Asia

Pakistan election views: 'Time for change'

Voters in Pakistan went to the polls in general and provincial elections on 11 May. It will mark the first ever transition from one elected civilian government to another.

Former cricketer Imran Khan and his Movement for Justice party poses a new challenge to the two old adversaries of Pakistani politics - the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), led by Nawaz Sharif, and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of President Asif Ali Zardari.

In the run-up to election day, people across Pakistan discussed the issues that mattered to them most.

Sumaira Khalid, 25, pharmacist, Karachi

Image caption Sumaira Khalid: Revolution is taking place in Pakistan

It's time to vote for change. We've put up with poverty, corruption and terrorism for too long! I live in the centre of the largest metropolis of the country and I witness despondency and fear among people every day.

Bomb blasts have become a daily occurrence here and many people will be careful when going out to vote. I think that will affect the general turnout.

I will vote for Imran Khan. The old political parties have become exhausted and they lack the vision to give the country that boost.

There is a revolution taking place in Pakistan today and we young people want to be part of it.

I just hope the army will be deployed on election day to prevent terrorist attacks and keep us all safe.

Waseem Raja Awan, 40, businessman, Lahore

Image caption Wazeem Raja Awan: PML-N has the best plan

The urban community is widely supporting Imran Khan. When I ask them why, I get an emotional response. It's clear that his charisma attracts them. But when you ask them how he can make things better, they don't have an answer.

We need practical policies on the problems we face. And although our problems are complicated and big, there is a solution for everything.

I believe the PML-N has the best plan to improve the economic situation. They are also much better placed than any other party to solve the terrorism problem. They don't support action against the Taliban and the Taliban have been shown to be soft towards them.

That and foreign troops leaving Afghanistan in 2014 would leave the Taliban with no excuse to fight.

Bushra Gulam Mustafa, 19, student, Gujrat

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Media captionBushra Gulam Mustafa: "We have four hours of electricity a day"

Taimoor Salman, 26, medical doctor, Lahore

There is an acute sense of desperation and frustration right now.

There is an increasing desire to vote for change.

Image caption Taimoor Salman: The energy crisis is a most pressing complaint

One of the most pressing complaints of a vast majority of Pakistanis is without a doubt the energy crisis. It is a problem that has had severe repercussions on the economy and people for a ridiculous amount of time.

It is widely known that many political figures have private connections to the national grid and do not experience any issues.

Out of all the political manifestos presented the strongest, most systematic and most promising, especially in the industrial and energy sector is that of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Its candidate Asad Umar seems to be the man of the hour.

Iftikhar Ahmed and Raja Tauqeer, Punjab

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Media captionRaja Tauqeer: "We've always belonged to the People's Party, we will live and die for the People's Party"

Hasan Javed, 23, unemployed, Lahore

Image caption Hasan Javed: "I can only trust a person with experience in running the state in difficult times"

We have many and serious problems. Lack of electricity tops the list at the moment.

We have no electricity for 12 - 16 hours a day and the government has done nothing to solve the problem.

Then there's unemployment and bad security throughout the country.

There'll be no easy solution to these problems and because of that I can only trust a person with experience in running the state in difficult times.

I am a supporter of [Punjab Governor] Shahbaz Sharif [the brother of Nawaz Sharif] - he has governed well in the past five years and and he will continue to do so, given the opportunity.

I don't think Imran Khan is offering an opportunity for change. His candidates have been taken from other parties and they all come from families with political background.

Waqar Ahmed Sethar, 33, registrar, Hyderabad

The biggest problem for Pakistan is religious extremism and the threat to democracy.

Where I live in Sindh, we are also worried about losing our cultural identity and because of that I am going to vote for the Sindh Progressive Party.

The PPP didn't make life better for ordinary Pakistani people. All they were interested in was pleasing Western powers and protecting the interests of feudal lords.

It is important for us that the next government ensures the equal distribution of resources to the provinces, where there is a lot of deprivation.

But first of all, it must curb the menace of extremism, especially in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Ali Bakhsh, Hazara Town, Quetta

Most of the [mostly Shia] Hazara minorities are going to vote for the People's Party to secure safe and peaceful future for all ethnic groups.

Thanks to the PPP changes were made in the constitution which stopped the military from taking power.

We, the Hazaras of Pakistan, feel that because the founder of the PPP is a Shia Muslim, the party will uphold the rights of Shias.

The PPP supports the poor in Pakistan. For instance, they have been giving a 1,000 rupees ($10/£6.50) to poor families as part of a donation scheme.

They have promised to increase this to 2,000 rupees a month if they win the elections. They have also promised to improve employment.

Interviews by Krassimira Twigg and Tahir Qadiry