Saturday witnessed immense activity in Islamabad and Rawalpindi district with people of all ages and from various backgrounds coming out in droves to exercise their right to vote. Every person had his reason to vote for the political party of his choice, and everyone believed that the party they had voted for would bring the change which Pakistan so direly needs. Our reporters and correspondents talked to the voters who came up with some interesting views about their choice of the candidates. Below are some of the quotes for our readers.
Jamila Begum, senior citizen, housewife, PPP (NA-49) “I have voted for the PPP for ages. My choice is based on tradition because we are bound by our norms. Otherwise, I would have gone for the bat (PTI).”
Khalid Akhtar, carpenter, PTI (NA-49) “There is no difference between this side and that. My son made the choice and stamped the paper for the bat.”
Dr Masood Hassan, 83, PML-N (NA-48) “I will vote for Nawaz Sharif because only experienced people can rid the country from the prevailing crises, not the new comers.”
Malik Abdul Ghani, 98, JI (NA-48) “I have been casting my votes since Ayub Khan’s era when I voted for Fatima Jinnah. I will now vote for Jamaat-i-Islami’s Mian Aslam because JI is the only political party which can enforce real Shariah in the country.”
Sakina, middle-aged, Quaid-e-Azam University employee, PML-N (NA-49) “I have voted for the tiger because this party can bring change and they have proven this again and again.”
Zainab, college graduate, PPP(NA-49) “It is my religious duty to vote for the arrow (PPP) because my mother asked me to do so.”
Mehmooda Sultana, 66, housewife, PTI (NA-52) “Imran has been my hero since his cricketing times. I do not even know the names of the candidates contesting in my constituency, but I had come with the determination to find the bat on the ballot paper and put a stamp on it.”
Mohammad Usman, 45, property dealer, JI (NA-52) “People are talking too much about change this time, but I have always voted for the JI. Imran seems to be a confused person and no different from others. It’s true the country needs change, but it can only be brought by an organised party such as the JI.”
Akhtar Siddiqui, 33, businessman, AML (NA-55) “We have always voted for Sheikh Rashid in the past because he is a local man. However, when he committed the serious mistake of joining hands with Gen Musharraf, we opted for the PML-N. Shakil Awan is also a local man and belongs to the workers class, but he became arrogant after becoming an MNA. So this time, we have again voted for Sheikh Sahab. It is good that he has joined hands with Imran.”
Mrs. Shahid Ahmed, 52, home maker, PTI (NA-55) “I voted for Imran Khan’s PTI because the previous governments of the PPP and the PML-N did not solve the problems of the people. My husband is a PPP supporter and he thinks I have voted for the arrow but I voted for PTI. I will have to keep this a secret from him as he is a heart patient and I don’t want to upset him.
My son is unemployed for the last two years despite the fact that he has a higher education degree. I hop the new government in the country will focus on creating jobs for the unemployed youngsters.”
Khurram Jabbar, 28, dealer of medical equipments, PTI “I spent years looking for a job and when I failed I arranged for some money to start a business. Despite having degrees, I failed to get a better job and it was due to the policies of the previous governments in the centre and in the Punjab, which failed to create new job for youngsters.”
Most of my counterparts in the market I work in have decided to vote for the PTI.
The PML-N MNA from this area only met with and helped the bigger businessmen and shopkeepers. No one listens to those of us who are not big businessmen and are not powerful.”
Shumaila Hussain, 45, home maker, PTI (NA-55) “I was desperate to vote but because I lost my identity card a day earlier, the polling staff did not allow me to vote. I did show them the photocopy of the card and a copy of the FIR lodged with the Gowalmandi Police station, but to no avail.
Had I been allowed to vote, the PTI would have been my first choice. I would not have voted if the PTI had not been there because it is better to sit at home than vote for those who failed to deliver in the last five years.”
Mohsin Ali Jaffri, 33, photographer, PTI “We are fed up of PML-N and PPP. Now we want change, which only Imran Khan can bring.”
Khawar Abbas, 30, civil servant, PML-Q (NA-61) “I voted for Chaudhry Pervez Elahi because of Sardar Ghulam Abbas, who is supporting the former.”
Malik Asad Abbas, 27, PML-N (NA-61) “I have not voted for the PML-N candidate. Rather, I have voted for Nawaz Sharif as only he can save Pakistan.”
Abbas Ali Khan, psychologist, PPP (NA-50) “Asif Zardari is the most wise and intelligent politician of the country. He picked up the pieces of PPP after Benazir's assassination and took PPP to power. He also cleaned the constitution from dictatorial clauses.”
Omer Mughal, PTI (NA-50) “Imran Khan is not corrupt like the other politicians of the country. He proved to be a leader when he made the cancer hospital.”
Aksar Abbasi, 40, PML-N (NA-50) “Nawaz Sharif is the only leader who can take the country out of the crises. I support Nawaz Sharif, against whom a defaming campaign has been launched.”
Master Naseer, retired school teacher, PPP (NA-50) “My family has been voting for PPP, and I will continue to vote for Bhutto. The party has given thousands of sacrifices for the people and for democracy, including the top leadership.”
Tahir Abbasi, government employee, Jamaat-i-Islami (NA-50) “JI is the only party that can bring an Islamic system in the country. It gave tickets to pious people who had high moral values.”
Saba Pervaiz, 20, PTI “Although I live in a posh area of Taxila cantonment, I am here at a rural polling station located in a village just to cast my vote. I want to prove to the masses that the youth not only participated in the PTI meetings, but also went the extra mile to show their strength.”
Rizwana Shah, PTI “I have decided to vote for the bat to bring change in the country. I am aware that the PTI candidate here was associated with other political parties in the past, but that does not matter.
Imran Khan also said in his last speech that people should vote for a cause not a personality.
The manifesto and ideology of the PTI Chief has brought the youth to the polling stations this time, while in the past it was not their field of interest and they avoided the polling process.”
Humayun Butt, PML-N “My whole family voted for the lion and is loyal to the party for the past several decades.
The youth is inexperienced and immature, and does not know politics and how to run state affairs.
The little youth vote bank cannot change the fate of the country.”
Zubaida Perveen, PML-N “Instead of experimenting with new faces and slogans, we are voting for those who are well tested.
The PTI leaders cannot fool the masses with attractive slogans, and only the PML-N can serve the masses in the real sense.”
Nisa, 65, PTI (NA-57) “I cannot even stand up due to arthritis. But I cam to the polling station in a wheel chair with the help of my daughter-in-law to cost my vote after my grandchildren insisted to bring change in the country. Therefore, I voted for PTI.”
Zaib, 55, govt employee, PML-N (NA-57) “I think the PML-N leadership is much more mature and wise than the PTI and can strengthen the country.”
Javed, 29, independent “Tahir Sadik Khan of the Major Group not only helped me get a job but also initiated education-friendly projects, particularly the IT universities in Attock.”