By Sonia Henna Qaiser
Elections were held in Pakistan on July 25, 2018. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf rose as the victorious party, and it was now time to fulfill their five year old promises against corruption and pro-development regime. The people of Pakistan played their part and broke the musical chair game between Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N, and chose PTI as the rightfully elected Democratic Party to govern with the hopes of getting economic prosperity and social justice. The elected government had trouble meeting their expectations as they were the ones who had been preparing the people for an instant revolution, but they forgot that it doesn’t happen overnight.
A party that mobilized the masses in Pakistan, and reignited a sense of nationalism in its people who had entirely given up on their election system and did not want to exercise their democratic right and power, failed in changing the mindsets of its people, when they resisted the presence of Mian Atif in their task office, a renowned Pakistani-American Economist specializing in macroeconomic issues on the grounds of his Ahmedi Religious beliefs, which contradict the beliefs of mainstream population in the country.
The party had committed to bring a change, and religious discrimination is quiet a norm in the country, so the question at hand is what kind of change are they leading the nation to?
PTI’s definition of social justice needs to be closes examined, and in this particular case, it must be revamped altogether. In pre-election sit-ins in Islamabad that lasted for approximately half a year, Imran Khan the newly elected prime minister promised to bring people forward on terms of merit and merit only, and when it came to choosing his advisory committee, one of the top 25 young economists of the world as per the IMF, gets denied a seat primarily because of his Ahmedi Background.
This is nothing but normal, the society continues to show intolerance towards minorities, and this is where the new government met its first failure in providing social justice as promised. This is one of the leading causes of the country’s brain drain, the educated and meritorious have left the country in hopes for a better future and proper recognition.
It is now evident that prime ministers cannot catapult change, people will not change their ways, unless someone takes on the responsibility of checking and updating the society’s value system, and revoking the old set ways of socio-economic setting. What’s more saddening is that PTI comes across as a party of the educated few in the country, and did not meet significant criticism on this decision from its supporters or voters. This does shed some light on what should be expected from the new government.
As for the nation, does this imply that they are not yet entirely ready for democracy?