Christian community had played a great role in different fields of life like education, health, defence and also in elections that by showing such an outstanding performance and had proved their commitment towards the progress of the country.
Likewise votes of Christian community in NA-120 possibly will play an important role in the victory or defeat of candidates, in case the margin is narrow and the mentioned community decides to collectively vote for one specific candidate.
The voting demographic has a huge nearness of Christian minority putting it in a position to impact the decision comes about. Its part will turn out to be more vital in a neck-on-neck battle which is exceedingly likely between Begum Kalsoom Nawaz of the PML-N and Dr Yasmin Rashid of the PTI on September 17.
This vote bank is not concentrated in one or two localities; it is rather spread across the constituency in small pockets.
Dean of Lahore Cathedral reveals that “There are no less than 12 little pockets in the electorate with around 5,000 Christian voters,” Shahid Miraj,
He also added, the Christian vote bank in Lahore especially in NA-120 had increased over the years with the rising population in the City.
According to official statistics Report, The vote bank of religious minorities in Pakistan is close to 3 million out of which the number of Christian voters is 1.32 million.
Statistics of previous elections Commission have presented some fascinating realities about the part of minority vote in Pakistan. In 2008 decisions, margin of victory in 59 national constituencies was even less than the total votes of non-Muslims in each constituency.
Small pockets of Christian minority in NA-120 are located in the areas like Anarkali, Maryam Baidagh Church, Bilal Ganj, Mohni Road, Ravi Road, Sant Nagar, Outfall Road, Gilalee Church at Marzi Pura, Ravi Road, Sanda Khurd, Dhoob Sari and Gunda Tubewell locality. Besides, the localities around Saint Francis Church (close to Bano Bazaar), Holy Trinity Church, Neela Gumbad, Naba Road Church, Gawalmandi, Mission Road, Brandruth Road, Gulshan-e-Ravi Road, Chiragh Park, Shamnagar and Mozang Adda also have significant minority vote which may change the election scene.
It was perhaps this aspect in view that Maryam Nawaz Sharif, campaigning on behalf of her ailing mother Kalsoom Nawaz which , went to Cathedral Church on Cecil Ch Road a day before Eid to participate in the prayer service.
Federal Minister for Statistics Kamran Michael had arranged the event which had the participation of other PML-N parliamentarians belonging to the Christian community.
A major chunk of the Christian minority vote (may be) cast in favour of the PML-N candidate given the fact that it has four Christian lawmakers in Punjab Assembly from Lahore. They include Tariq Masih Gill, Shumaila Ruth, Shehzad Munshi and Shaukat Ivan. Though none of them reside in NA-120, but they may use their influence on the Christian voters.
Previously, the voters from minority communities would vote for the PPP candidates due to its progressive manifesto.
Likewise, some central point will decide the destiny of hopefuls in the up and coming discretionary challenge. For the PML-N, the part of Union Council Chairmen and Councilors would be critical for the achievement of its applicant.
Campaign pattern of candidates could also be one of the key factors to determine their victory or defeat.
PTI candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid is highly focusing on door-to door campaign which can change the minds of many neutral voters or those who have no strong political affiliation with any party.
PPP candidate Faisal Mir is also relying more on the door-to-door campaign besides holding small corner meetings.
PML-N, on the other hand, is lagging behind its rivals on this count. For security reasons, it is not possible for Maryam Nawaz to reach out to the voters in the streets.
A divided religious vote in the constituency may also deprive the PML-N a few thousand votes this time. Pakistan Awami Tehreek of Dr Tahirul Qadri is supporting the PTI while JI and Milli Muslim League, (Later is a sister organisation of JuD), have fielded their own candidates.
People cast vote to those who stand with them in difficult times not to those who take u-turns.