The thing that irritates me more than the rigging/unfairness/whatever have you of the elections is the pessimistic, down right disrespectful attitude of some Pakistanis. They say it is realism, when it is a form of opportunism to lambaste any progress. I don’t care if Imran Khan did not make PM. Seeing PML-N come in power hurt me to my core. I was depressed beyond belief, spent my day in a state of disbelief, yet PTI making a strong opposition meant that the seeds of democracy have been sowed. Can we check our pessimist attitude at the door and perhaps work towards doing something better for the country?
I hate to say this, most of the negative attitude is coming from overseas Pakistanis. Why hate on the “jaahil qaum” when we actually packed our bags and left the country? Maybe, not getting the right to vote in the elections was the right thing for us, since we clearly are not mature enough to appreciate the process of democracy. We are so quick to throw in the towel and continue spewing hatred towards Pakistan and Pakistanis. More than the election results, this attitude depressed me. I felt, I am fighting a billion battles!!
I do not support Musharraf, Imran Khan did the right thing by not forming an alliance with Mushrraf, whom he vehemently opposed in 2008 and boycotted the 2008 election because we did not have an independent judiciary. Also, he supported the idea of democracy, not military regimes. So, had he gone back on his word, and made an alliance with a dictator, he would be a liar, an opportunist a sell-out, no different from the other politicians we have had for almost half a century. Forming an alliance with Tahir Ul Qadri would have achieved nothing. If he was so sincere about the corruption in the country, he should have fought against it at least a year ago, not a couple of months before elections and definitely should NOT have signed a back door deal with the leading party of the time, and the current elected government. That deal failed to achieve everything it set out to achieve, instead it caused further harm by keeping voter’s out of the elections process, who would have been crucial in an election of this magnitude!
People say that the poor and the rural population should not be allowed to vote? WHY THE HECK NOT? Democracy isn’t a cherry picking process. You do not get to choose who gets to vote and who does not get to vote. If the fear is that the poor will easily sell their votes for as little as 1000 Rs, then why don’t we put into place mechanism that teaches them to think? Promoting thought does not necessarily mean academic education, but opening up dialogue. How about organizing on a grass roots level, going village to village and explain the election process. We Must talk to them and explain the long-term effects of such short-shortsightedness. Tell them how the 1000 Rs. may seem like a great deal in the immediate future, but it ends up costing an average person 10’s and 1000’s of rupees of lost future opportunity.
The process is long and tedious. I feel tired, and I haven’t even done any real work. I feel emotionally exhausted and drained. My heart weeps, because the real truth is that the “jaahils” are not the poor or the ones living in Pakistan, but “jaahils” are the ones like myself who are quick to abandon ship, point fingers, be pessimistic and wish terrible things on the people of Pakistan. Where are our hearts?
We need patience for change to happen. We cannot be complacent, we cannot just point fingers. Change begins within. We MUST change the way we think, act and behave. This is NOT the time to abandon Pakistan and Pakistanis, this is the time to join forces with them. I am happy that we had a 70% voter turn out. On average, even the best of democratic countries will see a 40-45% voter turn out. This in itself is a victory. I am happy we have a healthy opposition, which means, no idiot can just pass legislation simply because that is what he wants. A true democracy is one that allows dialogue and debate, but it must be within the confines of mutual respect!
There are lessons to be learnt here. If we decide to mobilize, we the people are a force to be reckoned with. We have real problems to deal with, and one of them is the inability of people to understand the democratic and voting process. We MUST first educate ourselves, and then look into our immediate circle and start there and work towards organizing on a grass roots level.
I will sleep with a heavy heart tonight, not because I didn’t get the NAYA Pakistan I wished for, but rather because as soon as the results came in that PML-N was the victorious party, we all resorted to good ol fashioned mud-slinging and absolute pessimism. And there is nothing more depressing than pessimism, especially from those who are living away from the realities of Pakistan.