PTI’s landslide victory


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s landslide victory in the Punjab by-elections has validated what critics have been trying to warn since Imran Khan’s ouster in April—PTI has become a force not to be reckoned with.

Grabbing 15 seats out of a total of 20 provincial assembly seats when all odds favour Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the party holds the reins of power both in the federal and provincial government only reinforces that the people have made their choice.

Resonating to PML-N’s vote ko izzat do people have truly exercised their right to vote but have chosen PTI to represent them.  

The landslide victory will be the end of Hamza Shehbaz’s controversial Punjab government and the July 22 vote for chief minister in the Punjab Assembly will almost certainly see PML-Q’s Pervaiz Elahi take the coveted slot.  

The election results call for PML-N to do some serious soul-searching and figure out why they had to face such an embarrassing defeat only being able to bag four seats. One of the major reasons was PML-N’s decision to field PTI’s turncoats as their own candidates which proved fatal to the party and cost them the provincial government.

It is now more than ever that we hear voices from all segments of society calling for Shehbaz Sharif to step down and call for an early fresh election. The election not only helps the party save its face but also save the country from an economic collapse.

A day after the Punjab by-elections dollars has further dipped in the open market reaching a new low at Rs216. The political instability which is only getting worse with time will not allow the economy to stabilize making living even more difficult for the common people.

The PML-N, now stands alone in this debacle where it is losing its popularity among the people by making difficult economic decisions to seek IMF loans, it is losing the trust of people having to face defeat in its own stronghold and also losing the comfort of its allies.

The Pakistan Peoples Party is set to hold its Central Executive Committee meeting today in the wake of PML-N’s defeat in the by-polls and consider its options of having to continue supporting the PML-N government and decide on the future course of action. Rumours are also rife that the Balochistan Awami Party might soon separate its ways from the ruling party causing only further troubles for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The Punjab by-polls only reflect what is in store for the PML-N and what they should be expecting when they go back seeking vote from the people in the next general elections. Before things get far worse for PML-N, the party leadership should seriously ponder over the prospects of holding fresh elections and save themselves from losing whatever popularity they are left with.

The fresh elections will not only give them time to reassemble but also give them ample time to come back with a better economic plan that can help people put their trust in PML-N again. Fresh polls should now not only be PTI’s demand but all sane voices within PML-N too should look at long-term gains for the party’s future.    

Basma Siddiqui
Basma Siddiqui
The writer is a journalist who has been associated with The Express Tribune and Bol News and can be reached @BasmaSiddiqui.

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