ISLAMABAD - The February polls schedule, considered as the last sign before confirmation of conducting the polls, is most likely to be announced in the coming week. This political development will probably remove the doubts which are still in the minds of politicians and the public. As the recent statement of caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti, regarding the security threats for the politicians during the election campaign, has further aggravated the already uncertain situation about delay in the polls.
For upcoming polls, the major political parties’ leadership and heavyweights are facing very perplexed situation in awarding the tickets. The political factions have to fulfil their promises with PTI’s and at the same time, the parties are reluctant to ignore electables in any constituency. Background discussions with the senior politicians revealed the choice of candidate has become a difficult task as in many constituencies more than one candidate are willing to contest with the same symbol. Though it is now the right time for PTI dissidents to get rewards from other parties, in awards of the party tickets to contest in the upcoming general election 2024. The major parties especially Pakistan Muslim League [PML-N] already have a suitable candidate from PTI’s dissident constituency. Some of the saner voices suggesting the leadership to award tickets to the turncoats on a provincial seat and the party candidate should not be ignored in the National Assembly seat. This debate is not only under discussion by PML-N as Pakistan Peoples Party and Istehqam-e-Pakistan are also facing this confusing situation. With the announcement of the elections’ schedule, the party will not have ample time to formally inform about nomination papers to the Election Commission of Pakistan. The main political parties including Pakistan Muslim League [PML-N], Pakistan Peoples Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement [MQM-P], Jamiat-Ulema Islam [JUI-F] have started their interviews of the aspirants and this process will almost be completed by end of this month.
Another upheaval in the political arena will be witnessed this month, as some of the politicians might be ignored with different excuses. The parties have almost completed district-wise and division-wise survey of candidates as some of them are even conveyed a ‘good news’ about ticket but they were strictly asked to keep it secret till the final announcement. The PTI’s dissidents, who refused to become part of the en-bloc resignations by PTI, have main tilt to contest with the symbol of ‘Tiger’, but some of them are still not given assurance by the party leadership. Some of them are planning to become part of Istehqam-e-Pakistan Party and few have chosen their political space in PPP, senior politicians aware of the development revealed. Political gurus viewed that the political campaign will gain momentum soon after the award of tickets and announcement of schedule. It will not be possible to further delay the already delayed elections. The threat for politicians will not be considered the reason to delay the polls, as in the past political history these reasons were ignored.