‘The youth factor’
APROPOS of Umair Javed’s article ‘The youth factor’ (Aug 14), Pakistani society as a whole is going through a major change process when it comes to democracy and electoral results. As pointed out by the author, there are multiple crisscrossing aspects that complicate what otherwise would be a straightforward democratic system.
Ethnicity, feudalism, Jirgas and Biradari system coupled with vested interests of the agriculturalists and industrialists pitted for or against the mighty military, where it suits them, all contribute to a melting pot of electoral psychology.
Being traditionally susceptible to emotional manipulation, the Pakistani masses often change their voting preference at the last minute given any tragic situations or shrewd manoeuvring by crafty politicians that can sway the overall results. Sadly, party manifesto and stated policy objectives are the last that any potential voter takes into consideration. Blood warming slogans and hollow promises take precedence instead. In the future more enlighten youth from all corners of Pakistan may change this trend. This is certainly hoped for in today’s era of mobile phones, Facebook and other social media making it easier for them to interact regardless of physical distance.
It should be remembered that even in a democracy like that of Britain; women only secured their rights as equal electorates in 1928. Pakistan has already come a long way and will surely carry on the path of becoming a true secular democracy as envisaged by Mohammed Ali Jinnah. All this is achievable only if the democratic process is allowed to continue without disruptions by one powerful state institution or the other.
DR SHAAZ MAHBOOB