Election Fever 2013

‘Imran Khan will do a clean sweep’ ‘PPP is nowhere to be seen, Zardari must have something up his sleeve’ ‘Nawaz Shariff kay vote tou tootay hee tootay, balkay saath may zardari kay aur MQM kay bhee tootay’ ‘Sir Imran Khan aa raha hay aap bas dekhtay jaye’ ‘PML-N will win, Imran will gather no more than 20 seats’ ‘PPP will form a coalition with PTI, the whole objective was to destroy the N vote bank’ ‘IK is revealing his extreme rightist colors, he is a closet Taliban I tell you’ ‘Imran will win, the fortunes of this country will change’


Yep, that’s pretty much all that’s been there on everybody’s discussion agenda. Elections. Just 4 days to go now. Come May 11th and this country will for sure witness history. The first time that civilian governments would transfer power democratically and as per the constitution in the history of Pakistan. It is a momentous occasion also because apart from the old stalwart parties, Imran Khan’s PTI has been grabbing everyone’s attention, and in a huge way. No longer is it just PML-N or PPP that are the major players in the political arena. PTI has arrived. Whether they will be able to cash in the votes from their meteoric rise of the past 1.5 years is yet to be seen and anybody’s guess. The calculated guesswork leads us to believe that Imran Khan will definitely manage a dent if nothing else. As noted by Cyril Almeida in his column in Dawn yesterday; even if he hasn’t really managed to get the non-voter (the guy who wants a fair and established system which is progressive and authentic) to come out and vote as much as he would have wanted to, he has in the process given rise to the non-voter inside every voter (the guy who votes for the party that has taken ‘care’ of his or his area’s specific needs but in some part of his heart also wishes for the same things as the non-voter). He has given people hope that there could really be a new way of doing things. A better way. The right way.

Everyone is excited, everyone is hopeful. Some are supporting the ‘Naya Pakistan’. If social media was to be the deciding factor then Imran Khan would have most definitely Some are going for the established parties (who weren’t apparently hand in pocket with the last regime for the last 5 years).

The logical mind is saying PML-N will win. The logical mind is also saying that no party will win with clear majority thou and another coalition setup is inadvertent. Now that has raised speculations and given space to more drawing room electoral analysis. I think the fervor of election day/night that has been missing in the 90’s is coming back for people with this election. The last one of course was not quite the same being a couple of months after Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

This election season has also been marred by terrorist attacks which has led to fingers being pointed at PTI and PML-N being pro Taliban hence not being the victims of bomb attacks and grave security threats which are causing other parties problems in being able to campaign. On ground you don’t really see anyone other than Imran Khan and the Shariff brothers. And all their respective cronies. You do tend to feel for others and for a moment think that ‘Waqai may elections tou lagta hay sirf Punjab may ho rahain hain’. But to Kaptaan’s credit he did go to other provinces as well. Where the attacks are taking place. MQM did hold a rally in Lahore. MQM has also complained but they are doing their door to door campaigning (slightly scary that!). PPP have unleashed Rehman Malik (although maybe somebody forgot to tell them that they have to try and win the election, not lose it).

Another throwback to the elections of the 90’s is the politicians and their campaign speeches. The assaulting the opponent in the most hilarious of manners possible. The most ridiculous speeches and jokes and taunts. Yahan Mian sahib ko himmat pakarnay ko kaha ja raha hay tou wahan Zardari kay B Team kay Kaptaan ka ilzaam lagay ja raha hay. Pakistani politics dramatization at it’s best.

Bottom line – 5 days to go. This is indeed a historic moment for the country. It is definitely down to the nation to make this historic moment turn out to be a good turning point for the nation as well. We all have the power to vote. Let’s make sure we exercise it properly. And not let it go to waste. We all have a responsibility towards the ‘Naya’ Pakistan that Imran Khan is selling in his campaign. Even if he does come to power – it is us who have to BE the change in order to BRING the change.

Pakistan Zindabad! Cheers Open-mouthed smile (And don’t forget to vote on the 11th – 11th May isn’t a holiday, it’s a day for change).


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