As countdown for the general elections begins, political hustle and bustle is seen at every nook and corner of the twin cities with almost every wall, street and building being festooned with colourful party flags and banners.
The candidates who got tickets from political parties have made their campaign to go in full swing. As election fever is intensifying, candidates are also taking advantage of short message service (SMS) packages offered by various cell phone companies and sending messages to the people in their constituency seeking their support in the elections. For this purpose, candidates are sending short messages in Urdu or English with their names at the end of the message.
In Islamabad corner meetings, political camps and rallies mark the onset of what is considered as the historic general polls that feature the first ever smooth transition from one democratic government to another.
As it is now a week left to the elections, great deal of activity can be witnessed everywhere in the markets, where parties have set up their stalls, making various announcements in support of their parties.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamaat-e-Islam (JI) are the main contenders in electioneering in the twin cities. Apart from the four main parties, posters and banners of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and of Awami Muslim League and independent candidates can also be seen in the twin cities.
Portraits and stickers of various political leaders particularly Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid, Hanif Abbasi, Faisal Sakhi Butt and leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami are can be seen displayed on rickshaws, wagons, Suzuki pickups, cars and private buses along with flags of the political parties.
Ahmad Raza a professor of history in a local college said the next government would have to take difficult steps to stabilise the country and resolve its internal issues of energy, security, corruption, and finances. “We can just pray for the best of this country, no matter who wins,” he wished.