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Making an impression in Sindh... By Artif

11 January, 2013

According to press reports, Syed Pervez Ali Shah of the PPP has joined the PML-N. Some enthusiasts from the centre-right PML-N are seeing this event as a major change in the political scenario in interior Sindh. The political dynamics in rural Sindh are altogether different than that of Punjab. Sindhi politics revolve around three major factors: Sindhi cultural nationalism, which is by far the most important factor, the heavyweight electable who enjoys support on the basis of economic and social factors the concept of biradri (loyalty and allegiance) and, thirdly, the party ticket, which is like getting additional marks for clarity. The party ticket factor can further be divided into nationalistic and non-nationalistic. Keeping the above argument in mind, one can suggest to Muslim League enthusiasts that if they want to leave any impression in interior Sindh, they need to align themselves with the cultural nationalism of interior Sindh, which seems like quite a task for a party that has its base in Punjab.

The political and cultural sentiments in interior Sindh are so very well emulsified that any political force alien to Sindh finds it very hard to adjust. One may see a few bigwigs changing political loyalties for personal interest or party grudges but this will not alter the political scene in rural Sindh. The PML-N probably wants to give the impression that it is an effective political force in interior Sindh and, in their desperation, they are embracing everyone who is not happy with their parent party. This change also reflects opportunism in Pakistani politics where principles are almost non-existent and personal interests are the driving force in changing political stances.

Melbourne, Australia

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