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Saad Rafique

HIGH NOON AT MIDNIGHT

The Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri show, or as my friend Ejaz Haider puts it, the “Lucky Irani Circus”, finally made it to where they wanted to be in the first place and where the Mian Nawaz Sharif regime did not want them at any time, at the “D Square” in front of Parliament. While it was a massive crowd, the numbers do not matter. The emotions of the men, women and children who braved both the artificial and natural odds to follow their leaders to their date with destiny did. Contrary to the govt-fed propaganda most of our more renowned TV anchors were parrotting ad nauseam, the PTI followers remained true and faithful. Not politically extensive nationwide as Imran Khan’s, Tahirul Qadri’s flock in Islamabad numbered far more. Their remarkable capacity to remain resolute and with resilience, all with remarkable discipline, belies political reckoning. Make no mistake, the Sharifs under-estimated Tahirul Qadri’s political nuisance value. Alongside Imran, he may well bring down their govt.

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Dangerous Games

Far better than Asif Ali Zardari except in the one that counts in Pakistan, pragmatic common-sense politics, Mian Sahib is genuinely popular among the electorate. Zardari is (and was) not, nevertheless he deftly cobbled together a coalition government and kept most of them happy most of the time. Being subjected to blackmail by his political partners from time to time was only a temporary inconvenience, duly assuaged by requisite sums of money and privileges.

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