PPP disappears from Lahore as far-right parties gain visibility

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was conspicuous by its absence in Lahore on the Election Day on Wednesday.

The party’s election activities were rarely seen in the city, despite a candidate contesting from almost all the metropolitan constituencies. During the visits of many polling stations in Lahore, Daily Times observed the negligible presence of PPP camps outside polling stations. According to various reports, PPP also did not depute polling agents inside the polling stations.

If the popularity of a party is to be judged through its election related festivities and activities; then Lahore witnessed a lapse in PPP banners, promotional material and polling camps. The city that was once a stronghold for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has received little attention in the current PPP electoral strategy.

The only constituency where some activity of PPP could be seen was NA-132, from where Samina Khalid Ghurki was contesting. Ghurki led some rallies in her constituency on the Election Day, after casting her vote in Padhiana village polling station. However reports state that she relied more on support for her family, rather than the party itself.

PPP also faced quite some embarrassment before the elections, as just last week PPP candidate for NA-124, Chaudhry Zaheer joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and pledged to support PTI’s Nauman Qaiser in NA-124, instead.

Although, most of the PPP candidates from Lahore were unfamiliar faces, some old candidates of the party including Hafiz Zubair Kardar (NA-125) and Chaudhry Aslam Gill (NA-133) were also taking part in the elections but their election festivities were far from main stream. Chaudhry Aslam Gill is known to be a confidant of Benazir Bhutto who faced many hardships during Ziaul Haq’s dictatorial regime.

On the other hand, the newly formed far right Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) volunteers led rallies throughout the city all day. Talking to Daily Times, Mujahid Rassol said, “we didn’t get a single penny from our party to establish the polling camps, we contributed from our own pockets for the election-day festivities,” he said, while sitting at one of the polling camps in NA-124. The election-day activities of TLP also surpassed the festivities of Milli Muslim League, as MML did not campaign as extensively as they did whilst contesting the 2017 by-elections in NA-120.

Published in Daily Times, July 26th 2018.


Recent Posts

SHC allows seven-day protective bail to Miftah Ismail

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday granted seven-day protective bail to the former finance minister and Pakistan Muslim…

2 hours ago

Child labour and poverty

There is no denying the fact that child labour is one of the worst ills in our society. The world…

2 hours ago

Merkel says Trump tweets ‘go against what makes America great’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday condemned President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets against four minority Democratic congresswomen, saying the US…

2 hours ago

Iran Guards seize ‘foreign tanker’ accused of fuel smuggling

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Thursday they had detained a "foreign tanker" and its crew for allegedly smuggling fuel, in the…

2 hours ago

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi sent on 13-day physical remand

An Accountability Court of Islamabad on Friday approved request of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), remanded former prime minister Shahid Khaqan…

3 hours ago

At least 9 children dead, 16 hurt in Philippines truck crash

MANILA: A truck carrying more than two dozen villagers, mostly ecstatic grade schoolers on their way to a school festival,…

4 hours ago