Quetta: There are 5 days to 18th February, polling day and 3 days to Saturday, 16th February, the days when, according to Section 84 of the Representation of the People Act, 1976, all the candidates and their supporters have to end their election campaign, 48 hours prior to the polls day. The law also prohibits from personation for bogus voting, tampering with ballot papers, canvassing within the radius of four hundred yards of the polling stations and disorderly conduct in and around the polling stations on the polling day.
Friday all the candidates, Hazaras and Non-Hazaras from Balochistan Provincial Assembly constituencies PB-6 and PB-2 and National Assembly constituencies NA-259, NA-260 (consisting Hazara resident areas) had called upon public gatherings in Hazara Town and Mehrabad in which they once again promised of resolution of masses’ problems and their political representation. A new trend better to be called political tactic has been observed during this elections’ campaigning. The supporters of Hazara Democratic Party after having finished the public gatherings march down on different roads and streets may be to show their political and voters strength to opponent candidates and it would better be termed “Street Politics”.
Past elections had a tradition that when there was a queue of candidates then two or one week prior to elections they would sit together and would decided for withdrawal of some of them in order to not lose the constituencies and votes should not go waste or any non-Hazara candidate should not be able to sweep from a Hazara residing constituency but in this elections it seems that all the candidates are showing a bit stubbornness or it seems if they have made it a matter of their ego and self disregarding the national interests. The other day in this regard Hazara Jirga had called a meeting of all the Hazara candidates to decide for withdrawal of some of them. The meeting went off without any decision due to their disagreement on any single point unity.
From both Balochistan Provincial Assembly constituency PB-6 Quetta 6, and PB-2 Quetta-2 and National Assemblies constituencies NA-259 and NA-260 there are several Hazara candidates contesting and if the situation remains the same then no Hazara candidate would be able to sweep any constituency. In PB-6, the total number of voters are said to be 155000 and the Hazara voters are about 30000. There is a big difference among the Hazara voters and non-Hazara voters in the constituency. Same is the situation in PB-2 with 100000 numbers of total voters and almost 50000 Hazara voters.
History says that we, Hazaras, had a role in national level politics of Pakistan. In 1970s during the government of Later Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, there were two Hazara Senators in Parliament. Syed Hussain Shah, the father of Syed Abbas Hazara, who is contesting in this elections for NA-259, was a Senator voted by National Awami Party, (NAP). In the same parliament Captain Gul Muhammad was another Hazara Senator voted by Pakistan People’s Party. After 1970s we did not have any senator in parliament till now. Our national level politics has almost turned into street level, what I said “Street Politics”.