“Journalists should ensure that they are not perceived as trying to influence the outcomes of a political conflict,” writes Professor Julianne Schultz, describing the role and duties of journalists in democratic states. Professor Schultz, founding editor of Griffith Review, an Australian journal for current affairs, describes in her book ‘Reviving the Fourth Estate: Democracy, Accountability …

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Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old student of Bacha Khan University, Mardan, was brutally lynched on April 15 by a violent mob of educated people -including some of the teachers of the same university – on suspicion of posting blasphemous material on social media. The issue was highlighted by local and international media after which the state …

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For the past decade, Pakistan has been waiting for freedom – the freedom for the people to see records that belong to them. The worn-out Freedom of Information Ordinance of 2002 still controls access to federal-level government information. This law fails to establish broad access to government records, a detailed procedure for requesting them and …

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An important question about the 39-country Islamic Military Alliance has been resolved – recently retired Pakistan Army Chief Raheel Sharif will lead it, at the request of Saudi Arabia. Many other crucial questions about the alliance remain, however. Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif confirmed Gen Raheel’s appointment in a recent TV interview, and said it …

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Pakistan’s governing system is degenerating rapidly and threatens to cave in, because the state’s pillars are leaning the wrong way. Each one is needed to support a democratic society, but none are holding up their share of the weight. The parliament that is supposed to make laws for the betterment of people has become a …

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Amid a strong wave of terrorism, mainstream parties in Pakistan have accelerated their political activities in preparation for Election 2018 in Pakistan. The current elected government will complete its tenure in June 2018 and election will be held anytime within 90 days after June 5, 2018. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which holds federal government in Islamabad and provincial governments …

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 As these lines were being written on the evening of February 13, Lahore, the heart of Pakistan, suffered a suicide bombing that left 13 persons, including five police officials, dead and 83 injured. The bomber exploded himself near police officials who were engaged in negotiations with representatives of a pharmaceutical and medicine firm protesting against …

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The Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), once reckoned amongst the most powerful street forces of the country and a representative of leftist ideology, faced another debacle on political and ideological fronts when it withdrew a law on January 7, 2017. The law, against forced conversions also known as the Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, was …

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Freedom of expression and differences of opinion are basic components of the concept of democracy. A democratic government must protect these components. Unfortunately, various elements in Pakistan have been trying to muffle freedom of expression and difference of opinion for the last 70 years. But, Pakistan’s soil keeps producing intellectuals, poets, artists and writers who …

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The recently released ‘Quetta Inquiry Commission Report’ exposed the government and law enforcing agencies’ seriousness regarding the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism and extremism. The one-judge commission was formed by the outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan, Anwar Zaheer Jamali, after the deadly attack targeting the lawyers’ fraternity in Quetta in August …

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