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Turning Khyber into Karachi

Published May 17, 2013 04:00pm


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enter image description hereThe voters of NA-250 are known by now to nearly all of Pakistan. Their collective misfortunes, the absent ballot boxes, the missing polling staff, the unopened polling booth and the pre-stamped ballots have since Election Day last week, dominated every discussion and each conversation. These disgruntled folks, the most educated voters in the country’s most educated city, tweeted, blogged, shouted, and protested the unfairness they witnessed. For the week following, their woes were splayed on television screens, tweeted from computer screens and broadcast in every way possible. They had faced unfairness, and in the manner of those unused to it, fed up of it and able to speak against it, their voices rose the loudest and clearest in the post-election melee of sit-ins and denunciations. Many of them were supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, the party that had promised change and had it not been for massive rigging they alleged, their party would surely have won, and change been on its way.

On the other side of the country, in Pakistan’s most embattled province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the election also took place. In the land most riddled by bombings by the Taliban and illegal drone strikes by the United States, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf prevailed. Since cell phone cameras have led to more than a few deaths here, and been banned by the ever encroaching Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan more than a few times, there were fewer citizen produced records of what happened at the ballot box. Either there was no unfairness at all, or the people who experienced it failed to document it and speak out against it. Indeed, it was only after the election that one and then another agreement surfaced revealing the price of the peaceful vote. All the parties contesting the election, it turns out, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, had signed an agreement. In exchange for free and fair elections, they had agreed that no women would vote in Upper and Lower Dir.

The results of the election in Karachi are still up in the air, with re-elections promised in the beleaguered NA 250 and possibly several other constituencies. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, however, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has announced that it will form the Government in alliance with the Jamaat-e-Islami. According to the division of the electoral spoils between the two, the Jamaat-e-Islami will receive two province ministries and one senior ministry. Unconfirmed rumors have alleged that the Ministry given to the Jamaat-e-Islami will be the Ministry of Education.

The supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, especially the social media warriors that the party has so adeptly deployed for its cause are trying very hard to sell the victory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as an opportunity for the party to model positive change inside a province. This positive change, in the radically reformed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province they argue, will be a model that will pave the way to the nationwide victory that was promised this time but will certainly come next time. They explain away the party’s collusion with the agreement to ban women voting in Dir as something that was done by everyone (and hence okay for them too?) they ignore the lack of attention to the voting issues in Khyber as a product of the dire security situation in the state.

The rationalisations are likely to continue. Indeed, an alliance with the Jamaat-e-Islami, which has publicly and routinely taken up positions in Governments past against the passage of legislation that would criminalise domestic violence, prevent rape victims being prosecuted for Zina and reinstate women as equal witnesses to men, does not at this time seem to be bothering any of PTI’s supporters. These are the requirements of Parliamentary compromise they argue, the needs of forming a coalition Government. In the euphoria of PTIs first provincial victory, everything seems justifiable.

This may prove harder to do in the coming months and years that stretch out before the newly elected PTI Government. Stuck in a touchy compromise with an Islamist party in the most conservative province in the country; PTI will likely have to face the real obstacles to change that it could easily ignore when “change” was just a nifty electoral slogan. Will it for example be able to institute its promises for education for all Pakistanis, in a province that has seen hundreds of girls’ schools burned or bombed or shut down since the beginning of war on terror? Indeed, since PTI signed an agreement to ban women from voting, will it also and just as easily capitulate to signing a similar agreement that bans education for women, again in the name of necessary compromise?

And if the compromise with the Jamaat-e-Islami sounds difficult, another even trickier one may await them. It is well known that the end game of the US/Nato withdrawal in Afghanistan is to include a brokered peace deal between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and whoever controls the Government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If a deal to hold elections without the Taliban bombing voters required a ban on women at the polling booth, a longer, durable peace may involve even more noxious compromises; permission for public floggings perhaps and a ban on all women in all public spaces? Just as they did when they were prevented from voting, the women of Upper and Lower Dir and perhaps all of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will quietly digest this bitter morsel delivered to them by the “change” peddling Government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.

None of this has happened yet but considering it underscores the grim choices before Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf. In choosing the task of reforming a province whose conservative culture, debilitated economy, and incipient Taliban problem and forming a Government instead of an opposition, PTI may be setting itself up as the fall guy destined to bear the political cost of a peace deal with the Taliban. The voters of urban, progressive NA-250 in Karachi may at present squarely be in the party’s corner but five years of failing to change Khyber into Karachi may change their minds. The women of Karachi may not be much concerned about the shut up, banned and forbidden from voting women of Khyber today, but tomorrow may be another story.


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Rafia Zakaria is an attorney and human rights activist. She is a columnist for DAWN Pakistan and a regular contributor for Al Jazeera America, Dissent, Guernica and many other publications.

She is the author of The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan (Beacon Press 2015). She tweets @rafiazakaria

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (123) Closed

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Jibran May 18, 2013 01:13pm

Excellent analysis! anybody from PTI elite can answer the reservation of woman banning from vote in KPK and PTI is a beneficiary of this. IS THIS A NEW PAKISTAN WHERE WOMEN WILL HAVE NO RIGHT....ANSWER PTI FOR MAKING HYPOCRATICAL MOVES JUST FOR POWER. SHAME SHAME SHAME

Aimal Bashir May 19, 2013 09:56pm

I am from Lower Dir, and I want to inform you, that PTI has not signed any such thing. My father was contesting from PTI;s ticket. None of the contestants nor any office bearer of PTI signed such contac, how can you say that they did? You have any evidence?

sameera May 20, 2013 03:07pm

that was PTI bashing at its ugliest. Mind you, I am not an die-hard PTI supporter- just endorse where i see reason. Would you mind explaining that as explicitly as you have pointed out the flaws in PTI and its supporters, the reason for the bashing? this article is too flimsy as it does not have a rationale neither it talks about the solution that you may have. it was one-sided bashing without any motive not to mention the sweeping, unsupported statements like, "change was just a nifty electoral slogan". quite clearly, Dawn stooped from its standards. i couldn't phantom why was the writer so aggressive when she clearly knows that no other party is capable to stand up to the horrendous task of remodeling KP?

sameera May 20, 2013 03:13pm

@Jibran you are clearly afraid to support PTI because you dont want to apprar you jumped on the bandwagon while you have absolutely no hesitation in endorsing other people's opinion, point-black who bash PTI- no matter how pointless their arguments. I'm sure you might have voted for some party so would you rather enlighten us all by telling how the party you voted for have NOT used "hypocratical moves" to come to power? do THEY have some shame?

Naveed Zafar May 19, 2013 02:16am
Justice prevails? You mean justice for MEN prevails! Selective justice is gross injustice.
Javid May 18, 2013 08:37am
But selling the soul is not compromice.
goodDeedsLeadTo May 18, 2013 05:46am
An Nur, Aya 4: boy & girl, consensual fornication, Allah says do not report, repent, Allah is ready to forgive. Allah is protecting the woman. It is reported, Prophet (peace) ignored it, when a woman tried to tell the prophet her sin of zina, and wanted to be punished. Zina, the accuser has to provide 4 eye witnesses who has seen zina happening, Allah has made it difficult for the accuser, if the accuser does not provide 4 witnesses, then he gets lashes, accusing someone of zina is taken so seriously. It is no where in Quran that says that rapist should provide witness. Rape is a serious attack on someone's life & privacy, the act is against the will, woman as witness is acceptable. Her evidence is acceptable. Witness of two woman is only required in case of financial obligations & murder. (Look at my last comment)
A.Vetta May 18, 2013 04:28pm
A few days before the Pak elections, despite the euphoria generated by youthful supporters of PTI, I said that I shall be pleased if PTI won more than 30 seats and disappointed if it won less than 20. I have no reason to celebrate its victory as it seems to have won 29 seats. I hope PML(N) will allow it to form the government in KPK. I can, however, see that its leaders and workers will be targeted by TTP within a year.
Naveed Zafar May 19, 2013 02:23am
What is wrong with JI running the education ministry? The JI has no interest in education. They believe in teaching what to think rather than how to think. The correct word to define this is indoctrination.
Mumtaz.Rizvi May 18, 2013 08:28am
yes their top priority is to talibanize the whole kpk including provincial capital Peshawar
naasri May 19, 2013 09:48am
........and reinstate women as equal witnesses to men.... this point in particular, if accepted would directly violate the islamic injunctions, so JI is quite on the right track if this point alone is debated..dont forget the country was named " ISLAMIC republic of Pakistan" and we got it in the name of Islam.
EmmEch May 19, 2013 04:18am
I await the day when PTI and its supporters take out their first rally, their first dharna, their first march or their first protest against the murder of Pakistanis by the Taliban. Don't you think it is curious that all the parties that won (PTI, PML-N, JI, JUP, etc.) have never, ever protested against any Taliban atrocity?
Sanaa Khalid May 18, 2013 08:37am
IF WINTER DOES COME, CAN SPRING BE FAR BEHIND? Justified apprehensions Ma'm but let's just hope for the best. Change does not come in an instant. Let's pray for the appropriate kind of change. It's not about changing Khyber into Karachi cos frankly speaking...(and like you apprehend Karachi might change into Kabul) God forbid, the enlightenment is needed. PTI might not deserve credit for reaching out and signing the deal with misguided innocents who follow the tune of someone else's flute. I agree that the voting prohibition for women was an unfortunate move by PTI but maybe, just maybe it will be the first spark. We are on the verge of collapse. How much more chaos we had to hear about in KPK to understand the realm. Understanding the people of KPK must have been on the provincial PTI election agenda. Dark ages in KPK can change into renaissance period through PTI if all goes well InshAllah.
Salman Ahmed May 19, 2013 05:01am
This article has factual inaccuracies
Ali S May 18, 2013 07:11pm
Can't be much worse than what they already have
Ali S May 18, 2013 07:14pm
Does using big words make you feel more intelligent??
sania May 18, 2013 07:39pm
i wondered why people are more concerned about kpk than central gov and pakistan...........i am not seeing anybody talking about newly elected central gov their policies and wat they are gonna do to tackle the security issues etc
Majid May 18, 2013 07:25am
You Sir, with your kind of writing, seem to be a graduate of a JI school.
Accountant May 19, 2013 02:05am
Speaking pushto does not make a person pushton. Pushtoonwali is a code of conduct which I am sure you are not aware of. The people you are talking about are not pushtoon at all. They represent their master called the establishment and military.
Accountant May 19, 2013 01:45am
interesting, considering it coming from a female.
Raj May 19, 2013 07:19am
I'm glad the Author has nailed the lie that PTI is for change. I had hopes for PTI when IK started on his long path to power. Its now clear that this is just another elitist party, one with even less scruples than the rest. The bitter truth is, political change is bigger than any one person. It takes an ideology, and grass root leaders who have felt and suffered first hand the iniquities of a corrupt, inefficient system and who have the fire in the belly will to change it or die trying. Such people changed Europe, America, China, Russia, Vietnam and are now changing Venezuela. Today the only people who have the will to challenge the system and face the consequences are the the fundamentalists themselves. But their backward ideology if given a chance, will tear Pakistan apart. The only hope ( and it stinks) is Sharif, a multi millionaire who will use his tenure to build up a multi billion dollar trade empire with other wealthy, plutocrats across the border. Sharifs won't fight anyone, he will simply buy them over by the lure of money just as the IPL has taken over the game of cricket simply by paying off its constituents. The future looks interesting; I think Indians & Pakistanis are in for some surprises.
plumbingsquad May 19, 2013 06:41am
A mini A-bomb is gona solve the problem for a good 10 yrs, army will have much better things to do...lets just get rid of them...they are no use for our system anyway, infact we created them, we sure can get rid of them in a flash...or wait for another little girl being shot in her school bus...
Mumtaz.Rizvi May 18, 2013 08:30am
ohh yeah JI will have the education ministry and they will establish madrassas there where modern methods of combat will be taught and hatred against other sects will be preached,,the will prepare a crop of explosives which will blow the bases of humanity
aaa May 18, 2013 06:38pm
Must say stopping women from voting was really surprizing. I thought everyone would be forcing women to vote on their side. Still cant understand why women of karachi would be against JI. I feel this divide is more present in the article writers head than on ground. All sorts of women live in karachi same goes for posh areas as well. From religious people to prostitutes live in such areas. Maybe more universtity students live in such areas but no other generalization can be made.
simlpysaints May 18, 2013 05:42pm
Lot of ifs and buts in the article. The twisting point for the author was the agreement in Lower and Upper Dir. I understand PTI's dilemma in accepting such an agreement, without condemning or condoning it. I hope PTI wins NA-250. It will visibly offer the Karachites a new option in the coming years. NA-250 does not lean PTI because it is a more educated bunch, it leans PTI because it is a more optimistic bunch. If PTI wins this seat, the optimism can permeate through the rest of Karachi. Make no mistake, MQM is not about to fold its setup and leave, but it may see tough competition in years to come. PTI is intelligent. They never promised to turn Khyber in KHI. Pashtuns would find that repulsive to begin with. PTI promised to return Peshawar to its days prior to the War. PTI has an opportunity. Things in KPK are decaying in terms of the setup. This might be the ideal province to try a new setup. Few will miss the old ways of governance, as they would in Punjab or Sind. They have the luxury of being bold without the whole nation being at stake. Also, they can actually accelerate their antiwar rhetoric and gain more popularity without having any collateral damage in the NA. Good luck PTI.
swaz May 18, 2013 05:01pm
He said he would not make alliance with any status-quo party!! JI boycotted 2008 polls just like PTI and that's how they are not status quo
Fahim Mirza May 18, 2013 04:57pm
The excess to western education and culture via so many different means have surely moving our society at new level of understanding of fairness and equality. This rapid transformation also increases the intellectual gaps between the educated and ignorant people. The educated people in their desire to move things rapidly in this direction tend to become too idealistic and lose touch with the reality. We tend to spread move pessimism then optimism. One can not transform a very conservative and ignorant society to a liberal society over night. One can not fight the forces of status quo when too many people are not even in a position to under the new message clearly. These are complex issues and require equally complex strategies and patience. In the political darkness PTI have emerged as a light and hope for the educated and matured people. The transformation of KPK will take sometime. In the process we may have to compromise certain issues that are against our wishes in order to achieve our goal of transforming the society. We have to look at long term picture and ground realities other wise we will end up spreading pessimism and thereby helping the forces of darkness to take over again. Task of transforming the society in coalition government is even harder. But I am confidence that if we stay pragmatist and be supportive and helpful to PTI, a giant step towards this transformation can take place in next 5 years.
Mohsin Hanif May 18, 2013 07:31am
Democracy is a gradual process, let it flourish in the battled province of KPK (Former NWFP). There are many constituencies all over Pakistan where women are not allowed to cast votes due to the socio-cultural fabric of the area. One can not bring overnight change in those regions.
Shahryar Dar May 18, 2013 03:37pm
There is nothing wrong in PTI and JI alliance. Both parties have the most honest leadership and stronger democratic credentials than any other party of Pakistan. They both say what they believe in. I admired their honesty.Western solution will not solve Pakistan's problems. Solutions must come from within and from the people of Pakistan.
Saz May 18, 2013 12:57pm
Because PTI is just a pretty face fot JI
Saz May 18, 2013 12:54pm
You cannot be just or let justice prevail sitting with munafiqs
Arman Zain May 18, 2013 12:16pm
I am from Peshawar, the largest city of KPK. Yes it was not just to refrain woman from voting in perfect world but would it have been any good if they were allowed to vote so they could have been targeted. We don't live in perfect world, yes we can always work towards it and hopefully new government will work towards peace. What bothers me about this article is how author build on this point to issue of woman witness and zina punishment. These are Islamic laws , please don't make them open to debate if one call themselves Muslim then they have to abide by it, it is not being conservative but being a Muslim. Further lets hope new government should work towards peace and woman education but not towards so called anti- Islamic liberalism.
Salman Rajan May 18, 2013 12:14pm
After reading your comment something just clicked, Are you 'THE MAYA KHAN' ?
Mumtaz.Rizvi May 18, 2013 07:47am
since long time i've been telling that PTI is nothing but a political voice of TTP,but nobody was trusting me.let them feel the heat and they will realize the truth behind this so called CHANGE.the way PTI is getting near to JI the burgers of karachi and lahore will soon distant or apart themselves from this party
Ahmad May 18, 2013 12:10am
The writer should concentrate on fraud voting in karachi. The women voting issue in Dir is more complicated. Dir is a far flung area, the NA seat is spread on a area larger then whole karachi. With no roads and law and order condition, it is safer for women to stay in doors. In fact they prefer to stay in orders. It is hard to even provide women polling staff there. Inshaallah with law and order and education, things will get better for next election.
Azriel May 18, 2013 06:15am
In this hour of time compromises are much needed or embrace that old routine of terrorism, corruption and illiteracy . PTI is on the right track so far, and i hope they will remain.
zubi May 18, 2013 11:07am
this article seems to serve no purpose other than maligning PTI...
AJ May 18, 2013 01:29am
The writter sounds to be a western born scholar. You know what are the issues which westerns never succeeded with all their strategies? They analysed each and every society in the world with their own standards and norms. When a country like Switzerland could bare their women from voting until the dawn of 7th February 1971 then why make such a fuss if a small remote and conservative part in KPK unanimously decided to keep thei women at home due to prevailing security situation there in Deer. If Miss Rafia is such a research scholar as she tells to be then she must have known that no one can for example succeed in imposing the norms of Karachi in to our tribal areas. You need to find solutions which fit in to the culture of the people. Ofcourse women should have right to education but it doesn't for example needs to be done by having a co-education in conservative areas. Various governments have recently failed in KPK and PTI could be a real bet to expect a change towards better days.
Rustam May 18, 2013 09:29am
It is a pathetic response. But worthy of fanboys of a particular cult very active these days in our homeland.
Hg May 18, 2013 09:29am
If PML N kept their promises and stopped being corrupt then they would be the perfect party for me and I would gladly vote for them. They are not however. At first I thought PTI were liberal left wing then I realised they are actually conservative - minus (hopefully) the corruption that is present in all other major Pakistani parties. I will stop supporting the PTI instantly if they too fall into the corruption trap or start breaking promises. I agree with everyone else's comments here, the first thing to do is give the PTI a chance. Then we can all use our democratic power to either keep them running or get rid of them.
Owais Malick May 18, 2013 09:45am
Nobody in this country wants to change himself/herself but everyone one points fingers to others. Hum kabhi nahin sudharnay ki qasam khai bathay hain. Aray bhai don't waste time on writing comments go and work hard Pakistan will change automatically. Sirf aik doosray per tanqued karnay se humaray yahan changee nahin aany ka. Anyhow, I myself wasted my couple of minutes in here.
Rustam May 18, 2013 09:25am
That route has already been tested twice. Once in Waziristan by Pak Army which resulted in Baitullah Mehsud emerging as even stronger than before. The second time it was tested in Swat with the Nizam e Adal. I dont have to mention what it resulted in. Do I?
Mairaj Alam May 17, 2013 03:45pm
Making deals to save lives is a commendable political decision. A Phd candidate in political philosophy should know better.
Rustam May 18, 2013 09:21am
Its all a rewind of MMA sweep in KPK in 2002. PTI and JI together are modern MMA. If there was any doubt it was quashed by Khattak's comment about the taliban. Just wait for taliban spill over to KPK in a year or two.
Jawed Saleem May 18, 2013 05:07am
Politics is filthy game, never trust what is said in pre-election campaigns. Not allowing women to vote/express their opinion will never be "noticed" by biased Judiciary/ECP. Pakistan will've to wait for the change/grow up/mature. If we get an iota of what is promised to us in election speeches by politicians, we won't need any incentive to go to heaven !
AdmiralPrice May 18, 2013 04:07am
I think you're right on a few issues, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have made the same decision if I wasn't in Imran's place. This is one of the problems of the left. It refuses to compromise, and thus gets nothing done. Then people like the PPP and the Democratic party can use the image of the left and its sensitivities to act as gate keepers. The decision to bar women from voting was the right one. It's better to have a free, safe, and fair election than to watch people die en masse in a war zone to keep to an ideal. Also, note that these are also the people who voted in JI, JUI, PML, and PTI--all conservative to ultra conservative parties-- into power. The government will be a conservative government, and the opposition will be a conservative opposition. They have the democratic right to structure their society as they want to, and they do not have to follow the mandates of what we think is a woman's right or not. That's the problem with democracy: people get to choose what they think, do, and believe, even if we "more civilized and enlightened" people don't like it.
Mr. Pakistani May 18, 2013 03:47am
Come on lady, their isn't anything which is perfect in this world. If PTI sits in opposition, they can't really change anything at all. Why not give PTI a chance, when we already know what the other candidates would do if they get chance once again. Yes, PTI will have to make some difficult choices but thats the sole reason of chosing them. If they fail, then we should give chance to someone else. I dont have PhD, but here is my suggestion: There are some people who make few good choices and few bad choices; and then there are Some people who are corrupt. If i get a choice, I would chose first one
sana May 18, 2013 02:08am
In other case you want a PMLN+JUIF govt, or in other case you want a governer raj imposed in KPK or you may want the taliban run non state govt in KPK. oh yes non of that has happened yet but you may want to mislead people by getting to conclusions through assumptions that has not happened yet.
sana May 18, 2013 02:09am
i believe you just woke up
Ahmad May 18, 2013 12:03am
When you have no idea about the situation in far flung areas like Dir, so please keep your PhD thesis to yourself. The safety of women is more important.
asif May 17, 2013 11:50pm
JI is an ineffective party. PTI can manage them very effectively. What does the Rafia prefer, that KPK be governed (err ruled) by JUI-F. LOL :-) May 17, 2013 01:48pm
Agree with the write on many points especially what she emphasized on the women rights and JI record. Let's assume JI should have passed all the bills to criminalized rape and domestic violence etc. what would have happened? It wouldn't have surprised me if the next day the most liberal of people e.g. Atizaz Ahsan being imprisoned by Nawaz Sharif using the same incumbent law. There are too many laws in Pakistan but without implementation. The point is its not the means which matter but the end. Although only time will prove what will happen to PTI in KPK but one thing is for sure, if they can establish peace, resolve the energy crisis and show some progress in education and public relations they will prevail for a few years to come..................however, having said that it will never be easy but no one is expecting them to make KPK the next Belgium in the next 5 years.
tariq k sami May 17, 2013 11:17pm
PhD students focus on a very narrow topic. One time I heard a whole hour long lecture on just the T wave of the EKG. I was later told that the said speaker had a PhD on the T wave. These are not normal people. That's why they are PhD and we need more of them. They form the foundation of science and reason.
imran May 17, 2013 11:13pm
Pti said before election that they will hold talks with TTP. so-called liberal parties were in power for five years and they could not contain them with force.So why it is bothering them now when somebody wants to talk to them.
tariq k sami May 17, 2013 11:02pm
Very simple the Jamaat Chief Munawar Shaheb is not a corrupt man and he unlike his counterparts has not had his loans written off. I do not like JI but facts are facts. Right now in Pakistan eradication of corruption is the first requirement.
IK May 17, 2013 11:03pm
Collation government of PTI & JI in KPK is a recipe of disaster for women in that province
tariq k sami May 17, 2013 11:07pm
Every place has its own culture and change will come at its own pace. Economy will dictate the pace of progress.
Expat from Canada May 17, 2013 09:50pm
* they shouldn't
Expat from Canada May 17, 2013 09:49pm
This is a mere generalization of the what has happened. PTI's accepting to 'Women will not be allowed to Vote in Upper/Lower Dir Area' is based on a greater good for the area. PTI, before getting into a position of establishing a govt. in KPK, was not in a position to dictate any terms with any of the involved parties. KPK's most hurting problem is its peace situation and then Education and Women Rights. PTI Govt. will have to prioritze and work more aggresively on more important thing first i.e. Restoring Peace, meanwhile, working gradually towards other major issues mentioned above. We need to keep a clear mind and open heart and accept PTI's success, rather support them in their actions for the betterment of the province, instead of pointing out things that even strong Federal Govt. didn't dare touch. I don't say they should handle these issues but they should handle them wisely.
Saz May 17, 2013 11:29am
Looks around for the usuals....strange
Omair May 17, 2013 12:04pm
Had you done some research the NA-250 voters themselves elected JI (MMA) candidate in 2002 elections.
ssf May 17, 2013 09:13pm
Come on, signing an accord with a JI and allot ministry of Eduction to them is a joke, The girls and women will suffer and will give Talibans more influence to ban education for them. We will see more Mudressas and that area will move into the 7th century. If Imran was sincere for change he had the chance but seems he just wants power.
Zafar Malik May 17, 2013 09:12pm
You do not make deals with murderers. What happened in Swat? how can you trust these brutes known as Taliban? they want to turn entire Pakistan into a "model of Sharia" like Swat. Wake up Pakistan. Wake up PTI before it is too late. Please understand : Jamat-e-Islami is nothing but Taliban's fifth column.
khan May 17, 2013 11:20am
not very impressive , to much sceptical , with touch of pessimism and neglecting some of the realities
Rajiv May 17, 2013 11:19am
" Indeed, since PTI signed an agreement to ban women from voting".... really... that is as low as imran can be expected to go... so the Tsunami has lost its punch
goodDeedsLeadTo May 17, 2013 08:34pm
Wide spread education with real meat can change minds, understand the importance of women's right to vote. PTI has the will to wide spread education, without discrimination, uniform syllabus
akram May 17, 2013 02:57pm
For your information he said that he will not make alliance with those parties who were part of last government and JI was not part of last government.
sayyed May 17, 2013 06:54pm
Khan sahib. i had to commend you on you comment. This is the voice and pain of many muslims and pakistanis.
Karachi Wala May 17, 2013 03:34pm
@ Akram, that is why it sounds even worse.
Hammad May 17, 2013 12:55pm
Great. Putting down someone without even giving them a chance. They haven't announced any names for their ministers as yet, and Rafia has already consigned them to the dustbin of history. I will ask you to please please give them some time. They haven't even started yet???
M. Jan May 17, 2013 01:12pm
Barring women from voting was a despicable act. It should be illegal if it is not already. Any electorate that have a problem with women voting does not deserve to be part of the democratic process. However, the author
Waqas May 17, 2013 04:01pm
Aunty you need a degree in Journalism. The dynamics of Dir and Defence Karachi are totally different just like San Francisco California and Clarksville Tennesse. KPK government hasn't even taken oath yet and you have started criticizing it which shows your bias. Whats wrong with JI running education ministry ? Education sector in KPK has deteriorated so much that not a single graduate of Public schools is unable to get a seat in public professional colleges in KPK. Do some research before writing an article.
Left is Right May 17, 2013 10:18am
Spot on, you said it girl !!!
Bong May 17, 2013 05:33pm
Since this is philosophistan, my two bits on it. PTI will have to dine with the devil in this term to manage their vote bank politics and of course this is "Kissa Kursi Ka". To retain (get) power they will have to sell their souls or else face..... obscurity and of course later come up with a justification that since they did not have total majority hence they had to compromise (sounds PTI is power hungry.....and will compromise its stand. This is normal in any democratic setup....voters should get used to this.
Parvez May 17, 2013 05:56pm
Iran Khan's PTI may fail and then it may not. Consigning them to the rubbish bin before they have had a chance to prove themselves, is unfair.
ghaleezguftar May 17, 2013 10:19am
Sorry Rafia. I choose not to agree with you. Jamaat e Islami may have its views but maybe you have never been to KPK or do not know many Pathans. Peace deals always needs compromise and the other option of no compromises has shown negatvie result so far for more than ten years. So if all the governments make a deal with MQM to keep Karachi's peace, why not make a peace deal with Taliban to keep peace in KPK. If you still think that KPK will witness public floggin etc then I suggest you do visit KPK and try to understand Pashtuns.
Jamal May 17, 2013 08:15pm
Give us an alternative Ms Zakaria. What are the options for PTI in KPK? Will you be happy with a JUI-F-led government or you want the ANP to lead a coalition of every single party except PTI in KPK? Had the PTI decided to sit on the opposition benches, You would have still been castigating the party for avoiding the challenge of governing as complicated a province as KPK. I wish you best of luck for your PhD. But you seriously need a lot of hard work to get there.
ashvagan May 17, 2013 10:26am
"a ban on all women in all public spaces?" you surely seem like the extremist on the other side of the coin.
TrollyMcTrollton May 17, 2013 10:26am
Dubbing NA-250 'progressive' purely on basis of being part of a dystopian metropolis cravenly in thrall of a fascist protection mafia is a bridge too far.
Adnan May 17, 2013 10:25am
at last sense prevail thank you for giving balance to current situation
Tariq May 17, 2013 02:42pm
Dawn should sometimes or someday try to write good things about PTI, I liked Dawn nws befor, but it now seems and is pretty clear, that this is the newspaper which in Anti-PTI
NIMRA May 17, 2013 10:23am
Dear Rafia i am a fan of your writing and live in KPK and a journalist by profession myself, but this is so sad that i dont know for whatever reason you had tried to drag us the voters of KPK while criticising PTI. I am a witness to the process at many polling stations in here in Peshawar and i can tell you that we were allowed to carry cell phones and even i clicked my vote image. If any attempt of rigging here took place that was at few stations and by none other than wives and sisters of ANP/PPP candidates BUT bravo our media and common people they were kicked out of the polling stations. We had quiet a fair election and mostly it was a good experience for voters as well. As far as JI is concerned they are far better than JUI-F people. Dont worry we are NOT gonna allow JI to hijack our desires and choices. Regards,
Saz May 17, 2013 04:50pm
But the agreement banning women from polls has already happened, and if IK dose not support this personally then he should demand repolling in all the areas where such an agreement done
AR May 17, 2013 01:09pm
in politics you cannot be idealistic. it is always about least bad option.
UlHaq May 17, 2013 01:07pm
Sooner or later, PTI and even Nawaz league (and ultimately the disillusioned people of Pakistan) will see the consequence of signing a deal with the devil.
Karachi Wala May 17, 2013 03:24pm
NIMRA, I will be looking forward for your future articles about promised fullfilled by PTI. How about updating us every month right here on DAWN pages?
Maya May 17, 2013 05:13pm
I am a huge PTI supporter but I also agree with your assertion that both PML-N and PTI will realize that the Taliban are not in this to hold talks. That said, what is the harm in trying to explore that route ? We have already tried the gun route and have had nothing but losses. Your point would be very valid if we were having phenomenal success dealing with them militarily, which sadly is not the case.
M Hydari May 17, 2013 04:46pm
Trying to associate JI with Tehreek-e-Taliban is very ignorant. JI are not against women voting, working or being educated.
Shah May 17, 2013 10:50am
"None of this has happened yet", speculations according to her own words. PTI must surely do a very precarious balancing act between its progressive agenda & the practicalities of running a coalition govt. with the right wing JI (with a less than glorious past of its own) and facing off the threat of the TTP. Lastly madam we'd never want a fate like that of Karachi for KP, gender liberty aside, unparalleled crime rate are even more important, you of all people should know Karachi is no enviable utopia, sadly.
khalid khan May 17, 2013 10:36am
it seems very funny to me that no one is talking about Dr Afia sidiqi who is in USA jail for nothing but to help the poor in Pakistan she is also a women but so for even single lady except her sister is dare to speak out that it is injustice how many NGOs and human rights activist are there but every one is fingering in pakistan internal matters and spacially when any thing happen which is not acceptable to the west every body want to point out to achieve goodwill in the west very funny in uper and lower dir that is their tradition and culture that woman should not take part in such activities and all stake holder agreed so what is the problem for outsider and second regarding the tesstamony of women my this is the Allah word and on this earth no one have the power to change it.
maria May 18, 2013 02:07pm
1)"All the parties contesting the election, it turns out, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, had signed an agreement. In exchange for free and fair elections, they had agreed that no women would vote in Upper and Lower Dir." -> The fact that women were banned from voting is something to be condemned, and ALL parties involved were at fault. Action needs to be taken by the leadership of PTI, PMLN PPP, JI and ANP against the party members who did this. However what is your source for stating that this deal was in return for safe elections? The article you referenced does not state this. Stating assumptions like they are fact is just misleading people to prove a point. 2) Jamaat e islami's Bethak schools network is running over 134 schools across Pakistan, some of them in flood affected areas. They also run chains of schools like the Iqra schools. All of these schools cater to BOTH GENDERS. They have already displayed significant commitment to education. For me hearing that the education ministry might go to Jamaat was a very welcome decision. Also, considering the similarities in Jamaat-e-Islami's and PTI's manifesto they are natural allies. I'm shocked a politically aware person like you is surprised. 3) When you twist facts for sensationalism, you leave logic far, far behind. Well written article, but poor journalism.
Ashar A. Syed May 17, 2013 03:18pm
The few parties he singled out that PTI would make an alliance/seat adjustment with was JI and APML and any other parties that were not part of the NRO and were not in the now-ex corrupt government.
Karachi Wala May 17, 2013 03:16pm
Yes PTI has not governed yet, but past and present of JI is enough to support Rafia's analysis.
Maya May 17, 2013 05:10pm
It depends on what your priorities are, you can't fight everyone at the same time. I think the priority for IK and most of his supporters is to establish a system where people are held accountable for their actions and justice prevails. The top most priority is not women's rights and neither have they ever claimed that to be one. You need to understand that before you criticize.
MJ May 17, 2013 03:16pm
The party that signed an accord to keep women out of the voting process in one area of the country has no problems when women are part of the "sit downs" in the other area.
TAM May 17, 2013 03:14pm
Well expressed and same here about PTI feelings too. IK's tall talks in the past to pre-poll run ups of I will do this and that, his concerns re: status quo, re-electing old faces was just froth spewing out which has just fizzled out as fast as it came out. All jazbatti old fashioned heroism. Best forgotten.
Astro May 18, 2013 02:45pm
perhaps then PTI should make a deal with MQM over NA 250. That would lower the tension in Karachi and reduce the potential for further loss of life in Karachi!
Seedoo May 17, 2013 01:29pm
When you make a pact with the devil, you get to dance with the devil. Both PTI and PML-N sympathized and even made alliances with the forces of obscurantism. Just watch, they will pay a huge price. In the next 6-18 months, Talibans will be targeting PTI workers the most and Imran Khan will be on their hit list. PML-N along with the Sharif brothers will no longer be regarded as "sharif" by TTP and will be targeted also. Just wait and see!
Jamal May 17, 2013 05:51pm
And Taliban were not part of the government either. You wait and see my friend. As I said in my previous comment to another post, you will be busy justifying a lot in next five years. I would love to see a women dharna in KPK against ban on women voting rights and education.
Concerned May 17, 2013 04:57pm
You are right, the author understands that PTI wil be making a lot of deals in future and a time will come when it will become difficult to diffrentiate between PTI and TTP.
Saz May 17, 2013 04:57pm
If you talk about change and honesty etc etc then yes sit out side rather then make friends with the very forces that have placed us here
maria May 18, 2013 02:10pm
sorry, this was meant in reply to the blog, not to the above comment :)
Asad May 17, 2013 04:55pm
so that means that people who have given their lives for fundamental rights such as self determination and expression have done it over nothing? how about men don't vote either... that might save more lives!
Sania May 17, 2013 01:42pm
Do check the latest news. The education department is staying with PTI and it is confirmed.
Agha Ata (USA) May 17, 2013 01:45pm
PTI may or may not ban women from getting education, but it has banned Imran Khan;'s sister to appear in public, alright. We didn't hear of her since she announced she had come out to help her brother (I hope I am wrong.)
miz May 18, 2013 02:36pm
Hilarious article. Reads like a soap opera. Have to give you marks for imagination though!!
Faiza May 17, 2013 11:32am
You have rightly pointed out the dilemma of PTI....they shout change and compromise with the status quo....their supporters, esp women, should have strong reservations on JI as coalition partner...what has started as a ban on women vote, could very well culminate as a ban on the entire female population like the good old days of Mullah Omar's Afghanistan....PTI should bring change by sitting in opposition instead of striking deals with remnants of Zia
Pro Bono Publico May 17, 2013 02:55pm
Imran only singled out parties that had (mis)ruled for the past 5 years: PPP, PML-N, MQM, ANP, etc While, JI, like PTI, had boycotted the 2008 NRO elections..
Banban May 17, 2013 02:14pm
I don't see any purpose of this blog except to bad-mouth PTI and its social-media-savvy, iPhone-wielding, young supporters.
Sunny Aneel May 17, 2013 02:29pm
I remember Imran said, "We would not make alliance with any party." Now, what is this and an alliance with a conservative party JI. WHY????
Israr Khan Ismail Zai May 17, 2013 02:20pm
Wow, you are a genius. You got it all figured out. Thanks for your supreme knowledge.
ashar May 17, 2013 10:03am
JI is not bad as long as they do not dominate. They are a mess when they are in majority.
G.A. May 17, 2013 12:13pm
It is shocking that PTI has handed over the Ministry of Education in KP to JI, fruits of which we are witnessing today as sectarian strifes. Education is what JI has destroyed in Pakistan while colluding with Zia. I had often pointed out in Dawn comments about the fear of JI hijacking PTI once PTI wins. It is beginning to happen.
BRR May 17, 2013 03:01pm
Weren't the Taliban who flogged women in Afghanistan pashtuns too? Weren't the Taliban who flogged people and killed people and hung them openly in Swat pashtuns too?
sayyed May 17, 2013 11:24am
And another US based "pakistani" mouthpiece dares to lecture us. sickning
yarana May 17, 2013 11:24am
Finally someone spoke out it seems to me every tom dick and harry worry about Karachi and MQM but rest of the country does not matter.I was PTI supporter but after this ageement I am biggest opponent of PTI.I say anyone compromise with JI or any religious party they always fall flat on their faces.To prove it just look at the history of pakistan.
Salman May 17, 2013 10:06am
How much did MQM give you to write this?
Jamal May 17, 2013 05:48pm
Ah.. "making deals to save life". What an excellent excuse! More than thousand schools were bombed because they allowed girls. Another life saving compromise will be to ban women education in the province. I can go on and on with this but I am sure you caught my drift here. It is quite different to sit outside and criticize the decsion makers. Now it is your turn to make the difficult decsions. I can guarantee the sorry excuses like this will be a norm for next five years. WELCOME TO POWER PTI!!!
Haseeb May 17, 2013 07:06pm
Criticism for the sake of criticism
sayyed May 17, 2013 06:46pm
Why would JI and JUI-F or any other religious party be described as "devil" not talking about TTP. They are just as much pakistanis as anyone else living in that country and equally entitled to participate in any process in pakistan being that politics or anything else. millions of lives were given for our country for the names of islam and islam should play a role in society.
UlHaq May 17, 2013 06:17pm
Looks like PTI has shaken hands with the remnants of everybody who was anybody in the country. LOL.
UlHaq May 17, 2013 06:13pm
90% of PTI leaders are lotas from previous governments. We have seen their performance with dictators and democrats, both. They are just power hungry people and are there to ride the wave of Imran Khan's popularity. Beware: they are leeches and will leave IK live Bhutto and Nawaz's leeches left him. Sub thaath para reh jaa-way gaa, my dear masoom pakistanio...