­ISLAMABAD - The general election is just two weeks’ away, the election campaign of almost all mainstream political parties is yet to pick up the pace of political activity at the national level.

Visits to various constituencies in Rawalpindi and its adjoining areas and interaction with political activists belonging to various political parties and the general public revealed that multiple factors were behind the slow election campaigning.

Mainly the restriction of the Election Commission of Pakistan on displaying huge hoardings and big banners was hampering the candidates to build the election fever while the hot weather was also another reason keeping the people away from joining big public gatherings.

PML-N leader Salman Haider Shah alias Raju Shah said that how the election campaigns would pick up the pace when, on the one hand, there are strict restrictions on the display of big board hoardings and banners, and on the other hand, when they install small billboards and pole banners of their candidates in Rawalpindi cantonment areas, the civic body staffers remove them. “So in these circumstances, how we would mobilize the masses in support of our candidates,” he said.

He partly disagreed with the notion that election campaigns would remain lackluster and hoped that in the next few days, the election tempo would start gripping the voters and the nation would be in the election mood by the mid of the month.

Political analysts said that now when the mainstream political parties’ leadership had started addressing big public gatherings in various cities, it would ultimately gear up the election mood.

Amir Farooq Piracha, a senior Pakistan People’s Party (PP) leader from Rawalpindi, said that party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had started his countrywide election campaign from Karachi and as now he has entered Punjab, party activists have started charging up and by the time he reaches Lahore in the next couple of days, people would see the PPP Jiyalas on the roads.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan also initiated his election campaign from Dir and Hazara division while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shahbaz Sharif was busy addressing big public gatherings in central Punjab.

The MMA would also be initiating its campaign from July 13 and it is hoped that the electioneering would gear up in the days to come as the central leaders would further intensify their campaign across the country.

But some political analysts who are keeping a close eye on the electioneering of mainstream political parties said that as the polling day was only a weeks’ away, in such a short span of time it would not be possible for the political players to give momentum to their election campaigns, especially at the constituency level. As far as the main rallies and gatherings, where the central leaders are addressing the public, the mood and tempo was good and it would further pick up, they said.

They said that at the constituency-level, the candidates were preferring holding small corner meetings and door to door canvassing, as is common in local bodies elections campaigns, and avoiding holding big public rallies in their areas as the people were not charged to that level.

The candidates are greatly relying on campaigns through local cable operators and television adds to convey their messages and also using social media to spread their messages to their electorate.