The two mainstream parties - Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) - have kickstarted their political campaigns before the elections, however, it is interesting to see the constituency they chose to start the campaign from and the issues they have addressed in these political gatherings. PTI and PMLN are two strong forces in these elections and are fighting on core issues to get the voters to join their club.

The PTI clan started their campaign from Imran Khan’s home ground and a relatively safe area to play in. Mianwali is Imran Khan’s strong support base and it was evident as the political gathering was announced last minute and still a huge crowd gathered to witness the leader speak. However, one problematic aspect was that due to the last minute adjustments, women could not be a part of the gathering. The reasoning was that last minute adjustments allow many people to take advantage of the vulnerable position women are in and might harass them. While this is a reasonable argument, this is against the inclusion of women in the politics of the country. It goes in favor of the argument that it is women who should remain in the four walls of their houses out of fear of mistreatment, rather than making better arrangements for them to be a part of the system.

Imran Khan played it safe by indulging in rhetorical claims of PTI being the biggest party in the country and elaborating its flamboyant plans for the country. What was lacking was a plan of the directed action for the specific constituency. However, this is an area from where Khan’s victory is very obvious.

PMLN, on the other hand, decided to kickstart their campaign with Karachi - an area where their voter base is not as strong and an area plagued by several issues. There is the power crisis, transportation issue, water crises, waste management, and the general militancy in the area. While PMLN leader Shahbaz Sharif was well versed in the issues of the area, it is a little too late to convince the voters that the federal government would allocate special funds for Karachi’s development because these problems were pretty evident during the last five years as well. The number of deaths during the heatwave should have alerted the federal government right away that the provincial government is failing to take any action.

However, Karachi is plagued with problems. Many successive governments have just sat down idle and added to the persistence of these problems. There is a very good chance that voters might bring in a new face.