ISLAMABAD, Jan 18 (Pakistan in the World Report ):Participants of the Thursday seminar highlighted flaws in the electoral process, calling for genuine change emphasizing intra-party elections and increasing women’s participation in the electoral process.
Speaking at a seminar titled “Changing Landscape of Pakistani Electorate and Role of Political Parties in Fair Representation,” organized by the Press Information Department (PID), they said the Constitution entrusts the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with free and fair elections.
Senator Syed Ali Zafar from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) expressed the view that the Constitution entrusts the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with the responsibility to conduct free and fair elections in the country. The Election Act 2017 enhanced the authority of the Election Commission of Pakistan. The Constitution empowers political parties to participate in elections and establish a government.
Muhammad Asghar, Deputy Secretary General of Jamat-e-Islami (JI), stated that a significant majority of people refrained from voting, and many governments failed to truly represent the majority.
He highlighted that Jamat-e-Islami is dedicated to fostering genuine change in the country.
He emphasized discouraging participation as independent candidates and highlighted that Jamat-e-Islami has a record number of women involved in various tiers, with over five per cent of women receiving tickets.
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He suggested that a person who does not give a share to women in property should be disqualified. Furthermore, he stated that without intra-party elections, democracy cannot flourish, and the influence of money should be eliminated from the country’s politics.
He suggests elections based on proportional representation. JI has filed the most number of young candidates in these elections and is actively involved in caring for orphans. He advocates for a parliamentary system in the country, emphasizing that the leader of a political party must have an immaculate character.
Dr. Asad Muneer of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) appreciated the allocation of reserved seats in Parliament as a positive gesture. He expressed optimism that the situation will gradually improve, emphasizing the need for political parties to elect their leadership through a democratic process.
Dr. Mujeeb from Quaid-e-Azam University highlighted the weakness in Pakistan’s electoral process, describing it as catering mainly to the elite. He noted that political parties often function as collections of notable individuals and emphasized the absence of any significant movements initiated by these parties.
Hafiz Tahir Khalil, a journalist emphasized the role of media in strengthening democracy, expressing confidence in the potential of the country’s institutions to deliver.
He hoped that the young generation would lead the country out of crisis. Khalil stressed the importance of political parties addressing internal issues and implementing their manifestos.
Additionally, he noted the need for consensus among all political parties on basic national issues.
This was the second seminar the Press Information Department (PID) has initiated to encourage civic engagement and participation in the upcoming elections on February 8. Stakeholders invited to these seminars encompass representatives from major political parties, the Election Commission of Pakistan, media, academia, civil society, and the general public.
On January 11, the PID conducted its inaugural seminar, ‘Pakistan Elections 2024: The Economic Reforms Agenda of Political Parties,’ at a local hotel in Islamabad, featuring comprehensive representation from stakeholders.
The PID has scheduled two additional seminars in the Capital city on various topics. and the third, focusing on the Electoral Code of Conduct: Ethical Practices of Stakeholders Including Media, is slated for January 25.The seminar titled ‘Political Participation and Empowerment of Youth, Women, Transgenders, and Cultural Minorities will be held on February 1.
Press Information Department of Pakistan Launches Series of Seminars to Foster Awareness Ahead of Election 2024