Preparation of Various Parties for Upcoming General Elections 2018
Abdul Rahman Malik
The Existing Circumstances are not conducive for any party as most of the mainstream parties are in disarray.There seems to be no party that may be prepared to contest the upcoming Elections of 2018 with thumping majority.
Even the ruling Party Pakistan Muslim league (N) has been in disarray and disintegration after the sudden disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers Case and Hudaibia papers reference. He was disqualified after the Joint Investigation Report Submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The National Accountability Bureau was directed to file references against Ex-PM Nawaz and His Two sons Hassan & Husain Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz and His Son in law Captain Retired Safdar and Current Finance Minister Ishaq Dar -The Father in the law of Nawaz’s Daughter. The Nab Court was tasked to decide the Case in 6 months and announce Sentence under said Rules.
In this connection, the Nab Court served Notices to PM Nawaz, his Two sons, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, His Son in law Captain Safdar and Ishaque Dar the Finance Minister in the Both Cabinets of Former PM Nawaz Sharif and Current PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The First Notices did not comply and none appeared before the court to prove their Innocence. after Serving the notices Twice, NAB Court convicted the Hassan, Husain, Maryam, Captain Safdar and Nawaz Sharif.
Due to defiance of notices, Court had Issued Non-bailable warrants of Nawaz Sharif’s Children and captain Safdar was arrested at the airport by the Nab authorities and later he was released on bail. Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif appeared in the Nab court and left for the UK where his Wife Kulsoom was operated for Throat Cancer. According to his party Sources, he Will return to Pakistan in January next year. He has decided not to face the trial after conviction. Ex PM’s Daughter and His Son in law are facing Trial of Panama Papers and Mayfair Flats Issue. The PML (N) also seems to be disintegrated as there have been several intra Party differences especially the question of next party chief as Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif cannot become the party chief after disqualification by Supreme Court in Panama Papers case.
In addition, the Senate has also passed a resolution against its own of. to stop the doors for the disqualified Person to head the political party as earlier the Ruling party had been successful to get the bill passed in Senate to pave the way for Nawaz to head the party. There are also family differences between two brothers i.e Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif as well. Nawaz wants his daughter to head the party whereas some want Shahbaz as Party chief such a situation has further confused Sharif Family. Furthermore, The arrest of Sharjeel Memon of PPP in 6 billion corruption case by NAB, has further affected the Pakistan People’s Party popularity among the people of Sindh as it has raised the eyebrows of the PPP MNAs and MPAs to change their loyalties and get themselves as the Corruption of billions of rupees unfolds. The arrest has also sent shock waves to the PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the matter and get efforts to get him released from the NAB.
PPP has been giving the impression that they have been targeted as NAB is aggressive Towards PPP and Flexible towards Nawaz Sharif and His family members. To some extentappeared in their opinion may have weight age as you all know that Nawaz and his family have been left for with Accountability court proceedings even Nawaz Sharif himself absconding from the Trial proceedings against him and his family. PPP’s state of affairs is further aggravated by Agha Siraj Durrani The Speaker Sindh Assembly who had insulted the Vote in a public gathering sparking a wave of protest against him through Social Media, Electronic and Print Media. People Expressed their anger strongly and condemned his remarks for the sanctity of Vote and its importance. People went to say that PPP has devalued their Vote mandate and they may face challenges in Upcoming Election of 2018 and when they reach out to the people again and seek votes for the candidates.
Even Party’s Co-Chairman Asif Zardari, His Sister Faryal Talpur, and Awais Muzaffar Tappi are also facing corruption charges and soon may be booked for the cases pending against them especially the misappropriation in Development funds, awarding contracts to Bahria Town and selling Properties of millions , China cutting issues , Sale of Jobs and other cases. These high profile figures may soon be in the grip of NAB given to their cases sensitivity. Thirdly, The Division of MQM into two factions i.e. MQM London and MQM Pakistan has further widened the political vacuum of urban politics as earlier MQM was the major party having urban mandate specially from Karachi and Hyderabad. The Division was caused by Altaf Husain’ Hate speech against Armed Forces and connections with Indian agency Raw which prompted action against the party’s working and the Rangers commandos Raided the MQM Headquarters situated at 90 and arrested several most wanted criminals and seized a large number of sophisticated weapons bullets and other explosive material. The Rangers had also demolished MQM offices and the encroached land was evacuated with help of Rangers.
After such major offensive, MQM Pakistan was born headed by Dr Farooque Sattar. He reconstituted the Coordination Committee to escape action from Rangers. The Division of MQM into Two factions i.e. London and Pakistan created disarray among the party and the old Party workers and candidates were divided some went in support of MQM London and Some supported the MQM Pakistan under new leadership i.e. Dr Farooque Sattar. The Division also created Space for Rebellious candidates to found a new party.
The Ex-Mayor of Karachi Mustafa Kamal intro Pakistan after self-exile and Established his own party namely Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and contacted the old companions of MQM to join the new party as MQM was under the influence of Altaf Hussain. Many Notable figures joined the PSP including Anis Kaimkhani, Raza Haroon, Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Waseem Aftab, Anees Khan advocateAfkhar Randhawa, Bilquis Mukhtar and Hundreds of MQM workers joined the New Party.
The PSP has been termed as fastest growing New Party with many well known and veteran politicians are joining the party prior to Next General Elections of 2018. Although, the PSP has not fielded any Candidate for either seat of Provincial Seats or National Assembly Seats as it has been newly established party but experts and political pundits are of the view that in Upcoming Ele-ctions it may have more seats from urban Population of Karachi and Hyderabad and May give a tough time to MQM Pakistan. The PSP is organizing its District Base throughout the Province of Sindh in order to get support from Interior Sindh. The PSP has also organized biggest Public gatherings in big cities such as Karachi and Hyder-abad and attracted huge number people. The party may take time to get deeply rooted in mainstream politics.
In this whole Process, the PTI seems to be well ahead of all other parties and considered the hot favourite for the upcoming General Elections of 2018, given its current pace and people friendly approach. It is the only Party that unfolded the PPP-PML (N) Nexus of political turns through a traditional term “Muk Muka” to deceive the people. PTI exposed the corruption of both parties and Staged sit in and carried out long March against the alleged Rigging in the Elections of 2013 in Punjab and how PTI’s mandate law of. Jamaat Islami is also one of the moderate Islamic Parties which may influence the future Elections of 2018 as its Ameer Mr Siraj Haq has reinvigorated the party as it was in the times of Qazi Hussain Ahmed. Currently, PTI and JI have a coalition Government in KPK.
The efforts are underway by the religious parties to revive the MMA by uniting on the single platform and making the alliance of religious Parties to contest and field the joint and consensus candidates in General Elections of 2018. In case, MMA is revived then JI may part ways from PTI but if MMA was not revived, then these two parties may remake their alliance in KP, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan to get maximum seats to form the Central and Provincial Governments.
As PPP has lost its vote bank in Punjab, KP, Baluchistan and PTI have been 2nd biggest Party in Punjab and leading party in KP in the last Election of 2013. Even PTI has won the NA -04 Seat recently. PTI has been pursuing the expansion policy and they have the presence in all the four provinces including A-zad Kashmir. They have got good well-known political fi-gures and some are the Vete-ran PPP and PML -N stalwa-rts and their lookout are still on. According to their party plan, they want to contest every seat in every province of Pakistan -be it Provincial Assembly or National Assembly or Senate.
The Smaller parties such as JUI, ANP, PML Q and PML (F) etc are not in position to clean sweep the election but they may get their seats wherever these have influenced such as JUI in KPK and convicted the ANP in KPK and Karachi, PML (Q) in Punjab and the PML (F) in Sindh. These Parties will join the coalition of such party that will get the clear majority to form the Government as in Past it is evident from their alliances Especially, MQM, JUI and PML (F) intend to be the part of Govt either at provincial Level or in Central Government.
Although, JUI is a Religious party, yet it has remained coalition partner with PPP and currently in PML (N) led Govt. Similarly, MQM has remained the coalition partner with PPP. Hence, after a detailed analysis, we have found that PML(N) has been baffled by NAB references, PPP has not organized itself in Punjab, Parties are KP, Baluchistan. PPP may take seats in Sindh especially the areas where it has more influence at home constituencies where PPP backed candidates have been winning for many years such as Larkana, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Dadu, Nawabshah etc.
In this context, PTI is well prepared to sweep the upcoming General Elections as the ground is empty and PTI has to work out on a rigorous Plan to get the majority to form the government. PTI has upper hand in existing circumstances unless there is any possible deal between the PPP and PML (N) as these two parties are well known to have such secret deals to put dust in the eyes of People as we have seen the friendly opposition in the current government.
PTI should have strong candidates specially in Sindh to provide oppressed people of Sindh with an option to get rid of corrupt PPP that has played with their fortune and swallowed their development budget and even insulted the Votes given by the people of Sindh on basis of votes, they were put in power but in return they have given the dusty and bumpy roads, sewage-filled cities and flooded streets. There is no name of Merit and Jobs are sold like hot cakes in millions of rupees. In Sindh, to Succeed PTI has to approach the Feudal, landlords Tribal chieftains and Sayeds who make up of 90 percent of MPAs in Sindh along with Minorities. Only, non-corrupt people may be included in the party.
Finally, it all depends upon the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold free, fair and transparent election by Implementing Electronic Voting machines and Biometric Machines to League the chances of rigging and bogus voting. The Army may be deployed in and outside the polling stations so that law and order situation may be improved. The Polling stations may be linked through GIS system so that polling locations may track through GPS. The upcoming Govern-ment will have to address the issue of Load shedding if left unresolved by current regime Economy, IMF loan Rep-ayments, Terrorism Issue, Governance, Education and Health Sector Improvement and More Importantly to dev-ise an effective foreign Policy of Pakistan on basis equality where the nation may not be forced to do more despite doing enough and having rendered unlimited sacrifices in fighting Terrorism.