The phase of general elections across the country has successfully been completed. People came out very well in this election and they not only exercised their right to vote, but also guarded their vote. Nevertheless, as the majority opinion of the people has been changed, the people seem very anxious and disappointed and are questioning that if there was a need to impose their subordinates on the nation by force then what was the need to create this pretense of elections, wasting trillions of rupees and valuable time of the country and people?
Indeed, these are the first elections, which were controversial even before they were held but now the controversial results have more chaotic due to which opinions are being expressed from within and outside the country- Al Jazeera has raised questions on the legitimacy of the elections, while Bloomberg says that the youth of Pakistan are disappointed with the electoral system. The Council on Foreign Relations claims that these elections are neither fair nor free. According to the Financial Times, if the elections had been free and fair, the jailed former PM Imran Khan would have a clear majority and formed a government, while the BBC remarks that the Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership appears to have been effectively neutralized and The Guardian has noted that not only did the ruling circles trust the trial but the election results were already decided beforehand.
Considering the criticism of the election and its aftermath, it is more or less impossible to avoid or to present a picture of all being well. Obviously, not all was right, nor intended to be and nothing is being done right rather more distortion is being created. On one hand, the candidates supported by Tehreek-e-Insaf are roaming carrying Form 45 in which they are winning by counting while on the other hand, the defeated candidates of Muslim League (N) are celebrating their victory with the new Form 45. How are these transparent results of a transparent election in which the loser is being given a winning form, while the opposite candidate also has his own winning form and is knocking on the door of the court?
Such election results are showing that even after the 2024 elections, a strong and stable political government will not be able to be established in the country, nor will the democratic institutions be able to gain stability which otherwise is very substantial for the country’s diplomatic and economic development and standing in the ranks of developed countries. On the contrary, even after the recent elections, the elites will have no problem continuing the old game of making and breaking governments through political manipulation to achieve and protect the interests. Perhaps that is why crossing all the limits of bullying and rigging the old veterans in the important constituencies of the country are being imposed on the nation, however, the rulers and powerful circles should not forget the fact that the nation is no longer willing to accept such a situation, nor will it bear all this in silence.
Pakistani people have become conscious and know everything about what is happening, so it would be better not to force the people to induce change, nor to re-impose the tested ones. Rather, a positive attitude should be adopted by surrendering to the true mandate and instead of obstructing the establishment of an authoritative political government, it should be supported in making it stable and strong. Therefore, where the series of mockery of our democratic and political system at the global level ends, the newly elected government can extend the political process in accordance with the constitution and laws with full confidence and integrity in the interest of the nation and the dream of the supremacy of democratic institutions in the country can be realized, but all this will be possible only when despite setting up a market for buying and selling of independent candidates, the decision of the people will be respected.
It is a strange thing that in this country those who say to respect the vote have never given respect to the vote. The situation here is relevant to the principle of might is right. The powerful circles have the ability to do everything. But all this is going to happen now, nor will the new generation allow something like this to happen, the new generation is expedient, nor does it tolerate violence and injustice, youth not only raises its voice on every injustice, but also fights against any injustice. This new generation cannot be seduced by false promises and claims, nor can it be further deceived. Old slogans will not work now, neither will it be possible to try against the will of the public, now only the vote will have to be given real respect.
The writer is an activist and environmentalist. She covers human rights and politico-environmental issues. She tweets @AttiyaMunawer and can be reached at email@example.com