Idealism is such a rarity in our political superstructure, even as “change” is the grand slogan of our age. Optimism is contagious; dreams are impeded by the ruthless demands of practicality. And then you get that flicker of hope, amidst all the darkness and something powerful, ineffable stirs inside you. You see this young, energetic and daring fellow roaming around in the streets of Karachi without any security contingent, a journal and a pen in hand, talking to ordinary people about their problems, sitting with community folk and discussing, listening carefully as they complain about the malfunctioning infrastructure, the broken water pipes, the electricity shortage; you look at all this, close your eyes, take a deep breath and smile. This fellow is quite extra-ordinary. But does he stand a chance against electoral heavy weights the likes of Arif Alvi and Khushbakht Shujaat?
Ours is not a meritocratic electoral system, it never has been. There is an entire class of “electables” who have the financial and political support to get elected to office time and again, even when they have failed to provide good governance and have been indicted for corruption and gross mismanagement. The irony is unmistakable: here is a young educated lawyer, sincere and resolute, competing against the might of mainstream political parties. Make no mistake however; Mohammad Jibran Nasir is the future of this country, as are the millions of young people struggling for a decent education, a suitable job and more importantly, a sense of dignity. Give him one chance.
It might be a losing cause; and even before the battle has commenced the inevitable stares in the face. The opposing candidates are well established and have the backing of their respective parties. So why does Jibran continue to struggle, why do I wrote these words, and why do you, the reader, bear with us? They say that this country shall not change, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. But this is change, at the grassroots level; more than anything else, Jibran Nisar embodies the Naya Pakistan that political opportunists ramble about in their rallies, a young, vibrant Pakistan driven by its youth bulge. He is the change.
The system is essentially broken; the roads are littered with garbage, there are children begging on the streets, the schools and the hospitals are defunct, there is widespread illiteracy and extremism is on the rise. How much does your vote count then? Why should you bother to cast your vote come Election Day? The point is; it does. Every single vote does count. As individuals, we bear a collective responsibility. Our destiny lies in our own hands, even as we remain terribly oblivious of this. The youth stands as our future.
On Election Day, it is my request to everyone-in particular, the youth of NA-250- to vote for Jibran. Let us collectively upset the big heavy-weights this time, defy the system for once. Let us show the political parties that the people of Pakistan are in control of their destiny. Let us rise from our collective stupor and build a Naya Pakistan.