With historic elections looming, terrorists and militants have stepped up their attacks against candidates of different political parties. Election offices across the country are being blown up and even civilians are being targeted. The move is aimed at frightening people and disrupting the upcoming elections. Taliban and their accomplices want to impose their ideology through coercion, violence and suppression. They want to prove them as one of the major stakeholders in the affairs of the state by mocking the constitution and democracy.
It is neither acceptable to people of Pakistan nor the country’s institutions. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has rightly pointed out while addressing an event to mark the Youm-e-Shuhda (Day of Martyrs) that a clear-cut policy is needed to tackle the menace of terrorism and extremism. He also vowed to crush those who mock the constitution and democratic system of the country. To clear all doubts engulfing the upcoming elections, the general categorically said the elections would be held on May 11, come what may. Definitely, it was a clear message to all those who have been striving to disrupt or delay the elections in the name of militancy and terrorism.
The deployment of army troops have also started across the country to make the Election Day smooth and peaceful. It is up to people of Pakistan now whether they choose a democratic, progressive and terrorism-free country or plagued with the militancy as it is. Definitely, it’s easier said than done but the moment of final decision has arrived. Indeed, the menace of terrorism has devoured lives of thousands of innocent people besides destruction of infrastructure of millions of dollars. However, it is still heartening to share that people and all institutions of the country have stood against Taliban and thwarted their nefarious designs.
People living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas bordering Afghanistan may face more life threats from Taliban and their accomplices on the Election Day than people living in other parts of the country. Obviously, Taliban have not kept their designs secret as they openly announce to kill those who participate in the election process. But what is encouraging is that people still remain committed to participate in the election process. No party has announced boycott of the polls.
To trounce the agenda of Taliban and other militant groups, people should come out of their homes on May 11 to cast their vote to any party or candidate of their choice. People, especially youth of the country, should vote against coercion and fear. The political parties should also come up with a clear-cut strategy as demanded by General Kayani on terrorism and militancy; so that people could vote them to power to eliminate the menace. The moment has come. People have to decide about the future of Pakistan. If you don’t, the next five years are going to be more or less the same. Brushing aside fear of the terrorists, people need to flock the polling stations on May 11 to make a new, progressive, prosperous and democratic Pakistan.