My First Vote – Elections 2018
Having the opportunity to vote has always been something that I have always looked forward to, and even though this might not be an ideal circumstance, I am still really proud that I had the opportunity to vote and to participate in the General Elections Pakistan 2018.
As days came closer to the big day, there were mixed emotions running through my mind. I have never been very political and it has been the election fever itself on media and internet that evoked my interest. I started paying a good attention to the news and watched the debates without really paying attention to their content. But all that changed when I turned 21-years-old. It became my responsibility as an adult, to choose someone who I thought could best run our country for the next five years. I knew from the beginning that this was an election that we would talk about for years to come in the history of Pakistan.
The closer the elections approached, the more the participating parties talked about public grievances. The parties failed to talk anything meaningful about persecuted white of Pakistan but rather focused on all old fake promises to get the votes. It is mere a problem of the many difficult times Naya Pakistan faces ahead.
The ordeal started after I confirmed my polling station details by sending an SMS with my CNIC number to 8300. On the election day, I woke up filled with excitement and heightened with nervousness that today I will be casting my first ever vote. I drove with my parents towards to the polling station. On my way I really did not know what actually will happen. I grew up hearing piles of stories with everyone complaining about how disorganized elections are run in Pakistan. To my surprise, everything was so well organized. As customary, we do not appreciate the good done but look out ways to play the blame game or criticize. Despite many challenges presented, I would like to applaud with a special mention that Election Commission of Pakistan along with Pakistan Army did a commendable job for carrying out peaceful arrangements. And there I casted my first ever vote and got my thumb inked.
I am glad I made a choice, my own choice, irrespective of anyone’s decisions. I am proud not only of fulfilling my civic responsibility to vote, but of paying my due share as the white of Pakistan, which I aim to do for many years to come. I saw our Pakistani army protecting the elections without getting involved into it. Young old, all stood in queues for hours to ensure a new Pakistan, respecting one another.
For past few months, there were mixed opinions on who is voting for who, which left me in a state of confusion. Amidst all this, I looked upon the manifestos of the political parties that were contesting along with their past records and made my decision. At this crucial time when Pakistan has been enveloped in famines of injustice, my first vote for a vote for a hope, change, betterment and a brighter future of Pakistan.
Although there was a huge turnout of people coming out to give voice to a vote to change the status quo, my heart goes out for my fellow Pakistani citizens who have been on duty, stationed away from their homes, in hospitals, on borders, on the roads, to fulfill their responsibilities. ECP must take measures to cater in voicing their vote in the next elections. Postal ballots for those working, residing abroad and for prisoners should also be made efficient so everyone is aware of the process. It must also take into account those who have had their votes missed due to mistakes in the electoral rolls.
As a young citizen, I might wait for the elections’ results but I have more concern about the democratic process of elections rather than the results. It is the process that matters. Overall, it has been worth experiencing a historical election. Whatever the official results may be, I pray that it will be a fair decision. Whoever wins may God guide them in the way our country should go. Give them purity in their intentions and may there be peace and prosperity in our country Pakistan.
Regardless the achievements of this election in Pakistan, the battle is not over yet.
By Mariam Shahzad