Waking up in Naya Pakistan: 8 commendable things to come out of the 2018 Elections

Politics is discussed over cups of ‘karak chai’ at local dhabas and elite coffee shops alike

Another difference I observed from the US is the generosity in expressing your political opinion and the political party you are going to vote for in Pakistan

Debate is mundane in households, within families, among friends, and in offices as well

This heightened political awareness in Pakistan was reflected on July 25, 2018

Here are just some of the good things to come out of these elections: 1

The voting experience and turnout   There were long lines at the polling stations – on a hot and humid day of July no less! Women, young and old, stood in lines in the sweltering heat

People from all walks of life came together with their families to vote, first in the scorching heat and suffocating humidity in the morning, and then during the rain in the afternoon (talking about Lahore)

For me, the voting experience was no less than great

We were in and out of the polling station in 20 minutes at most

Voting itself gives you a strange gratification, it is a sense of belonging, a responsibility, an authority, and consolidates a strong relation to your country

My newsfeed was swamped the whole day with a thunderstorm of thumbs, happy faces with their dark thumbs

Looking at the enthusiasm in voters, I think the turnout was great

I also felt that women in Pakistan were more eager to vote than their male counterparts, which was a pleasing sight


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Imran’s road to premiership in a country like Pakistan was not easy An hour after polling ended, I took to the main roads of Lahore, where the streets were flooded with supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)

 Once results started pouring out and PTI was gaining the lead, the crowds only grew in number, and the air was filled with the ultrasonic slogans of “Wazeer-e-Azam Imran Khan” (Prime Minister Imran Khan)

After 22 years of a staggering struggle by this iron-willed individual, I repeat, 22 years of fierce struggle, where he had one seat in the National Assembly (NA) representing his entire party and was mocked by the “old players of the game”

Multiple attempts later, this man is on the path to becoming the elected leader of this nation

This is a romantic tale of struggle, resistance and persistence

He may have done many things wrong on his way, but if there is one thing in this man that is extraordinary, it is his unbelievable capacity to persist

Anyone else of his stature would have given up on this idea of politics and premiership (a lofty goal) and would have been living in the UK or Dubai watching cricket in a luxurious home

The tale of Imran’s victory will become a motivational tale for every child in Pakistan, giving them hope that politics and premiership is not only for feudal lords or veteran politicians; rather, it’s for those who persist and do not succumb to the pressure


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Religious clerics rejected outright Another interesting, or shall I say blissful, event that unfolded in these elections was that all the religious political parties were rejected outright by the people of Pakistan

- Hafiz Saeed, an internationally blacklisted terrorist, was only seen on posters and flyers

- Ahmed Ludhianvi, from the banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), was pulverised by a woman, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, by almost 30,000 votes and didn’t win a seat anywhere else


com/BhittaniKhannnn/status/1022366289552187392 - Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his party were obliterated from the NA before they could step foot in it

- Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) was able to gather very few seats in the NA from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P)

- Even Maulana Fazlur Rehman did not win any seat in the NA


com/SirJohnRoe/status/1022479804845703168 On the surface, Pakistan seems to be a country full of religious fervour, which is true to some extent as well

However, as a nation we have rejected with our vote all political parties who had nothing but religion to flaunt as their manifesto

I guess Pakistanis decided that no matter what, we aren’t bringing these clerics in power


Progressivism in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) One of the most pleasant ironies stemmed from FATA

Traditionally portrayed as conservative and backward, it gave a mandate to Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, both of whom are known for their liberal, left-leaning ideas


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Jibran Nasir’s force to be reckoned with This election led to the emergence of a phenomenon called Jibran Nasir, who secured more than 6,000 votes in NA-247 while standing in the face of open bigotry and hostility

This was no less than a victory

In our country, where confronting ultra-religious organisations is like playing with fire, Nasir never hesitated to face them

I see an emergence of a new leader in these elections who will go a long way in politics of Pakistan

His success might be slow, but Nasir has left a certain impression of his bravery on Pakistanis

After all, Imran struggled for 22 years before finally coming into power


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Win for women Dr Fehmida Mirza, former Speaker of the NA of Pakistan, became the fist female lawmaker in the country to be elected five times

Another exciting outcome was Zartaj Gul defeating actual feudal lords in Dera Ghazi Khan to become a part of Legislative Assembly of Pakistan – something to be proud of when we talk about the integration of women in national politics


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Small but consequential step for minorities Another feather in the cap of this election was the victory of not one but three Hindu candidates, including Mahesh Kumar Malani’s NA win for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)

Malani has become the first non-Muslim to win an NA seat in Pakistan


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Boost to the economy Imran’s powerful and positive speech was welcomed by the stock market with over a 700-point increase

On another positive note, the rupee also stabilised a bit as compared to the dollar


com/Taimoor_ul_Haq/status/1022746696328073218 Overall, I think this may become an unprecedented moment in the history of Pakistan

I see a wave of hope smeared all over Pakistan, as people are feeling confident in their choice

We are entering into ‘Naya Pakistan’, a purported change! Right? However, change will mean changing ourselves, our attitudes and behaviours, not just waiting for Imran to sweep a magical wand for tabdeeli

On our part, a few things we can do right away are as follows: 1

For God’s sake, follow traffic rules

Stop at lights, stay in your lane

There is a specific lane for bikes on almost all roads which means bike should stay in that


Don’t litter

Put trash in dustbins, trash cans, please


Please make queues while submitting bills or waiting at the airport


Stop cutting trees to stop climate change

We have the highest rate of deforestation – take care of the little greenery that is left


Improve our work ethics

If you are holding a public office, you are a public servant, not a lord


Please, facilitate and create an environment conducive for women to work

Pakistan can’t prosper without half of our population’s contribution to our economy and development


Respect minorities

Believe in whatever you like but don’t shove it down other’s throats

PTI supporters have the responsibility to start with these if we want to see real tabdeeli in Pakistan

Currently, we are all high on the narrative of change

Hold on to that motivation and do these few basic things that we need exigently

A new government can’t succeed without a new approach of the people

I congratulate every Pakistani being so actively involved in politics, taking time out from their personal lives on voting day for the greater good, and for believing in democracy

Hopefully, good things will come Pakistan’s way


Date:28-Jul-2018 Reference:View Original Link