Two weeks before its general elections on July 25, Pakistan is bracing for another political storm. On Friday, an anticorruption court sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison in a case arising after the Panama Papers leaks revealed that Mr. Sharif’s family owned four undeclared apartments in London. The court also sentenced Maryam Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and political heir, to seven years in prison.
The conviction and impending arrest of Mr. Sharif and his daughter is expected to turn the electoral season fraught and potentially impact the results, if Mr. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, also known as P.M.L.N., goes to the polls without its star campaigners.… Seguir leyendo » “In Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif Fights for Survival”
On Friday Pakistan moved toward its second democratic transition of power in its 71-year-old history as Nasirul Mulk, a retired judge, was sworn in as caretaker prime minister for two months to preside over national elections on July 25. He was jointly nominated by the governing party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the opposition.
In a country where generals have directly ruled for 31 years, this would qualify as a cause for celebration. Instead, Pakistanis see the return of “tutelary democracy,” as the military disempowers politicians who stray from its positions on foreign policy and national security, supports a new king’s party and punishes the press for providing fair coverage to its perceived opponents.… Seguir leyendo » “The Generals and the Art of Undermining Democracy in Pakistan”
On Sept. 11, 1948, barely a year after the birth of Pakistan, a flight from the mountainous town of Quetta bordering Iran and Afghanistan landed at an Air Force base on the outskirts of Karachi, then the Pakistani capital. The plane carried Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, who was suffering from advanced tuberculosis.
An ambulance set out with Jinnah to his residence in downtown Karachi, 30 minutes away. Halfway to its destination, the ambulance broke down. There was no backup. Jinnah had to wait for two hours on a stretcher for a replacement ambulance in the oppressive, humid autumn heat of the city by the Arabian Sea.… Seguir leyendo » “How Pakistan Abandoned Jinnah’s Ideals”