After being delayed from their original date in August, the 2020 Gilgit-Baltistan elections are now finally going to be held on November 15. These elections are important because, in their aftermath, the provincial status of the region will be decided and worked upon. The election campaigns are in full swing as all main parties, PPP, PML-N and PTI, are working ardently to convince voters in their favour.

How will the results turn out? Past trends in Gilgit-Baltistan have indicated that the party in central government often tends to triumph in the regional elections in this area as well. Polls so far, however, show that there is tough competition between PTI, with their ruling party advantage, and between PPP, which has been historically popular in the region due to the party’s founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s initiatives for the region. These statistics indicate a strong fight between PPP and PTI; meaning that PML-N, might be left in the cold despite the efforts of Maryam Nawaz who has been rallying ardently.

All is not lost, however. There are a host of problems in the region, which if the parties addressed properly in the rallies, might be reflected in the votes. Unemployment, lack of educational facilities, infrastructural issues, inadequate health facilities, shortage of potable water and poor internet access are all top priority issues which plague the region, whose residents have a good awareness of political responsiveness. The PML-N may curry some votes in its favour if it is able to adequately tout the infrastructural development it has done, which include some roads the party managed to build when in power.

All of this is based on whether the campaign efforts of the parties have been successful. Let us see, through this democratic exercise, If political leaders managed to reach out to the people with their narrative on their tour, or if their words rang hollow.