Elections are a fundamental pre-requisite for democracy. They play a significant role in nation building as everybody has one equally counted vote regardless of gender, caste, age, tribe and minority etc. For an effective functioning democracy, however, the role of citizens is not just limited to voting; they need to engage fully in the electoral processes through their conversion from potential voters to active democratic participants.
As a developing democracy, Pakistan has quite a voyage ahead of it in terms of effective participation of all its citizens in the electoral processes. From voter registration, education and mobilising of potential voters to provide all with a level playing field to represent their communities and get an access to power structures and participation in decision-making through a system of free, fair and credible elections are all goals towards which constant commitment and action is required. While problems exist in providing level playing field to all citizens to participate effectively in electoral processes, these become acute in the case of marginalized groups such as women and minorities as well as youth which is largely under-represented in electoral processes.