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Political parties coin catchy slogans to woo voters


July 8, 2018

PESHAWAR: “Bacha khani pakar da,” Imran khani pakar da,” “Na Bacha khani pakar da, na Imran khani pakar da, Musalamani pakar da,” are the three popular Pashto slogans that the Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) have coined to woo the voters.

Though the big banners and posters displayed on main roads and roundabouts have been removed as per the code of conduct of the Election Commission of Pakistan, the activists of major political parties and supporters of independent candidates have fixed colourful flags, banners and posters with catchy slogans to attract the voters. The ANP candidates, who are contesting the election with the election symbol of “lantern” are eulogising the services of late Pakhtun freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, adoringly called Bacha Khan, who preached the philosophy of non-violence.

By writing this slogan on the red party flag and caps, the ANP supporters recall the services of their leader to seek votes from the electorate.

A young activist of ANP, Akbar Khan, wearing a red cap inscribed with the slogan “Bacha khani pakar da” maintained that Bacha Khan promoted non-violence through his peaceful struggle.

“By raising this slogan, we ask our supporters to take part in the political activities with decency,” he added.

“Bacha khani pakar da” simply means we need to follow the way of Bacha Khan.

Those chanting the slogan “Imran khani pakar da” have their own arguments. It means we want to follow the path being shown to us by the PTI founder Imran Khan.

The young supporters of PTI praised the philosophy of all Pakhtun and Sindhi leaders such as Bacha Khan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, but accused their sons and daughters of ignoring the philosophy of their forefathers.

“How can a person ask others to follow in the footsteps of his father or grandfather when he himself is not doing so,” said Sher Mohammad, who was distributing PTI flags among the activists and supporters of the party. He argued that the youth was now mature enough and they did not like to vote for the politicians promoting their own vested interests.

Defending the PTI’s slogan, he said that his party leadership was committed to rooting out corruption and ensuring good governance besides giving opportunities to all citizens.

“Through this slogan, we are conveying the message that PTI wants equal opportunities for the people in all fields including politics. Imran Khan did not distribute tickets among his family members,” he pointed out.

The supporters of the MMA are also trying to woo the voters. Their slogan “Na Bacha khani pakar da, Na Imran khani pakar da, Musalmani pakar da” means we neither need the way of Bacha Khan nor Imran Khan and instead we want the way of the Muslims.

The MMA activists are urging the people to vote for the candidates of the five-party religio-political alliance to establish the Islamic system of government.

They said Islam guaranteed equal rights to all the people including the women and members of the minority groups. Defending the MMA, an activist Khushdil Khan said that Muslims should seek guidance from the Holy Quran instead of following man-made philosophies.

It remains to be seen how far these three different slogans would impress voters to vote for ANP, PTI or MMA. More than the slogans though, voters would keep in mind the past performance of the governments of the three rival parties and whether the leadership of ANP, PTI and MMA could be believed to deliver on their promises.

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