By Masood Ali Khan
Spread of education and higher literacy rate in Gilgit-Baltistan are considered as positive elements of the area, other than rich culture, hospitality and tourist spots. Karakurum International University, the only university of the region, is contributing in upgrading the literacy rate but there is a point to ponder in educating the people of the area in terms of understanding the facts and realities of the serving rather ruling political parties.
Based on discussions related to the current activities and election process in small groups of students and youths in different cities of Pakistan and especially on social media, I have come to the conclusion that people perceive the election process merely as a formality. This perception is based on the experiences and history of elections in GB where the federal government becomes a baseline and supports their own political entities and, thus, the backed political parties/entities easily get their way through and start ruling the area.
Looking at the government system and governance of KPK, I shave concluded that they elect new party representatives in every election, overlooking the negative aspects. Each time performance of the new party is observed and assesed while again they have their own tool of appraisal which leads them to welcome another new party. It is clear that citizens of Pakistan are still in the process of handing over the government to the right party/person.
Similar to KPK, people in Gilgit-Baltistan welcomes new political parties in every election. But again and again we have seen the negative faces and highlighted the fake profiles and mandates of each party.
We have youth representatives, all over Pakistan and even in the world, have now a days been representing our cultural norms and other aspects of GB, but after going back to our homes we are still giving our political rights in the hands of traditional family oriented politicians, sectarian leaders and other irrelevant individuals, instead of electing our leaders on merit.
For a better political system and stability, the area is in need of true leaders. We are educating our youth to be leaders rather to be followers but most of us refrain from implementing this teaching in its letter and spirit.
We need true political leader from the youth to accept the change and face the challenges owning them for the betterment of GB. Based on my observations and certain practical experiences I would say that we may challenge and stand against each other for irrelevant causes, or no cause at all, but we are not yet prepared to own the political system of GB and contribute for its progress and improvement.
Concluding the random thought one can ask the youth of GB; “What is the role of Youth in up-coming elections of Gilgit-Baltistan?”. Let’s start thinking.