08 March, 2021

Stirring In Some Chaos

Pakistan in turmoil: discontent on the streets, political ferment, and ‘Memogate’

AFP (From Outlook, January 16, 2012)
Stirring In Some Chaos

Karachi chalo. Lahore chalo. Mardan chalo. Multan chalo.

Across cities and towns of Pakistan, these are the lusty cries heard at rallies that political parties are busy organising. Party flags flutter across the country, and massive banners vie for attention. TV channels are in a tizzy covering campaigns, yet flooded with complaints from politicians unhappy with ‘inadequate’ coverage. The rhetoric is sharp, and the mood is decidedly that of election-time. From Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to Nawaz Sharif, from Imran Khan and Asfandyar Wali Khan to the Pakistan Defence Council (a grouping of 30 religious parties, including those banned), they have all been moving heaven and earth, straining every muscle and spending their resources to woo the people. They’re also making demands on the Election Commission to scrutinise and finalise the voters list.

You won’t be wrong in thinking that these are men who have lost the sense of time, for the general election in Pakistan...

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