Just two days following PTI’s massive jalsa at Minar-e-Pakistan, PML-N held their own grand show in Sahiwal yesterday. With political players getting ready for the battle of the jalsas in anticipation of the upcoming general elections, it really is a matter of who gives the best speeches and who draws the most energetic crowd. Because if there is one thing that rings true for Pakistani politics, it is that we all love a good jalsa. In fact, our political scene thrives on it. With PML-N facing several setbacks in politics right before elections, the jalsa was a crucial moment to gain back some popularity. With Nawaz Sharif disbarred from holding a government position for life and the recent disqualification of Khawaja Asif of PML-N as well, the party isn’t faring well. In a scrambling effort to salvage their image, the PML-N government also introduced the ‘Awami Party Awami Budget’ last week. It was a clear attempt to pacify the population through certain relief measures that will help PML-N gain popularity in the upcoming elections. Question is, will the Sahiwal Jalsa be able to help PML-N regain some lost support?

Here is how Twitterati handled the anxiety of how the Sahiwal jalsa would fare against PTI’s power-charged rally.

A favorite comparison seemed to be that of the type of crowd drawn by each party.

Not sure how one determines a ‘real voter’ over a fake one. But pretty sure tweets like these are a jab at Imran Khan’s constant insistence to allow expats to excercise their voting right in the upcoming elections. Or it could just be that PMLN supporters were anxious about the numerical strength of the crowd being drawn at the Sahiwal jalsa in comparison to PTI’s 1000’s of supporters.

Nevertheless, the two claims are worth assessment. Is it really that the PTI jalsa gathered support from all over Pakistan, whereas PML-Ns support yesterday was just Sahiwal itself? The game of numbers is quite tricky here.

Interestingly, this Twitter user is completely oblivious as to who he is really supporting. Or is he…?

This could just be a very elaborate case of sarcasm against PML-N’s crowd. In which case, bring on some more, both ways. We could use some lighthearted humor in this atmosphere of political division and tension.

On a serious note, there is some truth to what this Twitter user is addressing.

All this being said, the jalsa must be assessed on the substance of its peak activity. Most important is the content of their speeches. Imran Khan in his jalsa put forth the 11 point manifesto, which addresses several developmental concerns in Pakistan. So any valuable, serious comparison will have to come in the form of who is making the more achievable promises that end up being more appealing to the masses.

So, let’s sit tight and see whether this political cartoon holds true for PML-N in the near future!



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