Political hustle and bustle has caught momentum. After spending most of their time in provincial and central capitals, now the candidates have moved back to their constituencies. They seem to be having the same courtesy, sincerity, public care and worries about the pain of their people, which they displayed before the previous elections. Though they have practically done nothing for their constituencies they believe that the naïve public will elect them again on their empty promises.

Let me tell them that the public is no longer subjects of a monarch, as their forefather were during the Mughal era, now the masses have realised their position as the power that can choose a president. Their vote is an important piece of paper which can change the future of the country and them. They hold the power to select the writer of their future.

Everyone assumes that a single vote cannot make a difference, but I assure you all that every drop added will make a river, so will every vote change the course of the nation. On the eve of election, it is time to firmly decide not to be influenced by any cults, families, local groupings and blind following of anyone but your own conscience. The elections are not only competition between two candidates but the protection of our personal as well as collective interests is also at stake. The right to vote freely should not be compromised at all.

If we are sincere to our nation it is our duty to make sure that every candidate is held accountable for his or her deeds. What did they do, what was their performance for country, and its people? A candidate who remained absent from his constituency for most of the time should not be elected again. Instead of cursing our fate, it’s time to turn it around.

M. ABU-BAKR ABDULLAH,

Lahore, March 2.