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  Politics
Pakistanis hope for change amid perilous security, worsening economy
27/12/2012 | LOC18:18
15:18 GMT
| World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 (KUNA) -- Change is the only hope that is keeping elections' soul alive among Pakistani youth as country plunges into ever-worsening economy and perilous security situation that recently claimed the life of a seasoned politician and a provincial minister. Pakistan will hold elections next year and voters' verification campaign has already begun in Southern Karachi port city, country's largest commercial city. The target of all political parties is the youth, which makes 63 per cent of Pakistan's total population.
There are two main political parties Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML)-Nawaz Faction and both are traditional rivals. Power has been shifting between the two parties since 1970s. The new political players, which have recently emerged and also stirred interest among the youth, are renowned cricketer Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Movement of religious cleric cum professor Maulana Tahrul Qadri. Both recently chanted the slogan of change. Imran's slogan for change is known as 'Tsunami of change' and Maulana Qadri's at his rally said that he has come to change nation's destiny. He gave government a deadline of Jan 10th for electoral reforms. Whether both will prove to be game changers is yet to be seen but the youth has definitely pegged hopes at them. The prevalent situation has brought a major change at country's political culture and that is that the youth and women are becoming more and more interested in politics.
Imran's rallies have been attended by thousands but Maulana Qadri's last week rally was attended by more than four million, mostly young people and women.
"I don't care whether Imran comes or Qadri or again the same old political parties form coalition government. What I care about is what economic and social change and stability the new government is going to bring in", said Imran Hashmi, a politics student at Punjab University and also President of the university's debate society. Imran happens to be the member of Jamait-e-Islami (JI)'s student wing also. Khurram Shehzad, a local young entrepreneur and father of two-year old, said that his small software house is running out of business because of long and persistent load-shedding. He said he will vote for Imran but was less optimistic about his political career.
"I know so many of my college fellows who are unemployed, the brilliant ones leaving the country in search of better careers abroad and some doing minor jobs", said Shehzad. "We want economic and political stability. Our system and political culture needs to be changed," said Shehzad while expressing disappointment over the main political parties. Another significant political development that took place on Thursday was the formal joining of Bilawal Bhutto, the son of late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and chairperson of PPP, into country's politics. President Asif Ali Zardari introduced him as a gift to young population and said that he has completed his education and time has come for his political training. A local senior analyst and journalist Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami was of opinion that Bilawal is PPP's answer to Imran's Tsunami and Qadri's Pakistan Movement. He said that whoever wins youth heart, will win the next elections. (end) amn.gb KUNA 271818 Dec 12NNNN
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