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Shahid Ahmed
Owner of electronics shop
Hall Road

“If you ask me, this is just another game that these politicians are playing amongst themselves. For us common people who have to work hard all day long just to send our children to school, for us this whole drama will make no difference. Not today, not tomorrow. Even earlier Benazir Bhutto was asked to step down on corruption charges. What happened? Zardari – an even bigger gun – followed and came into power.”

Mansoor Aslam
Corporate businessman
DHA

“I firmly believe that this whole case was very forced. I have been reading about this online and I have come to the conclusion that there were charges against him, yes, but they were really not related to the Panama Papers. It was all about one politician taking another to court, and then winning and afterwards there was mithai all around.

Only in Pakistan can a sitting prime minister be removed for the third time.”

Denizens of the Sharifs' stronghold have their say on the ouster of the PM

Shehnaz Bibi
Housewife
Harbanspura

“For us it has always been Mian Sahib. My husband used to work for him, and our entire family has always supported this party. I do not know all the legal technicalities but let’s put it this way: even if he has been corrupt at some point in his life — which I do not believe him to have been — then why is two-thirds of the country still voting for him? Why is he still so popular?”

Waseem Ahmed
Hostel student
Punjab University

“Pakistani politics changes every day. As a youngster, I do not trust any party at all in this country. One person says something; the other says something else. In the end, the country is just getting worse and worse every day and no one sees anything happening as such. Yes there are development projects but they are for the rich in big cities only. I belong to Kasur, where there is a lot of history but when you go there, it feels like a small rural unkempt town surrounded by villages. So, to hell with so-called development.”

Qurat-ul-Ain
Employee at a private firm
Faisal Town

“I have also heard about ‘other forces’ being behind this decision by the Supreme Court. I don’t know how far that is true. But if we are to accept democracy, then we must also accept the court’s decision too — whatever it is.”

Sonia Akmal
Student
Gulberg

“This is definitely a new dawn for the country. All we have heard are tales of how one politician ravaged this country to line their pockets. Now, as young people, we have been seeing it. I think Imran Khan himself has really shaken the status quo and now I am sure the next crop of leaders will think twice before stealing money from this nation and pocketing it for their own luxuries.”

Rehman Ali
Retired government officer
Nishat Colony

“You will not believe the level of corruption there is in the present system. Whoever designed this system made sure that even a clean person would end up getting dirty by the time they leave it. Even I have ended up giving bribes only to get simple work done. Think about the level of bribery etc our top leaders do. This is normal for them. In that light, I think that the Supreme Court verdict was fair enough, because otherwise who is going to teach these people a lesson?”

Shaukat Ali
School teacher
Mochi Gate

“Well in our neighborhood people have had mixed emotions, because there is a lot of PPP in the old city along with PML–N. So for the opposition it was all good news, and we remembered the time when BB was ousted twice and thought to ourselves, don’t these people remember that? Why are they celebrating? And then there was the PML–N who was really angry and sitting in their offices and homes in great silence. In fact I saw a tussle too in one of the neighbourhoods between these two political gangs. People say a great change will come, but I say not really. Removing one guy won’t make a difference. The system has to change. Or, all the political leaders, including Imran Khan, have to be made accountable. Otherwise there is no point.”

Tauquir Khan
Owner of sound system shop
Shah Alami Gate

“To my own knowledge — which is not much — people are saying there should be no family politics. But then again, the other brother is going to be next PM, his son will be the Punjab chief minister. So how has that changed? Other than this, I don’t think that if the PM is charged with corruption and removed, that is necessarily a threat to democracy. I think it makes the political system stronger.”

Published in Dawn, EOS, August 6th, 2017