A GROUP of nationalist leaders led by MP Mohsin Dawar has formed a new political party called the National Democratic Movement to promote what they call a âsecular democratic federal parliamentary systemâ in the country. The new party includes well-known politicians and lawyers, some of whom were previously associated with the ANP. At a press conference to announce the party, Mr. Dawar denied the perception that the move would weaken the PTM, which he challenged as an independent and won the National Assembly elections. He also said the new party would represent young people and forge greater unity among oppressed ethnic groups in society.
In a democratic society, forming a political party is a fundamental right of citizens and hence the NDM deserves to be hailed as the latest addition to a long list of parties in Pakistan. The leaders of this new party have felt that a void exists within the electorate and that they can fill it. The party should therefore find the space to continue its agenda and provide an alternative platform for people to support. Many of the leaders of this new party have extensive experience of the ups and downs of the country’s politics and embrace the clarity of their convictions. However, an anti-establishment streak runs through their politics and they have often found themselves marginalized from the mainstream political discourse that defines Pakistani politics. It would be interesting to see if they can use their new party’s platform to amplify their political ideology, or structure it in a way that broadens their base of support. The nature of the party will soon become apparent when it begins its membership campaign and initiates formal commitments that include taking a stand on issues that matter to voters. The timing of the party’s formation is also important, as it does in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the impending formation of the government in Kabul. The KP will be impacted by the events unfolding in Afghanistan, and the NDM will have to find its place in the broad spectrum of political thought that dominates the province. The ANP and the other parties in the province now have a new rival and they too will have to refine their political positioning for fear of being overwhelmed by the NDM. For voters, having more choice is always better.
Posted in Dawn, le 3 September 2021