Fingers crossed

There are no great expectations from elections and no excitement

Fingers crossed

As general elections draw near, the similarity between physical weather (foggy) and its figurative counterpart used to describe the political situation has only increased. The outcome is anybody’s guess.

Voters in the provincial metropolis have no high hopes from the much-awaited polls. Their foremost concerns are the latest surge in militancy, the deteriorating security situation, the uncertainty with regard to governance and the economic situation. There have been no mammoth political gatherings. Instead, the candidates have been unusually restrained, choosing to solicit votes door-to-door and in corner meetings.

Still, many people say they expect commodity prices to be controlled better following the formation of a regular government.

Ikram Khan, a resident of Tehkal town, says the voters’ expectations from elections are based on several factors, including the prevalent political environment, the economic conditions and the social issues. “Economic stability, job opportunities, infrastructure development, healthcare, education and security are important concerns for me,” he says.

Irfan Khan, a resident of Yakatot, is more optimistic. “We want a peaceful environment, better healthcare facilities, a fair justice system and employment opportunities for everyone. These should be the major outcomes of the general elections,” he says.

Augustin Jacob, a resident of Peshawar, too, is hopeful. “From the general elections 2024, we want a peaceful city, where citizens live without fear. We expect relief on a day to day basis. The prices of vegetables, cooking oil and wheat; as well as the electricity and gas bills need to climb down. We want our children to get the best education and prompt decent jobs,” he says.

Syed Abdul Jalil Shah says he expects the next government to take drastic measures to control the price hike. “Businesses will flourish after the elections; the economic activities will gain momentum,” he says.

Abid Khan does not believe the elections will have an immediate positive impact on the lives of the ordinary citizens. “Not much will change after the elections. However, we are participating with the hope that some things will. Something is better than nothing,” he says.

Bilal Khan, a resident of Canal Town, says most voters are staying away from political gatherings on account of security concerns. Some fear arrests. This time there are no clear trends, the political scene is fuzzy. “In Peshawar, the elections fever is low. Most voters had shown great enthusiasm in the previous general elections,” Khan says.

Rifat Anjum, a working woman, says, “I don’t expect a major change in our lives soon after the elections.”

The writer is a freelance multimedia journalist. He tweets @daudpasaney

Fingers crossed