LAHORE: With the general elections less than two months away, citizens are not being sensitised about the importance to vote and how to go about doing it. Considering that Pakistan is a developing country with a majority of its population being made up of youth, who are often easy to be influenced by certain groups or political parties, it becomes increasingly important for the Election Commission of Pakistan to run a campaign that advises people about their right to vote.
To assume that the educated populace wouldn’t require the sensitising drive would be to limit the impact this campaign— if carried out —would obtain. Hence, everyone, irrespective of their caste, creed and culture, should be taught about their right to vote and the importance of it. In fact, people should also be sensitised about laws relating to elections. This is because many people in the country are unaware of the laws that are present in the country.
In fact, a monitoring body where complaints can be registered against parties that force people to vote for them should also be set up. This would help the ECP to identify which political parties are prone to rigging the elections and hinder the free and fair election process that the commission envisions to practise.
We already witnessed a countrywide hue and cry over the rigging of elections in 2013 and hence we should learn from that experience and do better.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2018.