ISLAMABAD: By-elections in 20 constituencies in Punjab are just four days away and curiosity, anxiety, claims of success and fear of failure are not only widespread in Punjab but across the country. Concerns are also expressed about their outcome.
It should be recalled that the Election Commission of Pakistan overthrew 25 members of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for voting for Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz Sharif. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) needs to win more than 10 seats to save Hamza Shehbaz Sharif’s office, while the PTI is also aiming for more than 10 seats. The target of securing more than 10 seats is also crucial for the party as it will not only regain power in Punjab but also pave the way for its demand for general elections in the country.
The results of the by-elections will have far-reaching consequences on national politics, governance, foreign policy, influencing key decisions, including the role of institutions. This is why Imran Khan himself directs the electoral campaign of the candidates of the PTI. He created an atmosphere based on allegations and concerns in his speeches so that if the PMLN wins, their victory will be marred by allegations of rigging and foul play. He would say that he had already pointed out the bureaucratic trickery of the Punjab government, the connivance of the Election Commission of Pakistan and the role of the establishment in it.
On the other hand, the parties that make up the Pakistan Democratic Movement have changed their priorities after overthrowing the PTI government. JEWISH leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman is still in Saudi Arabia after performing the Haj and will return after the by-elections. On the other hand, former President Asif Zardari’s first priority is to attain his former post for the second time and to this end, he is engaged in covert activities and making every effort to attain the presidency before November. . He will be ready to play any role in the appointment of the new army chief, which President Arif Alvi might not want to play. In this way, it will become easier for Bilawal Bhutto to be elected Prime Minister after the next elections.
On the other hand, US President Joe Biden is due to visit Saudi Arabia from Wednesday. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has just returned from Saudi Arabia after performing the Haj. It could have been a coincidence that two Pakistani leaders visited Saudi Arabia while the US president is on a tour of the Middle East amid news of Israel being recognized by other countries.