Politics governed by principles, guided by ideology, and done on the behest of the public has the potential of leading to constitutionalism in our state, provided level playing field is provided to all law abiding citizens and free and fair elections, in letter and spirit, are conducted. Campaigns are issues-centric, with entire focus, for the voter, on the priorities set by candidates or their respective political parties for their matters of prime concern. This leads to a quality input by various stakeholders on a given issue, which helps in shaping a quality debate for various possibilities of embarking on a journey to find solutions.
Whereas, the policy spearheaded by a bunch of opportunists turncoats, ever ready to adjust themselves to the whims and dictates of undemocratic forces, to steer with the flow for petty gains, will leave the entire nation stagnant in the negotiated system. As the elections are approaching, once again, as witnessed since the creation of Pakistan, the politicians have suddenly found their conscious kindled with flames of serving the masses, and for that jumping a bandwagon is inevitable. Though there might be different reasons of dejection, but, an overlapping factor is personal jealousy, opportunism, and urge to remain relevant in patronage-driven politics, as being on the wrong side of the gun might deprive of the perks and privileges in the near future and this vacuum is filled through someone more obedient aspiring candidate.
In an effort to affix responsibility for the failure, our prejudices often come in hand, leading to biased opinions presenting a distorted picture of a scenario. The panacea of all the ills afflicting Pakistan is that all constitutional institutions should remain in their domains, as per defined in the constitution, and to let the populace decide for themselves. By providing a level playing field to all political leadership, we can endeavour to build more inclusive and democratic political parties which are known in public by their stance on issues, rather than by personalities leading them. Ironically, those political parties which have, so far, failed to democratize themselves from within, are the loudest when it comes to the democratic operationalisation of the system. For a more reliable and strong relationship with the public, the political elite needs to align their actions along with their lofty rhetoric.
Disenchanted by the mainstream parties, the youth has, to some extent, finally decided to take their reins in their own hands; to be the architect of their own future; to not let befool others to use them as a pawn in their ambitious ascension to power. There is a growing realization that if its serving their interests, these political parties can forge an alliance with their erstwhile opponents. Though democracy is the art of possibilities, but, the unending greed to remain in the power corridor, have key ministerial positions, to retain influence within the local government, few politicians, who are always looking for lucrative offers by their bosses, have crossed all the limits in appeasing those disgruntled by the way the incumbent government was rendering its duties.
It is very heartening that by sensing its responsibilities, young professionals, from almost all walks of life, are mobilizing themselves for the causes directly afflicting them. This is the ray of light at the end of the tunnel that the might-be-victims have timely taken the aisles for enlightening the world around them by stemming the tide of bigotry, hatred, intolerance, exclusiveness and authoritarianism. Seeing the historic movement, Mashal Khan, a young student of mass communication department of Abdul Wali Khan University who was lynched by a mob, must be smiling on his first anniversary -13, April, 2018- that the flames ignited by him are still, despite all the odds, burning and reaching out to others.