Recently held elections in Pakistan saw massive criticism due to various rigging incidents in different constituencies of the country. Observers said that at least 10 percent – or 7,000 – polling stations were reportedly rigged to influence the voters. Bogus votes, pressurizing voters, in-availability of ballot boxes, papers and various other similar problems were reported in different parts of the country.
Experts are of the view that overall elections went well and there is no way of making election 100 percent fool-proof, especially at this magnitude and they are right. To be honest, the influence of political parties on the general people is strong, especially in a city like Karachi, that one belonging to political group only needs to go to a person and demand them to vote in favour of his party. This might not have happened in every area of Karachi but I have witnesses, who have openly said that people of certain party came to their homes and demanded vote, failing to do so they will have to face severe consequences in future.
Social media even now is filled with rigging videos that took place in certain polling stations of the country. Karachi wasn’t the only city affected by it. Cities of Punjab, Baluchistan and KPK also faced the same fate. Now the question that arises is that was the electoral system of Pakistan to be blamed for it? Was the system so weak that it could be manipulated so easily? Well, in my opinion, I wouldn’t blame the system. I think that the election commission of Pakistan did a decent job in making the elections free and fair. Then what went wrong? Well, people of Karachi know exactly what went wrong.
People in this city were aware of the threats that posed to the transparency of the elections. The hunger of power, political party who claims Karachi to be their own property was, in my opinion the main reason of rigged elections in Karachi. Besides that, in Karachi every political party has their own area and they did what they could in their area to get the maximum vote out in favour of their party and they succeeded. These political parties are so powerful and their hold is so strong that the election commission cannot do anything about it.
I blame the political parties for not following the electoral system. There power for hunger is so strong that no ethic or social value means anything to them and they will do everything in their power to win. And that is what they did. One thing that needs to be applauded here is the turnout of voters on the day of elections. Despite of the threats and the targeted bombings on campaigns of political parties prior to elections, the turnout was massive. According survey, the turnout ration was 60 to 65 percent compared to the 40 percent in 2008 elections.
The only positive thing that I can take out from these elections is the motivation of people to vote and use their right. The print and electronic media played its part. The role of social media in creating awareness about the elections, and campaigns like Pak Voter, have done an excellent job in spreading the word and getting people out of their homes to vote. The ratio might be low, but at least, this nation is awaking.
Way to go Pakistan!
The views expressed by this guest blogger and the comments given by any visitor do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the pakvoter.