ISLAMABAD: Only social media campaign continues despite the deadline of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to stop campaigning 48 hours before the election.
According to ECP’s code of conduct, the election campaign of political parties and candidates should have ended the on night falling between July 23 and 24 on television channels, newspapers, radio and social media.
However, campaigns are still continuing on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp.
Social media expedites political campaigns of contesting candidates with easy access and least expenses to approach and convince their potential voters until the last moment. It not only helps political parties to disseminate their manifesto messages on social issues but also creates political awareness about the economic and political progress of the country guiding them to make the best selection for their vote.
The comments and quires on their messages give them an opportunity to brief, explain and clarify their confusions in their mind which would help them shape their opinion.
Currently, the political leadership of the country on Twitter has its followers in millions; Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan has 8 million followers. Then comes PTI leader Asad Umer with 4.9 million while Paksiatn People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has 2.7 million followers and Maryam Nawaz who belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League-Noon (PML-N) has 4.7 million followers.
Talking to APP, admin of insaf.pk and deputy creative head of PTI’s social media, Salman Raza said that PTI has been using social media from the very beginning as their support base mainly consists of youth who is active on social media.
He said that social media teams were responsible for statements that were being posted on official and verified accounts only.
Replying to a question about the aggressive approach of PTI supporters on social media, he said: “We shouldn’t be held responsible for the statements or comments coming from the general public who support our stance”.
He said using this way of communication had not only increased our followers’ base but also created awareness among the public about various political issues.
While some political parties are more focused towards other tools of election campaign other than social media to convince their voters.
PPP Candidate for NA 84 Nargis Faiz Malik said, “I believe in direct meeting with my voters and supporters. During the door to door campaign of my party, I have met thousands of people in my constituency and visited every house, shop and vendor to share our manifesto with them”.
“The parties who have a big following on social media don’t always show the same results in reality,” she added.