The By-elections were free, fair, transparent and neutral. Free and fair election is necessary for healthy democracy and transparency is a key principle for credible elections. A transparent election process is one in which each step is open to scrutiny by stakeholders (political parties, election observers and voters alike) who are able to independently verify the process which was conducted according to procedures and no irregularities have occurred. Providing transparency in an election helps establish trust and public confidence in the process, as voters have a means to verify the results, which are an accurate reflection of the will of the people. It was a practice in past that only ruling party will win by-election, whereas PTI Government due to its policy of holding free, fair and transparent election failed to secure all seats as it has been in the practice of political history of Pakistan. PTI govt paradigm has been shift and all parties are satisfied from By-election result. Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947 it has been unsuccessful to establish political parties system in the country. Independent Act of 1947 gave powers to constituent assemblies in order to develop political and democratic culture in new born Pakistan. But unfortunately, due to Khanism, Nawabism and feudal culture it failed to evolve Political and democratic culture in Pakistan. So in consequences Political parties remained very weak as a result democratic culture was not fully developed. It gave opportunities to Military Generals to run the affairs of state, thus, major portion of the time Pakistan remained under Military dictatorship. In such time PTI started as a movement for justice and to create awareness about state responsibilities in health, education, civic, welfare, and freedom of expression, employment, religious coherence, interfaith harmony and equal taxation system in Pakistan. It concentrated on social and Political development in Pakistan. PTI is committed to Political stability in Pakistan through credible democracy, transparency in government and accountability of leadership.
As concerned to By-election results “Win and lose” is part of election. PTI vote bank has increased since 25 July 2018 in general election in Punjab. In By-election on 14 October, PTI on top with securing 15 seats out of 37 seats and its performance was 43% while PML (N) with joint opposition parties secured 11 seats which constitute 31%. But in some areas due to absence of effective Political and organizational structure of PTI and problems in ticket distribution PTI vote was divide and opposition got the opportunity. It has been keen observed NA35 Bannu and NA 56 Attock. On 25 July General Election 2018, PTI Chairman Imran khan elected MNA from NA 35 Bannu with 113843 votes and Ikram Khan Duranni of MMA was runner up with 106820 votes. But in By-election due to dispute over ticket distribution MMA candidate won with securing 58068 votes and PTI Candidate Molvi Syed Naseem Ali Shah runner up with 37489 votes. PTI ticket aspirant Malik Nasir Khan contest election as an independent candidate and secured 21719 votes, Thus PTI total in NA35 was 59208 which is (1140) votes more than winner candidate, but due to weak an organizational setup of PTI and egocentricity PTI lost confirm seat in BANNU. Similarly in other constituencies especially NA56 Attock. It is not failure of the part rather it is result of not interference in the election process and ECP (Election commission of Pakistan) affairs.
Diminution in the turnout was observed in the By-election. Thought-provoking point was noted that the turnout in By–Election was disappointing in National assembly Constituencies as compared to Provincial assembly Constituencies. In the National Assembly Constituencies lowest turnout was observed on NA 243 Karachi, where it was only 15.71% while highest was observed in NA103 Faisalabad, which was 48.00%. In the provincial assemblies Constituencies the turnout was lowest in KPK assembly, PK 97 DI Khan which was 17.4% and highest was observed in Punjab assembly PP 165 Lahore was 54.89 %.
For first time in the history of Country PTI led Federal Government of Pakistan under the leadership of PM Imran Khan, which takes credit for enabling overseas Pakistanis to exercise their fundamental right of vote through I-voting system. In 1993, Oversees Pakistanis were given “right to Vote” but due to lack of interest the matter was delay on one or other pretext for 25 years.
I-voting is a system of casting votes through internet from any part of the world. It allowed voters to cast their fundamental and basic right of vote. The voter’s identity is protected due to privacy of the voters. 70364 voters are registered for I-voting with ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan). According to ECP out of 70364 votes, 6233 overseas Pakistani voters cast their votes in by-election polling on 14 October, 2018. The turnout of Overseas Pakistani voters was high as 84% in By-election. Election Commission of Pakistan spent 95 million on I-Voting system. Right of vote for overseas Pakistan was a long standing demand of PTI. The current practice of right of vote to overseas Pakistanis is a result of PTI petition filled by Imran Khan and Dr Arif Alvi, now PM and President respectively.
PTI chairman Imran khan and PTI leadership must think over PTI organizational structure and convert party into institution. Free and fair intra party election is need of hour to make strong organizational structure and held intra party election on popular vote from UC level to Center level. So hope that Intra party election will bring new energetic and ideological leadership in PTI files in ranks. PTI should separate party from government affairs for supremacy of law and merit system and it will be helpful to promote a democratic culture within the party. It is a time that PTI should develop as a political institution to train their workers for future challenges and governance system. Only PTI can play a role in transition from culture and tribal norms based political system to a democratic norms and values. In coming day’s Pakistani democracy will be more responsive, accountable and fair to the people because of the struggle of PTI youth and Imran khan.