Ayaz Sadiq’s marginal victory is a reflection of the anger of the people of Lahore against the ineffective MNAs, MPAs
LAHORE: The people of Lahore and Okara have sent a message on behalf of the rest of Punjab that the choice of a candidate, his credibility and track record matter as much as the party ticket. Only those candidates are considered whose record is not tarnished. Punjab and the rest of Pakistan, through this by-election, have given a message that money and power alone cannot buy votes. In what should have been a walk-over for the PML-N, instead became a struggle. It had to fight hard to retain its seats, which means that all is not well with the ruling party’s governance and performance. Neither the building of roads and bridges in Lahore, nor the metro (which is otherwise a useful project) are enough to buy the hearts and minds of people. Ayaz Sadiq’s marginal victory is a reflection of the anger of the people of Lahore against those MNAs and MPAs who abandon their constituents after being elected.
Mr Sadiq won narrowly against a controversial property tycoon, while in the provincial assembly constituency of the area, PP-147, the PTI’s Shoaib Siddiqi defeated the PML-N’s Mohsin Latif, who is Kulsoom Nawaz’s nephew, by 2,456 votes. In Okara, an independent candidate inflicted a crushing defeat on the PML-N’s Chaudhry Arif, the son of an MNA disqualified for possessing a fake degree, while the PTI’s choice, Ashraf Sohna, a defector from the PPP, had his security confiscated, coming fourth. The people of Okara have endorsed the disqualification on grounds of fake degrees by rejecting the son of a disqualified MNA.
The message is that all is not well for the PML-N in central Punjab and it should look beyond the Kashmiri clan and give preference to merit, competence and credibility if it aspires for victory in 2018. Imran Khan has a following in Punjab, but he cannot take it for granted. He must now walk the talk, which must be reflected in his choice of candidates and in his role as an opposition leader, focusing on the real issues faced by the people.
Malik Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2015.
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