Maryam Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) vice-President, has started using different strategies to garner votes and sympathies from the people. A video has been circulating on social media, where Maryam Nawaz can be seen using the Holy names of our Prophet PBUH’s grandchildren. Maryam Nawaz said that Hassan and Hussain are believers, my brothers are also Hussain and Hassan, and we are also believers of Ahl-al-Bait.
In Pakistan, politicians often seen using religion to garner political support or to target political opponents. In a report, Naya Daur has noted that “Pakistani politicians have long used religion as a tool to woo their voters and elevate themselves to positions of power”. PML-N leader Muhammad Safdar in October 2017 dedicated his entire speech in the National Assembly (NA) to spew venom against the persecuted Ahmadi community
While calling for strict action against the community, Safdar had said that he wanted to introduce a resolution in the NA to “ban the recruitment of Ahmedis in the armed forces. Ironically, he had also served in the armed forces of Pakistan.
However, the ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has been seriously been targeted by religious fanatics in the past.
Political Fatwa of Maulana Fazul against the PTI
In May 2013 Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared it ‘haram’ to vote in favor of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his candidates. He alleged Imran Khan for being sponsored by the West and the Jewish lobby. He also called Imran an agent of “Americans, Jews, Ahmadis and a person of ill character”.
Maulana further attacked Imran’s family and said that “a person who could not make his own children Muslim nor Pakistani, is dreaming of becoming prime minister of Pakistan and making the country an Islamic welfare state.”
It was interesting to note that when Maulana had to tell as to who said Imran was really an American or Jewish agent. Maulana confidently asserted that “I am asked, ‘what is the proof that he (Imran Khan) is an agent of the Jews,’ I say there is only one proof and it is my own responsible personality. I am so righteous that I would never talk ill against anyone. This is enough that Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that he is a Jewish agent.”
The use of religion against the current government after PM Khan’s emergence as the leader of the Muslim Ummah is worrying for many in Pakistan and abroad. The political uncertainty has become clearer after the government’s economic policy did not bear any fruit so far. The opposition may have some reasons other than religion to give a tough time to the government. But focus on religion looks like propaganda to target personalities, not a campaign for the rights of people.
Who will GB Elections 2020?
This publication has reported several times as to what is going on in GB. Journalists on the ground and local politicians have a clear understanding of who is going to win the election. “Generally, GB elects the party in power in Islamabad,” Haroon Rasheed, a prominent Pakistani journalist and political commentator, recently noted on 92 channel.
A total of 330 people are standing in these elections. The PML-Q is fielding candidates in 14 constituencies. And the PTI has issued party tickets to 22 people and expressed its support for Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen’s candidates in two constituencies.
The real battle is, argue analysts, between PPP and PTI. Several key local leaders have recently joined PTI.
Fida Muhammad Nashad, who became Speaker after the 2015 elections, has been awarded a PTI ticket, he added. Other former PML-N minister and MPAs who have joined PTI include former provincial minister Dr Muhammad Iqbal, Haider Khan, and Ibrahim Sanai.
SAMAA Digital reported that GB Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shehbaz Khan has that transparent elections will be held for the transfer of power. Police and security personnel will be deputed at polling stations while the Pakistan Army will be positioned outside sensitive polling stations.
Political analysts are of the view that the PML-N might have won some seats had Nawaz not followed a controversial anti-army narrative in his recent speeches. At the moment, there is no significant presence of the party as local leaders are either joining the PTI or PPP, argue independent analysts. “We see a different type of politics in GB now. PPP and PML-N are on the same page to counter the establishment but in GB they are contesting elections without getting hard on each other,” Nouman Ahmad, a GB-based journalist told GVS.
Notably, Uzma Bukhari of PML-N has clarified in a show on ARY News that PPP and PML-N are two separate political parties, and their only collective goal is to challenge the establishment. “We are two different political parties. Don’t consider us as a merged political party,” she told Waseem Badami.
The current political trends suggest that the PPP and PTI are likely to claim electoral win. PML-N seems to be in troubled waters because of its inability to have local leaders in the party.