Omair struggles to go for intuition over logic. 

It is that time of the five-year cycle when you have to become a responsible citizen and use your ‘right to vote’ for what you consider as ‘right’. The by-elections in all parts of the country are to take place in less than a fortnight’s time but considering that ‘our people seldom learn’ the result can be expected to be in favor of the party that is in power.

But what if I decide not to vote with my brain this time, and go for the party that my heart supports? That’s when I would go for Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam and vote for Cycle because for 5 years, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi managed the province like a banday da puttar rather than a khadim e aala. He didn’t keep all the portfolios in his pocket like the school monitor who takes control of everything that happens in the class, rather than distributing duties amongst worthy candidates. My heart tells me that I should vote for him, but my brain isn’t so sure. It says that since his son Moonis Elahi is known for his corruption scandals, I should reconsider.

How about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf? The party has parhay likhay people in its ranks, right from Chairman Imran Khan to the youngsters who follow their leader blindly. Here is a sincere person who would do anything for the good of the country. He has done loads of social work for this nation and deserves a chance to serve the people – this time in the government. That’s what my heart tells me. The brain says that Imran has failed to control his own Chief Minister in KP, displayed a less than satisfactory grasp of the law and order situation in the province and has openly associated himself and the party with “bad eggs” with fake degrees. I should vote for someone else.

Pakistan People’s Party; now that’s one party that has been around for quite some time. My heart says that I should go for them and help them stage a comeback and hope that this time they will serve the people like they always promise to do. Their government was targeted for being incompetent but the current government is as bad if not worse, so that makes them somewhat better. They may not repeat the same mistakes again. But the brain says that the party is as good as dead, and after Asif Zardari leaves the Presidency, PPP will be relegated to a provincial powerhouse rather than a national party! Their tales of corruption will come to light after Mamnoon Hussain is installed as President because without immunity, Asif Zardari is nothing but the common criminal he always was.

Now what are the options if not any of the above … Muttahida Qaumi Movement is a party that has strong grass-root connections. They can solve your problems within minutes and my heart tells me that I should vote for them as they could be my savior, the knight in shining armor. But the brain has other ideas. It tells me that the party is only limited to Karachi and Hyderabad, has militant wings and is also known to collect protection money from its voters. No sir, I would rather not vote, than vote for them.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz seems the most logical choice at the moment since they are in power, have been given a heavy mandate by the people, and my heart tells me, are here to stay till 2018. But my brain tells me that Nawaz Sharif is the most unimpressive of leaders and has the dodgy task of selecting the new Chief of Army Staff and Chief Justice of Pakistan ahead of him. Two decisions that he has gotten wrong in the past and cost him his government. In the past, it was an Army Chief he appointed (General Pervez Musharraf) that brought down his government in 1999, and it was the Supreme Court he attacked in 1997, a fact that still haunts him despite his being instrumental in restoration of the present judiciary.

My heart says that all of these parties have a case to be given a chance, whereas my brain says that none of them deserves my vote. An Army backed politician, like retired General Pervez Musharraf, remains the only answer to my dilemma, but right now he is under custody for crimes against his countrymen. Time is running out and I hope that my heart and brain fight out this battle and come out with a logical solution for my problem that I do not regret for the next 5 years.


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