JUN 5, 2018 — Pakistan’s only major left-leaning political party is fighting for its electoral relevance and to preserve the legacy of the country’s best-known political dynasty “the Bhutto’s” weeks before the country heads to the polls. In his first election campaign, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the scion of the storied Bhutto family who now heads the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is attempting to recapture the support his mother, two-time former Prime Minister BenazirRead More


1990 Poll Rigging: With 3 Top Judges at Helm of Affairs, Asghar Khan Case May See Closure

Jun 3, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday issued notices to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and twenty other politicians and Army officials in connection with manipulation of 1990 elections which led the conservative right-wing Islami Jamhoori Ittehad front to engineer defeat of Benazir Bhutto led left-of-the-center Pakistan Peoples Party. The countrywide polls held on 24 October 1990 to elect 217 members of the National Assembly resulted in a surprise victory for IJI, led by Nawaz Sharif — it won 106 seats. Ms BhuttoRead More


‘Kite’ Unites MQM Leaders, Farooq Sattar Threatens Polls Boycott

May 31, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Chief of Karachi’s largest and strongest political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement Dr. Farooq Sattar on Wednesday said the party will boycott upcoming polls if it is not allowed to do politics within the ambit of country’s constitution. “If MQM reservations were not resolved we will boycott upcoming elections,” — July 25th has been announced as countrywide polls day for the national assembly and all the provincial assemblies. He said the party’s offices that had been sealed must be reopened immediately. Otherwise, he said, the partyRead More


US Supports Free, Fair, Transparent Polls in Pakistan: State Dept

U.S. ‘hopes the electoral reform law passed in 2017 will facilitate peaceful transfer of power to elected government after the polls’ May 30, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The United States supports free, fair and transparent elections in Pakistan, a US State Department spokesperson said in Washington on Tuesday, expressing hope that the electoral reform law passed in 2017 will facilitate a peaceful transfer of power after the polls due in July. “The United States along with other international partners has supported Pakistan’s implementation of its historic 2017 electoral reforms law,” saidRead More


‘No Party Will Hold The Majority In The Next Assembly’: Asif Ali Zardari

May 27, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Former President and Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday predicted no party will hold the majority in the next assembly — a view many observers have been voicing in the print media and on talk shows lately. However, if Gallup Pakistan’s most recent opinion poll is to be considered, PML-N — the ruling party, with Punjab as its bastion of power could swing results in its favor with enough seats to form the next  government also in the Center — other thingsRead More


Buoyed By Huge Rallies, Nawaz Sharpens His “Anti-Establishment” Narrative In Court, Media

Yesterday, however, political leaders and lawmakers set their differences aside and voted unitedly for the merger of tribal areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province May 25, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been sharing his views and stances — both in court and outside with the media — on the ongoing investigations against him and his family calling them politically motivated driven by the single agenda of “powers to be” to sideline him and his family from country’s mainstream politics. His younger brother Shahbaz Sharif who hasRead More


Who Could Possibly Be The Caretaker Prime Minister Until Elections 2018 Are Held

IRSHAD SALIM (May 22, 2018) — The 5-year term of the present PML-N government comes to an end on May 31, after which the caretaker set-up will be put in place to hold elections which are expected to be held in the last week of July. The formation of a caretaker setup will be preceded by the successful ending of a second democratically elected 5-year civilian setup completing its full term as part of the ongoing project democracy in the country that saw Pakistan Peoples Party rule for the firstRead More


PML-N Manifesto Scorecard: Myth Versus Reality

IRSHAD SALIM (May 19, 2018) — The ruling party PML-N’s election manifesto publicly announced in 2013 for the center and the provinces — mainly Punjab, its electoral stronghold — reveal not a very promising food on the table for the entire nation. Sharifs’ party ruled at the center during the last five years (2013-2018) and have been ruling in Punjab for a decade now. The most recent op-ed by Dr. Farrukh Saleem, a renowned economic data professional and analyst, presents his insight into the ruling party’s election manifesto punctuated withRead More


Punjab Assembly Passes 12 Bills in 45 Minutes in Last Session Before Elections 2018

May 17, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — In a filibuster, the provincial treasury passed 12 bills in just 45 minutes during the Punjab Assembly session on Wednesday, clearing the PML-N led government’s list of legislation before the completion of its tenure on May 31. Elections are due in the next 90 days thereafter. And while doing so the treasury members braved the suffocating heat in the house caused by a lack of internal arrangements to run air-conditioning system during the prolonged power breakdown that hit Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dawn reported. “FanningRead More


VIDEO: This Person Says “WE NEED ONE NARRATIVE” on All Major Issues

IRSHAD SALIM (May 16, 2018) — On May 3rd, I attended the World Freedom Day event organized by Karachi Media Club — its president Mubasher Mir and General Secretary Manzar Naqvi says it’s a media think-tank focused on Karachi as its ground zero and the whole country in its outreach program. However, with outer contours of its perspective touching every corner of the land, Mir says Karachi being a mini Pakistan because of its past, present and future ability to absorb huge economic immigration from upcountry of all cast, creed,Read More


UK ‘Prime Destination’ For Money Laundering From Pakistan: Report

Last year, the then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had a figure of US$200Bln as a sum that Pakistani citizens have stashed away in the Swiss bank. An estimated 4 to 5 times this figure is speculated to be held as assets by Pakistanis abroad– both lawfully and through inappropriate means including lacuna in laws enacted from time-to-time since early 90s. May 16, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The National Crime Agency (NCA) of UK has said the country remains a “prime destination” for money laundering from Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan. In itsRead More


Farooq Sattar Quits as Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Convener

May 15, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Dr Farooq Sattar has announced he will quit as convener of the Sindh urban-based party calling it a “powerless office”, while adding that he would not contest in the next general elections. “I will remain in the party as a common worker,” he said. Addressing workers at KMC ground late on Sunday, Dr Sattar said he did not want to remain leader as “charity” when he didn’t enjoy any power. He also expressed fears of being criticized ifRead More


‘Play to Vote’ Football Tournament Aims to Encourage Pakistani Women’s Participation in Polls

In October, Pakistan enacted the Elections Act to end disenfranchisement of women. Although a constitutional right, millions of women have been de facto barred from voting through agreements among political parties, local elders, and powerful figures, using outdated customs as an excuse. May 14, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — A three-day women’s football tournament celebrating female leadership ended in Islamabad on Saturday with a call to Pakistani women to take an active role in public life. The “Play to Vote” event was a collaboration between Oxfam in Pakistan, Election Commission of Pakistan,Read More


Eight Ruling Party Lawmakers From Punjab, Balochistan Jump Ship

In a related note, former Chief Minister of Punjab, Dost Muhammad Khosa has decided to join Imran Khan-led PTI. May 10, 2018 — A day after 15 former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders under the banner of “Janubi Punjab Suba Mahaz” (JPSM) shook hands with Imran Khan, eight more ruling party lawmakers defected to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) on Thursday. According to details, six MNAs, including two from Punjab and four from Balochistan, and two Punjab MPAs announced their decision to quit the PML-N. MNAsRead More


Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal Shot at, Injured During Election Rally in Hometown

“…this is a clear effort to delay the coming elections,” tweeted journalist Hamid Mir, according to the Newsweek. May 6, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal was attacked in Punjab’s Narowal district– his home town on Sunday evening, Express News reported. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader was attacked during the party’s corner meeting in Qasba Kanjrod area of the town. The incident took place when Iqbal, 59, was leaving the corner meeting, being held at MPA Rana Manan’s residence. Police said the minister received two bulletsRead More


Two Rallies, Two Cities: PPP, PTI Kick-Start Campaign for Change as Elections 2018 Nears

April 30, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — As of 9:00PM Pakistan Standard Time, over 50,000 people have assembled at PTI’s Minar-e-Pakistan jalsa in Lahore– capital of Punjab province and stronghold of PML-N, the ruling party in the country’s largest province and in the center. At almost the same time, close to similar number of people have thronged the PPP’s Liaqatabad jalsa in Karachi– Pakistan province of Sindh’s capital and the country’s economic powerhouse, still a stronghold of MQM, the party which faces existential threats due to external and internal polemics. The twoRead More


Foreign Affairs Minister Khawaja Asif Disqualified As Parliamentarian For Non-Disclosure Of Gainful Employment With UAE Firm

— Opposition Leader in the Senate and veteran politician Sherry Rehman has demanded Asif resign as the country’s Foreign Minister, following the ruling. — The country’s apex court recently ruled that parliamentarians disqualified over Article 62(1)(f) clause of the Constitution will be ineligible to contest elections or hold party office for life. April 26, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The Islamabad High Court on Thursday disqualified Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif as member parliament under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution for not declaring his gainful employment with a UAE firm in nomination papersRead More


2018 Elections: Caretaker Govt and Race for Electables

There is a myth that the electables need political parties; but the fact of the matter is that it is the other way round, as to form government, political parties need winning candidates. By MOHAMMAD JAMIL: PRESENT government’s tenure ends on May 31, 2018, and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will ask the President to dissolve the assemblies. Of course, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have to agree on the name of the caretaker prime minister; and Syed Khursheed Shah will consult other opposition parties in thisRead More