Islamabad - It is midnight. In dark and taxing weather of July, dozens of supporters of Adnan Kiani, a candidate for local body elections, are sitting in a circle, finalising the campaign at Malpur, an area along Murree Road. “There is no difference between election and war. You should have a clear strategy to win both,” Kiani was telling his lieutenants.

Despite humid and hot weather of July and fasting month of Ramazan, Kiani somehow managed to keep energy in his tone.

“We have 11,000 votes, make five committees, each committee would assign two youngsters to go for door to door campaign and ask for votes, every committee should submit its report on daily basis,” Kiani was communicating his election strategy.

“You will have to seek vote for whole panel,” he continued after a brief consultation with some of the elders present in the congregation.

The meeting was taking place in a large ground where dust, large-sized mosquitoes and noise of roaring engines from highway were testing the patience of the members. At one corner of the open ground, two efficient cooks were preparing tea at a stall like facility to freshen up the audience.

“Everybody here knows about our agenda. If elected, we would provide clean drinking water and a free dispensary to our villagers,” he said warning his team not to promise anything impractical. “People are very smart now, don’t promise anything what we cannot actually do,” Kiani said in a definite tone.

Like many other constituencies of capital, most of Kiani’s team consists of young, energetic and educated people who want to bring a change in the country from grassroots level. “I had been associated with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) since I was a student and then I joined Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI). I am among the few pioneer members of PTI but when some years back the old faces started joining the party, I lost my hopes in the PTI,” Kiani told this scribe. He added, “In fact I have lost hope in all major political parties as they are just status quo gangs.”

“With all my political experience now I’m concentrating to bring a change at grassroots level,” he continued passionately.

It is very unfortunate that the biggest constituency of the capital, bordering with KP, has no clean drinking water facility, despite the fact that many politicians from this part of land held important portfolios, he said, adding, “We have a big water reservoir, Rawal Dam, at our back and water supply from Simly Dam is also passing from our constituency but our people have no access to water.”

Not only Malpur but most of the political campaigns in the federal capital are run on promises of providing clean drinking water, new schools and colleges and basic health care units.

The filter plants installed some years back in urban areas have stopped providing purified water due to lack of maintenance and funds. “In rural areas there is simply no drinking water option; if you talk about education, the population has increased manifold in last decade, but the number of schools is almost the same as they were a decade ago,” said Nadeem, a candidate for councillor.

There is no difference in rural and urban areas, all are lacking water, health and education facilities. In urban areas, most of the filtration plants are out of order due to lack of maintenance; schools are crowded with students, as despite huge increase in population, no new schools have been opened, said Osama, a supporter of Nadeem.

The total number of out-of-school children at primary level in the country has dropped from 6.7 million in 2012-2013 to 6.2 million, says the Pakistan Education Statistics Report 2013-2014 released on Tuesday.

According to the Pakistan Education Statistics Report 2013-2014, the total number of out-of-school children at primary level in the country is 6.2 million. In the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 24,000 children are out of school. There are only 187 government model boys’ and 204 girls’ schools for a population of more than two million. Even the number of private schools is lesser than the requirement.

A total of 4,190 candidates have filed their nomination papers for the first-ever local bodies’ elections in the federal capital, with a slogan to provide water, health and education in 79 union councils.

There will be 13 seats for each union council including one chairman, one vice chairman, six general seats, one youth, one peasant or worker member, two women and one minority member.

The minority seat would be applicable where minority families are living in a fair number.

Gatherings at party offices clearly reflect that after failing to get basic facilities from political governments over the decades, now residents have pinned high hopes on the non-party local body governments.