How a phone rouses crowds in Pakistan

February 22nd, 2008 - 12:47 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif
(Pakistan Diary)

Islamabad, Feb 22 (IANS) Pakistan’s deposed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who is under house arrest, was most effective when he reached out to lawyers in Karachi and Lahore over a phone line broadcast live. But he isn’t the first one to use the simple tactic. Other leaders including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain have used the humble phone to rouse their supporters and address entire rallies while they were in exile. While Sharif is back in Islamabad, MQM’s Hussain continues to lead his party from London where he has been since the early 1990s.

Chaudhry had spoken to lawyers in Karachi and Lahore on Thursday. His voice was transmitted to the audience, with a mobile phone carried to a microphone.


PPP-MQM tie up makes realtors happy

Guess who is eagerly looking forward to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and MQM getting together? Realtors in Karachi.

According to Dawn newspaper, property dealers in Sindh province’s capital city said that prices had been depressed for the last two years. But they expect prices to finally go up after the PPP and MQM join hands.


Crossing lines

Indication are that many members of Pakistan’s former ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) are getting ready to cross over to their parent party, Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), after the rout in the elections.

There is speculation that about 20 important members have been in touch with the PML-N leadership.

There are also reports that the PML-Q is asking its members to sign an undertaking that they would not go to another party. But the attempt to hold fleeing members does not seem to be very successful yet.

The PPP has won 87 of the 272 contested seats of the National Assembly, PML-N 66, PML-Q 40, while the ANP has 10 seats. If the reserved seats are added, the numbers could go up to 113 for PPP, 84 to PML-N and 14 to ANP, which will take them very close to the two-third majority mark in the 342-member National Assembly.

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