A party with shades of its own

Published September 18, 2017

LAHORE: At the corner of bustling Mozang Road in UC 68, dominated largely by the PML-N and PTI camps, was a diminutive tent sent up in the colours of green and white and adorned with banners carrying pictures of Mumtaz Qadri and Khadim Hussain Rizvi of the Labaik Ya Rasool (LYR) party.

Muhammad Owais introduces himself as a party worker, explaining that the LYR had gotten registered only two-and-a-half months ago with the ECP, so it did not have proper units at the local level. “The media gave us no coverage whatsoever,” he complains. “We have only just begun our movement and the people of NA-120 love Khadim Hussain Rizvi but the media, choosing to cover only PTI and PML-N, acts like we are invisible.”

Muhammad Maqsood Nawaz, the Sheikhupura emir of LYR, chimes in adding that his political party believes in non-violence.

The men and women of LYR had campaigned together for votes even though the party does not officially have any women members, says Mr Nawaz.

A group of young men approaches the camp and decides that they need to shake things up a bit. Trying to match the cacophony of the PML-N and PTI camps, they start shouting: “Naar-i-Takbeer! Allah Hu Akbar!”

Mr Nawaz adds that many voters who had visited their camp were not registered as their votes had been transferred out of NA-120. “This clearly is pre-poll rigging."

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2017

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