LAHORE - Political and religious parties have intensified their campaigns adopting new and innovative ways to reach out to masses for securing their votes.

Social media usage is on the top of the political campaigns as social networking sites (Twitter and Facebook) are heavily being used where candidates share their video messages and appeal their receptive constituency voters to vote for them.

Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf are locked in tough battle on social medal in their political campaigning for the general elections 2018.

PTI on its official twitter handle @PTIofficial posted against the Sindh-led PPP previous government which ruled for the five years. The PTI is using the hashtag, a promotion strategy to reach millions of people on Twitter #AbSirfImranKhan. It posted, “Sindh and especially Karachi has endured a lot due to incompetent and corrupt political elite. Imran Khan invites all Karachiites on 22nd July, 2018 at Bagh-e-Jinnah. Come out & show that Karachi has also decided.”  

In a world where mobile consumers receive fake calls, PTI is using a strategy of audio messages in voice of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in which he says, “Assalamu Alaikum, I am Imran Khan, I want to say an important message to you…” Some moments it feels that Khan himself is calling. The method of using audio messages delivered through calls is not a new one but it has heavily been used in these general elections.  

The PPP has also posted several video and audio messages to counter other party’s political manifestos asking masses to vote for them enabling them to keep the promises of Quaid-e-Awam Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Pakistan’s first female prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

PPP Chairman Bilwal Bhutto Zardari posted on Twitter pictures of his Nagar Parkar, Thar rally in which a number of people participated. The hashtag #TharBadlayGaPakistan PPP used on the rally day in Thar, it seems they want to reach out to maximum people and tell them that PPP has people’s support.

PML-N has been using the hashtag #VoteKoIzzatDo for promotion of the video messages and video clipping of the addresses of PML-N President Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

Apart from the social media , banners of all political and religious parties can be seen on electricity polls.

A candidate in Dera Ghazi Khan asked for National Assembly constituency votes by riding a horse and reaching out to his voters in his area.

The new trend in these elections is that political parties in their TVCs Television Commercials which are being broadcasted with ‘Paid Commercials’ as per the code of conduct of Election Commission of Pakistan, point out abusive language of political leaders.

PML-N has made a TVC in which children sit and watch the speech clipping of PTI leader Imran Khan which is allegedly not appropriate language. In the end of the TVC it leaves a question for the viewers ‘will you support such a person’.

The hooliganism which had been seen in 2013 elections is not being observed due to the administration strictly implemented by the ECP code of conduct which also prohibits the use of loudspeaker other than the corner meetings.

As the days are approaching fast for the D-Day of political parties contesting elections, now the focus of the political campaigns is more on highlighting success stories of their previous governments.

A clip of PML-N candidate from Sadiqabad went viral in which he distributed tubs among the women voters in his constituency. Candidates have now focused their political campaigns on memorizing the election symbols and names to get maximum votes.