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Category Archives: Pakistani Politics

Karachi Kisi Ko Na Khappay


OK, so we are all very emotional right now. The elections are still hanging above us and the dust is refusing to settle. While Umair’s election predictions were quite brilliant, not many of us had expected the final tallies to be as provincially isolated as they turned out to be. That in itself has led to some consternation, as those ... Read More »

Some thoughts and questions on the elections


Well, that was fun. Here are some initial thoughts and questions. The MQM wants its corners I always tell people when discussing The Greatest Show In The History of Time (TM) that The Wire taught me more about politics than my entire graduate education, which is not a dig at U Chicago (promise). But tell me I’m wrong. Tell me ... Read More »

What to expect (and not to expect) from May 11th


In 1999, I won my first and last elections, and promptly lost faith in the democratic process. The elections in question were for the student council in my school, the CAS. Unlike most other schools, the council wasn’t chosen by the teachers based on who had the best scores/tutta-lifting abilities, but rather a relatively diverse set of students were nominated ... Read More »

The Definitive Five Rupees Election Post

Electoral Turnout over time, source: ECP data

So it wouldn’t be a real election if there weren’t at least one pre-election post on FiveRupees. As a disclaimer though, this isn’t a prediction post – (one would have to be very stupid to put ungrounded fluff on the Internet a few days before an election) – but you can think of this as a stuff-to-watch-out-for guide. Yes, I ... Read More »

Why The Karachi Stock Exchange is Doing So Well

By: Richard Alvin - CC BY 2.0

Everyone knows that when bad things happen in the world, one of the first things to tank is the stock market. A couple of weeks ago, the S&P 500 dropped nearly 150 points minutes after the Associated Press’s hacked Twitter account  put out the false news of the White House being under attack. That was just a terrorism hoax. Now ... Read More »

5 year outlook on the TTP

By: SeHi - CC BY 2.0

I do not like to fashion myself as some authority writing this post, but Ahsan has forced me contribute to fulfill his monthly and weekly post quota. Now that I have expressed the pressure under which I have been forced to commission this piece of blogging, I’m going to start out directly by making a 5 year/long-term prediction about terrorist ... Read More »

The Trouble with Nawaz League

Source: Pakistan Tribune

It is often mentioned that the PPP rode into power on the coattails of Benazir Bhutto’s untimely demise. I find this to be rather silly; would the PPP not have won had Benazir been alive? Of-course they would have. The last election was predicated on the people’s desire to return to civilian governance and the PPP emerged as the face ... Read More »

Electoral Evolution – Lahore and Karachi

Percentage Seat Share Lahore

Apart from a whole host of other differences, Karachi and Lahore have had starkly different electoral histories. Plowing through electoral data from 1970 till the 2008 general election, there’s a clear trajectory that both cities have taken, which has seen the transfer of power from one type of political actor to another. The evolution, in some senses, is quite indicative ... Read More »

Guest post: Understanding the PTI’s Populism

IK populism

This is a guest post by Ammar Rashid (twitter: @AmmarRashidT, email: ammar dot rashid at gmail dot com), an independent researcher in Islamabad. An earlier version of this piece was published in The News on Sunday. In the ‘The Rebirth of History’ (2012), the French philosopher Alain Badiou attempts to contextualize the unrest and uprisings occurring across the world today by ... Read More »

Grading the PPP government and looking towards the future

Maaf kar dey bhai, bohat ho gaya hai. Photo: OneIndia News.

For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the national assemblies completed their tenure, a very significant accomplishment. Here are some brief thoughts on this government’s performance, followed by The Official Five Rupees Endorsement. Big picture/constitutional stuff Undoubtedly this government’s greatest strength. First, the substance: by passing the 18th, 19th, and 20th amendments, the PPP-led government ensured, amongst other things, that ... Read More »