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JNN 2 May 2013 Karachi : With a Number of Political and Religious Parties active in the Pakistani Politics , it is the first time in the History of Pakistan that a Shia Political Party of Pakistan , has nominated its candidates and is contesting the Upcoming Election 2013.
There are even a Number of Shia Religious , Political , Student Parties already Present in Pakistan , but Upto date there has not been a single Shia Party which has Nominated and have contested the Elections , in the history of Pakistan , with such a big Number of Candidates being contesting from the Provincial as well as National Assembly Seats from all over Pakistan.
There are Two Major Shia Parties in Pakistan , Namely “ Islami Tehreek ” Generally know as “ Shia Ulema Council ” led by Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi , and the other The Party which is “ Majlis e Wahadat e Muslimeen ” ( MWM ) , the rest of the Parties and group are either Regional or on the District level .
Islami Tehreek is an Old Party , which has couple of times tried to surface up in the National Elections but have not succeeded in any National or Provincial Seat in any of the Previous Elections , even though it has representation in quite a vast areas of Pakistan , but due to the fact that Shia Vote bank and supporter are scattered all over Pakistan , but if we compare their density constituency wise , then it is very hard to acquire Parliamentary seats , due to the scattered nature of Shia Population.
And in the areas where the density is very rich , in the areas like ParaChinar , Gilgit – Baltistan, Parts of Quetta , Jhang , Karachi, the Shia Vote Bank is being taken Hostage by the Main Stream Parties like PPP , MQM who at the time of Elections Field Shia Candidates from these constituencies , but after winning Elections , they forget all the Promises they have made to give security and Prosperity in those regions , and even the Shia Representative which have won elections from these constituencies toe the Party Policy , instead of safe guarding the Interest of their Voters who are the main source due to which they enjoy all the privileges and Perks, and thus due to this fact , the Shia Population’s voice could not reach the Parliament or the Senate , where the Legislation is needed to Uphold the security and the right of self determination , which is even guaranteed even in the constitution of Pakistan.
And thus in keeping all these Problems in mind , A New Party has come on the stage of Pakistani Politics been under the title of Majlis e Wahdat e Muslimeen ( MWM ) , and People have been quite Hope full from them , as they have not been tested up till now , and Shia Population have given them all the support which is needed to enforce them as their representatives , and in this scenario MWM has fielded about 125 Candidates from across Pakistan , for Provincial and National assembly seats , and have also made seat adjustments and are backing Some Candidates of Like minded Moderate Parties , which are against extremism and terrorism , and also condemn takfiri Groups which are trying to enforce their form of Extremist Religion in Pakistan.
The MWM has fielded about 21 Candidates for the National Assembly seats , 32 Candidates for Sindh Provincial Assembly , 24 for Punjab Assembly seats and 5 for Baluchistan Assembly seats , while 5 candidates are fielded on Special Women’s Qouta Seats .
Islami Tehreek has done Electoral alliance with the Pakistan People Party , and have thus not fielded any candidates from their own Platform.
The fact that two of the older Shia parties are still aligned with the PPP the Islami Tehreek headed by Allama Sajid Naqvi has made an alliance with the PPP while the supporters of Tehreek-e-Nifaz Fiqh Jaferia led by Allama Hamid Moosvi are traditionally known to vote for the PPP.
It is difficult to say anything for sure at the moment not just because the MWM is new but also because in the past the Shia community has never voted as a bloc. `The people of Pakistan do not vote for sect-based parties; this has been repeatedly reflected in various election results,` said Haris Khalique, a newspaper columnist and poet based in Islamabad. However he hastened to add that `the MWM case is different because it is benefiting from a reaction to the existing sense of persecution among Shia population in country.
At some level, the party is aware of this paradox which helps explain its threepronged electoral strategy.
At the top are the `core seats`, which are constituencies with considerable Shia votes. In this category the party has fielded its own candidates.
We have strong candidates for constituencies with major Shia population,` said Nasir Sheerazi, secretary of the political wing, MWM.
In the second category it has placed those constituencies where there is a Shia vote large enough to play a role; here the party is trying to form local level alliances or seat adjustment arrangements with other players.
`Negotiations are under way where there is a sizeable Shia population,` he added.
Third are the constituencies where the party wants to play the role of a spoiler or send a message to particular parties. This third category includes seats such as the one in Jhang which is to be contested by Sheikh Waqas` father, Sheikh Muhammad Akram; the MWM will support him against Maulana Muhammad Ludhianvi, the chief of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.
Similarly, the party plans to support Riaz Peerzada, the PML-N candidate from Bahawalpur. `Our main objective is to block extremists in politics, get rid of criminal elements and pave the way for tolerant people to be active in the electoral process,` Mr Sheerazi said without naming any party.
Despite its public intentions to support PML-N candidates such as Peerzada, the MWM has not held any formal talks with the top PML-N leadership.
In other areas in Punjab, the MWM is also hopeful of making its mark in areas such as Bhakkar.
Local journalists feel that in the current situation the MWM might just make a difference it is difficult to predict the impact though.
`The reaction to the lack of performance by the mainstream parties will reflect in the election results,` said Muhammad Pervaiz Durrani, a journalist who runs a local FM radio in Layyah.
`There is a large Shia population in Bhakkar many of them have arrived from Dera Ismail Khan and other parts of KPK due to terror threats there. A reactionary vote from them could favour the MWM,` Mr Durrani added.The MWM leadership is banking on this reaction as well.
It is noteworthy that in Punjab the MWM can tap into the Shia vote because the sectarian lines overlap with other faultlines for instance in Jhang, the Sunni vote tends to be that of the Punjabi migrants who came over at the time of partition while the Shia voters are the indigenous population. The overlapping, say observer, can make it easier for the MWM.
However, in Karachi this is exactly what can work against the MWM as the Shia voters in the city tend to vote on ethnic lines , as the Shia Community in the Urban Karachi are quite different from the Shia Voter in Rural Punjab or Rural Sindh . Despite this, the MWM is surprisingly hopeful about its electoral fortunes in this city. And Plus the Candidates which are Nominated By MWM in the Karachi City are not any Known Personalities of the Community, as they are exactly fresh candidates for the Election as well as the Community. So it is really a test for the MWM to show its Performance in the upcoming Elections.
Overall however it is difficult to predict how well the MWM will do electorally. Its ability to win over voters as well as to counter the appeal of the Shia candidates of other parties will prove to be no small hurdle.
This is something most voters also realize. `We vote for someone who is known to us as an individual or as a member of clan,` said Syed Sarfraz Hussain Ghardezi, a local leader of Islamabad, who added `Politics is not akin to standing behind a prayer leader during Namaz.
The details of all the MWM candidates can be seen in the list given below :
- Bomb Blast on election office of NA-39 Tribal Area Shia candidate leaves 8 Martyred 25 injured (jafrianews.com)
- 2 Shia Men Martyred , while JAP Leader Injured in an Targeted Sectarian Attack By the terrorist of SSP (jafrianews.com)
- A World Renowned Shia Poet , Scholar and an Academician Martyred by the Target Killing of SSP Terrorists (jafrianews.com)