EXCLUDING the ‘rigging’ part of the elections, the nation has given its verdict in an open and a very frank manner. A snapshot of how our political parties have been greeted by the people may, in my humble opinion, go as under:
The masses seem to have acknowledged that all political parties are now regional. One political party didn’t get votes in Sindh because during their earlier tenures the irrigation water was not distributed judiciously, more canals were carved out of the Indus, compromising the ecological requirements of the Indus delta which has caused massive land erosion.
The motorway wasn’t begun from Karachi, the Port city which points to lopsided vision of development. Another political party didn’t get votes in Punjab because that party tried to divide the province of Punjab into two; or perhaps was unfair in distribution of energy and also that there was a massive corruption during their rule.
A new political party whose tsunami was projected to reach out to Lahore, Karachi and other urban areas saw a mysterious change in its course. Its epicentre was finally discovered to be in Peshawar.
However, urban voters in Karachi have yet to know whether we have democracy in the country, a grim fact on which we have little room to discuss in public. Balochistan could not decide in definite terms again.
Amongst the defining features of general elections, a few are highlighted below:
First, the political division of our country finally has taken us to a turn where we do not have a single political party that qualifies to be called as a national party representing all the provinces.
Second, we have come open as to who we are. The ethnic veil has been lifted, finally. With our voting patterns, we have made it very obvious that we are a diverse nation.
Third, the diversity within the ethnic communities of Pakistan may not necessarily be viewed to be a division amongst them. We shouldn’t dread the diversity within us. To the contrary we can capitalise on it, say, by allowing provincial autonomy, encouraging competition in raising revenues, etc.
It is for my new masters at national and provincial levels to take a deep breath and start the journey with these facts pinned to their information boards. Democracy is now demanding from them to deliver.
KAZI AIJAZ AHMED Goth Kazi Arif, Dadu