The 2013 elections are seen as a key moment in Pakistan's attempt to shake off decades of military rule, representing the first time a democratically elected civilian government has completed a term in office.
So, from illuminated cricket bats to a colorful camel parade, Pakistan's election candidates have been amazingly creative in their bids to lure voters for the May 11 general election.
As the election campaign spanning over three tumultuous weeks came to an end on Thursday midnight, here we have compiled some important roles, incidents, events and changes that took place during this period in Pakistan.
And we’ll start with Pakistan’s Khan – Imran Khan:
PTI leader, Imran Khan tumbled spectacularly off a mechanical lift at an election rally this week and got pretty injured. Within minutes not only the news but the reaction from his followers to his opponents and friends was all over the internet.
With Khan’s fall, a frenzy of media coverage erupted.
Khan has predicted a "tsunami" of support for his party in Saturday's general election as voters, particularly urban youth, turn against the traditional grandees of Pakistani politics after years of misrule and corruption.
PML-N’s White Tiger’s Death Rumors Sparked Outrage:
Rumors of the death of PML-N’s election symbol because of heat and dehydration, created a huge uproar in the country. Almost every channel reported the death of the rare white tiger named Sandy, used by PML-N during its campaigning.
The rumors sparked outrage with animal rights activists calling for the registration of the case against PML-N leaders.
Later BBC confirmed that the tiger is alive; in fact it is in good health.
Musharraf’s Return To Pakistan:
Former President Musharraf was openheartedly greeted and welcomed by his supporters and followers when he came back to Pakistan.
He returned to Pakistan last month to try to stage a return to public life by running for a National Assembly seat in a May 11 parliamentary election, but election officers disqualified him.
Instead of triggering a hoped-for groundswell of popular support, Musharraf became the first former army chief to be arrested in Pakistan when police took him into custody at their headquarters.
PPP’s Negligible Election Campaigning:
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Bhutto brand no longer campaigns when it comes to elections. Probably the unemployment, load-shedding and inflation have lowered down the zeal of all but the most diehard supporters of Bhutto. The reason of no campaigning is explained by the party leaders as, security risks. This is nothing ordinary! There have been speculations on various media outlets that PPP’s patron and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and son of Asif Ali Zardari is at odds with his father and therefore no campaigning is taking place.
A passionate speech Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was given on 23rd of April which also generated a lot of reaction from Pakistani people.
Finally seen the Bilawal Bhutto campaign video. Honestly baffled why any1 thought it could be taken seriously,as its really quite abysmal...— La Haq (@LaHaq) April 24, 2013
Bilawal Bhutto said arrow is our destiny, arrow is our benazir and just like benazir their destiny is dead.— Mr. GM (@MrGreenMemes) May 9, 2013
Terror And Bloodshed During Election Campaigning:
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this has been the bloodiest election campaining period ever in the history. A lot of bloodshed was observed in the country, especially in Karachi city and Quetta.
Various election offices of different political parties were targeted and many workers and common people have lost their lives in these dreadful blasts.
Since April, the al Qaeda linked Pakistani Taliban have killed more than 100 people in attacks on candidates and rallies in a bid to undermine elections they regard as un-Islamic.
Former PM’s Gilani’s Son Abducted:
Gunmen in Pakistan further disrupt elections by kidnappingthe son of former PM Yusuf Raza Gilani, killing two of his entourage in the process.
Ali Haider Gilani was heading to a small political gathering when he was abducted, just two days before Election Day. His secretary and guard were shot dead in the incident which took place in Multan.
Yusuf Raza Gilani, the country's former prime minister called for restraint after his son Haider's abduction. He also says the incident should not deter people from voting.
Transgender Register As Election Candidates:
Even among the colorful cast of mullahs, laborers and idealists standing in Pakistan's elections this Saturday, Bindia Rana and Almas Bobby stand out.
They and a handful of others are the first of Pakistan's transgender "hijra" community - which includes transsexuals, transvestites and others - to register as candidates.
Veeru Kohli – Laborer To Election Hopeful:
Veeru Kohli was born to a landless Hari and was later married off to a family bonded to their landlord.
Veeru bravely managed to escape along with her relatives and is now surprisingly running for provincial assembly seat PS-50 in Hyderabad.
Role of Youth:
For the first time ever the youth of Pakistan is actively participating in the elections. They are people who have grown up seeing corruption, inflation, and bloodshed.
Youm-i-Azm-i-Naya Pakistan! At Aiwan i Iqbal this morning! Salute to r nation Pakistan! Youth looks to PTI with hope! twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI/s…— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 5, 2013
Youth of Pakistan is hopeful and is now looking for a change. They don’t want to remain in the vicious cycle anymore!
Role of Celebrities:
Celebrities this time are wholeheartedly supporting the candidates. You see them in rallies out with youth and party workers cheering and campaigning for the respective hopeful candidates.
I'm shooting the video for my song "Anghoota Chaley Ga" for Telenor djuice with Saqib Malik for the upcoming election twitter.com/ShehzadRoy/sta…— Shehzad Roy (@ShehzadRoy) April 26, 2013
Share this as much as can. twitter.com/AliZafarsays/s…— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) May 8, 2013
The entire Pakistani nation is hopeful for a change this time. May 11 general elections are now going to decide the fate of the country.
Best of luck Pakistan!