Election fever grips Pakistan’s political landscape

The general elections in Pakistan are scheduled for February 8 this year….reports Asian Lite News

Several leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) conducted massive rallies in two major cities in Pakistan on January 28. These rallies were organised by the political party against the backdrop of the upcoming general elections scheduled for February 8 this year, ARY News reported.

One of these rallies were at the Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi. Prominent PPP leaders like Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Sherry Rehman, Nayyar Bukhari, and former foreign minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be present to address the public.

In addition to this, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, another leader of the PPP, will visit areas near Lyari in Karachi. Lyari has been the party’s stronghold and both of these rallies are being organised to boost the election campaign, according to ARY News.

At Lyari, Aseefa would probably address the public and party supporters at Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Road, Aath Chowk and Ghas Mandi Chowk, boosting the campaign of PPP leader Nabil Gabol, who is the contesting candidate of the party in the area.

In addition to Aseefa’s political address, Asim Hussain, Masroor Ahsan, Raza Haroon, Anees Advocate and the former president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, will address the public in these rallies organised by the PPP in Karachi.

Similar to the PPP, the PML-N is all set to hold a public rally in Pakistan’s Sialkot district, where former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will address the public.

Previously, the former foreign minister blamed the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) for imposing their politics on Pakistan, giving it the adjective “politics of hatred and division.”

According to ARY News, while addressing a public gathering in Peshawar, Bhutto Zardari lambasted PPP political opponents and called them reluctant to organise political campaigns.

The former minister also added that turning political differences into personal enmity damaged the country’s economy and future generations. “Traditional politicians want to push the country back into 90s’ politics,” he regretted, noting that he wanted to bring Pakistan into 2024, ARY News reported.

90,675 polling stations

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has released complete polling schemes for the upcoming February 8 general elections as per which a total of 90,675 polling stations would be established across the country, ARY News reported.

Data released by the ECP shows that 25,320 polling stations are designated for men while 23,952 are for women. The ECP said that 41,403 joint polling stations would also be established for both men and women.

The electoral body said that the number of polling stations i.e., 50,944 are to be established in Punjab while Sindh will have 19,006 polling stations, according to ARY News.

Similarly, 15,697 polling stations would be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 5,028 in Balochistan.

The ECP earlier on Saturday said that it has “successfully” conducted a mock exercise of the Election Management System (EMS) on an experimental basis, yielding useful and encouraging results.

ECP spokesperson in a statement pointed out that presiding officers, on the whole, managed to deliver results satisfactorily.

However, connectivity challenges at certain points during the exercise caused minor issues in transmitting results to some presiding officers. “These challenges are being promptly addressed,” the spokesperson added, as per ARY News. (ANI)

PTI Chairman unveils party’s election manifesto

With less than two weeks until the February 8 general elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Barrister Gohar Khan launched the party’s election manifesto on Sunday, promising social and constitutional improvements, according to Dawn.

The manifesto was released while the party conducted electoral campaigns around the country, claiming that authorities were blocking party-backed candidates from doing so.

At a news conference in Islamabad, Gohar stated that the PTI’s manifesto was named ‘Shandaar Pakistan, Shandaar Mustaqbil aur Kharaab Maazi sey chutkara’. He stated that the party leaders who created the paper were unable to attend the news conference for fear of being detained, Dawn reported.

Speaking about the manifesto, the PTI leader vowed to organise a truth and reconciliation commission to address the injustices that the ordinary man faces.

He stated that the party has always highlighted the importance of the rule of law in the country and treating all citizens fairly.

“We cannot have two laws, one for the rich and one for the poor. As a barrister, I would say that the rule of law is fundamental for every country,” he said.

He also stated that the party will implement constitutional revisions.

“One of the reforms would be that the prime minister will directly be selected by the people,” Barrister Gohar said, and added that “We will decrease the National Assembly’s tenure to four years, bring the Senate tenure to five years and will directly elect 50 per cent of Senators.”

Commenting on the country’s economy, Gohar pledged to change the tax system and raise the tax band. He also stated that farmers will receive a subsidy to assist them in standing on their own two feet, reported Dawn.

Ahead of the elections, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on Saturday unveiled the party’s election manifesto.

Addressing a party event in Lahore, Nawaz Sharif said that the PML-N’s manifesto will be “fully implemented” if voted to power. Nawaz Sharif expressed hope that people would read the manifesto.

Nawaz Sharif called Pakistan’s economy the most important aspect of the manifesto, Pakistan-based Dawn reported. He called it a “strange coincidence” that despite him being ousted as Pakistan’s PM in 2017 and “political vendettas” against the PML-N, his party members were once again “preparing to contest elections and presenting their manifesto.”

Sharif stated that he neither intended to “express his grievances” nor was “in a mood to complain,” according to Dawn.

In an indirect reference to former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, he said, “If I was there in the previous government instead of the person who you saw, I would have never done what he did.” (ANI)

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