RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD, May 9: The twin cities saw feverish election campaigns on the last day of the activities with all hustles and bustles on roads, streets and in markets on Thursday.
The candidates were out addressing public meetings and rallies with their supporters and sympathisers to drum up support.
The candidates’ camps were thronged by voters to know where they were to use their right to franchise.
Youngsters on motorcycles wearing party shirts and carrying flags of their favourite parties were taking rounds of the city while some youths riding cars played motivational songs of their respective parties.
There were traffic jams in and around Raja Bazaar and adjoining areas of Rawalpindi due to the closure of roads for the public meetings of different candidates.
The PPP failed to hold big public meetings due to security problems. The only signs of its political activity were the colourful banners hanging from buildings and posters pasted on the walls.Moreover, posters and stickers of different parties sold like hot cakes. One could see many roadside vendors selling the posters of Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and Benazir Bhutto along main roads.
Addressing a public gathering at Liaquat Bagh, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief and PTI-supported candidate for NA-55 Sheikh Rashid Ahmed foresaw the formation of a national government in the country.
“There is a dire need that the politicians should give space to each other otherwise they will face difficult time ahead. A national government having all the parties will be able to take the country out of the prevailing crises.” Accompanied by PTI candidates for Punjab assembly’s two seats, Mr Rashid said a change was necessary in the country to rid the people of rampant corruption and other problems.
“The geo-political situation is changing in the region and after the departure of troops from Afghanistan, political forces should get united to confront the aftermaths.”
Sheikh Rashid lashed out at the Sharif brothers and said the people of Punjab were suffering from electricity crises and they remained busy in constructing roads and streets.
He said he had formed Awami Muslim League with the objective to give rights to the lower and middle classes. “As many as 100 candidates of his party are contesting the elections across the country,” he said.
“If you elected me, I will raise your voice at the national level and restart all the development projects which were stopped by the PML-N.”
He said landlords and businessmen leading political parties meted out unfair treatment to workers and underprivileged segments of society. He vowed to ensure these groups’ participation in the legislative assemblies.
He said he would also work to create employment to 2000,000 jobless youth in the country.
In Islamabad, Jamaat-i- Islami (JI) chief Syed Munawar Hassan said discrimination and persecution faced by the religious minorities was a result of the exploitative system in the country that was opposed to the Shariat.
“We want to implement the Islamic rule in the country based on the revolution brought by the Prophet and the system of governance he implemented in Madina,” he said, addressing an election gathering.
The gathering was held to drum up support for the JI candidates Mian Aslam (NA-48) and Zubair Farooq Khan (NA-49). A considerable number of people attended the gathering at the Hockey Ground, Sitara Market. Munawar Hassan said the Islamic system of governance was based on justice and equality and such a rule would ensure peace and tranquility in society.
After talking about a global Islamic revolution, Munawar Hassan acknowledged that the power of ballot cannot bring an Islamic system.
“Those who say that the ballot cannot bring revolutions are correct but at least the power of ballot can help move in that direction,” he said. “We are in the field bearing the flag of the revolution but it is up to you to ensure its materialisation.”
He criticised the ANP, PPP, MQM and the PML-Q and accused them of being US agents. He also criticised the PML-N for various accounts.
Zubair Farooq and Mian Aslam highlighted their agenda which included establishment of an elected local government system in Islamabad.
The final hours of the election campaigning witnessed traditional passive and disciplined nature of the residents of the twin cities as supporters of the PML-N and the PPP continued moving through the street crowded with JI supporters.
A group of PML-N workers passed through the street adjoining the Hockey Ground on bikes raising their party slogans while Munawar Hassan was delivering his speech. Some PPP workers also drove by on bikes without silencers.
A similar scene was witnessed at Islamabad Expressway just before sunset when the rallies of the JI, PTI and the PPP moved from Faizabad to the capital city.