Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

For many of us – including myself – who have spent the last few months hoping with all our heart the election results have proven to be a blow that has left us gasping for air. It is not that we expected to completely oust PML (N) from Punjab, but we all hoped for a firm foothold in Lahore. Lahore undoubtedly is  the proxy for the rest of the Punjab – where Lahore inclines the rest of Punjab does too, but the preferences of Lahore take some time trickling down to the rest of Punjab. I feel PML (N) were well aware of this important fact. I firmly believe that there was fowl play when it comes to Lahore, and the preponderance of evidence should leave no doubt in our minds. PTI was strong in Lahore in the early stages of these elections, until PML(N) started getting a firm hold over the rest of Punjab. I am not sure how this was achieved, but once their dominance in Punjab was established, and they emerged as the party that was going to form the government, some levers in the electoral system started moving. The results from all areas of Lahore where PTI was strong were withheld for hours, and whereas early reports showed PTI representatives way ahead, the final results reported their defeat.

Many have been very quick to brand PTI supporters as sore losers when these supporters have questioned the results from Lahore. I feel that it is a very unfair allegation, PTI supporters have been gracious in admitting their defeat in most of Punjab, but they have refused to accept the defeat in Lahore, and rightly so.

So how do we deal with this?

I myself have been very depressed about the results from my beloved city. In moments of doubt I fall prey to believing the results, and on such moments, a feeling of anger, directed towards the inhabitants of this city, surges through my being, and I feel like cursing them for choosing a party that has given us nothing in the past. Such moments pass, and sanity prevails -this corrupt party started exerting its influence as soon as its imminent power was registered in the minds of those who saw themselves at this party’s mercy after these elections. These people who realized their own vulnerability were the first to dance to the will of their new masters. This thought is sobering, and for me it highlights the challenges that we face in changing this country. The challenges are difficult but not insurmountable, they will test our will and commitment, and we must show patience.

IK has given 17 years to this country, what have we given? After all many of us took active part in the politics of this country for the first time in our life. I am not belittling our efforts, unlike most of our critics who like to ridicule our ‘virtual’ participation, I feel that what we have invested in these elections is more valuable than many give us credit for. We have invested our emotions into PTI, and for the right reasons. I want to remind myself that this is the first real challenge we have faced, the many first time political participants; what did we expect? A red carpet rolled in front of us for gracing the political struggles of this country our time?

We should all try and transform into the Pakistanis our imagined Utopian Naya Pakistan will inhabit – responsible, patient, honest individuals, working towards the improvement of our country even when their leader is not in power. There is one thing we should all learn from our Kaptaan – never ever give up!! No matter what happened he kept on moving forward, and at great personal loss. We only have our bruised emotions to nurse, so let us all register this unfair loss, and keep on moving forward with the belief that change has come, its fruits will come too!

We see PML (N) win as a success, but many are brought down by God with successes. We see our loss as a loss, yet many are elevated by God through failure. Coming into power will be a gift from God for our personal transformation, it was never the object of our struggle.

Only Allah gives success! When we truly deserve it!

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