General Elections 2018 with all its ups and downs, is about to have the final showdown. While the elections have met with a lot of criticism, there are a few unconventional and progressive elements associated with them that we cannot overlook.
Here are a few of the things that happened for the first time in Pakistan:
* As per section 206 of the Election Act 2017, each political party is bound to allow 5% of its representation to women. Every single political party except Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT) has allotted more representation to women than the required quota. PPP stands on number one in this regard, followed by PTI and PMLN.
* Sunita Parmar is the first minority Hindu woman to contest on the general seat from the Thar Desert. Sumita belongs to Meghwar Hindu Community, which is considered as ‘untouchable’ among Hindus. Sunita has a firm stance against the feudal system and believes it is holding the women back in the province.
* Celebrating electoral diversity, 25 transgenders are hired as electoral observers. 13 transgender individuals are all set to contest in upcoming elections.
*Setting an unconventional and difficult precedent, Jibran Nasir and his supporters have taken a brave stance against politics fueled by manipulation of religious sentiments. Not only the entire campaign was lead very professionally, but how he himself and his supporters have stayed firm and refused to back down despite being repeatedly instigated by extremists is indeed a rare sight in Pakistani politics.
* Ammar Rashid and Ismat Raza Shahjehan from Awami Workers Party (AWP) are changing the political atmosphere in future for sure. With chanting ‘Surkh Salaam’ in Pakistan, AWP leadership is determined to provide a progressive and people-centric alternative to current politics.
* With ‘pencil’ as his election symbol, belonging to PP 14, Raja Imran himself is polio-affected. He is determined to show Pakistan that people with disabilities are as much human and as much capable. He lead door-to-door campaigns himself and helps people solve their day-to-day affairs.
And lastly, of course, US – the people. The youth. I have seen the majority of the people thinking logically, rationally and critically after a long time. Something that we need for sure.
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