Global Politics

Pakistanis question going to the polls

These people are lined up to buy subsidized flour. Many have been waiting a long time. This woman is waiting to feed her 10 children and she is fed up. She says prices are out of control, her village has no clean drinking water, and the elections aren't going to change that so she's not going to bother to vote. That's a common sentiment among Pakistan's poor and even the not-so poor. Many in Buttho's party have picked up on this disaffection and are promising to do more to help those left behind, but those people are skeptical. This man speaks five languages and went to school until he had to drop out to take care of his sick father and now works as a driver. He says he dreams of a better life but it's hard to get a leg up in an economy which favors feudal elite. He says he's not voting in Monday's election. The Pakistan economy has grown at an average rate of 6.5% for the past five years. For much of his term, President Musharraf was championed as a friend of business interests and economic growth. But these days even some of the business community is getting fed up with sporadic electricity and other problems. This analyst says the electricity problem and the flour problem are man-made problems. The people most affected are Pakistan's poor. About a quarter of the population lives on about 50 cents a day, about what a family in this dirt poor fishing village spends on clean drinking water. Their main concern is getting out of poverty.

Comments