Shiites and the upcoming Elections

sajid naqvi raja nasirSince being founded 1947, except for the military rules, democracy has been the way Pakistan has been ruled to date. Democracy gave all eligible citizens of Pakistan the right to vote for their chosen Political Party. In theory, this meant the party with the most votes, the one most supported by public, would come into power and hopefully rule the country in accordance with the people’s wishes.

However, Pakistan has Parliamentary System under which the country is divided into different constituencies. Each political party presents candidates in the different constituencies and the winning candidates come together to form the country’s Parliament. The party with the most candidates in the Parliament becomes the ruling government.
This idea of constituencies means it is not necessary that the party with the most number of overall votes will form the government, as their votes may well have been spread out over different constituencies and therefore they might not have the majority of candidates in the parliament.
The ever increasing numbers of different parties in the parliament often means that coalitions are formed in order to try and reach a majority to form the Government – these efforts might or might not be in vain.

Throughout all this, people of certain sects and backgrounds feel they are being marginalized/neglected by the Sunni-Muslim Political Parties – which are a majority in the parliament. None feel more neglected and this lack of representation in the Parliament than Shiite Muslims, who make up around 20% of the population and are discriminated against on nearly daily basis.
It, therefore, became a common belief amongst these people that those without a political representation are helpless and unable to act as their rights are crushed under the feet of the majority. So it was only a matter of time before the Shiites, too, emerged as a Political Power in Pakistan.

If we, now, fast forward from the history to today, the 13th of April 2013, Shiite Political Parties have finally emerged and are taking part in the upcoming elections. With the increasing Shiite Genocide in the country and the lack of action and media coverage on the matter, this was possibly as good a time as any for the Shiite Political Parties to arise. The likelihood of them actually winning is low, because of the dispersion of support across constituencies, but it is very important for them to take part anyway. It is very important for the Shiites parties to emerge with their own vote bank, which will get them recognized in Pakistan as a party with people power. This process, of emerging with a recognizable vote bank and becoming influential in the government, is a long one. If we were to take Lebanon as an example, where Shiites are in the parliament and running the government, it can be seen that this change took many decades and several wars – but Hezbollah emerged from all the rubble as a Political Party which had a large vote bank and therefore, power to influence the decisions of the country.

These parties are now standing on a critical point in their curves, where they must decide upon how to proceed in the upcoming elections. It is clear they will not be winning, but are they desperate enough to form a coalition? These alliance/coalition would not ensure their victory or power, in fact even if the parties they form the coalition with win, they [the Shiite Parties] are likely to be forgotten or left behind. It is therefore a better idea for the Shiite Parties like MWM to stand alone in this election as a representative of the Shiites.
The parties can also form an alliance with powerful Sunni Political parties like Pakistan People’s Party [PPP], Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] or Pakistan Muslim League-N [PML-N]. This would, also, not be a good idea as this would mean their vote bank will not be identifiable and they will never gain power as a party themselves – and being a powerful party themselves should be the most important aim of the Shiite Parties because that is what they must be in order to represent the oppressed Shiites in the Parliament. Having said that, a seat adjustment might be a better option for the Shiite Parties to ensure they get representatives into the parliament.

Overall, in order to represent, honestly and truly, the Shiite nation in the Parliament, the Shiite Political Parties must stand alone yet rigid. They must take appropriate steps to ensure they earn the trust of the Shiite Nation, which is in tatters in the country at the moment. If they are able to gain the people’s trust, they are ensured their votes. This process, as mentioned before, is lengthy and continuous but long-lasting change always emerges from slow, lengthy processes.

Written By By Zainab

Note : The Article is written by a reader of Shiite News Sister Zainab on the Shiite role in Election 2013. Shiite News is not responsible of the content and the content is based on opinion and observation of our respectable reader.

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