Latest Videos

The next 22 months | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on October 14, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1651932/the-next-22-months ANY government would feel overwhelmed by the challenges it expects to face in the remaining 22 months of...

Pakistan’s elusive local governments! | Arab News

This article was published in Dawn on October 12, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1946066 Nothing underscores the superficiality of Pakistani democracy better than the continuing absence of elected local governments across the...

Challenges to legislation | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on September 25, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1648321/challenges-to-legislation LEGISLATION is the primary function of the national parliament and provincial assemblies and that is exactly why these...

Confrontations between Pakistan government and election commission may lead to systemic change | Arab...

This article was published in Arab News on September 21, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1933011 The ongoing confrontation between the government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is unprecedented. Opposition political...

Other electoral reforms | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on September 12, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1645916/other-electoral-reforms DEBATES, commentaries and analyses about Electronic Voting Machines have been dominating the print and electronic media over the...

Imagining the next election | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on September 06, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1644788/imagining-the-next-election THE fourth year of the government has barely begun but the prospects of the next election, which is...

Pakistan’s parliament in three years of PTI rule | Arab News

This article was published in Arab News on August 31, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1920131 Both the fifteenth National Assembly of Pakistan and the PTI-led federal government completed their three years just...

AGP’s appointment | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on August 22, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1641949/agps-appointment THE auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) has just retired and, at the time of writing, the government must...

Defending intra-party differences | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on August 15, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1640775/defending-intra-party-differences THE so-called ‘two narratives’, or opposing point of views, within the PML-N have drawn the attention of the...

India’s UNSC presidency and why it won’t hurt Pakistan | Arab News

This article was published in Dawn on August 12, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1909766 Ordinarily, the election of a country as President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should be a...

Not on talking terms | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on August 01, 2021 and is available at the following link THE five-member Election Commission of Pakistan is once again lacking its full strength after members belonging to Punjab...

A toxic discourse | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on July 25, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1636809/a-toxic-discourse THE recent campaigning for the Legislative Assembly election in Azad Jammu & Kashmir has taken political confrontation to a new...

International obligations | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on July 18, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1635700/international-obligations IN this age of globalisation, nations are voluntarily giving up a part of their legislative sovereignty to supranational...

Politics of overseas Pakistanis’ vote | Arab News

This article was published in Arab News on July 08, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1890931 Since 1993, the question of enabling overseas Pakistanis to vote in Pakistani elections from their respective countries...

Thoughts on the opposition | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on July 03, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1632897/thoughts-on-the-opposition THERE has been frequent and sometimes harsh criticism of the PTI-led federal government for its performance and quality...

Controversial poll reforms | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on June 17, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1629821/controversial-poll-reforms ARGUABLY the most controversial package of electoral reform proposals in the history of Pakistan is halfway through the...

The UNGA special session on corruption fell way short of expectations | Arab News

This article was published in Arab News on June 06, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1871321 The United Nations General Assembly just concluded a unique special session from June 2 to June 4....

Test case of political finance | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on June 06, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1627827/test-case-of-political-finance THE regulation of political finance (PF) offers one of the greatest challenges to democracies around the world. Political...

Technology and elusive electoral credibility | Arab News

The following article was published in Arab News on May 01, 2021 at the following link. https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1851886 The federal government under the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan seems to be in over-drive mode to introduce...

Cabinet or a deck of cards? | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on April 25, 2021 at the following link. https://www.dawn.com/news/1620224/cabinet-or-a-deck-of-cards MORE than halfway into his five-year term, Prime Minister Imran Khan reshuffled his cabinet for the sixth time on April 16. This...

How to mismanage an alliance | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on April 10, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1617404/how-to-mismanage-an-alliance THE Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the most recent of the alliances of opposition political parties, is facing an...

Meeting in quarantine: The wrong message | Arab News

This article was published in Dawn on March 27, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1832716 It was unexpected and shocking when Prime Minister Imran Khan, four days into quarantine after testing positive for...

A price for independence | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on March 20, 2021 and is available at the following link IT was simply unprecedented. Three senior ministers of the government of Pakistan addressed a press conference using the...

ECP: the sleeping giant? | Arab News

This article was published in Dawn on March 11, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1823526 The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has generally been criticized over its perceived or real inability to hold...

By-election fiasco | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on February 28, 2021 at the following link. https://www.dawn.com/news/1609888/by-election-fiasco BY-ELECTIONS do spring surprises occasionally but despite the uncertainty about individual contests, these are considered sedate affairs in a democracy...

Open or secret? | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on February 21, 2021 at the following link. https://www.dawn.com/news/1608523/open-or-secret THE Senate of Pakistan has existed since the 1973 Constitution was passed by the fifth legislature of the country. During...

Foreign funding consequences | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on January 30, 2021 at the following link. https://www.dawn.com/news/1604446/foreign-funding-consequences FOUR major political parties of Pakistan, including the ruling party, are facing charges of receiving prohibited funds from foreign sources....

PDM U-turns and possible opportunities | Arab News

The following article was published in Arab News on January 18, 2021 at the following link. https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1794586 The 10-party opposition alliance known as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was considering, not so long ago, that it...

Debate on ordinances | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on January 17, 2021 at the following link. https://www.dawn.com/news/1601976/debate-on-ordinances THE good news is that the debate on the use of ordinances as the preferred mode of legislation in Pakistan...

Challenges of Governance in the New Decade | Global Village Space

The following article was published in Global Village Space on January 8, 2021 at the following link. globalvillagespace.com/challenges-of-governance-in-the-new-decade/ Governance and its improvement are of critical importance to Pakistan. Pakistan ranks among bottom one-fifth of over 200...

Preparing to govern in Pakistan: the case for shadow cabinets | Arab News

This article was published in Arab News on January 03, 2021 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1786636 Prime Minister Imran Khan recently invited a great deal of criticism by admitting that he and his...

Poll reforms, again | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on November 22, 2020 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1591730/poll-reforms-again PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has once again expressed his intention to introduce three key electoral reforms. Two of...

High time parliament said ‘aye’ for new voting system | Arab News

This article was published in Arab News on September 28, 2020 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1741156 Pakistan needs a new parliamentary vote-counting system as the flawed one it has once again came into...

Evaluating the performance of Balochistan assembly | Arab News

This article was published in Arab News on August 30, 2020 and is available at the following link https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1726856 I have been observing the national and provincial legislatures in Pakistan and abroad for nearly two decades....

Parliamentary performance | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on August 22, 2020 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1575786/parliamentary-performance THE 15th National Assembly completed two years on Aug 17. Its performance during this period has been the...

Performance debate | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on July 05, 2020 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1567105/performance-debate SUDDENLY, the debate on government performance seems to be all over the place. On second thoughts, it may...

The new ECP’s challenges | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn (English version) on February 16, 2020 at the following link. https://www.dawn.com/news/1534785/the-new-ecps-challenges The article also appeared (Urdu version) in Dawn on February 17, 2020 at the following link. https://www.dawnnews.tv/news/1120535/ THE five-member Election...

The challenges of election day | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on July 28, 2018 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1423419/the-challenges-of-election-day ONE must confess that, despite all the hard work of the Election Commission, a dark cloud of suspicion...

Institutional Capacity and Governance in Pakistan: A Case Study of Parliament | Wilson Center

The following article was published by Wilson Center in 2018 in a book title 'Pakistan’s Institutions: We Know They Matter, But How Can They Work Better?. This article is available at the following link https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/publication/2018-06-pakistansinstitutions.pdf Pakistan’s constitution...

Poll transparency reversed | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on February 20, 2018 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1390494/poll-transparency-reversed THE Elections Act, 2017, passed by parliament and signed into law by the president of Pakistan in Oct­ober...

The march of democracy | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on February 03, 2018 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1386876/the-march-of-democracy WITH the announcement of a polling date for 52 seats of the 104-member Senate by the Election Commission...

A gulf that must be bridged | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on January 05, 2018 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1380840/a-gulf-that-must-be-bridged CIVIL-MILITARY tensions are not a new development in Pakistan. We have lived with this phenomenon for decades and...

Critical times for parliament | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on December 09, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1375404/critical-times-for-parliament THE recent appearance of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, before a Supreme Court bench in Karachi...

Legislators’ vanishing act | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on November 24, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1372437/legislators-vanishing-act POOR attendance by a sizeable number of members of the national parliament and the provincial assemblies in Pakistan...

Elusive consensus | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on October 23, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1365557/elusive-consensus THE quest again seems to be on for a consensus on a new accountability law. Initially, the major...

Poll law confusion | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on October 11, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1362986/poll-law-confusion RECENT events in the two houses of parliament in the capital have once again exposed the weaknesses of...

Parliament & accountability | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on August 19, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1352429/parliament-accountability AFTER the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, a welcome debate has focused on...

Episode or system? | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on August 05, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1349715/episode-or-system EVERY few years, we in Pakistan hold a powerful individual or a group of individuals to account through...

Law to regulate budget | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on June 20, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1340547/law-to-regulate-budget DESPITE all the protests, walkouts and boycotts by the opposition, the National Assembly has passed the federal budget...

Voting from abroad | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on May 27, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1335670/voting-from-abroad VOTING is an emotive and long-standing issue for some eight million overseas Pakistanis scattered around 140 countries. Together,...

The case of EVMs | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on April 17, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1327408/the-case-of-evms ELECTRONIC voting machines (EVMs) seem to have gained greater currency, and popularity as well, in our electoral discourse...

Owning the fight | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on March 06, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1318620/owning-the-fight IT was only through an ISPR press release that the nation came to know that the Pakistan Army...

Who pays for the brawls? | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on February 07, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1313101/who-pays-for-the-brawls ON Jan 26, the National Assembly witnessed an ugly brawl involving quite a few honourable members of the...

Where are the women voters? | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on January 10, 2017 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1307453/where-are-the-women-voters AS we get closer to 2018 when the current national and provincial assemblies complete their five-year term, several...

Give LGs a chance | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on December 27, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1304711/give-lgs-a-chance LOCAL governments are important for the entire country but carry special significance for the largest province in the...

How many ministers? | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on December 07, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1300923/how-many-ministers WHAT the size of a cabinet of ministers should be is a question of both public and media...

Women’s legislative performance | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on November 07, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1294681/womens-legislative-performance EVER since almost 17 per cent of seats in Pakistan’s directly elected legislatures were reserved for women, a...

One after another | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on October 16, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1290226/one-after-another THE recent multiparty conference (MPC) convened by the prime minister on Oct 3 settled, among other things, that...

Running the political engine | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on October 10, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1289066/running-the-political-engine THERE are ample signs that money in politics, or ‘political finance’, will assume much greater importance in the...

Remember electoral reforms? | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on September 19, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1284563/remember-electoral-reforms THE Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms which was constituted on July 25, 2014 to submit its report by...

Parliament’s inertia on NAP | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on August 30, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1280859/parliaments-inertia-on-nap SELDOM has Pakistan seen such open and repeated finger-pointing between the civil and military leadership as on the...

Transparent leaders | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on April 26, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1254360/transparent-leaders LEGISLATORS’ statements of assets and liabilities are once again in the news, after the leaked Panama Papers raised...

Is a commission enough? | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on July 04, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1268918/is-a-commission-enough The Panama leaks have led to the welcome development of corruption at high places being widely discussed, debated...

The right to information | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on February 20, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1240632/the-right-to-information AFTER the new governments of KP and Punjab passed their respective, internationally acclaimed Right to Information (RTI) laws...

Absent from the house | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on January 05, 2016 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1230860/absent-from-the-house PARLIAMENT in Pakistan posted some noticeable improvements during 2015 including greater transparency in members’ attendance records. National Assembly...

The calculus of ordinances | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on December 15, 2015 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1226413/the-calculus-of-ordinances THE promulgation of the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (Conversion) Ordinance on Dec 7, merely 48 hours before the...

Whither NSC? | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on November 29, 2015 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1223069/whither-nsc A RECENT ISPR press release alluding to poor governance by federal and provincial governments, and the rejoinder by...

Faults of the electoral system | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on September 05, 2015 and is available at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1204959/faults-of-the-electoral-system THE decisions of the two election tribunals hearing poll petitions on the NA-122, Lahore-V and NA-154, Lodhran-I constituencies...

Election gone wrong | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on June 03, 2015 2021 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1185791/election-gone-wrong BARELY six months after the Peshawar Army Public School tragedy that left almost 150 schoolchildren and others dead in...

Budget and the parliament | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on May 23, 2015 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1183608/budget-and-the-parliament THE National Assembly of Pakistan is about to go through its annual ritual of receiving and passing the federal budget...

Arbitrary changes | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on May 18, 2015 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1182561/arbitrary-changes THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) quietly changed its rules for by-elections in three national and provincial assembly constituencies on...

Senate questions | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on March 15, 2015 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1169601/senate-questions THE three-year democratic ritual of electing half the Senate is over but it has left a trail of questions that...

Whither electoral reforms? | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on January 24, 2015 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1159028/whither-electoral-reforms ELECTORAL reforms once again seem to be disappearing from the federal government’s radar. One may also claim with reasonable accuracy...

The way forward | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on September 13, 2014 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1131590/the-way-forward A FEW weeks ago, I had tried to summarise a case for some key electoral reforms proposals (‘A case for...

A case for urgent poll reforms | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on August 23, 2014 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/1127146/a-case-for-urgent-poll-reforms Electoral reforms are at the centre of the on-going political crisis. Although the campaign against alleged electoral irregularities during the...

Strains already | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on April 21, 2014 at the following link. https://www.dawn.com/news/1101227/strains-already The ISPR press release of April 7 demonstrated the communication gap between the political and military leadership. That the COAS...

Delimitation in Karachi | Dawn

The following article was published in Dawn on December 11, 2012 at the following link https://www.dawn.com/news/770404/delimitation-in-karachi THE question of fresh delimitation of constituencies in Karachi ahead of the general election requires careful reconsideration by the Election...

Civil society engagement in democratic transition in Pakistan | United Nations University Press

This article was published in 2010 by United Nations University Press in a book 'Engaging civil society: Emerging trends in democratic governance'. the article can be accessed at the following link. https://collections.unu.edu/eserv/UNU:2511/ebrary9789280811889.pdf Democracy in Pakistan has...

Through a Pakistani lens | India-Seminar.com

This article was published in India-Seminar.com in 2008 and is available at the following link https://www.india-seminar.com/2009/603/603_ahmed_bilal_mehboob.htm NEARLY four decades after the secession of East Pakistan – now Bangladesh – most Pakistanis continue to see Bangladesh and...