Pakistan: Election Engineering


The general elections have been scheduled for 11th May 2013 and an interim set up has been created to ensure fair, free and transparent elections. Now a rather tedious but a little tricky process of scrutiny of nominations papers has started.
Reportedly many of the giants face tenuous situation, some of them declared ‘disqualified’ and others also face uncertain future. While appeals will be filed by all those facing disqualification, getting the decisions reversed will be a process to be watched carefully.
Every individual, especially those who claim to be literate, knowing law and also the basic parameters required qualifying, will have to keep their eyes and ears open and also respond immediately if there is any violation.
While mainstream media is trying to keep the viewers posted, many suspect its credibility. Therefore, simultaneously more rigorous analyses are being posted on the social media.
The beauty is that many of those posting their views hardly know that their message reach millions of people within a few minutes. Since people have the option to use Urdu and other regional languages, besides English; the viewership is reaching a size that was never witnessed in the previous elections.
One of the regrets is that people often post loaded, derogatory and even indecent remarks, which shows that they have exhausted all the arguments. This is natural because in the past people have never enjoyed an opportunity to make their comments made public and also viewed by millions.
It is expected that as people use alternate and social media they will also learn the norms. These norms are not dictated by anyone from outside but fall under ‘self regulatory mechanism’. If a person does not wish someone else to post indecent remarks about his/her leader, he/she will also have to abstain from such practice.
Gone are the days when one had to wait for days to get the news printed in a newspaper. Now print media updates stories regularly and television channels try to cover the events at the spot. The beauty of technology is that now every citizen has become ‘news reporter and photographer’. 
Most of the mobile phones have cameras and also the facility to make a brief video, once recorded the item can be uploaded at the Facebook wall in a few seconds. Another beauty is that soon others also start posting their comments.
This time television channels will face a stiff competition from social media. Advertisers have already started budgeting and the general feeling is that electronic and social media may get even bigger share of the pie.
It is on record that social media played a very important role in the recent uprising in the Middle East and North Africa, commonly known as MENA region. Despite many restrictions, use of social media is phenomenal in the countries where political meeting can’t be held.
Now people use social media and mobile phones to pass the bug. Though, efforts are made to disable such communication the success is still very limited.
There is consensus that in the forthcoming elections youth will play a very decisive role. Youth is not only technology savvy but also very smart in disseminating information. One of the evidence of their collective efforts was rounding up of Shahraukh Jatoi.
 Therefore, it may be said that if they are convinced and also develop the commitment they can accomplish the most difficult task


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