I never thought selecting a political party for the next five years, on the grounds of its political mandate, can be an exceptionally exhilarating moment. Every party before elections generally pledges to bring radical changes in the life of an ordinary man. This time around as well same promises were made, based on which we held our expectations high. Leading political forces used every on hand medium to influence people with dreams of a prosperous and hopeful future in Pakistan, where there is no power-outage, corruption and violence, but only if they chose their party in elections. That too was an attention-grabbing experience to have, how these parties depend on our votes that not only decides our future but their too. Regrettably, as a nation we have always disrespected that power and taken it for granted. And so we always had to suffer after ending up at wrong hands. But, this election year was unusual for sure.
The 11th of May, 2013, was not less than a carnival for me. After all it was my first elections when I was actually voting for the first time. With so much hue created before the elections, I couldn’t even sleep a night before the big day and if I bring to my mind correctly, I even had a dream about it also. The next day, I realized that I am up a bit earlier because I feared I would miss the deadline to vote.
I was joyous to watch that how any gathering (small or large) was nearly impossible without a chat on the much-awaited elections. That was not only because they were being held after a full uninterrupted term by any political party, credit goes to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), but also due to a huge awareness campaign especially by the media. From every corner of the country, there was only one call, loud and clear, to VOTE.
The excitement was great and people were contented with the notion that if the inevitable change is in their hands then they must come out of their homes and vote for the right person. According to an estimated figure of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), around 60 per cent of Pakistanis used their right to vote this year, which is best ever in the country.
By the time we left to vote at around 2, I saw people emerging from every corner of the street. I was even trying to make sure that I cast my vote without any error, which will also cut the possibility of any possible rigging even if anyone tries to. This is the reason in spite of my father’s insist, I didn’t take the card with me, that was delivered by a political party to our home a day before May 11th. I wasn’t voting for that party and that card had their electoral symbol with names and faces of their candidates. I wanted to cast my vote cleanly and I think I managed to do that.
Later, what happened after the results is a different story. Every political party is accusing the other. Protests against widespread election rigging still continue in different parts of the country. But, the bottom line is we all voted may it be a frail, old woman on a wheel-chair or an ailing man on a stretcher and took part in the election process with absolute commitment. This can be our first step towards an improved future.