Traditionally, the electorate in Pakistan has been composed of five basic segments. The first consists of religious people, supported by the various religious parties in the country. The second is the ideological vote bank, which has usually been supported by the Pakistan Muslim League — Noon (PML-N). The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has utilised the victim vote bank, citing the many sacrifices their party has made for the democratic struggle in Pakistan. The fourth belongs to the different minority groups present in the country, each represented by a specific political party to help them make their voices heard in the centre. The fifth, and perhaps the most powerful, are the people that vote for the feudal lords or powerful landowning families that rule over them. Almost 64 percent of registered voters reside in rural areas, making the local landlords very influential, and prompting all major political parties to seek their support for their party’s ticket. For the longest time, these five segments dominated politics in the country, yet the recent rise in popularity of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) gave rise to a new segment of the electorate; the people who are vehemently against the current status-quo in the country. The PTI is led by Imran Khan, a former cricketer-turned-politician, as well as a notable philanthropist, who has gained popularity in light of his slogan to bring about change in the country. He promised to transform the political system currently in place and bring the people a respite from the conventional party politics that has dominated our society for so long. PTI has since nurtured this segment of voters by trying to attract the considerable youth population to support their party. They built their 2013 campaign on the slogan of ‘Naya Pakistan’ and even started calling their youth volunteers,‘tabdeeli razakar’(volunteers for change). Of all the PTI members contesting the elections, almost 80 percent were doing so for the very first time, and had an average age of only 41. Even after all of this, try as they might, the PTI failed to make too much of a dent to the support of the feudal lords and landowners, whose supporters are trapped in a tribal culture of subservience. The ideological voters, the majority of the electorate in Pakistan, however did change allegiances in many instances, even though some still failed to see past the metro bus service, new roads, free laptops and subsidised vehicles or loans. Subsequently, to target this large part of the voting public, the PTI was forced to change tactics before the 2018 General Elections. The PTI built its 2013 campaign on the slogan of ‘Naya Pakistan’ and even started calling its young volunteers, ‘tabdeeli razakar’. Of all the PTI members contesting the elections, almost 80 percent were doing so for the very first time, and had an average age of only 41. But that was then; the 2018 elections are nothing like PTI’s 2013 fight It appears that the PTI realised that the electability of the candidate and the popularity of a political party or its leader are essentially the deciding factors when it comes to the decision making process of the majority of the voters in Pakistan. They understood that even though their party and leader were quite popular, their candidates were not as well known. So, in the 2018 election cycle, they decided to provide tickets to ‘electable’ candidates, people who had been involved in politics for a long time in one capacity or other, even if they belonged to an opposing party. The result was that the PTI ended up giving almost a third of their party tickets to such ‘electable’ politicians, leaving many party stalwarts feeling hurt and underappreciated. PTI came in for a lot of criticism for this move, with people accusing them of betraying their ideals and resorting to the same age old politics that Pakistanis are used to. They were supposed to empower individuals, not shove power back in to the hands of the elite or people with famous family names. Dynastic families have ruled our politics for years and the PTI was supposed to bring a stop to this practice, but no such luck. Instead they ‘postponed’ their plans for change, and instead decided to focus on winning. And this was the last nail in the coffin, as Imran Khan too bowed down to the political pressures and became a part of the status-quo he had vowed to fight in the first place. The focus of politics in Pakistan has always been short term. Candidates will make tall promises that they have no intention to fulfil in order to get votes, but in the long run, it only serves to compromise the credibility of the candidates themselves and their political parties. The reason why the majority of our public are fed up of our politicians is because of actions like these, that not only add to their frustrations with the political system, but also the mistrust they feel for the people in charge. The writer is a lecturer at IMS, Bahauddin Zakariya University, and a research fellow at the University of Queensland Australia. He can be reached at email@example.com, and tweets @Alluring_Will. Published in Daily Times, June 24th 2018.