Things to do before Election Day

Elections are the most happening and significant occasion where the fortune of the nation is being decided by the nation themselves. But wait, have you voted in recent elections? This question forms the basis of this blog and if you have not used your vote this time make sure you are well prepared to vote in the next election (this is your obligation as a citizen of the country). Below we will be discussing some important considerations that actually help you get ready for next election. Conform Your Registration So, the elections are coming and you still are not sure whether you are registered in voters list or not? Isn’t this nasty and gross? You need to be very sure that your name... more

Legal Framework and International standards for Electoral Laws

Being an informed citizen of Pakistan we should definitely have the information about national legal framework of the election laws and international standard which embark upon on our internal mechanism and serve as bench mark. In order to analyze fairly, it is pertinent to have a start from the constitution first to know what it offers to its citizen. Do basic freedoms exist for exercise of fundamentals rights for citizen of Pakistan? Pakistan constitution 1973 covers protections for political and democratic rights for its citizens like freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of speech which mainly lays grounds for democratic culture in a country. Further constitution... more

International Day of Democracy

Democracy Blog: Evolution of Democracy in Pakistan Pakistan is sixth most populous country in the world, created on the basis of popular will of people in 1947 with the vision to have a liberal, moderate and democratic parliamentary federation. Soon after independence, Pakistan adopted British legacy constitutional framework and introduced the parliamentary democracy, following much from the Government of India Act 1935 - the last constitution of British India.However, Pakistan being a postcolonial state, the democratic experience was underpinned by the steel frame of bureaucracy and political stability and institutionalized democratic set up remained a distant... more

Thank You, Election Commission of Pakistan

Ever since the war on terror began, Pakistan has been sufferring from the malaise of we cant do it. Its either we can’t meet our debts or we can’t combat these militants or we can’t fly a plane straight or we can’t take care of our own (floods 2010) The point being that negativity is at a full time high and the same mantra has been repeated again and again till is become ingrained in the back of all our minds. So obviously when it was time for the elections this year the same old demons started rearing their heads. Initially it was hard enough getting all parties to agree on one leadership for the election commission but once Fakhruddin G Ebrahim was selected and put into place... more

Civic Education with Respect to Election Day

Civic education is also known as democracy education or citizen education and it broadly implies to the provision of learning experiences and knowledge to citizens in order to empower them to contribute effectively in the democratic mechanisms. The basic goal of this education is to support democratic as well as participatory governance. Civic education is manifested in many different forms including; classroom-based learning, experiential learning, informal learning & mass-media campaigns. It addresses a wide range of governance and political issues such as civic apathy/post-conflict reconciliation or corruption. In addition, it also takes social issues into account such as drug abuse,... more

The Presidential Elections

The presidential elections are taking place in Pakistan today, another major landmark for democracy after the successful general elections held in may and the peaceful transition of power to the new government. There has been very hectic lobbying ahead of the presidential elections with Pakistan Muslim league nawaz putting forth the name of Mamnoon hussain and getting backing from around eight smaller political groups, including Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party (NP), Qaumi Wattan Party (QWP), Pakistan Muslim League-Zia (PML-Z) and Balochistan chapter of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid. The second... more

To Vote or Not To Vote – Why is that even a Question for Pakistanis?

Have we become so disillusioned with the voting process and politics in general, that we have just tuned out from society at large? I have friends that have told me that their votes don’t matter and that the problems are so big that nothing can make it better, but I disagree. They say that nobody “good” runs for office anymore because politics have become so negative. That it doesn't matter who the face is, they are basically all the same. While I agree that things have become very negative and some candidates talk more about their opponents’ weaknesses than sharing their own plans or solutions, not voting is not a solution. Even if we feel that parties in general have lost the... more

The success of the ECP and its partners – Elections, 2013

The election in 2013 will be remembered for couple of reasons in the history of Pakistan, one of which is the high turnout. The role played by Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard has to be applauded. It was ECP, under the leadership of Honorable Justice (R) Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, which worked day and night to increase registered voters all across Pakistan. Figures show remarkable increase in registered voters as compared to the 2008 general elections i.e. an increase of 5,393,420 registered votes. NADRA played a key role in supporting ECP for increasing registered voters. Among the various interventions, NADRA, in accordance with orders from Supreme Court of Pakistan, issued... more

Elections and social media

During the last year, we have seen immense political presence in Pakistan’s social media. It started with leaders of almost all political parties garnering an online presence to realising how to market a party as an online brand. It has not been an easy ride for these political parties because our politicians tend to be more than a bit clumsy when it comes to technology and the online crowd is pretty harsh towards anything it deems to be even slightly illogical or rude. However, during the process of forming party lines online and the practice of select groups of trolls lashing out at detractors, a pleasant new phenomenon has taken place. I have been watching this rather closely and have... more

Minorities in the electoral process

As Pakistani public celebrate successful transition of power from one elected government to another through 2013 general elections, some very important questions come up in my mind regarding possible participation of minorities which include Shia Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Ahmedies. Approx figures of non Muslim minorities in Pakistan range from 6 to 10 percent of total Pakistani population. Shia muslims make up to 20 to 35 percent. However, the new wave of violence against minorities in Pakistan namely Shia’s and Christians is a matter of concern. Also almost negligible participation of non Muslim minority candidates in elections depicts the trust deficit minorities have in... more

Banning information is a pipe dream

Ever since the world wide web came into being and governments around the world slowly but surely realized the adverse effects of communication on regimes which tend to sweep uncomfortable things under the carpet there have been efforts made to control the flow of information. The problem however is that information and attempts to block it nowadays is like water hitting porous sand. As the mediums multiply daily and the flow of data becomes quicker and quicker with the gadgets we use spreading like rabbits around our lives it has become hireto impossible to ebb this flow no matter what any one tries. In the midst of all this we have our Pakistani government which although has provisions in... more