With the tenure of the incumbent government nearing its end the political temperature in the country is rising. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and most of the other parties including the incumbent party is gearing up for the election season. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz is expected to go into election mode with some certainty as the fate of its disqualified Quaid for life, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is still unclear, with cases against him nearing conclusion in the Accountability Court. The party has so far, built its narrative around the slogan ‘give respect to vote’, the party is expected to focus its campaign around this slogan even if the worst happens and Nawaz Sharif is not able to participate in the election campaign. The party will also focus on highlighting the development work it has undertaken, particularly in Lahore. However, what is interesting to see is how this ‘respect for vote’ narrative will appeal to the masses when many in the party itself are not convinced by it. The prominent among them being Punjab Chief Minister and party President Shehbaz Sharif and the former interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
The Pakistan People’s Party signaled the start of its election campaign by holding a rally in Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) stronghold Liaqatabad. The party will look to gain advantage of the political demise of MQM and gain a stronger position in Sindh. However, the party faced multiple challenges and my find it hard to achieve much outside of Sindh. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has also signaled its intent, unfolding an 11-point agenda to turn the country into ‘Naya Pakistan’, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan told a rally at the iconic Minar-i-Pakistan on Sunday evening that elimination of corruption, self-reliance, health and education are top priorities of his party. The party’s show of power in Lahore has largely been termed successful; the party is on a high since the ouster of Nawaz Sharif and was given another boost by the recent ouster of Khawaja Asif. The party has also bene successful in attracting senior politicians from other parties to join its ranks, and that exodus from other parties might intensify in the coming days.
With tenure of incumbent government nearing its end, parties have switched attention towards general elections.