Once in power no party should ever take its popularity, mandate or a sympathy vote for granted, unless it delivers good governance, impartial accountability, keeps corruption under check, shows respect for institution and, above all, invests in populace, its fate may not be too different from that of the PPP and ANP, which have been reduced to a local non-entities.

Since the majority in Pakistan only watches and listens rather than reads or writes, the predictions by the brand of so-called analysts and political gurus appearing in droves on the electronic media, it all could be quite misleading, if not wide off the mark. There was no PPP coming up with 60 to 70 seats that anchorperson were confidently predicting. The PTI still deserves credit for galvanizing the masses to vote. The reconciliatory words expressed by Nawaz Sharif in his victory speech will have to be transformed into real substance. Hopefully, the leadership has now matured and will not be indiscreet or reckless as in the past. It must rise above petty politics to carry the nation towards a progressive state.

As the democratic evolutionary process unfolds, political parties will have to shun their militant wings, reach accommodation, show tolerance and accept public verdict with grace. For a variety of reasons, despite suffering marginalisation, women voters are conscious of their political rights. Their long queue in sweltering weather is a clear demonstration. The iconic image of the army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani casting his vote in uniform will remain etched in public memory.

And now as the jubilation starts to dampen, the road ahead is starting to appear rocky for PML-N, an immediate recovery from looming economic bankruptcy, review of foreign policy vis-à-vis the US, India, Afghanistan and Iran and tackling the twin menace of terrorism and energy crisis are immediate challenges. With his majority now firmly established in KPK, let us now see Imran Khan reining in the TTP, cutting down on drone strikes and administrating a province bordering shaky Afghanistan, especially after the US withdrawal next year. With the disillusionment of the past five years behind us, let us build a new Pakistan.

AFTAB BUKHARI,

Karachi, May 18.