More than 77 million mobile phone users across the country daily receive dozens of motivating and mobilization short text messages from their relatives and friends, affiliated with various political parties, to vote in favour of the particular parties and candidates.
These SMS comprise of slogans of various political parties, their precise election manifestoes and symbols. Pakistan Muslim League’s symbol
cycle, Pakistan Peoples Party’s arrow, PMLâ€‘N’s tiger and Mutahida Majlis Amal’s book are widely circulated election symbols in the Multimedia Messages (MMS), it was observed.
Meanwhile, Mutahida Quami Movement’s kite along with the party’s slogans has though circulation all over the country but its flight through telecommunication signals can be witnessed more in
Similarly, election symbol of Awami National Party’s Lantern is one of the widely circulated part of SMS and MMS in NWFP including Peshawer valley as the party’s major vote bank concentrates there, it was learnt.
The PPP supporters are considered to be leading the race of SMS campaign and they are mostly sending messages to seek sympathy vote in wake of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. The PPP workers also insert poems and verses to pay tribute to their slain leader beside appealing for vote, a mobile phone user said.
According to survey election candidates in some of the areas especially urban centers are formally conducting the campaign through SMS and they have obtained cell numbers of the voters residing within their constituencies.
"The candidates have assigned their campaign workers responsibilities to send SMS to each resident of the constituency on regular basis till February 18," a political worker said.
"Well, SMS is the best source to transmit the electioneering message to the people in every corners of city especially the businessmen and employees who are difficult to be accessed due to their professional commitments," an election candidate from
He said that supporters of various parties are voluntarily engaged in the soâ€‘called SMS campaign and are motivating their acquaintance in favour of particular candidates.
Rehan Khan, a university student and resident of Gâ€‘8/1 Islamabad, endorsed the candidate’s views saying that," I have been forwarding the SMSz to my friends and fellow students in favour of my favorite political party voluntarily."
"I have activated a package of 1000 SMSz and would use most of them for virtual electioneering campaign," he added.