KARACHI – The uncertainty about the upcoming elections 2013, “whether it would be held or not,” is increasing among the citizens of Karachi despite the fact that Election Commission of Pakistan is working day and night to hold the general elections on May 11.

The discussion about the organisation of approaching elections in the country on the given time has become talk of the town.

A large number of citizens are not convinced that the present caretaker government or the establishment could hold elections in time following the increasing worst law and order situation of the country. 

Thousands of candidates of various religious and political parties have already submitted their nomination papers for the slots of the national and provincial assemblies across the country but this is not enough to ensure the citizens that the general elections are going to be held on May 1 in the country.  

The process of the submission of thousands of nomination papers by the candidates of various religious and political parities across the country has failed to make an impact on the citizens about holding of the elections. However, the completion of process of nomination papers reveals that the politicians are certain about the polls.

On the other hand, the increasing political turmoil in the country is causing individualism among the citizens which is being considered more depressing by an expert of the Karachi University.       

“The present law and order situation, especially the activities of the criminals, extortionists and other banned outfits does not allow the government or establishment to smoothly hold the upcoming general elections,” Syed Ali, an account officer in a public university told The Nation.

He said that the government was ready to invest massive amount on account of holding elections but there was no sign of the upcoming elections despite the fact that the staff at the Election Commission of Pakistan are facing massive work load related to the upcoming general elections but this is not enough for a literate mind to be ensured about holding of general polls.

A book seller, Siddiqui said, “I am not sure that the general elections can be held this year; the caretaker government may spend one or two years to maintain the law and order situation, and to get the corrupt politicians before the court.”

A research economist, working at Karachi University, declined to be named, said that the interim government might serve the country for long time for two or three years because it goes in favour the world’s financial organisations from which Pakistan has borrowed loans. He pointed out that the elections may be delayed on the will of international forces so that these forces could get their vested interests during this ‘honeymoon’ time.

Around 1,200 candidates of various political and religious parties have submitted their nomination papers so far for the National and Provincial Assemblies, which shows that how much work is being carried out by the staff of the ECP.

When Assistant Professor at KU Psychology Department Haider Rizvi was inquired by The Nation about this behaviour of the citizens, he said when a society goes through a transformation period, the rumors grip the society. The change taking place in the society also causes uncertainty among the members of that society.    

He pointed out that the citizens are facing the worst law and order situation and other burning issues, including loadshedding, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, targeted killing and other problems, which is causing frustration and individualism among the citizens.

“The worst impact of individualism, spreading in our society, is isolation that increases the rate of suicide in the society. A French sociologist, Emile Durkheim claims that political turmoil increases the suicide rate in a society,” he said. “Uncertainty among the citizens of the largest city of Pakistan is nothing but a social fact, resulted from political turmoil, and increasing sense of insecurity in the city.”

On the other hand, politico-religious parties in the country are willing to participate in the upcoming elections, hence corner meetings, processions, press conferences by these parties are being held in every corner of the country. Conversely, an important and hectic work of scrutiny of nomination papers has already been started on April 1 to 7. Candidates of the various parties are appeared before Returning Officers to satisfy the officers about their papers.

However, this fact cannot be ignored that some political pundits are also uncertain about this fact that whether the elections will be held or not.