Interviews were conducted by UPI Next PakPolWiki team before the May 11 elections.
Usman Ali, 21, resident of Manyar district Swat, is studying in a private university in Peshawar. He is hopeful for the upcoming election, as for the first time he will cast the vote. He believes this is an opportunity to bring change in Pakistan. Ali is a strong supporter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and has almost decided his vote but before the voting he says he will analyze the vision and character of the candidate to discourage the opportunists who joined PTI.
Najeeb Ullah Khan, 27, is a businessman and resident of Mingora Swat. In 2008 election, he voted for Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) candidate for the national assembly. “I didn’t remember the name of the candidate but haven’t forgot that the agent of candidate came to my home on the polling day and requested me for the vote,” says Khan. However he had no option for the provincial assembly and just voted for the Awami National Party (ANP) candidate.
He is not expecting any change in the 2013 election but will vote for Mohammad Amin, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) candidate for PK-80. He decided it just because of his family relations with the candidate. “Second reason that comparatively he served better in the constituency,” Khan believes. However, he says that personal character, education and local residency of the candidate are the major factors to decide a candidate for the National Assembly seat.
-Interviewed by Adnan Rashid 18 March 2013 (AKDT)
Barkat Ali Nasar, who is a student of journalism in the University of Swat, said that being a Pakistani he considers it indispensable to take part in the polling for the strengthening of democracy. “We have to bring change in the country and personally I have closely observed the previous political as well as dictatorships which has made me understand to whom I vote in the upcoming elections,” he told UPI Next. He said that for his desired change in the country, he prefer to support Imran Khan and Jamat e Islami. “I will cast my vote to PTI for National Assembly and to JI for the provincial seat. I strongly believe that both the parties have the potential to bring change as they are internally democratic and well-organized,” he said.
“In the first place, I must cast my vote as a responsible citizen of the State. Ballot paper is not mere a piece of paper but a warrantee to a person to power. I hope to vote honest people to power and to depower those others who are power hungry,” Muhammad Amjad, an English lecturer told UPI Next. “But who deserves my vote, is an important and sometime irritating question and at times have wavered many people before they cast their vote,” he added. “I think we should discourage family politics as it is an heirloom of dictatorship and as we have seen has played havoc on Pakistan. Before voting, we should make an assessment of the candidates who are contesting the elections. We should not vote a single party but to rather individuals who are honest and have a fair track record,” he further added. “My votes will go to Imran Khan this time,” he said.
“Being disappointed from all other parties, I have only one option to try Pakistan Tehreek -e-Insaf. This time, I will vote for Imran Khan as he seems sincere and true to this country. he also works for the human welfare in a real sense. He is the only hope for Pakistani nation and we have higher expectations from him,” Nazia Ali, 35, a teacher by profession told UPI Next, adding that she is a great fan of Khan.
Many voters want nothing but peace in Swat valley as they have witnessed the ugliest face of terrorism in the paradise like valley. Aisha Bibi who is a student of BSC, said, “We want nothing but durable peace in Swat. I do trust Imran Khan as we all believe that only he will come up to our expectations. If majority of the people in Swat wants change and for their change they favor to vote for Imran Khan, however, according to some people, former president Pervez Musharraf was better than the leaders of the so called political parties.”
“I would like to vote for Pervez Musharraf because, if we compare his reign with later government, Musharraf’s tenure was far better. If he came in rule once again, he will lead the nation towards peace and prosperity,” Tasleem Bibi, a housewife, told UPI Next.