ISLAMABAD - Over 62,000 voters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday wrote a new chapter in the country’s history by exercising their right to choose around 500 party leaders for the federal capital.
This being the first-ever intra-party elections held in entire subcontinent, smashing the negative traditions of nominating the party office-bearers by the dictatorial party heads.
Though over 70 percent voters would cast their votes through cell phones and SMS messages, around 41 polling stations were established across the federal capital to facilitate those voters who either don’t have access to cell phones or not know how to vote through the new technology gadgets. The voting process would continue till 12:00 am on Monday while the results would be announced on Monday afternoon by Chief Election Commissioner PTI, Hamid Khan.
It was also for the first time that the voters exercised their right to vote through modern gadgets and information technology – paving the way for a new, transparent system of voting where the voters were able to choose their leadership without any fear or favor.
PTI chief Imran Khan congratulated the PTI workers for taking part in the first-ever intra-party election through modern technology, stating that the PTI would get rid of the family control in the political parties and rather the voters would rather chose their leaders through transparent system of voting.
“This is a historic day today. The PTI workers have laid foundation of change and a new Pakistan would emerge from these polls where the peoples’ will would prevail and there would be no place for political monarchs. This is a real change and this change process would continue till the time when the people would see their true leaders taking over from the coterie of corrupt,” he remarked.
Great enthusiasm was witnessed at the polling stations as the media teams visited the polling stations and the voters stood in long queues as the PTCL phone lines dedicated and publicised for voting had been blocked by the government apparently in order to disrupt the polling.
Emotional voters expressed their annoyance over the blockage of the phone lines, saying that they had made arrangements for almost a month for the polling day but things had changed following the blockage of the phone lines.
“Since phone lines were not responding so I tried cell phone but it also did not work either due to network problem or due to some conspiracy. So I have come here to poll the vote. But I am standing in the queue for the past two hours,” said Mohammad Zaman, a voter at G-9 Markaz Polling station while talking to this scribe.
Another voter, Shafique Ahmed, told that the poling officer at I-10 Markaz polling station did not allow him to cast his vote despite the fact that he had presented a copy of his CNIC. The polling officer told that the party did not allow casting vote on a copy of the CNIC and rather original card was mandatory for the polling.
Meanwhile, PTI leaders Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Shafqat Mahmood, Ayla Malik and others visited different polling stations in the federal capital.
Talking to reporters, Javed Hashmi said that this was a great day and the PTI workers had gave a message to other political workers that they should also get rid of the rotten culture and their lifetime chairmen.
“This is a day of hope for a change. I can see a new political culture emerging from these elections. I have waged struggle for change in the political parties and now this change is taking place,” he added.
Shafqat Mahmood said that the PTI had conducted real election in the party and this is not a drama. “Though we don’t have the resources that a government enjoys, yet we have installed a mechanism where over seven million PTI voters would take part in the party polls. This process of elections would complete by December-end or in early January,” he added.
Shafqat Mahmood also condemned the government tactics to blocking the phone numbers dedicated for voting by the PTI workers and said that the PTI would face the government’s negative tactics bravely.
PTI leader Ayla Malik felicitated the PTI workers on the eve of the intra-party polls and said that it was a historic day for the party as well as for the country.
“This is a big day and the political workers have succeeded to win their right to choose their leaders. This election would help smash the family control in political parties. This would also trigger a political awareness and the political activists would not allow family hegemonies and the culture of nominations anymore,” she added.
Dr Israr Shah said that the PTI election was a challenge for other political parties as the PTI had set a process of change in the country’s political system. He said from now on, no political activist even in other political parties would accept nominations by their dictatorial leaders.