Since primary level, we have been taught in almost every social studies textbook, about the main ideologies and systems upon which Pakistan was sought to be established as a nation-state. Pakistan constitutionally, can be said to be a democratic parliamentary republic, with its political power, based on an elected form of ‘governance’. However, given the country’s past history and a current rat-race by the cluster of political parties to be in control, is it really democracy, if it is only those who have something to lose, believe in it, while the rest make sure they have absolute power?

In Peshawar, over 84,000 candidates are contesting for 41,000 seats in local body elections, as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government finalized arrangements for the polls in the province. It is said that there are over 13,000,000 registered voters in the province comprising of 7,494,000 male voters and 5,638,000 female voters. Moreover, around 11,200 polling stations have been set up across the province out of which, 2,837 have been declared ‘highly sensitive’. Despite the obvious problems that are being faced in this province such as lack of involvement by women, this effort can be applauded as being, even if not a perfect picture for democracy, but one that perfectly epitomizes the democratic struggle. With KPK, slowly trying to change the rigid and unfavorable structure that has been prevailing, it has seen progress in education, health and Police department, even if it has its fair share of problems.

What one is not seeing is any new efforts being made by the dominant governments in Punjab or Sindh. After the 2013 elections, other than ‘magnanimous’ billboards, flashy posters and campaigns proclaiming a false sense of ‘ development’ that has taken place, one can only see a standstill regarding what will happen next. Why is democracy in these provinces only being equated with concrete measures of display such as a metro system, or handing out students tablets, while forgetting what the essence of it is: letting the people decide what is best for them. However, this ideology, especially in the dominant provinces, can be seen to be only till the government can use it in their own favor. For the common people, it does not seem to be working out that way.