Among many misfortunes of Pakistanis, the buying and selling of votes between bourgeois and proletariat is more frequently practiced today than before. The whole issue has, among others, its roots in the very strong caste system that has been prevailing for more than a century in the Indo-Pak region.  

In order to have a strong democracy, people’s right to have the freedom of choice cannot be denied at any forum. However, in countries like Pakistan where poverty is a major issue, poor sell their vote to secure their short term financial future, but at the cost of long-term implications for the nation as a whole. Therefore, the most straight forward solution would be to tackle the poverty challenge, which we all is not that straight forward practically, especially in the current circumstances where law and order issues are discouraging foreign as well as local investment.  

It becomes a big responsibility of our civil society in general and media in particular, to make common people aware of the consequences they have to suffer from as a result of vote trading. The need of hour is to educate people regarding power of their vote for a fully functional democratic system, which is made for them by them. 

ZAINAB HABIB,  

Lahore, July 26.