Pakistani Elections and Reactions: 2013

1 post / 0 new
Joined: 28-11-12
May 13 2013 04:09
Pakistani Elections and Reactions: 2013

The article is about the reaction of political party which was famous on social media but eventually lost elections and reactions which arose out of it

A unique trend was observed after unofficial results started to pour in from Punjab and other provinces. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters on the internet became very agitated, and in some cases, even more agitated than they'd ever been. Agitation and violent arguments are not something new to social media interactions, and certainly not to social media interactions in Pakistan. What made this batch of arguments and reactions unique, though was the fact that shortly after receiving results from Punjab, the worst form of racism and xenophobia began being directed at the Punjabi people, by supporters of PTI there and elsewhere.

There were numerous people who started labelling people as “jaahil” [uneducated] and “illiterate” if they had voted for Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) in Punjab, which incidentally, has the largest population proportionate to land size.

This kind of discrimination, is not just derogatory but its also demeaning, not to mention that it's also classist in nature where 12-16% internet users are showing off their privilege by criticising people purely on the basis of their perceived higher socio-economic status.

PTI needs to be mindful that urbanites “youth” were not the only ones who voted in this election; 70% of the pakistani population that still lives in rural/semi-urban areas also voted in this election.

PTI voters were not the only ones who came to the polls. People supporting other political parties also participated in voting, making it a historic turnout in terms of polling in Pakistan whereas only in Balochistan the voter turnout was below 10%. The national voter turnout was still higher than that in the last elections.

I have not come across as big a number of supporters of Awami National Party (ANP), PTI's main rivals in the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwaa province, who engaged in similar mud-slinging after being voted out of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwaa in favor of PTI, in the manner that PTI supporters did against parties that defeated their candidates.

Some harsh truths that the PTI and its supporters need to acknowledge and take responsibility for are:

They *NEVER* campaigned for farmers who are the agricultural backbone for this country.

They *NEVER* campaigned for people who lived in occupied lands as their homes and villages were washed away by floods. I am not just talking about IDPs in Khyber Pakhtonkha but also massive number of IDPs in Sindh.

They *NEVER* campaigned for people who live on the streets.

They *NEVER* campaigned for people who live on fixed income salaries

They *NEVER* campaigned for people who worked on daily wages, who traveled in local buses; who fed their families of 10 children or so on less than $1 a day

They *NEVER* campaigned for people in interior Sindh who live without proper education for their kids, who work in bonded labor, who are trapped – sometimes for multiple generations – in the feudal system.

They *NEVER* campaigned for people in Balochistan most of whom are fighting for a free and independent Balochistan as their rights were ignored for 65 years.

These are the "jaahils/illiterates" who make up more than 70% of Pakistan; these are the people whose needs, rights and voices are equally important.

Pakistan is not a FASCIST state, it is a REPUBLIC, and a DEMOCRATIC state, and PTI needs to learn to live with people that have differences.

Rigging(corruption in ballot-counting) happened all across Pakistan. It always has and it always does, but the PTI seems to only think it is an an issue in the working-to-middle class demographic urban centres like Lahore and Karachi when the truth is that it happened everywhere.

Everyone has a right to register to protest but not a selective one; demand re-elections from Election Commission Pakistan all over Pakistan if their main issue is rigging and not only in Karachi because it is fashionable to do so.

Please do not go around and label people “jaahil” for their political opinion. This is not just discrimination but it is also political profiling. So kindly stop calling those people "jaahil" / "illiterate" that did not vote for PTI as these are the "jaahil/ illiterate" that the PTI did *NOT* bother to campaign for.
Their campaigns were always designed to appeal to "torn-jeans-clad urbanites", some of whom do represent the working and middle classes but most of whom have never worked in their lives except feeding off away on their parents money and working the TV remotes from their bourgeois parents' couches.

They were more interested in using populist methods to appeal to urban elites and holding some pop concerts during electoral rallies to make themselves look 'cool'. The campaigns were not done on the ground in rural areas or the slums of urban centres but were carried out on the internet with likes and shares on facebook and retweets on Twitter, so it shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that the actual battles were lost at actual polling stations.