We are inching towards our elections 2018 and political atmosphere is getting tense. The recent conviction of Mian Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz has become a hot topic in all circles.
Whereas the election symbol of jeep is echoing too in Pakistan and election pundits are of the view that this unusual transition from pitcher (last election symbol of independent candidates) to jeep is very meaningful for future elections. The independents appear to have formed a group in advance of elections and they may act like strong political pressure group. The group can be named as “jeep group”
It has intrigued me as to why the royal independent candidates have been lured in to contest on symbol of jeep. Obviously they have formed an election syndicate to undermine the political parties as well as our institutions.
I did some research to find out about the history of jeep just for public information and its use with qualities. In fact a jeep is a small, sturdy motor vehicle with four-wheel drive and is especially known to be used by the military. Earlier than 1940 the term “jeep” had been used as U.S. Army slang for new recruits or vehicles, but the World War II “jeep” that went into production in 1941 specifically tied the name to this light military 4x4, arguably making them the oldest four-wheel drive for the army. Jeep is a vital transport in the war. The “jeep group” has chosen this symbol to show their strong intent to be powerful by showing symbolic deception, as independents have used their symbol for deception, and someone within the independents have played a fast one to choose jeep as symbol in election. Let us see if the royal independents with combination of electable will be able to get the desired results? I think it will not be the symbol of jeep, which will matter but the strength of money, which the most of the independents will inject in their constituencies.
The word ‘jeep’ has become the buzzword in political and social circles these days. It is because the “jeep” has been allotted as election symbol to at least 150 candidates (60 NA and 90 provincial assemblies).
Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan a close friend of Shahbaz Sharif and the former Interior Minister and a known leader of the Pakistan Muslim League was the first one to have chosen this symbol as he is contesting the upcoming elections as an independent candidate from NA-59, NA-63, PP-10 and PP-12.
More than 11 candidates of PML-N have returned their party tickets and sought the Jeep symbol from the ECP. It looks that Ch. Nisar has been able to get some old colleagues form PMLN with him. The time would tell as to how many more would join Ch. Nisar and let us see as how many jump out from PMLN boat and take fast ride of Jeep.
The only symbol, which has history other than PMLN Symbol, is “Arrow”. It is known fact that sword was the election symbol of PPP chosen by ZAB but PPP was deprived to contest election on ‘Sword’ symbol. It was Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who then chose ‘Arrow’ as PPP symbol to contest election.
Basically PML had original symbol of Pakistan flag but due to disintegration of the country in 1971, it had lost its sign; now the symbol of ‘tiger’ (not lion) has been allotted to PML-N depicting power. Similarly PTI’s ‘bat’ symbolizes game and lets us see what will be the end game of PTI. Similarly all other parties have history of their symbols.
The ECP data shows that the PPP has fielded the largest number of 225 candidates (90pc) in 248 constituencies across the country. The PTI and the PML-N have fielded 218 (87pc) and 193 candidates (77pc), respectively, all over the country whereas, the religious party Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) headed by Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi has also in the race this time getting more candidates than any other religious party in the political arena for decades. TLP has fielded more than 150 candidates for the National Assembly seats across the country.
The candidates of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) have decided to contest election from the platform of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) fielding 191 candidates for National Assembly across the country.
Election 2018 is a tough contest for all leading political parties, as a lot has changed in these 5 years of past government.
Coming to Election symbol, jeep has been chosen by 122 candidates as their election symbol. I, in my earlier article under the caption “I am election 2018”, where I had hinted clearly that a group of independents is in making and it is now reality.
The likely hung Parliament would be unfortunate and it would symbolize as indecisive nation. Imagine three big parties running after the jeep post 25 July elections. The possible probable combinations coalition post-election would be:
PML/Shahbaz - Jeep
(Shahbaz is close to Jeep via his best friend)
These are above possible coalition combinations. I have applied the knowledge of experimental design and theory of probability on this combination based on the available past data and information and I find two most plausible and doable coalitions from above and one of them will make federal government depending on their number of seats.
People must reject those who changed their loyalties and those who are helping to promote “lotacracy”. Let us say no to “lotacracy” and yes to democracy while casting of our vote.
The writer is a PPP Senator, former Interior Minister of Pakistan, and Chairman of think tank “Global Eye” and Senate Body on Interior and Narcotics.