With all the recent target killings and bombings targeting the election offices that the newspapers have been reporting, I wonder what the turnout will be? Violence and corruption are already part of our daily life and if we want to change all this we will have to brave the storm and go out and cast our vote to a party that believes in peace and education.

Though all political parties are tainted and corrupt, we still have to choose someone. I was hoping that there would be many ‘firsts’ associated with these elections, such as all educated class goes to polls, brings a change and so on. Unfortunately, I had discounted the fact that even with so many new things we are still operating in an atmosphere of fanatical senselessness and extremism. I have always believed that Pakistan’s fundamental problem is illiteracy and extreme poverty, a dangerous combination that leads to the desperation and disenchantment of the majority.

Now we can add baseless and misinformed extremism to that dangerous mix of corruption, dirty politics, illiteracy and poverty. The recent explosions in Peshawar and Kohat claimed many lives and left many badly injured, with TTP proudly taking credit. The militant organization was also behind Sunday's twin attacks and the attacks on PPP, MQM election offices in Karachi a day earlier.

Is it too much to expect our religious ‘right’ to take the long road, to insist on fair elections and to refrain from killing innocent people to prove their point? The power can be used much more effectively and positively to influence people to vote for their own betterment, rather than voting under duress or some misguided sense of belonging to a particular ethnic group. But, unfortunately, these groups have taken a page from the training manuals of our political parties and taken refuge in violence; as if the endless cycle of violence in Pakistan needs another party in power. 


Karachi, April 30.