By Sardar Khan Niazi
Bearing in mind the inclinations of bitter political workers to lash out with guns and transform the polling stations into a battleground, it would have been better for organizers of elections to carve out a somewhat better plan.
What transpires in the country during by-elections is nothing out of the ordinary because violence has become a regular feature of the election time. No matter how loudly the Election Commission may sound the alarm bells, just one flicker is sufficient to burn down the entire election procedure.
All parties point fingers at each other. Simply holding fingers and giving passionate press statements cannot bring a positive change. Generally, political parties behave on their whims. The country is in no mood to repeat the horrors of the past when stray bullets roamed around; waiting to hit their targets left, right, and center. Sanity should prevail well before the ground is paved for the next round of general elections. After all, the stakes are already too high to let one bad episode ruin the entire broth.
The problem is the political parties are always interested in power, and never think about people. We have always been told that elections are the beauty of democracy. However, what they do not tell us is how the same ingredient that beautifies democracy becomes a recipe for economic disaster.
Why do people think any political leader is their savior? The bitter truth is that we tend to forget that we are all participants in a reality show called politics.
You and I have been manipulated into believing that this is a battle between good and evil, but the truth is, it is not. It is a battle of egos to see who will rule the country.
When it comes to politics, there is little or no room left for discussion, the political parties try to impose their narrative on their rivals and label them with names if they have a different opinion. The polarization of the people due to blind support of political parties will be the end of us.
Our political parties should work to the benefit of the nation. The day they stop dividing people and realize they should all be united to promote the image of the country is the day they will bring about real change.
One political party cannot accept that it has lost its grip on power and will go to any extent, no matter how disgraceful or even unconstitutional, to spoil the show for all the others, and then play the victim.
All this is a very far thing from the kind of mature behavior needed to come out of the crises that confront the country now. However, what to do, and where to look for it, when it is simply not found in the political lot? If political leaders cannot behave as responsible citizens, can they find solutions to complex problems? Right now, all of them know very well just how fragile the economic situation is.
Yet they do not agree to work together to mend the economy and do not lose any opportunity to bring harm to the opponent, even at the cost of harming the country and the people in the process.
For the betterment of all in the country, including themselves, Pakistan’s leaders must instantly put their differences aside and help each other to bear the burden of structural adjustment that is the demand of time. It will be an agonizing process, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Politicians need to end playing their customary games and start working for the country for a pleasant change.
Politicians have only themselves to blame for spoiling the whole show of democracy.
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