Elections and the promised ‘change’

I had this sincere wish and gut feel that Imran Khan might pull off a major upset against all odds in the recent elections. Though, the results, in terms of number of seats won in the National Assembly, doesn’t quite reflect the massive impact Imran Khan has made on our political landscape over the last couple of years. But, no matter how big a mandate Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz may have managed to secure from Punjab to form the next government, the change ushered in by Imran is what these elections will always be remembered for!

I was thrilled to see the massive voter turnout, thanks to the election ‘passion’ instigated mostly by Imran Khan’s unbelievable charisma and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s colossal social media campaign. They truly made the silent majority come out of their homes for the first time and vote in large numbers. I went to cast my vote for the first time, and was stirred to see educated women out of their houses queuing up to cast their votes.   Never in my life before, I witnessed enthusiasm of this sort coupled with concern for this country’s affairs. Truly unbelievable and moving scenes were witnessed at polling stations across Pakistan where people who had never bothered to be a part of the political process came out to vote against all odds as we even saw people coming on wheelchairs and also on stretchers just to be a part of this change. 

The ‘change’ Imran Khan has been promising might not have fully arrived but the seeds have indeed been sown. Change does not happen overnight nor does it come so easily but if the PTI and its followers can build on this we may well experience real change within the next couple of years. The status quo has been severely dented. It is evident by the knocking out of previously ruling parties: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQ) and Awami National Party (ANP). Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has perhaps been given a last chance as some people chose to stick with the tried and failed instead of opting for the emerging and untested force under Imran Khan.

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