LAHORE: Disappointed with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), people in the Constituency NA-131 have pinned their hopes on an independent candidate — who is also a Kargil war veteran — to solve their problems.
Major (retd) Ghulam Murtaza is one of the favourite candidates for NA-131. People, especially the elderly, call him a ‘muhafiz’ and believe that he will resolve their problems.
Murtaza, who has been given the election symbol of a ‘medal’, is contesting for the MPA seat from PP-166. He has attracted his voters through his manifesto that he will provide job opportunities to the youth. He claimed he will work to deal with the shortage of electricity, provide clean water to the people and provide sports facilities to the youth.
According to his manifesto, in 2014, a grand operation was launched to root out terrorism and to some extent, such activities have been controlled. Unfortunately, people in the country still lack basic facilities such as health, water, electricity, education and nothing is being done to deal with these problems. The candidate said if he comes into power, he will try his best to provide basic facilities to the public.
Most of his supporters are elderly and have a soft spot for Murtaza as he was a part of the army. Malik Sadiq said that he was disappointed with the performance of past governments as they did nothing for the public. When asked why he will vote for Murtaza, he said he will vote for him because he had served in the army and had fought in the Kargil War. “I will vote for him as he protected us on the borders and will also work for us once he is elected.”
Another voter, Haji Illyas, said he will vote for Murtaza as he loved the army. When asked why will favour for Murtaza after retirement, he said he will still vote for him because he doesn’t have faith in any political party, including PTI.
He added PTI is chanting slogans of ‘Naya Pakistan’. He added that no political party can take the country towards the right direction. Only army men can bring the country on the right track.
Another local, Muhammad Mubashir, who had a different point of view from others, said Murtaza’s claim to fame, being a veteran of the Kargil war, was not enough to attract the voters of NA-131. “Murtaza can get 1,000 for 2,000 votes in the constituency as there will be a tough contest will be between PTI and PML-N.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2018.
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