Elections for all 42 cantonment boards were held across Pakistan. With results available, all parties are as usual claiming a victory and suggesting others have been defeated disgracefully. In a sensible world, each party would celebrate where they won and concede the race to the winner where they lost.
Unfortunately, that is too much to ask from our creed of politicians. They seem less interested in their own win and more interested in badmouthing others. The opposition parties are rejoicing their wins and taunting the PTI for losing despite being in power and vice versa. I wish they all could learn to be a bit civilised in their behaviours by celebrating the win with grace and learning lessons from their defeats. The PTI should realise that their corruption mantra and badmouthing tactics are not working in Punjab. Maybe it is time to say goodbye to Usman Buzdar and place someone capable in his place. Spending billions on promoting him as the savior of Punjab is not working at all. Similarly, the PML-N must understand that although they defeated the party in power in Punjab, their performance in other provinces remained dismal. The PPP should also realise that ending up with no seats in Punjab was even below the expectations of their opponents.
And the victory of a large number of independent candidates reflects that a large proportion of voters are not happy with any mainstream party. Another worrisome aspect of this is that it will now open a bidding war for these independents with the main parties as main buyers.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2021.