WHILE the pursuit for democracy is on through election 2018 in Pakistan, there is a dire need to understand that alone particular feature is not responsible for selection of democratic government to rail smoothly on the track of development. To ensure all the elements of national power facilitate in paving way for representative and autonomous regime and balanced system thus comes into rein to run smoothly, every single factor is a key player in the process. Generally speaking, democracy is a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections and it involves active participation of all citizens. It is must for democratic government to make sure that they provide basic human rights and necessities to its people and rule of law should be maintained without discrimination.
Soon Pakistan will be selecting its new democratic government by holding elections 2018, a formal decision making process by which Pakistanis will choose their leader to hold public office. Like past, there is much hue and cry about these upcoming elections too. Different mainstream political parties in quest of winning and to make their entry in the system, are campaigning with full vims. These campaigns are to take the public into confidence and persuade them to vote in their favour. It is very important for an individual to know about role of common man in elections and understand that every single vote counts for the future of not only public but state too. Voting is significant to maintain democracy in a country because it provides people an opportunity to voice their opinion and vote for what they believe in. Voters must know that without their thorough contribution, no one can come into power, therefore when parties are requesting them to voting they should maintain the dignity and respect of voter. It is worth mentioning that voter cannot be pressurized or bribed hence it is voter’s right to go for his choice though general trends in a certain locality can influence the opinion of voter, yet he has complete freedom to cast his vote. As every vote is a small step to a giant leap of democracy, consequently judicious, sensible and thoughtful vote should be made.
Counted hours are left for the elections which are going to be held throughout the country on July 25, 2018. Though during the elections campaign terrorist elements taking the advantage of situation, conducted planned attacks in which not only some prominent political figures but many people lost their lives too. The security situation has turned more fragile as the elections are approaching but any kind of militant attempt cannot break resilience of Pakistanis and they will continue working for their country. To ensure safety and security during the elections and all kind of formalities involved in the process, armed forces are playing their due role. Though mudslinging of institutions is done by various actors and a different opinion is tried to be made up by some local social and foreign media elements that elections results are already planned but such biased opinions cannot influence transparency ensured by Election Commission and other institutions who are only playing supportive role for free and fair elections. Now with the narrowing of time for general elections, the assault on state institutions is getting intensified. A narrative is tried to be formulated that judiciary and army are moulding elections and then selection of candidates in their desired way, which is absolutely wrong and a way for new blame game to accept free and fair elections.
There is a need to create awareness by local media and counter Indian propaganda that process of accountability and judicial decisions is to purify Pakistan and get rid of corrupt mafia and plunders. Along with other state pillars and institutions, military is playing key role in ensuring security of the country and for elections they have also deployed personnel to facilitate in confident democratic process. So any kind of propaganda cannot demoralize them in performing their duties as they very well understand that to tackle hoopla and living in age of hybrid warfare, their strategies should not be worn out. Nowadays different political parties and groups are giving example of Turkish and Malaysian model for democracy. It must be remembered that these countries to mark them as successful, first emerged as a nation. Pakistan is still on the pathway of development and our dilemma remains the continuity of policies. Instead of maligning and criticizing it is duty of every individual whether in power or not but in every domain they should be sincere to motherland. With vision and sincerity only then we can make a difference.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.