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No-trust motion a golden opportunity for smaller parties

Once truly irrelevant in Pakistan’s decision making, regional parties are again the centre of politics

There might be many parties in Pakistan but it is obvious that the PM House will belong to someone from the three parties only; PML-N, PTI, or PPP. They are political giants. They are the “mass” parties. Other parties might be mainstream popular but remained a sidekick. PML-Q, MQM-P, JI, ANP, and JUIF, their politicians might be popular, you might see them on Talk shows, you might witness massive crowds in their addresses and sit-ins, but these parties are still not mass parties. They are regional parties and they will remain regional parties due to their opportunist and ambiguous approach unless they learn how to carefully utilize the tug of war between opposition and government (without making it obvious).

There might be issues with political giants like PPP, PTI, PMLN, but they are risk-takers. They declared war against their enemies despite the consequences. They know what they want in the long term. The most remarkable thing about them is that they make sure that everything they do for themselves is marketed to the masses as something they did for the country. Let’s not deny that regional parties do the same, however, they never seem to convince Pakistanis. Giants know this art very well.

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They know how to convince their voter that this is not about themselves but for their voters. For the politically woke people, it is very obvious what is happening today. It is crystal clear that every Politician is out there for his/her own survival. But somehow they convinced their voters that it is for them. Regional parties on the other side never appeal masses. It is because they disappoint the masses when they highly anticipate their decision. They fail to stand out from others. They follow the bandwagon. See, it is okay to go with the following when you do not have an option, however, you need to give a logical justification for that. In the case of Pakistani voters, luckily you do not even need logic, just sell them the infamous “this is for you, not for me” and they will be convinced. But these parties are too lazy to do that.

Currently, the voter is looking up to regional parties for their final decision. MQM-P, PMLQ, and BAP – all are being anticipated. BAP and PML-Q chose their teams and there should not be any criticism or judgment because of that. The difference is, BAP picked a side without any desperate demands. PMLQ sided with PTI, in exchange for the CM seat, which was disgraceful. Several party members had objections to this but PMLQ decided this anyway. PMLQ was never popular among the masses and it lost this final shot as well. The sole centre of their decision making was this seat and there is no logical explanation they can give for this. They cannot convince their voter that they supported PTI “for the country” after Choudhary Pervez Elahi clearly lambasted the prime minister in an interview with Meher Bukhari. This was a decision based on a short term approach that will affect the position of their party in the long term.

The MQM-P has yet to decide. If MQM-P supports the PTI, it will still not be as disgraceful as the PML-Q because at least MQM’s decision is not centred around a political benefit. They did not ask for the chief minister’s office of Sindh from the opposition and the government in exchange for their vote. The same was the case with BAP, it did not ask the government or opposition for the chief minister in Baluchistan. They knew there were not in a position to claim those ministries as it would be unfair to the parties that secured an overwhelming majority in those provinces. Both BAP and MQM did not stoop to that level. And their voter will remember that.

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These days, these parties are constantly in the media limelight. Once truly irrelevant in Pakistan’s decision making, regional parties are again the centre of politics. What they don’t realize is that this is the golden opportunity for them to grab the attention of the masses. Mainstream media is very specific with whom it will cover. There are a few faces that we used to see on TV every day.  But nowadays, due to no confidence and due to the weightage of their votes, regional politicians and parties are getting coverage with full protocol. Reporters are dying to interview them. Anchors are desperate to get them on the show and know who they will support. This is the most attention they will ever get from mainstream media during a five-year tenure and they should avail it.

This coverage is not going to make them the political giant at once but if they choose their side wisely and continue to preach some definite ideals and concrete reasons for their decision, they can get attention from other voters and get a few more seats.

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