As mobilisation of voters and internal preparations continues, main political parties are in search of a suitable time for the upcoming elections. Parties want to ensure victory in the polls but they need to face hurdles in the way.

The forces having peculiar political ideology and views on the state affairs, have also come into the field and their activity is open to make or break their position and even jeopardise holding of the elections. The parties also have to face the emerging situation and take decisions to make their way forward.

Not only for the PPP, PML-N and PML-Q but for the new entrant PTI also, the next elections are very important for their political future as well as for the country. Everyone is voicing for holding fair and free elections and election commission has more than once given them assurance in this behalf. Yet the PPP and its ally PML-Q, and the PTI are not certain about the transparency of the polls after their common rival, PML-N has trounced them in the last by-election.

They have recorded their reservations with the Commission while accusing the Punjab government of rigging the polls. But the fact is, by-poll results have acquainted these parties with their winning chance in the general contest as well as the grey areas within the parties on which a lot of work still needs to be done. Despite win, the PML-N has also become disillusioned about its position and weak points. In this scenario the parties want to get sufficient time to gear up fully, as such they want to set their own timeline for the next elections.

Amid this situation the monster of election postponement is also going to open jaws through the activity of certain religio-political parties, opinion of intellectuals and the mobilisation of NGO groups. They all have discarded elections under the current system and demand to replace it. The undercurrent of the opinions expressed by ‘A’ class intellectuals on TV screens, is that of casting away the existing political system.

They described it as one that only fulfilled interest of the rich class to provide them repeated chance to rule and loot national resources making a hollow country. On the same theme, a demonstration of school kids was also organised in the city to convey the message that the future of young generation is unsafe in the present system. Another major move to change the mind against the system is going to take place next week in the city where a veteran religio political and world renouwned leader Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri is appearing before the public carrying the slogan “Siasat Nahi Raisat Bachao.” His address in the city is clearly going to impact the political scene as well as give a new thought and line to the politicians who act on different wavelengths.

Yet another is the Defence of Pakistan Council march from the heart of the city to Indo-Pak, Wahga border, to vent fury against India and the government strong desire to hug India pushing Kashmir, Siachin and other burning issues to the backburner and forgetting what cost Pakistanis and Kashmiris have paid to get them solved. The show is likely to go beyond merely a march and touching a political point after it will expose the hidden intentions behind the ongoing wave of ‘love’ between the two governments.

Sources say that the PML-N government was not comfortable with the DPC march. It for the reason PPP has been accusing the PML-N of supporting hardliners and the DFC show may provide the PPP a chance to exploit the situation against the N-League.

The PPP stakes are the highest in the elections as compared to others. As such it would not run any risk although its ministers have been voicing for polls by mid May and interim government by March. But no hard and fast statement has come from the President so far in this regard. The President Zardari, as co chairperson PPP enjoys a carte blanche with a complete control on the party affairs. Losing elections for the PPP means not only jeopardising second term of Zardari as President but also failure of the new leadership after Benazir Bhutto and a nosedive to the popularity of the party.  The low turnout of the PPP voters in the last by-election has alarmed the PPP and it has begun to re-orientate things. The trump card of Zardari, Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo has failed to win heart and mind of the Jiyalas while estrangement of the PPP leaders in Punjab is becoming common. After Naheed Khan and Safdar Abbasi another PPP couple in Umza Bukhari and Samiullah Khan has expressed grievances against the leadership and sources say, are mulling to part ways.

Three other MPAs of the PPP from Khanewal have tendered their resignation to the CM, they have yet to reach the assembly secretary. These MPAs are soon going to announce the joining the PML-N when the sources add, that a number of other PPP, PML-Q and PTI leaders are in contact with the party. To control the situation, the PPP has appointed former Prime Minster Yousaf Raza Gilani and PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto to take care of the party position in Punjab so that negative impression among Jiyalas about Wattoo could also be diluted.

Gilani has his own reservations on lukewarm interest of the party leadership towards Saraiki province and the treatment he and his sons are receiving from the party against the notices from the investigation agencies. In this situation, the worst economic situation of the country due to bad governance has provided a plea to a section to voice for national government for two to three years and launching a ruthless accountability through it.

As to the PML-N, it wanted election in time without giving a day more to the PPP government. However this party is not giving full heart to this idea for it wants to go by completion of a mega project, Metro Bus Service, for the election. Metro Bus completion is not in sight by the dead line of December 31 next while its cost and delay in completion is a fast becoming hand tool in the hand of the rivals. The trader community on track of the project is also growing in resentment against the government for construction of the project.

And the rivals are ready to ignite them against the government an attempt which however, has not succeeded due to acumen of CM Shahbaz Sharif. As such, the PML-N will come up with full-throated voice for the election when it would be certain about completion time of the project. The election campaign of the party in its political stronghold and throughout the province largely depends on the Metro Project.

The PTI is also passing through the internal elections. Further, it has to assess who are party loyalists and who are switching sides before putting final shape to the preparations. Party manifesto and others have still to be done which may take time. As such the situation for the election is fluid. Political parties want polls but need time to overcome difficulties. At the same time, they are also wary of the elements against the system and the elections.

The 43rd session of Punjab Assembly is in progress at the far end of the five years tenure. It was an assembly under full-fledged democratic set up but interest, attitude and preparations of member members have not been much different from what has been witnessed in the previous assemblies. Last day a very thin attendance of the member and their non-serious attitude once against made a mark of proceedings. The speaker also took note of it.

Most of the questions on agenda remained unattended and few answered by the parliamentary secretary on local government and Community development Abdual Razzaq Dhillon were quite half-baked. And the way he answered and were reacted to by Hassan Murtaza of the Opposition, provided nothing but some moments of enjoyment of the members however which is not the call of their office. Billions of rupees have been spent on assembly sessions on the hope the members will speak for solving problems of the masses and the result will be visible in their public life. But the situation is contrary which prods one to relate public woes to the poor performance of the members. But the members must bear in mind the public wrath in the election on account for what they did for them on the floor of the House.