LAHORE (Staff Report): A five-day symposium on 50-year electoral history of Pakistan concluded here at the University of Management and Technology (UMT) Lahore. Researchers, faculty members and the students from a good number of the universities across the country participated in the symposium, which was a joint venture by Gallup Pakistan, University of Management and Technology, Lahore and the University of Gujarat.
The purpose of the symposium was to foster research in the country’s electoral system and the history beginning from 1970 to 2018, ponder over voter behavior, election culture, voter turnout, manifestos of the political parties, overall political narratives, election campaigns and discover the factors that could pave way for stronger democracy in the country.
Addressing the concluding session, Chairman UMT Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad said that Pakistan was going through a new culture of democracy where enthusiasm and passion in the young generation regarding elections and election campaigns was gaining momentum. He said universities were nurseries for producing future leaders and preparing them for upcoming challenges.
Dr. Murad said UMT together with Gallup Pakistan would soon introduce a degree program in politics, elections and democracy that would aim at educating the potential leadership so that they no more travel abroad to seek the knowledge in this field. He further said that the curriculum on the key subjects of elections, political parties and democracy was under preparation in order to offer admissions after getting the accreditation process.
Chairman Gallup Pakistan, Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani said that there was dire need for encouraging the university graduates to study politics, elections and democracy and take keen interest in bridging gap of the competent political analysts, experts of elections and electoral history so that dependence on foreign organizations could be minimized. He said Gallup Pakistan had long ago started the training of prospective individuals to gain command on the subject and serve the media and civil society.
Veteran journalist Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami also addressed the symposium. He urged on introducing reforms in election procedure and making sure that no any elections become controversial and rigged. He appreciated that prestigious universities like UMT were taking initiatives regarding elections and democracy and were creating awareness among the young students and motivating them to learn the whole electoral process and master it up.
At the end, Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad gave away certificates among the participants who successfully completed the training session. Souvenirs were also given away among the guest speakers.