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    Punjab among four factors to determine popularity of political parties in 2024 Election: Expert

    Punjab among four factors to determine popularity of political parties in 2024 Election: Expert

    PESHAWAR (APP): Political experts here Thursday said that four key factors including the large number of voters of Punjab would decide the popularity of 175 political parties during the 2024 general election.

    “Following announcement of election schedule by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and submission of nomination papers in all provinces of the country, the mainstream political parties including PMLN, PTI, PPP and newly established Istehkam e Pakistan Party have started eying on Punjab province to get maximum seats of national assembly from there and form next government till 2029,” said Muhammad Ali Malik, former Professor of Political Science Department, Govt Post Graduate College Nowshera while talking to APP on Thursday.

    “Any religious-political party that achieved victory in Punjab having 127,688,922 population would easily form government in center as well in the country’s most populous province,” he said, adding Punjab province having about 73,207,896 registered voters have about 173 seats including 141 general seats in the National Assembly and that is why the top political leaders started election campaign from there to obtain maximum seats from there.

    Dr Malik said that 26,994,769 voters of Sindh province would elect candidates on about 75 total seats including 61 general while 55 seats of KP with 21,928,119 voters, 20 seats of Balochistan with 5,371,947 voters and three seats of federal capital with 1,083,029 voters would give added advantage to the parties that win majority in Punjab.

    “The Central and Northern Punjab have maximum number of seats in National Assembly compared to Southern Punjab districts and the political leaders were persuading its voters through their election manifestos to reach the power corridors.

    “The other two important factors that will determine the outcome of the 2024 general election are young voters and religious-political parties’ manifestos,” he said. Out of 128.585 million registered voters in Pakistan, he said 69.263 million are male voters and 59.3 million are women voters, adding the majority of these voters are youth whose votes would play a deciding role on February 8, 2024.

    “This election is unique due to an increased number of young voters whose ballot would determine which party will rule Pakistan for next five years,” he said.  “Over 45pc of the voters have aged between 18-35 i.e 57,095,197 and about 22 million new voters have been added to the electoral rolls since last general election which is 18 percent of the electorate.

     “Most of these young voters are educated and their active participation with high turnout would help elect candidates with better people’s service record,” he said.

    Dr Muhammad Ali Malik said large barardaris (communities) would also play a key role in the outcome of 2024 general election.

    Besides others tribes, he said that Wazir and Mehsud tribes in Wazirsitan, Bangash tribe in Orakzai, Hangu and Kohat, Salarzai tribe in Bajaur, Khattak tribe in Karak and Nowshera, Youfzai tribe in Swat, Swabi and Mardan, Khalil tribe, Mohmand tribe in Peshawar, Afridi and Shinwari tribes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa role would be a significant.

    Similarly in Hazara, the candidates are eying to get support of Gujar, Jaddon and Abbasi tribes in Abbottabad, Haripur and Manshera while in Bathani tribe and Marwat tribes in Tank and Lakki Marwat besides Bannuichi in Bannu role would be of paramount importance.

     The political scholar said that political parties’ manifestos will play a key role in election results. He said people wanted solutions to their problems including unemployment, poverty, price hike, houses and illiteracy and any party that provided its solution would get an edge over others.

    PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has recently announced key points of his party’s election manifesto including construction of three million houses for the poor, launching of welfare cards for labourers, patients and farmers besides increasing BISP assistance during various public addresses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    He said PMLN manifesto revolved around supremacy of constitution, legal reforms and access to justice; economy, poverty alleviation/reduction in inflation and unemployment, trade, industry and natural resources, overseas Pakistanis, elimination of corruption, education and health, sustainable development and climate change etc.

    Dr Malik said ANP was taking credit of giving identity to people of KP by renaming NWFP as Khyber Pakthunkhwa and construction of a maximum number of public sector universities while PTI’s manifesto revolved around Sehat Cards, BRT and youth empowerment reforms.

    He expressed the hope that the popularity graph of political parties would be cleared as General Election 2024 comes nearer. Dr Malik said that the overwhelming response of people ahead of the election campaign was a positive sign for democracy of Pakistan and urged masses, political parties and the entire nation to unite for the 2024 general election.


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