From the day when political parties started their campaigns, terrorist groups left no stone unturned to deter them. The right wing parties were the main victims of these activities. According to the reports, published in different newspapers, since April 21, more than 20 attacks were carried out on political rallies, meetings and offices causing huge devastation and loss of human life. This is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the electoral process across the country and to shut the liberal voices in politics in Pakistan.

The three major parties, PPP, MQM and ANP, which are more exposed to these threats held a combined press conference on April 29. This conference is evidence that democracy is unshakeable in our country. It was vowed in this press conference that no party will withdraw from the upcoming elections. They supported the timely elections according to the schedule issued by ECP. Similarly they showed their determination to stay and fight.

This is a new beginning because these parties have shown extraordinary courage for the sake of democracy. Although they are facing danger to person and property they are determined. In the same press conference, representative of parties criticized ECP and law enforcing agencies for not providing proper security to their candidates and during the rallies. On the other hand ECP has asserted time and again that security of the candidates during the elections will be ensured in any case. But the reality is that it is a war of different mindsets, which we can win by bringing unity among us. We need to show that we want democracy in our country. We can give an appropriate blow to these groups by casting our vote on May 11. Indeed this will be a true victory for democracy.

After 9/11, terrorism destroyed our daily life and intruded into our homes, businesses and our schools. Terrorist outfits are using fear as a weapon. Now our nation is going to have these momentous elections, these groups have come forward to deter them. We need to stand firmly against these vested interest groups to carry on the process of democracy. This is the need of the hour to support electoral process, to keep the flag of democracy flying high in our country. Unity is the only weapon to fight against these activities. We need harmony within our own lines to defeat the enemies of democracy and Pakistan.

MALIK MUHAMMAD USMAN ALI,

Sargodha, May 1.