Category Archives: Elections

Extracting Political Decisions from the Judiciary in Pakistan

By Ahmed Nadeem Gahla

A study of transformation from military dictatorship to democracy around the world would reveal that there are two possible ways. Either it is achieved through a popular revolution or by negotiations between political forces and dictators.

The former invariably demolishes the entire system and mostly involves bloodshed putting a new system in place while the later allows the change to happen within the prevailing system based upon certain negotiated terms.

These terms might not necessarily meet the international laws and judicial norms as it is always a middle path.

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Filed under Army, Democracy, Elections, Islamabad, journalism, Pakistan, Parliament, Zardari

Poem: The Explosion

revolution

Wrapped up
In delicacies and intricacies of life –
As the morning mist clears
Whatever thrown at me,
At us as a nation. Continue reading

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Filed under Activism, Democracy, Economy, Education, Elections, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

Neo ‘Iron curtain’ and the loud marching steps.

The Neo ‘Iron Curtain’ and the loud marching steps of  televangelistas.

Bradistan Calling

The latest cultural trend is the sensational rise of televangelist channels in U.K, using tactics which can only be described as ‘emotional and religious blackmail’ and premium rate phone charges to raise funds from devotees, most of these are Nigerian Pentecostal ‘Witchdoctor’  (faith healer potions and exorcisms) TV channels operating from London. Generally the term ‘televangelist’ refers to American evangelical splinter churches propagating to solicit donations for converting poor Africans. This concoction of ideologies is being beamed back to Africa and Asia through satellite. Continue reading

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Remembering Bashir Ahmed MSP

Bashir Ahmed Member Scottish Parliament.

Bradistan Calling

I first saw Bashir Ahmed on UK’s Pakistani channel (Pakistani channel was a result of the split between Pakistani TV Asia and Zee TV Europe). Second time I saw Bashir Ahmed was on BBC Parliament channel giving a speech to Scottish Parliament about Pakistan and its economy. A few days ago, I saw his Picture on a News website with a notice of his death and the news item that his seat in parliament has been filled by female deputy from his party SNP.

Bashir Ahmad MSP, politician and businessman, born 12 February 1940; died 6 February 2009 of a sudden heart failure.

In 2007 Bashir Ahmed became the first Asian (Pakistani) and first Muslim member of the Scottish Parliament when he was elected one of the four regional members representing city of Glasgow. Bashir Ahmad was born in Punjab, and in 1961 moved to Scotland. He recalled arriving at Glasgow airport (Sadly in June 2007 Muslim-Indian/Iraqi terrorists attacked Glasgow airport with a home-made car bomb) from Pakistan not speaking a word of English. A bus driver went off his route to help Bashir to his house. This was Scottish hospitality for Bashir, when Americans were suffering racial segregation on the buses.

 He worked initially as a bus conductor before setting up in business, eventually owning shops, restaurants and a hotel. He also co-founded the Pakistan Welfare Organisation.

 Bashir Ahmad joined Scottish National Party in 1995 and set up the group Scots Asians for Independence from UK. In a speech at the SNP’s conference he told Scots: “It’s not where we came from that’s important, it’s where we’re going together.” The work Bashir Ahmad put in making Scotland perhaps the only place in Europe where multiculturalism isn’t a dirty word, meant that across the political spectrum there is an acceptance that all come to the table of Scotland with different badges of identities, cultures and faiths – but sit round it in ease and with respect.

Pakistani business people have become multi-millionaires and British Members of Parliament (In 1997 Mr. Mohammed Sarwar -Labour Party- became the First Pakistani MP in UK also from Glasgow. Currently six Pakistanis and one Kashmiri are Members of British Parliament and House of lords).

 Bashir Ahmad joined the SNP national executive committee in 1998 and when in 1999 Scottish parliament was constituted he was ninth on the SNP’s Glasgow list for the first Scottish parliamentary elections. In 2003 he was elected to represent the Pollokshields East(an area famous for Pakistani restaurants) of Glasgow city council, becoming the SNP’s first Asian (Pakistani) councillor.

 In 2007 Bashir Ahmed was elected an MSP. He took his seat at Holyrood wearing traditional Pakistani dress and swore his oath in both English and Urdu (like the Nobel Prize acceptance speech by Dr Abdu-Salam or Dr Kamal Qureshi -the Member of Parliament Denmark-  audience with Queen Margarette).

He served on various cross-party groups, for human rights and civil liberties, for carers, for older people, age and ageing, and the group for Tartan(Scotland national costume male kilt which looks like a female skirt) Day. He took his Muslim faith and Pakistani culture seriously.

A number of people tell how they had been touched by his warmth and kindness. His generosity did not have barriers of caste, race or religion. He helped many deserving Pakistani students and workers in times of need without expectation of rewards or gratitude.

May, His Soul Rest in Peace.Ameen

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Filed under Activism, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Economy, Education, Elections, Europe, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, India, Islam, Languages, Left, minorities, movements, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics, poverty, Punjabi, Rights, Society, south asia, Travel

Pak-Iran relations: elections and beyond?

Pak-Iran relations: elections and beyond?

Bradistan Calling

It is an interesting time on the young street of Iran. Youth are expecting a victory against the clergy. The Prague spring is in the air. The cities are green in the colour of change proposed by reformist candidate Mir Hussain Mousuvi. How far this HOPE and CHANGE can go, only time will tell?

PIPFPD: Pakistan -Iran people’s forum for Progress and Democracy

The Pakistani-Indian people to people friendship society with the same initials started its work nearly two decades ago, when the Pak-Indian subcontinent was under dark clouds of war hysteria and animosity. Thinking back, those times seem a century rather than a decade back. Pakistani and Indian actors, musicians, journalists, business people and human rights activists made this venture such a resounding success that the politicians, on both sides, had to follow in their foot steps. Continue reading

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Obama and Jamaat Islami Youth Wing

Bradistan Calling

Note: The views expressed are author’s,PTH does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed.Some names have intentionally been omitted to protect privacy.

It was a long afternoon,with cricket T20 in the background, and the location was a Lebanese restaurant in St.  John’s wood, in the shadow of Lords cricket ground in central London and we were enjoying a long outdoor meal.

My guest was a childhood friend (alumni of  “Physics under Hoodbhoy”  and Islami Jamiat Talba), now an analyst with an American Bible-Belt Neo-Con Think-Tank, visiting London for a seminar on “Preventing Islamist Extremism” in the disenfranchised Muslim youth of U.K. He also ran a blog called “Friends of Pakistan” before the name was  artfully stolen by President Zardari’s team (Allegedly by Ambassador Haqqani, who is rumoured to ghost-write Zardari articles in NYT, WP and WSJ). Continue reading

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Obituary:Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation

Stop Press:

Kashmir Broadcasting Corporation suddenly suspended  its satellite transmissions globally after one year of success broadcasting.This incident is most unfortunate and shows a lack of financial backing for independent TV in a climate of global recession.There was no official confirmation of this interruption. Continue reading

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