It dwindled, brick by brick, one pillar after the other licked the same ground on which it stood erected for many, many years. A loud thud and then arose eye-blinding dust. The universal rule stands victorious; the downfall begins right after the zenith and everything once grand must come to an end.
PML-N saw it all, the glories and grotesqueries. Their heydays were good and when they were out of the equation, it was even better, thanks to royal connections in KSA. Whatever has happened can be blamed on the establishment or their own unparallel follies.
The reasons are many but let’s delve into the most important one for now.
Camps within the party
PML-N, at this point, is divided. There are two camps within the party who not just vie for dominance but also want to steer the party towards philosophy and direction of their own. Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Sharif group always wanted to reconcile and mitigate the aggravated relationship with the establishment, on the other hand, Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif preferred to woo the image of a revolutionary leader who would stand his ground and won’t let any external interference dictate him the to-do-list. This would have been an opportunity for the PML-N to sort out the difference within their ranks for once and all and let a newly devised strategy help revive the party but that didn’t happen and the gap kept getting wide. Due to this tussle, naturally, the top tier of the party started taking sides and helped the agenda of their preferred camp to reach the party workers and voters. This whole process eventually created a subtle divide in the voters and they too started taking sides. No clear plan was laid out, with the advent of each day the narrative got more muddled. It would be a very calculated assessment if we say that PML-N has suffered more from the internal family misunderstandings.
Lack of coordination with voters
No doubt PML-N was busy taking care of the trials they brought upon themselves and lost touch with their voter base during and after the elections. The situation got worrisome when this lull got prolonged. At this point, when all fingers and accusations are directed towards the party and its leadership, it is imperative to communicate with the voter in a more personal manner.
Shahbaz Sharif is in London; supposedly he went there without taking senior leadership into confidence and clearly stating the purpose of his visit to his voters and local leadership, who at this point direly need a plan to feed it to the party workers. It really gets out of hand when a party becomes headless but it can be fatal if a party is clueless. Loyal supporters are always at beck and call if they have unwavering confidence in the leadership, they can keep their loyalty intact for a long time. In absence of some definite motive, they would not think twice before deserting.
The day PML-N decides who is going to take it from where Nawaz Sharif left, would be the day when half of the problems would resign automatically. Running party with one main person at the helm of affairs will give a strong message of unity. This will bring the divided leadership on the same page and a direction to go towards the next election will be easy to ascertain. If this can’t be achieved, and two different messages with two different motives keep coming out of one party, then no wonder the emergence of multiple factions is imminent.
Second thing PML-N can focus on is rebranding. For that, no weapon is potent enough than social-media. A team of professionals can greatly help with this. The way some amateurs are running their official page would be a disaster in the long run. The focus should be on laying out strategies and visions regarding the next general elections. Visuals of progress being made on projects and general welfare of citizens from the constituencies where they have their federal or Provisional assembly members could generate a very favorable opinion amongst the masses. It’s now or never, time is slipping by fast and delayed action won’t yield the desired results in next general elections.