Of Journalism

December 14, 2008

National Elections and Pukhtoon Youngsters

Filed under: Uncategorized — fawadalishah @ 12:50 pm

Youngsters of NWFP rural areas itching to cast votes

By Fawad Ali Shah

PESHAWAR: Youngsters of the NWFP rural areas are itching to go to the polling stations to cast their votes, a survey conducted by Daily Times reported on Saturday.

They survey was conducted in 10 rural areas of various districts of the province in which 500 youngsters between 18 and 25 years of age were interviewed. The survey was conducted in Bara, Haidar Khel, Mathanai, Pushtoon Garhi, Zaidha, Ziarat Kaka Sahib, Manki Sharif, Shahab Khel, Gul Dheri, Bahadur Khel, Chashmai and Urmur.

During the survey, youngsters were asked whether, or not they would cast their votes in the elections to be held tomorrow. Some 400 youngsters showed willingness to exercise their right to vote, while 100 youngsters were not ready for going to the polling stations to cast their vote due to various reasons. However, only 25 percent of the youngsters were sure as to whom they would vote for and they were campaigning for one party or the other actively. More than 70 percent of the youngsters were indecisive about their participation. The survey also revealed that 90 percent of the youngsters would cast their votes on the basis of blood relations and geographical affiliations rather than political considerations. In the survey, 42 out of 50 girls expressed their desire to cast vote.

Mudassar Khan, who is an Awami National Party (ANP) member, said that he considered the elections a golden opportunity for changing fortunes of the nation. “Somebody has to win the elections and get the power,” he said. Khan said, “If we boycott the elections for one reason or another, we will lose a golden opportunity.” He said young people should go to the polling stations and never let the exploiters of the nation come into power. Hammad Khattak, a resident of Pushtoon Ghari, said his father was a political worker and he was helping his father in the election campaign. He said it was his national obligation to cast vote. Gul Nawaz, a resident of Manki Sharif in Nowshera district, said he would cast his vote.

Sadaf, a resident of Bahadurkhel locality in Nowshera, said, “I will go to polling station. I do not know the candidate for whom I will cast my vote.” She said her brother was supporting a candidate and he would tell her whom to vote for. Professor Dr Muhammad Nazir Kakakhel, a renowned political scientist commenting on the survey said, “Youngsters of the rural areas have always been involved in the active politics as compared to the urban areas. “There are so many reasons for their involvement in the politics. They are more exposed to the state TV that urges people to cast vote. Most of the times they are jobless and they have nothing to do except discussing politics.

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