Open Letter to Pakistani voters

I’m going to list this in bullet points rather than prose form because I don’t want to forgo my rationality in favor of digression.

  • I’m so, so happy about the fact that people are promoting the importance of voting. Especially in a country like Pakistan, we need people who will actually vote, if only to remind the government – and the world – that the people of Pakistan have autonomy over their own choices
  • …and that is where my own concerns lie. That Pakistani voters will exchange their autonomy in favor of displacing responsibility to the next government
  • I’m as hopeful about Imran Khan as the next desperate Pakistani – but I’m also beyond nervous
  • I do not want people to vote, pull him into office and then sink back into complacency because “Haan, haan, Imran Khan ka hi tau Naya Pakistan hai!”
  • Even after we vote and no matter what the result, we canNOT afford to sit back and watch the shit storm unfold because, well, we did our part so whatever
  • REAL supporters of change (and I will not cite PTI or Imran Khan here because the instruments of change are of little concern right at this moment) will stay on their toes and watch the procession with a careful, cautious eye, ready to act at a moment’s notice
  • We want a revolution in Pakistan but we have to be the people who perpetuate this revolution, through our words, acts, moments of solidarity and constant, unwavering support
  • Pakistanis cannot afford to fall back on armchair politics. That’s what we have been doing for a long time now. Don’t support Imran Khan under the guise of change if you yourself aren’t willing to do anything.
  • And please, for the love of God, do not relegate yourself into blind hope. We as a nation know better than to blindly follow the first white butterfly we see!
  • I will not besmirch this wake up call by calling myself a PTI-supporter, because I refuse to fall into the rhetoric of displacing responsibility.
  • I can’t vote here in Dubai. But that doesn’t mean I won’t play my part. And I expect the Pakistani people to do the same – and to keep it up even after voting.

This is not meant to be an anti-PTI or pro-PTI partisan statement. This is a wake-up call from a concerned “overseas Pakistan.” I’ve watched the proceedings from here and I am worried but I am nonetheless hopeful.

Don’t let me down, Pakistan. Do not let yourself down. Don’t fall into the age-old trap of politics and complacency because that’s what they want from us. Don’t give them what they want. It’s not Imran Khan ka Naya Pakistan, it’s HAMARA Naya Pakistan. Do NOT think otherwise.


Neiha Lasharie.

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