Electables are important to win the election and we cannot afford to give tickets to the non-electables simply for being the party workers. We would like to form a national government by winning the next election in order to bring bigger and permanent changes in the democratic system. This is what Mr. Imran Khan the head of the political party named PTI told to his party workers during a meeting on 22nd June last week. He is the same leader who never wanted a nominal change in his political ideology is now trying every bit possible to gain power and political edge. Now the questions are: what is electable? Why political parties or democracy is depended on them? And why this vicious cycle of depending on electable cannot be broken?
According to many political analysts, an electable is an influential person and/or a family who has this ability to win each and every election irrespective of the ideology, performance, manifesto, party leadership, and national and international scenarios. For a layman, they are the godfathers of their respective territories, tribes, clans, fraternities, and people are driving lease of lives from their territories and resources. They all are the faith-makers or breakers of millions.
Considering only two provinces, a majority of the electable are clustered in rural Sindh, southern and central Punjab. Out of the total seats of 272 in the national assembly, 148 seats belong to Punjab, 61 seats for Sindh, 35 for KPK, 14 for Balochistan, 12 for FATA and 2 for Federal Capital Islamabad. This clearly shows that this election belongs to Punjab only with 54% of total national assembly seats. Historically, this is very much valid that Punjab is the only province which is crucial as far as forming a national government is concerned. There are approximately 100-110 electables alone in Punjab. Under the current circumstances, PTI is banking high with electables followed by PML-N with very few numbers. This confirms that the electables are the king-makers and they are the actual force behind ruling the nation and developing and implementing laws and policies for the country.
As far as the urban centers are concerned, they somehow have a shifting pattern from one candidate to another. There is again some fragility in the politics of the urban areas but again winning-political candidate has to answer his voters and convince them to vote him again. This can be seen from the fact that during 2013 election, the PPP completely vanished from urban Punjab and KPK on the basis of non-performance and corrupt governance. Considering the electoral divisions, the urban centers constitute around 30% while the lion share of politics goes to the rural region with 70%. Since there is a stride division in the urban and rural area on the basis of national assembly seats this urban shifting behavior never gets the ultimate change in the national political results.
The question remains unanswered as to why political parties or democracy is hijacked by the electables. In order to better understand this, let’s first scrutinize the core dynamics of the political parties in Pakistan. Most of the political parties are actually run by single families whether it is Sharifs in PML-N and Zardaris in PPP. Furthermore, all the three mainstream parties are not democratic at the core of their hearts. PPP and PML-N are the family-ruled parties where political geniuses like Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan and Ch. Nisar Ali Khan have no option but to kneel in front of the political heirs of their respective party leaders. Conversely, PTI gives higher and influential party positions according to the power and finances of the respective candidates.
Since these political parties are not democratic in their own rights, how can they create an environment that is conducive to the democratic system? With a decade’s long history of ruling the nation, one cannot see a single law ever developed or implemented to strengthen the democratic system in Pakistan. This is why these parties depend heavily on electables for winning the election since they cannot win votes from the urban centers alone to form a national government. These electables in return want lion share of development budgets for their respective territories and higher and prominent portfolios for their personal gains. These development budgets have always been used to fill their own unfilled huge tummies. The political portfolios have only been used to have financial, political, and personal gains and to further their electability.
This doesn’t mean that the leadership of these parties had no other option but to be dummies of the electables. These leaderships have their vested political, financial, personal and hidden interests at the highest level. These leaderships actually drive their political powers from these electables. This is indeed more like a win-win situation for all parties involved. This argument can be proven from the fact that recently submitted asset declaration by these all political leaders and electables have a surging wealth pattern (though these all asset declarations are severely under-valued) as against the economic indicators of the country which are all-time worst.
Imran Khan has clear goals and visions to bring drastic and long-lasting change in the democratic system of Pakistan. He reminds me of another person of similar stature. Z.A. Bhutto. He too wanted to have a clear change in the political system of Pakistan in the late 1960s. In order to realize his ambitions, Mr. Butto used the help of the then electables but he fell flat by making wrong, hasty, poor and impractical decisions and those same electables later joined the cabinets of Dictator Ziaul Haq. Those electables not only helped him in realizing his dreams but later never followed his path. Today people want change. They want this vicious cycle of political elites to be broken. They want a true democracy of people, by people and for people. Will Imran Khan be able to live up the expectations of the masses and be able to make his dreams see a daylight? Only time will answer this.