We are almost a month away from the Pakistani general elections and the precariousness prevails. Whether the elections will take place or not? To what extent is the so-called deep state involved in the electoral process? Who is the Army`s favorite? Followed by a long list of intriguing questions.
Most of us in the millennial era are voting for the first time and the said generation needs to discern the fact that social media feed is not the only criterion to decide our future leaders.
The modern-day Pakistani millennial generation has been disengaged from their democratic roles which were ascertained for them quite a while ago.
What do you expect from someone who was just a teenager back in 2013 when the first-ever democratic transition took place in the country? Undoubtedly, a democratic orientation is hard to retain when you see a President in Khakhi for a decade followed by the likes of Zardari and Sharif.
The Pakistani millennials, who probably had their last vote for a student society back in college or a community platform will be standing by the polling booths on the 25th of July with a decision to make. To ensure that their democratic right is exercised by their own will rather than the status quo is a new phenomenon for the said generation, certainly not practiced by their predecessors.
How does one decide to entrust someone with their vote? For the Pakistani millennials, they have never probably interacted with the candidate they are about to vote for. One needs to realize the mere fact that the winning candidate won’t be able to transform their lives to a formidable extent. The whole system needs to be worked through in a coherent manner while the ballot remains a significant binding force between the executive and the legislature.
Amongst the top choices, one has in Pakistan, the benchmarks are different compared to the other developing democracies in the region. The top players are entangled towards the center in terms of their political ideologies which creates a vacuum for the leftists and those at the other end of the political spectrum.
Whether its the thirty-year-old, Bilawal carrying the Bhutto legacy or the cricketer turned politician, Imran Khan and let’s not forget the recently ousted prime minister`s party, the fundamental question of competent leadership has to be dealt with.
An ideal democracy may entail evaluating a party`s manifesto, the candidates, and their political vision maybe but here in Pakistan, the ground realities differ and for the millennials out there. One needs to detach themselves from the existing presumptions and realize the importance of the ballot box.
On the 25th July, approach your nearest polling booth with conscience and an ambition to exercise your right in your country`s best interest. An existing opportunity awaits which won’t be there for the next five years.