Why everyone in Pakistan must support Imran Khan for Democracy

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I believe we can all agree that Pakistan needs, above all else, strong state institutions and the rule of law. These are the only way in which a proper modern country can function. They are necessary to ensure the social stability necessary for a functioning democracy and a prosperous market economy.

But when powerful individuals can sway the institutions of the state to serve themselves, when they can bend the rule of law and use the mechanisms of the state for private gain, then that can no longer be called a modern state. When there are individuals, business leaders or politicians or cultural icons that are not equal subjects to the state and its laws, when they can rise above the state and undermine it, then that is closer to a medieval, feudal state. And in that situation, democracy and aspirations for economic development are but a cruel joke.

Whether we like to admit it or not, Pakistan today does not look very much like a healthy modern state. On the one hand we do have elections, but what is the point of elections if the electoral process does not have the confidence of the people? The Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has declared victory in the last elections with barely 15% of the votes counted, and claimed a huge parliamentary majority as well. Small wonder then, that the opposition, led by Imran Khan, can raise hundreds of thousands of protesters to challenge the outcome of the vote.

I support Imran Khan’s position. Khan is not challenging or undermining the constitution or indeed the state. He is challenging the power clique of the Sharifs, who have long since entrenched their power base at the heart of the Pakistani political system, and have hijacked it to set them above the rule of law.

The election fraud at the last election and the way in which the courts have failed to redress it are only the straw that broke the camel’s back. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis are not marching on Islamabad and risking violent confrontations with the police or even the army because Imran Khan has made allegations. They are marching because they are coming face to face with startling corruption and administrative ineptitude every day when they have to deal with the institutions of state. Corruption and ineptitude festered by the self-serving Sharif clique.

Furthermore, the right to peaceful protest, which is what Khan is using for his rally, is well within the law and the constitution. Sharif’s plans to use force if necessary to stop protesters entering Islamabad, on the other hand, are not what a democratic leader of a modern state would do when faced with peaceful protest. They are the actions of a man who is afraid that he cannot answer when a question over the legitimacy of his power and authority is raised. They are the actions of a dictator, or of a leader who is on his way to becoming a dictator. And that does not bode well for Pakistan.

So yes, we all agree that we need a stable Pakistan, in which the rule of law and the constitution are upheld, so that democracy can flourish and our society can prosper. And it is very unfortunate that right now Imran Khan’s actions are sowing instability. But surely the kind of stability that we need is that of a healthy democracy under the rule of law, not the stability we have had in the past under dictators and autocrats under the rule of force. Pakistan is heading in a very worrying direction again under Sharif, and we all need to rally in defence of our democracy before it is too late.

That is why I support Mr Imran Khan.

written By.
Azeem Ibrahim, an International Expert in Strategic Policy Development.


PTI D – Chowk Jalsa – 11th May 2014

Kitnay Aadmi Thay Series – View 1

#SMQ Aj Tumhen Loadshedding Khtam Krne Ka Tarika Btata Hun…Sun’na Chahte Ho?…Jis Shehar Main Tum Ne Loadshedding Khtam Krni Hai Us Shehar Main Imran Khan Ko Jalsay Ki Daawat De Do #DChowk#11MayBlackDay #ISF

PTI Chairman Imran Khan and President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi

True patriots true leaders thumbs up for both Imran Khan & Makhdoom Javed Hashmi

Shahram Khan Tarakai (Health Minister KPK)

Azam Swati (President PTI KPK)

Ejaz Choudhry (PTI Punjab President)

APML Leader Sheikh Rasheed

Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing a mammoth crowd

PTI President Javed Hashmi addressing the crowd

Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed (Punjab Assembly opposition leader) addressing the crowd

Kitnay Aadmi thay – View 2

Chairman Imran Khan arrives at DChowk

And the crowd roars …

Jahangir Khan Tareen, Saifullah Khan Nyazi and Ejaz Choudhry

Sheikh Rasheed and Imran Khan sharing a joke.

The leaders out to save Pakistan

The victory punch !!! PMLN tried to sabotage the rally, but PTI’s workers are as Junooni as they come … they reached DChowk in time to show that Pakistanis still care about Justice

Jahangir Khan Tareen addressing the crowd at DChowk

Faisal Javed Khan celebrates the success of DChowk Jalsa with the crowd

Baghiii Makhdoom Javed Hashmi addressing the Tsunami

“Want to thank all r ppl for making. r jalsa a Tsunami jalsa. Also want to thank the media 4 their support and coverage.” Chairman Imran Khan

“Want to esp thank r youth & all pti workers who overcame all PMLN hurdles 2 come 2 the jalsa which is the start of r movement.” Imran Khan

“PMLN’s desperate efforts 2 stop PTI workers from reaching Islamabad shows their utter fear their massive electoral fraud will be exposed.” Imran Khan

PTI Till my Last Breath

Imran khan the great leader in the world

PTI to unveil white paper on 21st

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan said on Saturday his party would unveil on Aug 21 what he called a “white paper on the rigging during general elections.

“Our party has prepared a detailed and evidence-based white paper showing how the elections were stolen through widespread rigging on May 11, which will be made public on Aug 21,” he remarked at a press conference held at residence of a PTI leader.

He called for deployment of military personnel both inside and outside the polling stations during elections in 42 constituencies on Aug 22.

The press conference ended chaotically because the journalists present disagreed with Mr Khan’s response to a question about the attitude of his party’s workers at the airport earlier

PTI to fight terrorism with cricket

PESHAWAR: Pakistani cricket hero Imran Khan is launching a hunt for sporting talent as a flagship counter-terrorism policy in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province governed by his political party, an aide said Friday.

“Terrorism has been very destructive for sports… that is why we are aiming at sports activities to end terrorism in the province,” said Iftikhar Elahi, sports and culture coordinator for the party.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) won a breakthrough at May 11 general elections, becoming the country’s third largest party and forming a government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, hard hit by Taliban attacks.

Khan has courted controversy in the West for advocating peace talks with the Taliban and there have been growing questions about how his inexperienced party will tackle the scourge of violence.

On July 26 suicide bombers killed 57 people in the tribal town of Parachinar, and on Monday Taliban fighters stormed a prison in Dera Ismail Khan, freeing more than 250 inmates, including militants.

Elahi said he hoped cricket, which is a national obsession in Pakistan, can bring peace. Khan is Pakistan’s greatest all rounder and captained the country to its only World Cup victory in 1992.

“Our party gives special stress on youth and sports and with Khan as leader and initiator of the programme we hope that it can help bring peace in the province,” Elahi told reporters.

He said the scout for talent was part of the party’s programme to develop what is one of the most deprived parts of Pakistan.

“The programme is aimed at spotting talent in cricket from the province,” he told reporters. “Khan has taken the initiative as part of his development programmes in KP.”

The province has produced greats like Younis Khan and Umar Gul in recent years, but militant bomb attacks and shootings have destroyed aspects of daily life.

“Khan will give as much time as possible and we have also hired a few coaches (former players) who will help spot talent and then groom them,” said Elahi.

He also said talks were underway to help build and renovate proper cricket grounds in the province.

The hunt will also be extended to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s neighbouring semi-autonomous tribal belt.

Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim resigns

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim resigned from his post on Wednesday, a week after the Supreme Court ordered the commission to hold presidential polls ahead of its original schedule.

“In accordance with Article 215(3) of the Constitution, I hereby resign from the office of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan,” said Ebrahim in his resignation letter to the president.

“I was appointed through a consultative process by the last Parliament. My constitutional term ends in 2017. However, in my humble opinion, the newly elected members of Parliament should have the opportunity to forge new consensus and choose a new Chief Election Commissioner. This will also allow the next Chief Election Commissioner sufficient time and opportunity to prepare and lead the Election Commission for the general elections of 2018,” said the letter which has been submitted to the president for approval.

The presidential spokesman confirmed receipt of the letter.

Ebrahim’s resignation comes after the Election Commission and the Supreme Court came under fire from lawmakers during a session of the National Assembly and the Senate, with some members demanding that the chief election commissioner resign from his post.

Presidential elections were originally scheduled by the Election Commission to be held on August 6, and the commission had earlier rejected a government request to change the date of the poll.

However, two days later the Supreme Court ordered the commission to hold elections on July 30 as sought by the federal government in a petition filed in the court.

The CEC was displeased by the Supreme Court’s decision, and saw it as “an encroachment into the domain of the ECP by the apex court mandated under the constitution.

According to the report, Ebrahim had written a note declaring the court’s decision an attack on the independence of the ECP, and wanted his fellow members to endorse it and hold the election according to the original schedule. However, he was unable to get the support of three of the four available members.

Presidential poll: NA, Senate sessions marred by PPP protest

ISLAMABAD: The sessions of both houses of the parliament on Monday were marred by uproar from the opposition lawmakers belonging to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) who were seeking more time to debate Supreme Court’s verdict on rescheduling of the presidential election.

Wearing black arm bands, the party members walked out of the National Assembly after their leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim called in question the court verdict regarding setting the election date at July 30 instead a date announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the election on August 6.

“It was an election for the top constitutional office of the country. All parties had started political process after the announcement of the date. But, the decision of the apex court had disappointed us,” he said speaking on a point of order.

“It was not the election of a union council or a cantonment board but for the most esteemed office. It is stated not to comment on court decisions but when the issue is of utmost importance, what should one do. Then one can only protest on such decisions,” he added.

“We also registered our protest before the government,” he said and added that the Election Commission is an independent institution which is not bound to obey the orders of other institutions. “But, this is a different issue that the ECP took due to some of its weakness, itself threw the ball in the court of the apex court.”

He also described the decision as ‘pre-poll rigging’ and said, the situation forced them to boycott the presidential election. Amin Fahim also invited the major opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf to join the boycott.

Meanwhile, speaking on a point of order in the upper house of the parliament (Senate), Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, the leader of opposition, raised questions on the Supreme Court’s verdict.

He alleged that the petition had been filed under Article 184/3 of the Constitution while no fundamental right had been breached. Senator Ahsan said the court could not fix date and time for presidential election which was under the constitution a prerogative of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

He contended that the ECP had abdicated its authority and the court had acted beyond its course of duty as he cited different provisions from the Constitution to support his claim.

Responding to the points raised by Ahsan, Leader of the House in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said it seemed that the chair had abdicated its powers and the decisions agreed upon during the business advisory committee by the treasury and the opposition were being violated.

He pointed out that it was agreed that two speakers from each sides had to speak on the matter and the same had been agreed upon by Barrister Aitzaz and Mian Raza Rabbani.

Haq said if the decisions of the business advisory committee are not accepted by the members, there was no need to hold such meetings.

Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch agreed with the observations of the Leader of the House and reminded Ahsan and Rabbani to keep their word.

Taking part in the debate, Senator Saeed Ghani of the PPP said that the ECP had no idea of holding Presidential poll and the decision of holding the poll was taken in haste when the matter cropped up in media.

He said that the Chief Election Commissioner should take the nation into confidence about breach of its authority.

Syed Zafar Ali Shah of the PML-N said that the previous government of the PPP had facilitated the election of a military dictator in uniform and the former Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar had authenticated the election.

He urged the PPP leaders to move the Supreme Court for a review of the court order about July 30 presidential election if they were not satisfied with the decision.

“If the PPP could move court seeking reopening of four decades’ old Zulfikar Ali Bhutto trial, why it was adamant against seeking review of this case,” he added.

Terming the boycott of the presidential poll a bid to derail the democratic process in the country, Shah said the PPP was a pro-democratic party and it should uphold the democratic traditions and values.

Senator Shahi Syed of the ANP urged both the opposition and the treasury benches to move cautiously as the recent disagreement and discord between both the sides could be a ploy against democratic process.

Many members wanted to take part in the debate but the chair decided to follow the decisions of the business advisory committee and prorogued the session.