TAXILA, May 14: The rise of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the political arena mobilised young voters, especially the newly registered voters, to cast their vote, resulting in a historical turnout during the general elections in Taxila.
In NA-53, the number of registered voters is currently 343,160.
The turnout in 1997 elections was 48.52pc, which increased to 50.98pc in 2002 and decreased to 44pc in 2008. However, in the current elections, the turnout has significantly increased to 61.90pc.
Similarly, PP-7 witnessed a turnout of 68.70pc, which in 2008 had been 56.77pc. In PP-8 (Wah Cantt), the turnout was 59.20pc, which in 2008 was 46.93pc.
According to analysts, the political landscape of the constituency had completely changed after Ghulam Sarwar Khan joined the PTI.
They said the PTI factor had brought the masses out of their houses to vote.
Political observers said the PTI not only dented the stronghold of the Pakistan Muslim League-N in Taxila, but also motivated masses through an active electioneering drive and brought the election to the common man.
In the past, people who either had strong political affiliations or their own interests participated in the process.
Amir Sohail, Manager (Operation) of a local NGO said the participation of voters in 2013 elections would improve Pakistan’s ranking in terms of voter turnout, as it currently ranked among the bottom four countries.
He said as per the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), Pakistan stands at 164 in terms of voter turnout among the 169 counties that had democratic elections over the past 50 years.
He said his NGO had focused on rural areas to motivate voters, especially women, to vote on the polling day as voting in Pakistan has never been a compulsion. This had led to the low turnout in the past.
The NGO had observed voters coming out from remote rural areas such as the Thatta Khalil, Chakri, Sihal and Ranial union councils. Some of these areas did not even have public transport, but female voters walked for miles to reach their respective polling stations to cast their votes.
Political observers said it was the PTI factor which had motivated the youth, especially female voters, to vote.
They said most female voters had crossed the family and clan barriers to reach their respective polling stations just to cast their vote.