While speaking on ‘Election Culture-Status and Imperatives’ at the Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan on Tuesday, speakers established that education was indispensable for change in electoral culture and that the Pakistani society has been dived into corruption right from top to bottom, adding that a surgery must be done to erase corruption from the society.
Former Law Minister SM Zafar presided over the sitting while former Justice Nasira Javed Iqbal and Admiral (r)Javed Iqbal were the chief guests on occasion.
Speakers included Farrukh Sohail Goindi and Shahid Nazir Chaudhary. HNPIP director Absar Abdul Ali was the programme moderator. The speakers were of the view that the political culture had been grabbed by feudal class, industrialists, landlords and ‘thanedars’.
SM Zafar said that corruption had become trademark of the society that led to a corrupt electoral system. He said that political candidates buy votes and win seats and no local bodies elections also added to the problems of the country.
He said that the solution of this grave trouble lies in equipping the nation with weapon of education. “Only education could help resolve the issue,” he held. He said that people should not wait much longer; instead they should elect the right person to send into the assemblies. Citing Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Zafar said, “He changed minds of people who supported Muslim League in 1946 elections the same can be done today provided the learning is made easier.”
Former Justice Nasira Javed Iqbal said the election culture could only be changed by making collective efforts that was the need of time. She said that repeated martial laws in the country have made the elected representative as rulers adding that family politics was harmful for democracy. She demanded the Election commission of Pakistan to bar those who happened to be defaulters.
“The culture of changing loyalties must be changed as well,” she said. Nasira said that postponement of elections would be catastrophic for democracy. Admiral (r) and Farrukh Sohail also spoke.