In Pakistan, politics has lost its real purpose and meanings. Nowadays, politics has turned into a vocation for many. Once a noble and ideology-driven job, politics of today is anything but noble or ideology oriented. This bitter truth has revealed itself not only in the past few elections but the upcoming general election as well where Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) has awarded party tickets to those who do not care for party ideology at all. The decision of the party senior leadership to give tickets to “electable candidates” has deeply offended the old workers of the party as the central executive committee of the party conveniently ignores their services. Ignoring the protests of the party workers, Fawad Choudhry shamelessly defends the choices made by the party by saying that they chose strong candidates.
This, in turn, means that the party has taken a U-turn on its slogans of transparency, democracy, and merit. Some of the ticket holders are notorious for land grabbing. Some of the ticket holders exploit the poor countrymen under the garb of religion. Others are those who hold a monopoly on the market. This is the composition of a party that takes pride in being a party committed to addressing the issues of an ordinary man. So if the ordinary workers of the party protest against the party decision they are justified in doing so. If they are not heard then the party does not believe in democracy at all.
However, it is not only PTI that has fallen prey to political opportunism. Other parties too have followed the same pattern while awarding tickets to candidates. It is equally true that other parties have fared no better. One can hardly find an example where the political parties have preferred merit to money and power. For instance, Awami National Party (ANP) has allowed one of the instigators in Mashaal Khan’s murder to contest the election on its party ticket. The greatest irony is that ANP in the past was a party that used to follow the philosophy of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan as its political ideology.
Above all, the two major parties, i.e., Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) too have failed to avoid the pitfalls of Pakistani politics that is on a constant decline. It is depressing to see that PPP and PML-N have welcomed defectors and religious bigots in their rank and file and even allotted them party tickets to contest the general elections. Looking at the political spectrum, the common theme among all parties is; put aside ideology on the day of the voting, pragmatism should take the lead.