Friday Apr 09 2021

Of community politics, voting and the NA-75 Daska by-election


It is not possible to deny the importance of communities in Pakistan's politics. 

In Daska, too, we look at community-based politics and its role in the NA-75 by-polls scheduled for tomorrow (April 10).

The National Assembly constituency consists of villages located in the NA-75 Daska city, Gujranwala and Sialkot. 

Daska by-election: Who are Ali Asjad Malhi and Nosheen Iftikhar?

The major communities in the constituency include the Jat, Mughal, Rajput, Kashmiri, Ansari and Aryan communities. These groups still play a decisive role in the victory or defeat of any candidate in electoral politics.

"Communities play a major role in politics. This is why political parties field candidates from large communities, so that these people can join the community and the people of the tribe with them [to get votes]," a resident of the NA-75 constituency told Geo News.

Another resident, an elderly man, agreed. He said it is common practice for politicians to attach themselves with a large community and then assure them of protecting their interests. "The game of community politics has been successfully played for years," he said.

Read more: A look at the history of the Sialkot constituency

The NA-75 constituency has more than 823,000 voters and the turnout in the last three elections has remained over 55%.

A close competition is expected tomorrow between PML-N candidate Nosheen Iftikhar and the ruling PTI's candidate Asjad Malhi. Iftikhar is from the Syed community and Malhi from the Jat community.