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 »

Desi Men, You Need To Cook

By: Caitlin Regan - CC BY 2.0

Hello there, average desi man. You look pretty happy, dude. I guess you can’t complain because your wife is an amazing cook. That’s awesome! And your mom was an amazing cook before her? Nice. But what if your wife goes home to visit and leaves you on your own? She leaves cooked food for you in advance? Or you go ... 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 »

South Africa v. Pakistan: A destiny fulfilled


Ah, the ‘positives’. You know a tour has gone pretty damn badly if an assessment of it centers not on what the losing team could have done to alter the outcome but on what scraps they can take from it which could possibly promise better returns in the future. Debating positives and saving graces and the like is an inherently ... 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 »

Why So Grim About Im the Dim?

Imran Khan

What is it about Imran Khan that rankles? Let’s not pretend that it doesn’t. No politician in Pakistan has faced the sort of scrutiny and ridicule that Imran has gotten over the past decade. I’ll be the first to admit to this – the internet is littered with my haughty proclamations against Mr. Khan. It was only last year, after ... Read More »

Shahid’s Images of the Week


This is the seventh post in a(n almost) weekly series wherein I will post images, memes et. al selected from the Pakistani Internets (Forums, Blogs, Facebook Pages etc). The main story this time is Shahzad Roy and his ‘contentious’ remarks on a Geo TV show. For scrolling through the gallery, just click on the current image and the image preview ... Read More »

Ten years on from the Iraq war


This month marks the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war (I wonder what Iraqis call it?). I recommend reading James Fallows’ piece on the whole thing, as well as Ta-Nehisi Coates’. Of course, trying to remember something — especially things as amorphous as “thoughts” and “feelings” — from ten years ago is a perilous exercise. But if ... Read More »

Calling an Election, Part II: Questions on Urban Voting in Pakistan

Assemblies are due to be dissolved in 10 days

(As a follow up to my first post on electoral surveying, this second, and admittedly long overdue, piece focuses on pre-election reportage and some questions regarding urban elections in Pakistan.) In the late 90s, Andrew Wilder wrote that the vast majority of electoral coverage, both in the vernacular and the English press, tends to focus on biraderi dominated voting blocs, ... Read More »

A Culture Shock

Photo: Hassan Cheema

Watching a Test match in South Africa, and what Pakistan could learn from it Read More »