Pakistan’s Sham Election


How will this outcome affect India Pakistan relations?

Those of us who have watched Pakistan for decades, however, viewed the election with a more jaundiced eye. It was marked by appalling levels of electoral violence, including an election day suicide bombing in Quetta that killed at least 31. Second, the result was predetermined by Pakistan’s powerful army, which engaged in electoral malfeasance for months leading up to the election and on election day itself. The army was hell-bent upon securing Khan’s victory and even encouraged political parties with overt ties to terrorist groups to field several hundred candidates, alongside some 1,500 candidates tied to Pakistan’s right-wing Islamist parties. These right-wing groups will help forge Khan’s electoral coalition, underwritten by Pakistan’s army and the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the intelligence agency that does the army’s dirty work at home and abroad.

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C. Christine Fair — Foreign Affairs

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Pakistan: The combustible democracy


It is pertinent to mention here that the army has dominated Pakistan’s 70 years existence and every coup has been sanctioned by judiciary. Nawaz Sharif’s premature dismissal could be due to increasing tensions between the civil and military leadership. The ousted leader’s ‘softer’ approach towards arch rival India has raised those tensions. In October last year The Dawn newspaper published a report on a National Security Committee meeting in which the government allegedly accused the army of helping some terror outfits. The inquiry report into what came to be known as the Dawn Leaks was at first rejected by the military but later accepted. The Prime Minister’s special assistant Tariq Fatmi was held responsible for the leak and supposedly sacked. Later, however, it came to light that he had continued to work for the PM. This led to further distrust between the military and the government. That trust deficit may increase.

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Emanuel Sarfraz — The Interpreter

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Strangers on an 18-Hour Train


These days there is a lot of mistrust in the air. Many times simple communication can help remove suspicion.

The night wore on, and people began to close their eyes, but the seats were so uncomfortable that only a very heavy sleeper could manage to get any rest. The train continued its slow pace, stopping every so often at another station. Because of the heat and suffocating air in the compartment, many windows were kept open. The woman with the child on her lap looked over at the man in Seat 54. He was still staring at her. I was beginning to get angry with him. Even under such filthy and uncomfortable circumstances, he couldn’t resist indulging his desire to gaze at an attractive woman. She began to look back at him with fire in her eyes.

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Rafiq Ebrahim — The New York Times Magazine

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