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Will Imran Khan manage to rid Pakistan of ISIS?

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Will Imran Khan manage to rid Pakistan of ISIS?

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:06 pm

Imran Khan urges people to reject corrupt politicians on July 25

Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan Thursday urged people to change their destiny by voting sincere leaders into power and reject those who were involved in corruption and money laundering during their terms in the government.

Addressing a huge public gathering at Charsadda, Imran asked the people to help him make a new Pakistan :ymapplause:

He claimed that Pakistani currency was devalued owing to transfer of billions of embezzled money that was illegally taken out of the country by corrupt leaders, adding the money transfer had indebted the nation of Rs 27,000 billion.

Imran alleged former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif did huge corruption.

Common people were being punished for petty thefts, while those who made billions of rupees illegally were still at large, he added.

He said that Pakistanis had purchased property worth Rs 900 billion in Dubai from the looted money during the last four years.

He quipped that Shahbaz Sharif who claimed to have turned Lahore into Paris should see the situation in the city after the recent rains, maintaining that all the development was restricted to advertisement campaigns to mislead the people.

Khan said if voted to power, the PTI would steer the country out of crises by eliminating corruption and inviting foreign investment and reducing taxes.

The institutions would be strengthened to achieve the desired goals, he added.

The PTI chief urged the Charsadda dwellers to change their fate by electing sincere and dedicated people on July 25. He said people should unite to defeat corrupt and make new Pakistan for a better future.

He also criticized Asfandyar Wali Khan and his party (ANP) leadership for massive loot and plunder of national wealth during their stint in power from 2008 to 2013.

Similarly, he said JUI (F) chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman was a ''political magnet,'' who always enjoyed perks and privileges in every government during the last 15 years.

Imran alleged that Maulana Fazlur Rehman was using name of religion for his personal and political gains.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/33788 ... on-july-25

Imran Khan puts money into the country, instead of taking money our for himself :ymapplause:

Imran Khan is changing the health system in Pakistan, building new hospitals (I think he is working on hospital number 4) that provide FREE healthcare for those who without money :ymapplause:
Last edited by Anthea on Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:19 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Will Imran Khan manage to rid Pakistan of ISIS?

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Re: Imran Khan urges people to reject corrupt politicians

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:40 am

Pakistan ex-PM Nawaz Sharif given 10 year jail term

A Pakistani court has sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison on corruption charges related to four luxury London flats.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court handed down the verdict after a series of delays.

Mr Sharif previously filed to delay the ruling while he was in London with his wife, where she is receiving cancer treatment.

The former leader has called the charges politically motivated.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44737793
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Re: Imran Khan urges people to reject corrupt politicians

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:51 pm

Pakistan election:
Scores killed in bomb attacks on poll rallies

A suicide bomber has killed at least 128 people and injured more than 150 in an attack on a campaign rally in south-western Pakistan, officials say.

A provincial election candidate was among the dead in the town of Mastung.

Earlier, a bomb attack on another election-related gathering killed four people in the northern town of Bannu.

There are fears of further violence ahead of general elections on 25 July.

Meanwhile, former PM Nawaz Sharif was arrested after flying home from the UK.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam were taken into custody by officials from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after landing in the northern city of Lahore. They were later put on a chartered plane bound for Pakistan's capital Islamabad.

Reports say that they will be then transferred to a prison.

The three-term PM was ousted last year after a corruption investigation. Last week he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison.

He has accused Pakistan's powerful security establishment of conspiring against him ahead of the elections.

What is known about Friday's attack?

The attack in Mastung was the deadliest such incident in Pakistan in more than a year. There are fears that the death toll will rise further.

Among those killed was Baluchistan provincial assembly candidate Siraj Raisani, his family said. He was a candidate for Balochistan Awami party.

Earlier in the day, a campaign convoy of another candidate was attacked in Bannu.

Akram Khan Durrani, who represents the MMA party, was unhurt, officials say.

Secular parties targeted
By BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad

These attacks are unexpected as they come amid claims by the army that militants have been cleared from Pakistan's western regions on the Afghan border, which have become a sanctuary for the Taliban.

Before the 2013 elections, militants had issued early warnings, resulting in a muted campaign by targeted secular parties. Those parties lost the poll by wide margins.

Those same parties and groups appear to be targets again.

These latest attacks may also trigger a new set of tensions ahead of an election already marred by controversy.

Significantly, the attacks come in the aftermath of the conviction of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by an anti-corruption court.

Friday's attacks came just hours before Sharif flew in from the UK to Lahore, and the city is under a lockdown ordered by authorities to prevent his supporters from staging a huge welcome for him.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber hit a campaign gathering in the northern city of Peshawar, killing 22 people - including a provincial candidate.

The Pakistani Taliban said it had carried out that attack.

Tensions across Pakistan have been rising ahead of Sharif's return to the country.

Thousands of police officers have been deployed and shipping containers have been placed on some main roads in to block supporters from reaching the airport.

On Thursday, Sharif's PML-N party said hundreds of activists in Lahore had been detained ahead of Sharif's return.

Pakistan's general election

    Voters will elect candidates for the 342-seat Pakistan National Assembly

    The main parties are Nawaz Sharif's PML-N, former cricketer Imran Khan's PTI and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's PPP

    It will mark the second time that one civilian government has handed power to another after serving a full term

    The run-up to the vote has been marred by what observers say is a crackdown on political activists, journalists and critics of the powerful military

    More than 371,000 troops will be deployed to protect the election and ensure it is "free and fair", the army says

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44824619
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Re: Pakistan: Suicide bomber killed at least 128 people

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:33 pm

A Guide to the Key Players in Pakistan’s Coming Election
By Kamran Haider and Ismail Dilawar

Two of the three main contenders to lead Pakistan next aren’t even scheduled to appear on the ballot in the July 25 national elections.

Anti-graft crusader Imran Khan is the candidate of the Movement for Justice. His rival, ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is in jail -- disqualified from running on the grounds of corruption -- but a force nonetheless, represented in the campaign by his brother, Shehbaz.

On no ballot is the military, which, critics say, is working to bring a weak government to power to maintain its dominance over Pakistan. Here’s a closer look at them and the other main actors in the election.

1. Imran Khan:

Khan, 65, led Pakistan’s national cricket team to World Cup victory in 1992 and entered politics five years later. His center-right Movement for Justice, also known as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, has slowly made inroads into the national assembly, becoming the third-largest political group in 2013.

Khan led the anti-corruption campaign against Sharif, and this election is the best shot he’s had at power. He holds particular appeal among young voters disenchanted by Pakistan’s dynastic politics. But he’s been accused by analysts and politicians of being a tool for the military’s aim to get a pliant leader into power, an assertion he’s denied. He’s also courted controversy by appealing to the religious right and cultivating an image of piety.

Educated at the University of Oxford and married three times, Khan has long had a reputation as a playboy. His second wife, TV journalist Rehman Khan this month published a tell-all autobiography that included lurid claims about his private life. In February, Khan wed spiritual leader Bushra Maneka. He will face a tough battle in the Sharif family vote bank of Punjab, which represents more than half of parliament’s seats and is essential to forming a government.

2. The Sharif family

The head of a wealthy industrialist family from Lahore, Nawaz Sharif, 68, held the prime minister’s office twice in the 1990s. He was removed first under a cloud of corruption allegations, then again in a military putsch. He regained the post in 2013 only to resign last year after the Supreme Court ruled that graft charges related to the 2016 Panama Papers disqualified him from office.

Following their convictions by an anti-corruption court, he and his daughter and political heir Maryam were arrested when they returned to Lahore from the U.K. this month. Nawaz is appealing. His younger brother Shehbaz is expected to become prime minister if the family’s party, the generally conservative Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, prevails in the election. Known as a tough administrator in his previous role as chief minister of Punjab province, Shehbaz is campaigning on the party’s record of reducing power outages and ushering in infrastructure projects with the help of Chinese financing. He also has better relations with the military than his brother.

3. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

The son of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, 29-year-old Bilawal has struggled with having the party leadership thrust on him before he’d finished his studies at Oxford. Contesting elections for the first time, Bilawal is attempting to rejuvenate the Pakistan Peoples Party, which was diminished under the stewardship of his father Asif Ali Zardari, who served as president from 2008 to 2013. Widely unpopular because of his reputation for corruption, Zardari has repeatedly protested his innocence.

He was convicted of money laundering in 2003 in Switzerland but granted amnesty in Pakistan so he could return from exile without being arrested. He spent 11 years in prison on graft charges brought by a previous Sharif administration and during the rule of General Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in a 1999 coup. While not considered to have a serious chance of winning the elections, Bilawal has been channeling his mother in an attempt to build up his party beyond its stronghold in southern Sindh province. His mother’s father, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was executed in 1977 after a coup d’etat led by General Zia ul-Haq, under whose tutelage Nawaz Sharif began his political career.

4. The military

It’s been a decade since Musharraf stepped down as Pakistan’s last military ruler. However, the armed forces continue to operate what is essentially a parallel government, holding a forceful sway over security and foreign policy and much of the economy. Many politicians plainly fear irking the forces. Yet the PML-N and PPP have accused the army of interference ahead of the elections through intimidation of their candidates and stifling the press from covering their campaigns.

Critics say the military is attempting to bring a government to power that won’t challenge its dominance over the country. The army has denied all allegations of manipulation and press censorship and says it wants free and fair elections. It will be only the second time that a civilian administration has passed on power in a country that has been directly ruled by the armed forces for almost half of its 71 years.

5. The possible kingmakers

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan -- The 63-year-old (no relation to Imran) hails from a military family and entered politics in 1985. Khan was a key member of Sharif’s party before breaking with it after the former premier’s removal from power last year. Khan is contesting the election as an independent and is known to have good contacts with the armed forces. Analysts have speculated that Khan may play a kingmaker role by forming a sizable coalition of independent candidates.

Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman -- The grey-bearded cleric first became a member of parliament in 1988 and is known for his close relations with the Afghan Taliban’s late chief Mullah Omar. Rehman, 65, has a strong following in the provinces of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkwa and southwestern Balochistan. He recently reunited like-minded religious parties under the banner of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and may be a key power broker in a coalition government. His party has been part of two previous civilian administrations.

Mustafa Kamal -- The 46-year-old is attempting to break the previously tight grip of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement on the financial capital of Pakistan. A former mayor of Karachi, Kamal two years ago broke away from the MQM, which represents the city’s Urdu-speaking majority. Following an army-led clampdown against the party after decades of political and ethnic warfare across the megacity of 15 million, Kamal formed the Pak Sarzameen Party and is seen to have the military’s support. Kamal is hoping to unite the city under a wide ethnic banner and clinch increased funding for badly needed development work across the water-scarce city. As with the MQM in the past, the PSP could become a ruling-party partner in the event of a hung parliament.

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -quicktake
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Pakistan heads for dirtiest election in years

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:38 pm

Pakistan heads for dirtiest election in years
Kiran Stacey and Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad

Pakistan is heading for one of its dirtiest elections in many years, observers and political campaigners have warned, with candidates alleging widespread interference by the country’s powerful army

With days to go until next Wednesday’s vote, members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said they had been targeted by members of the intelligence services, as tensions ran high between the party’s ruling Sharif family and the country’s influential military.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the country’s former prime minister and a senior PML-N member, told the FT: “There has been coercion on members of our party to switch sides, with many of them being threatened with corruption cases.”

Referring to the 2002 election, during which Pervez Musharraf, the military dictator, was accused of blocking his two main opponents, Mr Abbasi said: “This is shaping up to be the worst election since 2002 — people have begun treating it as a joke.”

Hostility between the PML-N and the army has been high since last year, when Nawaz Sharif was ousted as prime minister and party leader on corruption charges that his allies say were orchestrated by the military. The PML-N government remained in power until parliament was dissolved in May in preparation for the election under a caretaker government.

Last week Mr Sharif was jailed for 10 years in a judgment that could see him unable to campaign during the election.

Meanwhile many members of his party said they had been called by people they believed to be working for the army and urged to switch allegiances.

Some said their movements had been monitored and occasionally obstructed, while others alleged they had been hounded through the courts. Mr Abbasi’s own nomination papers were challenged in the Supreme Court, which eventually ruled in his favour.

The army has denied political interference, with Major General Asif Ghafoor, its spokesman, saying it would play its role in a “non-political and impartial manner”.
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The PML-N is engaged in a two-way fight with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the anti-corruption party led by Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former cricket captain. Mr Khan has denied allegations that he was being backed by the country’s powerful generals, and has condemned any harassment of election candidates.

Presuming the vote goes ahead as planned, it will be only the second time Pakistan has made a transition from one civilian government to another. But the security of the election process has been thrown into doubt by a string of attacks on election rallies, including one in Mastung that killed 149 people.

Some accuse the army of not doing enough to provide security for political candidates, while others accuse it of outright harassment.

Concerns about the treatment of the PTI’s main opponents, including the Pakistan People’s Party and the Awami National Party, have prompted Pakistan’s human rights commission to issue a damning report into the election process.

The commission said this week it was “gravely concerned over what it sees as blatant, aggressive and unabashed attempts to manipulate the outcome of the upcoming elections”.

It said it was also concerned by the army’s plan to put 370,000 troops on the streets on polling day, compared with just 70,000 at the previous general election in 2013.

Journalists said they were also coming under increased pressure to toe the army’s line, with those who failed to comply facing problems with distributing their news. In March, cable television services in certain areas of the country began blocking the transmission of the television station Geo, while the English-language Dawn newspaper said its sales networks had been disrupted.

Meanwhile election observers from international organisations said their visas and government accreditations had been delayed for weeks, giving them only a few days on the ground before polling day next Wednesday.

“We have never had a situation like this in any of our 150-plus missions,” said Dmitra Ioannou, the deputy chief observer for the EU observation mission. “Usually our long-term observers would spend five to six weeks on the ground. This time, because of all the delays with our paperwork, they will get just one to two weeks, if that.”

https://www.ft.com/content/4572d7f4-89c ... 71d5404543
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Re: On 25 July Pakistan heading for dirtiest election in yea

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:58 pm

Imran Khan, Shahbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari battle for power

More than a hundred parties are taking part in 2018 elections, but the real contest is amongst the three main political parties campaign comes to an end today

Dubai: The election campaign for the 2018 general polls is coming to an end tonight (12am) with thousands of candidates canvassing people to vote for them on July 25.

Though the campaign trail for major parties has been a bit lacklustre affair compared to previous elections due to bomb blasts at some rallies causing causalities, leaders of the major political parties did not budge as they continued to hold rallies till the last minute.

This election is unique as the three major political parties are competing with one another in a race to form the national government and also trying to take over power in the four provinces.

Fazalur Rehman, centre, leader of Pakistani religious parties alliance, shows solidarity with other Fazalur Rehman, centre, leader of Pakistani religious parties alliance, shows solidarity with other leaders during an election campaign in Karachi.

Some other smaller but significantly strong parties, which play key role in every elections and can enter into an alliance to help the bigger parties in forming the government include the Karachi-based Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM); Pakistan Muslim League-Q ; Grand Democratic Alliance (JDA); grand alliance of religious parties called Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA), secular group Awami National Party (ANP); Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP); Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Balochistan National Party.

Supporters of Shahbaz Sharif, head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), dance and cheer to songs Supporters of Shahbaz Sharif, head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), dance and cheer to songs during an election campaign rally in Pindi Gheb in Punjab province.

Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Pakistan Justice Party political office as Tv polls show PTI to win majority seats on July 25 General Elections

A 40-years old Misbah Akhter is a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar and works as a management consultant in a private firm. He is a diehard supporter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and says he will definitely cast his vote to PTI like last time because he thinkPTI is the only party who will work for the betterment of Pakistan.

Arshad Yousafzai, 29 years old is a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal. He belongs to Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. But, shifted to Karachi in 2008 for studies. Now, he is a registered voter in Karachi NA-243. Being a responsible citizen of Pakistan, he will vote Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz because its election campaign was much better than other parties. He likes PLMN’s manifesto and its pervious policies for the country. In his opinion, the party deserves to be elected again because a number of serous politicians are associated with PML-N.

A 29 years old Yasir Abbas is a resident of North Karachi, according to him, he cast his vote in 2013 general elections but not satisfied with the performance of the winning candidate that is why he might vote someone else this time. He believes every citizen should exercise this right to bring changes in their respective areas and country.

Syed Saifuddin Shabbir, a 52 years old network administration by profession at a local company, is a resident of Shabbirabad Block-B but his vote is registered in Old City area. On July 25, he along with his family will go to polling station established near City Court to cast his vote.

Understanding Pakistan Elections 2018

    ■ Total number of seats: 849 (including national assembly and four provincial assemblies)
    ■ Total number of candidates: 11,855
    ■ Number of political parties taking part: 107
    ■ Number of National Assembly seats: 342 (272 directly elected, 60 reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities)

    ■ Number of candidates contesting for National Assembly: 3,459

    ■ From Punjab:1,623
    ■ From Sindh: 824
    ■ From KPK: 725
    ■ From Balochistan: 287

    Election in four provincial assemblies in four provinces of Pakistan
    Punjab Assembly:

    ■ Number of candidates: 4,036
    ■ Number of general seats to contest: 297
    Sindh Assembly:

    ■ Number of candidates: 2,252
    ■ Number of general seats to contest: 130
    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:

    ■ Number of candidates: 1,165
    ■ Number of general seats to contest: 99
    Balochistan Assembly:

    ■ Number of candidates: 943
    ■ Number of general seats to contest: 51

    Electoral roll

    • Population of Pakistan: 200 million (last estimate)
    • Total number of voters: 105.96 million
    • Number of voters in 2013 elections: 86.19 million
    • New voters in 2018: 19.77 million
    • Male: 59.22million (5.9 per cent)
    • Female: 46.73million (44.1 per cent)
    • Gender gap between male and female voters rising to around 12.5million.

    • Number of voters in Punjab: 60.67million
    • Male: 33.68million
    • Female: 26.99million

    • Number of voters in Sindh: 22.39million
    • Male: 12.44million
    • Female: 9.95million

    • Number of voters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 15.32m
    • Male: 8.71million
    • Female: 6.61million

    • Number of voters in Balochistan: 4.3million
    • Male: 2.49million
    • Female: 1.81million

    • Number of voters in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA): 2.51million
    Violence, Sharif corruption case put Pakistan on edge
Washington Post

The elections to choose Pakistan's next prime minister are rife with tension that, analysts say, could erupt into political upheaval in the nuclear-armed nation that is a key player in US-driven efforts to fight terrorism in the region.

Emotions are high over a corruption case that put ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif in prison this month. Wednesday's elections for control of the National Assembly are expected to be a close contest between Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party and former cricket star Imran Khan's Pakistan Movement for Justice party.

After a recent string of suicide bomb attacks at political rallies killed nearly 160 people in less than a week, including a candidate from Khan's party on Sunday, 371,000 soldiers will be at polling stations around the country - what some see as a necessary layer of security and others regard as proof that the nation's military, which has staged several coups in the past, intends to control the results in a still-fragile democracy.

Against that backdrop is the possibility that Khan, 65, who is seen as a favorite of Pakistan's armed forces, will prevail.

A woman supporter of Tehreek-e-Insaf party raises a picture of her party's leader Imran Khan A woman supporter of Tehreek-e-Insaf party raises a picture of her party's leader Imran Khan during an election campaign rally in Karachi. AP

Anything but an overwhelming victory by either side is likely to be marred by allegations of fraud and a struggle for control of the government - pulling attention away from a foundering economy, a looming debt crisis and foreign policy concerns that include US attempts to end the war in neighboring Afghanistan, analysts say.

"There is a higher likelihood than there has been in the past that this could end up in a political crisis that makes governance virtually impossible," said Moeed Yusuf, a South Asia expert at the U.S. Institute for Peace.

Imran Khan tweeted this on Sunday

    Absolutely amazing crowd in Karachi on Sunday. Karachi hasn't seen such a large jalsa in six years. pic.twitter.com/Pc9tu0s7jg— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 22, 2018

Khan, a fiery orator who casts himself as a crusader against government corruption, has seized on the case that ensnared Sharif - a three-time prime minister - and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, 44.

They both returned home from London this month to turn themselves in after they were found guilty of hiding money through the ownership of luxury London apartments and other offshore properties, a case that stemmed from the leaked 2016 Panama Papers.

Sharif, 68, received a 10-year sentence, while his daughter got seven years. Both are appealing their prison terms.

Khan and his supporters say the case shows how the halls of power in Islamabad have long been addled by corruption at the expense of the nation's tattered economy.

"The difference now is that I speak to a public that understands issues like corruption and how it impacts their lives," Khan wrote on Twitter this month. "They now understand (the) correlation between corruption & poverty, unemployment & inflation."

His message has resonated with the country's growing urban middle class, which is mostly young and conservative, said Michael Kugelman, a senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center in Washington.

"These young urban conservative middle-class folks, they see the established parties as corrupt, out of touch and not really interested in providing for the common people," Kugelman said. "That is a key constituency to capture."

Sharif's party is reeling from the fact that its charismatic founder is in prison and disqualified for life from holding office.

But the party remains formidable, particularly in populous Punjab province - home to 141 National Assembly seats - which lifted Sharif to power in the 2013 elections. To control the government outright, a party needs to win at least 172 seats.

Before turning himself in, Sharif energized his base by alleging that the corruption charges were part of a move by the armed forces to push him out.

As prime minister, Sharif was often at odds with the military and advocated for policies its leaders were against, such as normalizing relations with India, the country's bitter foe.

Link to Full Article - Photos:

https://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan ... -1.2255604
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Re: Pakistan elections 25 July could save world from ISIS

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:49 am

Who is Imran Khan, the man who could lead Pakistan?

Pakistan's crucial election on Wednesday (today) will see tens of millions vote in a poll which could drastically change the political landscape of the country.

If it goes ahead, it will be the second time a civilian government has handed power to another since the country became independent in 1947.

But months of violence which have seen hundreds die in a series of terrorist attacks puts this at risk.

The two main candidates are neck and neck, with a narrow victory predicted for cricket superstar turned politician Imran Khan.

If he defeats his main opponent - three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was arrested on corruption charges earlier this month - he will likely have to form a coalition to govern.

A Khan victory would see the end of decades of domination by the Bhutto and Sharif families.
Imran Khan addresses crowds while on the campaign trial

Who is Imran Khan?

Born Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi in 1952, he is now known simply as Imran.

The 65-year-old cricket legend stood and was defeated in the 2013 elections, coming third.

Many see this election as his last chance to fulfill his ambition of becoming Pakistan's next prime minister.

Founding the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in 1996, his sporting prowess and vows to crack down on corruption mean many hail him as a hero.

A sporting hero

Imran captained his team to victory in the 1992 cricket world cup - an achievement that saw the entire country erupt in celebrations of a magnitude rarely seen in Pakistan.

His encouragement to the team that they fight like "cornered tigers" that year has seen the phrase enter sporting mythology.

Despite his cricket career being well in his past, the hashtag #behindyouskipper is one of the highest trending hashtags on social media in Pakistan, attracting messages of support from former international superstars including Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

The playboy

Six foot tall, urbane and with a voice that reveals his Oxford education, Imran gained a reputation as a playboy and party animal during his sporting career.

He began to settle down when he married British heiress and socialite Jemima Khan in 1995, a year before he founded his political party.

They had two children but divorced in 2004 after nine years together.

His second marriage to journalist and weather presenter Reham Khan lasted 10 months before he reportedly "divorced her by text message" in 2015.

In February this year, he married for a third time - to Bushra Maneka, a faith healer who treated him.

The young Imran

Imran says he struggled to make friends when he first arrived in England in 1971. He endured racial slurs but says he was never physically beaten up.

In leaving Lahore, he left behind a childhood spent playing cricket with his four servants and life as a student at Aitchison College, known as the Eton of Pakistan.

He was distant from his father but close to his mother, whose family were known as the godfathers of Lahore Cricket Club - to the point that when people began to call him his mother's family name Khan, rather than Niazi, he let them.

His mother died of cancer in 1985 and he built a hospital in his home city in her honour; he has expanded this to Peshawar and also plans to build one in Karachi.

25 Mar 1992: Imran Khan of Pakistan celebrates after taking the wicket of Richard Illingworth of England to win the World Cup Final at the Melbourne Crick

Politics

Broadly speaking, Imran today is a pragmatist.

He is a political operator who merges conservative views with his history of living a liberal Western lifestyle.

Now a devout Muslim, he has abandoned western dress and is often seen dressed in an immaculate white shalwar kameez.

His conservative views include being critical of feminism and supporting strict blasphemy laws. He speaks of the scourge of “westoxified” elites in Pakistan.

He vows to eradicate corruption from the top of government, to be tough on terror and to fight poverty.

However, when pressed in the media, he rarely goes into detail.

His background of family wealth, being a public personality, railing against liberals and electing himself the voice of the forgotten everyman has prompted The Sunday Times to compare him to Donald Trump - a politician Khan has called "ignorant and ungrateful".

Political controversy

Pakistan's powerful military has been accused of influencing the election to fall in Imran's favour by censoring media coverage.

Some believe if he wins with a slim majority, the army will be able to exercise some power behind the scenes.

Imran was rebuked by some for criticising NATO and has reportedly said the Taliban should be allowed to open an office in Pakistan to facilitate peace talks.

https://news.sky.com/story/who-is-imran ... n-11447526
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Re: Today's Pakistan election could end terrorist violence

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:15 pm

Pakistan election: Dozens killed on voting day

Pakistan has been hit by violence on the day of its general elections - with at least 31 dead in the worst attack.

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a polling station in the city of Quetta. The Islamic State group said it had carried out the attack.

Elsewhere, minor blasts and clashes left several injured and two dead.

Millions have voted in the polls, with the parties of ex-cricket star Imran Khan and disgraced former PM Nawaz Sharif competing for the most seats.

Voting officially closed at 18:00 (13:00 GMT), with the results probably known early on Thursday.

The campaign has been overshadowed by concerns of fraud and violence, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says there have been "blatant" attempts to manipulate the polls.

Mr Khan has vowed to tackle corruption but his rivals accuse him of benefiting from alleged meddling by the military, which has ruled Pakistan for nearly half of its history.

Mr Sharif, who won the last election, has been jailed for corruption after a scandal stemming from the Panama Papers leak.

How bad is the violence?

Despite tight security, with hundreds of thousands of troops and police officers deployed across the country, there have been violent attacks.

In addition to the suicide attack in Quetta, in Balochistan province, one person died in a grenade attack in Khuzdar, and another died in a shooting between political rivals in Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The Dawn newspaper also reported clashes in Mardan, Rajanpur, Khipro and Kohistan.

An ISIS claimed attack targeting a political rally earlier this month in nearby Mastung killed at least 149 people.

Why is this election important?

Pakistan has been ruled on and off by the military during its 71-year history. This election is significant because it will mark only the second time that one civilian government has handed power to another after serving a full term.

But the run-up to the vote has been controversial.

Mr Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) complains of a targeted crackdown by the security establishment, with the alleged help of the courts, in favour of Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

On Sunday, a judge in the High Court of Islamabad appeared to support that allegation, saying that the military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) organisation had been interfering in the judiciary.

In a BBC interview on Monday, Mr Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz - who was jailed earlier this month with her father on corruption-related charges - criticised the military.

"When a prime minister refuses to put down his head and do their [the military's] bidding, they pull him down with four things; get a religious fatwa issued against him, call him a traitor, call him a friend of India, or call him corrupt. They use these things against every elected prime minister," she said.

Several PML-N candidates also say they have been coerced to switch to the PTI. The Pakistani military denies interfering in politics.

Independent media, meanwhile, say there have been blatant attempts to muzzle them. There are also concerns about the participation of militants on international terror blacklists in the election process.

For all these reasons, the human rights commission has said there are "ample grounds" to question the legitimacy of the polls, "with alarming implications for Pakistan's transition to an effective democracy".
Has Imran Khan's time come?

As voters queued up outside polling stations, the question on everyone's mind was whether Mr Khan will be the next prime minister.

He entered politics in the late 1990s when memories of Pakistan's cricketers winning the World Cup were still fresh. But only in 2013 did his party emerge as a serious contender, with its leader touted as a harbinger of change, out to fight corruption.

He lost by a wide margin, but has continued to lead what many see as a divisive campaign.

In the constituency being contested by Mr Khan, a voter called Rauf told me he was voting for "anyone who uplifts the country". I asked who could do that, and he replied: "It's easy to guess. See what those who have been in power have done to the country. They've destroyed it."

Mr Khan has staked his campaign on shaking up the political order and taking on Pakistan's entrenched political dynasties.

This election is the closest he's ever got to being prime minister. Will that happen? Or will the PML-N stay the largest party after a sympathy wave by voters for the man he helped oust?

Who are the main candidates?

The election is generally seen as a contest between the PML-N, now led by Mr Sharif's brother, Shehbaz, and the PTI.

Nawaz Sharif - a 68-year-old three-time PM - made a dramatic return to Pakistan ahead of the vote to face a 10-year prison sentence. He was disqualified from office last year by the Supreme Court after the Panama Papers leak revealed his family's ownership of several luxury flats in London.

His appeal hearing will not be held until after the vote.

As he cast his vote in the Islamabad suburb of Bani Gala, Mr Khan, 65, told reporters it was "time to defeat parties which kept this country hostage for years".

The country's best-known opposition politician has denied colluding with the military. Analysts say he will have to make serious inroads in Punjab province - a PML-N stronghold - in order to win the vote.

The party of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the historically liberal PPP, is widely expected to come third.

It is now fronted by Ms Bhutto's son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, a 29-year-old Oxford University graduate.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44924384
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Re: Pakistan election: Dozens killed on voting day ISIS guil

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:42 pm

Early projections put Imran Khan's party ahead :ymparty:

Naeem-Ul-Haq, chief of staff to Imran Khan, has said Khan will address the nation at 2pm Thursday, “in celebration and recognition of the massive support received from the people of Pakistan in the 2018 elections which was a contest between the forces of good and evil.”

No official results have been announced by the Pakistan election commission, however early projections from local media TV channels all put Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in the lead, estimating it will win over a 100 of 272 elected seats up for grabs. However, in order to be able to form government by itself, without making a deal with some of the smaller parties, the PTI will need to win 137 seats.

Based on unofficial results of 26% of polling stations broadcast on Pakistani media, PTI is leading on 109 seats, while the PMLN, the party of ousted former prime minister
Nawaz Sharif, is in second place with 67 seats, followed by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party which has 38 seats.

According to unofficial numbers, there was only a 53% voter turnout in Punjab, the stronghold of ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party. Imran Khan, the frontrunner in the election, is banking on gains in the Sharif
heartland to win Wednesday’s landmark vote. Punjab, the key election battleground, has 141 elected parliamentary seats and accounts for more than half the 272 elected seats in the National Assembly.
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Re: Pakistan election: Dozens killed on voting day ISIS guil

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:51 pm

Imran Khan: Can former cricket star change Pakistan?
By M Ilyas Khan BBC News, Islamabad

Imran Khan, a former star cricketer, has claimed victory in Pakistan's elections two decades after he first entered the political arena. :ymapplause:

This is the climax of a career that began in the 1970s for a man once widely seen in the West, and particularly in the UK, as an Oxford-educated playboy, as at home in London's nightclubs as he was at the batting crease.

In the West, writes Jonathan Boone, a former Pakistan correspondent for the Guardian, his politics are still "presumed to be as liberal as his private life".

The coming months and years will determine if that's true.

Promise of change

He started his political career in the late 1990s, still basking in the glow of having led Pakistan's cricket team to a World Cup win in 1992. But it took a further two decades for him to become a serious contender for power.

In 2013, his Pakistan Justice Movement (PTI) party emerged from obscurity as the third largest political force, after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former president Asif Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

So for Mr Khan, and many of his followers, this is a dream come true.

He brings with him the promise of change; improved education and health facilities, and more jobs for the youth - who constitute nearly 64% of the country's population and provide the bulk of Mr Khan's electoral support.

He seems to be comfortably placed to make this happen. With his tally of parliamentary seats, he will be able to muster the required majority by attracting independent candidates instead of having to make uncomfortable alliances with organised parties.

His initial challenge as prime minister will be to gain legitimacy - he is seen by critics and rivals as a proxy of the country's powerful military establishment, which they say manipulated the electoral process to propel him to power.

Mr Khan is also accused of undermining democracy by conducting a vicious five-year-long campaign against Mr Sharif - who was ousted as prime minister by the Supreme Court last year - despite the fact that Mr Sharif's election in 2013 was seen by domestic and international observers as largely free and fair.

But this is only half of the problem.

Blow to dynastic politics

Observers say Mr Khan's most significant challenges are likely to flow from his rather simplistic notion of what actually ails Pakistan. This is apparent from what he has been telling his followers in recent years.

Mr Khan says the only way he can fulfil his promise of job creation and improved services is by dealing a death blow to dynastic politics - his two chief rivals, the PML-N and PPP parties, have alternatively held power during democratic interregnums since 1988 - and by catching corrupt leaders and making them cough up stolen wealth.

He has shown no inclination to distinguish between undiluted democracy and a democratic facade dominated by a military that seeks to control the country's security and foreign policies, and that runs a huge business empire of its own.

He has also not indicated that he sees religious militancy as a problem.

Military strength

Many believe that in the medium term he may find himself on a collision course with the military establishment, as has been the experience of his two predecessors.

This is because once he assumes power and takes sight of the bigger picture, veteran political observers say, he will find that the route to improving health and education, and to creating jobs and triggering the economic growth that Pakistan needs, passes through territory appropriated by the military.

Like his predecessors he will realise, they say, that he must first reduce conflict and tension in the region, especially with India, where such issues are widely blamed on Pakistan's security establishment.

He will also have to reform the country's bureaucracy and judiciary, and ensure and reinforce the writ of the government in areas ceded to rent-seeking business interests often allied with the military.

But having drawn many of those rentier-capitalists to his party's fold in the run up to elections, he may not find it an easy target to achieve.

A failure to rein in the army would also hurt the country's international standing.

It already faces aid restrictions from Washington, hitherto the country's main source of security and development funding.

And it has been included on the watchlist of an international terror-financing watchdog, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which carries further implications for its international funding.

The country is already in a financial crisis - its foreign debt has ballooned and its currency is in freefall.

Interestingly, just as it was being greylisted by FATF in late June, the country lifted restrictions on a host of internationally wanted militant leaders to contest the election, reportedly under a military-sponsored policy of the "mainstreaming" of militants.

This has not gone down well with either Delhi or Washington, but unlike his top political rivals, Mr Khan avoided raising this issue during his election campaign.
Khan's options in power

Analysts say he is likely to end up walking one of two possible routes.

He may find a way to work with rival parties like the PML-N and PPP - the ones who have the distinction of having seen the reality of Pakistan from the high seat of power and who are now poised to raise a formidable opposition front, given their combined parliamentary strength, which is not much less than that of Mr Khan and his PTI.

Since his decade of political campaigning has focused on casting these two parties as the chief enemies, however, this may take some nerve.

The other option is to govern with his youthful followers under the country's continuing system of controlled democracy. In that case, he may sit back and enjoy the position while the going is good.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44971702
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Re: Imran Khan: Can former cricket star change Pakistan YES

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:28 pm

Imran Khan has won over Pakistan
    But real power still lies with the army

It is now certain that Imran Khan will lead Pakistan’s next government. But how much power will he really wield, and what can Pakistan and the world expect? Khan’s victory speech struck a conciliatory note, a welcome surprise to many after a vicious election campaign. He pledged to improve relations with Pakistan’s neighbours, India and Afghanistan, to widen the country’s tax base, stamp out corruption and improve governance.

Pakistan has been directly ruled by the military for more than half of its 71 years. In this nascent democracy, each election is a milestone: this was only the second transition from one democratically elected government to another. But Khan’s victory comes against a troubled backdrop. Over the past few months, the country has seen drastically ramped up censorship, with widespread allegations of military interference in favour of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Every single opposition party has rejected his win, alleging vote-rigging. But the results are totally expected and were anticipated long in advance :D

Regardless, 22 years after entering politics, the former cricketer is to be the country’s prime minister. I have spent the past few weeks in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, and have heard countless people say something along the lines of “He can’t be worse than the others”. This is a symptom of a growing malaise with dynastic Pakistani politicians, who have swapped power between themselves for generations, appearing to do little more than enrich themselves.

Khan is, first and foremost, a populist. He has long railed against corruption. During the last election campaign in 2013, he pledged that he would eliminate major corruption in Pakistan in 90 days. Given Pakistan is currently ranked 117 out of 180 countries on the Transparency International index, this is quite the promise.

It is also worth looking at Khan’s bedfellows. A big factor in his victory this time around was defections by popular politicians from the other main parties. Khan refers to these politicians as “electables”. They might also be referred to as “corruptibles”, deeply enmeshed in the system that Khan wants to overhaul.

Another eye-catching promise he made was to create 10 million jobs over five years, but as Pakistan rattles towards an economic crisis and a possible international bailout, it is not clear how those jobs will emerge.

Around the world, Khan is still most famous as a cricket champion and international playboy who led Pakistan to victory in the 1992 World Cup. However, over the years, Khan’s attitudes have drastically shifted. He has embraced conservative Islam, recently marrying a spiritual teacher who wears a full face veil, giving interviews saying that he had never seen her face before they got married.

He raised eyebrows in Pakistan earlier this year when he defended the Taliban’s system of justice during an interview with BBC Hard Talk. For several years, he has been dubbed “Taliban Khan” in reference to his overtures to religious hardliners, and this interview appeared to confirm those suspicions. Over the last parliament session, the PTI has vehemently opposed a series of women’s rights bills in different provinces, including one in Punjab that criminalised domestic violence. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Khan’s party has led the provincial government since 2013, a similar bill failed to pass.

Khan has shown himself willing to work with more or less anyone in the pursuit of power

Perhaps one of the biggest questions about Khan’s government is how much power he will actually have. There is significant evidence of political manipulation by the military establishment during the run-up to the election. Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister and leader of one of Pakistan’s main parties, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), was jailed earlier this month on corruption charges, in a move human rights advocates describe as selective targeting. In the days before Sharif’s arrest, nearly 500 members of his party were detained as the military took steps to prevent a protest. Sharif has consistently asserted civilian supremacy and tried to reduce the army’s role in public life. The military’s apparent support for Khan and the PTI is most likely down to a desire to keep Sharif out of power, rather than any special liking for Khan.

But his relationship with the military, coupled with the fact that he is likely to either be heading a coalition or to have a very small majority in parliament, will limit his power. Even when it is not in direct control of Pakistan, the army pulls strings behind the scenes, particularly on foreign policy and domestic security. It is unlikely that we will see serious steps towards the rapprochement with India and Afghanistan that Khan alluded to in his victory speech, given that it runs directly counter to the military’s strategy overseas.

In his courting of both hardline religious elements and the military establishment, Khan has shown himself willing to work with more or less anyone in the pursuit of power. It remains to be seen whether he will carve out a unifying path, making good on his promises to improve governance and take on the country’s crippling economic crisis – or whether the political expediency he has demonstrated thus far will leave him hamstrung.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... y-election
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