Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Voters cast their ballot at a polling station during the by-election in the Punjab province assembly seat in Lahore on July 17, 2022. — AFP

After a week-long heated political campaign in Punjab, the most-awaited by-election in the 20 controversial constituencies came to an end on Sunday evening giving away the much-needed breakthrough to the PTI.

While political leaders of both major parties contesting today — PML-N and PTI — gracefully accepted the results, journalists, and analysts also shared their takes on today’s development.

“A very positive response has been received from across the party lines,” senior anchorperson Shahzaib Khanzada said on Geo News’s special election transmission.

Citing former information minister and senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, he said that all major political parties and stakeholders should sit together and decide what should be the rule of the game now while keeping in view the economic situation of Pakistan.

“It has been noted that previously, all decisions which were important for the economic development of the country were not populist because of which political parties pay a price for those and make populist decisions which affect the economy of the country badly,” he maintained.

He acknowledged both parties have accepted the results with grace, citing that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz graciously accepted the unfavourable results and Fawad also appreciated the optimism received from the PML-N.

Citing Fawad, he hoped that after the core committee meeting of the party, scheduled to be held tomorrow, a strategy would be laid forward that would focus on the solutions and not create difficulties.

‘Major shift in Pakistan’s politics’

Meanwhile, senior journalist Hamid Mir said PML-N leaders were very confident ahead of the by-polls, saying they weren’t ready to understand that party workers and supporters rejected the candidates nominated by the party.

“The biggest challenge was that who would be able to get their voters out and PTI managed to do so,” he said, adding that all of us need to accept there has been a major shift in the politics of Pakistan.

“Today was a good day for the democracy of Pakistan and all of us should accept that by-elections were free and fair,” he asserted.

Risky gamble — reason behind PML-N’s defeat 

Other analysts and journalists also took to their social media accounts to comment on the developments of the day.

Columnist Nadeem Farooq Paracha cited “rampant inflation, risky gamble, and a conspiracy theory” as major reasons behind PML-N’s defeat.

‘Sweeping victory’

Senior journalist Mubashir Zaidi said all indications of a sweeping victory for @PTIofficial in #Punjab #byelections. He urged PML-N to admit the defeat and “gracefully hand over the government.”

‘Imran Khan has arrived’

“More than July 25, 2018, it is today that Imran Khan has arrived as a genuinely popular political leader in Pakistan with grassroots support,” analyst and senior journalist Khurram Hussain wrote on Twitter.

‘Takhat-e-Punjab goes to PTI’

Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas said: “Takhat-e-Punjab went to PTI.” Taking to his Twitter, Abbas wrote: “[…] PML (N) led coalition paid the heavy of vote of no confidence which to me from the day was a bad move.”

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