Lessons for winners and losers


How the political parties of the country should work


What was expected has happened. The PML-N won majority of seats in Punjab LG elections. The MQM won in Karachi. Those who lived in the make-believe world of their own have been trounced. It is time the political parties learn to do their homework instead of depending on invisible forces for bringing them into power or covering up their defeat by calling minor and routine mistakes in the conduct of polls as preplanned systematic rigging. The politics of agitation and sit-ins failed to help before. It will do so in future again. It is time for those who have lost to learn from their mistakes. The PPP would do well to stop relying only on the sacrifices of the Bhutto family alone for winning the polls. The PTI should realise that big rallies are no indicators of voter support. The party needs to realise that urban middle class alone cannot bring it to power. It has to devise policies that appeal to the rural population, urban poor and working class as well. As long as Jamaat-e-Islami remains a cadre party depending on religious slogans, its appeal will remain confined to a very small part of population.

Those who have emerged victors have to realise that unless they deliver there is no guarantee of their winning the next elections. The parties ruling the provinces have to hand over more powers to the LGs. The newly elected grassroots leadership has to come up to the voters’ expectations. With the limited powers and meagre resources at their disposal, they cannot hope to play any important role in their constituencies. The local governments will have to press for more power. Unwillingness on the part of the provincial governments to oblige would lead to confrontation. A proper administrative, financial and political devolution has to be effected as soon as possible. Unwillingness on the part of the provincial governments to hold the LG elections led the SC to order the elections. Before superior judiciary is again forced to intervene, the powers envisaged in the constitution should be entrusted to the LGs.