PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER
For the promotion of democracy the fair, free and transparent election is compulsory in every democratic society and same must be the case with Pakistan. But unfortunately in Pakistan, most of the people are not aware of the importance of vote. According to a survey, in spite of the facility of casting their votes through postal ballot system, most of the government servants who are deputed at the polling stations as presiding and polling officers on the Election Day, do not use their right of vote. Sixty percent of the people from the urban areas simply stay at home and enjoy the election process in the manner they enjoy a one-day cricket match. It is only the rural areas where the politicians succeed in dragging the voters out of their homes but these voters are never independent in use of their precious right of vote. They are always under the pressure of the feudal lords, their tribal heads and of the landowners whose lands they are cultivating. It is the responsibility of the media, the teachers and the religious scholars to educate them and make them understand the impact of their votes on the future of Pakistan. People must be conveyed the idea that vote is a national obligation and it should be cast sensibly only in favour of the political parties which surely and purely belong to Pakistan and aspire to work only in the interest of the country.
The people of Pakistan are lucky enough that under the guidance and command of Mr. Fakhruddin.G.Ibrahim, the Election Commission of Pakistan is making all possible rigorous efforts to hold fair, free and transparent elections. More fortunate is the fact that the Pakistan Army is providing resolute support for the completion of the electoral process. The provincial care-taker governments are also doing all their best possible to keep the electoral process above board. The impartiality of the Election Commission of Pakistan, the provincial care-taker governments and that of the Pakistan Army would pave the way to fair and transparent elections but all these efforts would go waste if the voters do not realize their responsibility.
It has also been in the media that some of the terrorist elements have threatened to disrupt the electoral process in Pakistan. According to a recent report published in various newspapers, a militant organization in North Waziristan Agency has distributed a hand-bill among the local people. This hand-bill has tried to convince them to reject the democratic process in FATA. The solitary aim of this propaganda seems to censure the process of elections in FATA and promote an atmosphere of mayhem and chaos. It seems that the leaders of the militant organizations are frightened of democratically elected people who would become a challenge and threat to their authority and supremacy. Moreover some of the foreign diplomats are also trying to influence this process of election by paying regular visits to the hi-ups of various political parties. Such foreign diplomats are constantly in contact with the political leaders who have authority of allocating party-tickets to different candidates. We as a nation must be aware of all such conspirators who are doing all their possible efforts to mar the election process and intend to create problems for us in the near future. Democracy is the only solution to the problem of extremism and terrorism. We will have to join hands together to crush the forces which are eager to derail the process of democracy in Pakistan. The most important thing to be remembered is that our silence on the Election Day would not be less than a severe crime.