Interviews were conducted by UPI Next PakPolWiki team before the May 11 elections.
Numan, 23, is a government employee and a resident of the Lachi tehsil in Kohat District. He is ready to exercise his right to vote for the first time. He believes the biggest challenge Pakistan currently faces is the deteriorating state of law and order . “I will cast my vote for the party that can overcome this challenge, furthermore, to the party which gives top priority in its agenda to the restoration of peace.” He said he will probably vote for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ( PTI ) party because he believes it has a chance and has an encouraging and moderate platform.
Majid Khan, 29, is a cameraman for a private television channel and a resident of Kohat City. He did not vote in the previous election because he was away in Rawalpendi searching for a job. Majid says, “I will give my vote to the party that has an anti-feudalist platform and that has a progressive agenda.” He said he would vote for a party that prioritized the collective over the individual and that had a liberal platform. He said that might be the party of Mehmood Khan Achakzey, and probably Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Khalil, 50, is a resident of Sialkot Punjab province and works in Kohat as a colorist. He voted in the last election for the Pakistan Muslim League candidate. He said that PML-Nawaz is better than other parties in Punjab because the PML-Nawaz-led provincial government is providing food items on subsidy and at reasonable rates. “I will leave for my home area at election time and will vote for PML-Nawaz again,” Khalil said. Mohammad Hussain, 52, an ex-government employee and resident of Karak District has voted several times for religious parties in the past. This time, he again wants to vote for the Jameet-ulama Islam Fazal-ur-Rehman candidate. He believes that a vote is a sacred thing that should be given to religious and chaste people.
Bushra, 39, is a private school teacher in Kohat. In the past, she has voted for the Awami National Party (ANP) candidate. She said, no doubt, that the ANP-led provincial government has lost many of its workers and made many sacrifices in the “War on Terror”, but that the ANP-led government had failed in the provision of relief and jobs to its people. Furthermore, “the ANP government has encouraged the trend of corruption in institutions,” she said. “I will vote this time for the PTI party because its candidates are fresh and clean.”