Cast and Baradri System and Voting Behavior in Pakistan (Elections 2018): A Case Study of Hafizabad District.

Byline: Karim Haider and Muhammad Arshad Ali


Baradari defined as "brotherhood" initiated by the Persian language word Baradar meaning "brother". Muslims of south Asian region especially in India and Pakistan, a large number of socialclasses are separated on the origin of Biradaris. In the society of Pakistani Biradaris has been playing the most important role as a force, stronger and importantthan ethnic and religion or any other sociopolitical reasons. 1In Pakistan it is matter of fact that Politicalalliances and parties are normally based onBiradaris and casts system not on the political and religious ideologies.

In this context a case study of Hafizabad district is selected as it was constituency with highest voter turnout in 2018 election2 and the most populous constituency of Pakistan for National Assemblyis NA-35 Bannu district as a whole in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with a population of 1,167,892 that is followed by NA-87 Hafizabad district as whole in Punjab province with a population of 1,156,957. Looking at the sharp contrast in the Baluchistan Province in NA-262 Kachhi-JhalMagsi constituency that has the population of 386,255, it can be said people of these districts were made scape goats in the process of delimitation.Hafizabad in Punjab has registered votes of 684,447 including 299,685 female voters.

In 2013 polls, this district had two constituencies in National Assembly and three in the Punjab Assembly but after the census the representation of Punjab was reduced in national assembly and Hafizabad district had to sacrifice one of it constituency but the district retained its three Provincial Assembly seats3. All casts and Baradari after the announcement of the elections started flexing their muscles and cast and Baradari system started roaring as the leading political families accelerated their efforts for electioneering.


Cast and Baradari system played an active role in the general elections of 2018 and helped to reduce the impact of religious vote bank on the results of elections.

Literature Review

By the passage of time Pakistan has become a nation of enormous significance to its area, America, and the other nations. With nearly 210 million people, and 550,000 army personals, nuclear capability, and a large diaspora in America and Britain, Pakistan has become a center of the hopes of other players having interests in the region. Yet the highest short-term danger to Pakistan is not insurgency as such, but the activities of Americans, and the highest long-term menace is natural changes.AnatolLieven's work is an overbearing study of this highly composite and often poorly unwritten country: its areas, societies, rival religious customs, diverse social backgrounds, profound political pressures, and historic patterns of passion; but also its astonishing fundamental stability, engrained in kinship Biradaris, support, and the power of rooted local elites. Appealingly written, merging history and thoughtful analysis with coverage from Lieven's wide travels as an academic and journalist.4

This is one of the best English-language survey of the socio-economic development of Pakistan. Mohammad Qadeerthe author gives a vital overview of social and cultural change in Pakistan since freedom, which is vital to considerate Pakistan's probable future course.Pakistan scrutinizes how custom and family life endure to subsidize long term solidity, and explores the areas where very speedy changes are captivating place: large population surge, development, economic growth, and the nature of civil humanity and the state. It suggested an understanding view into Pakistan, discovering the extensive range of ethnic groups, the landscape, religion and public and prevalent culture and nationwide identity. It accomplishes by discoursing the likely forthcoming social growth in Pakistan, attractive students and researchers interested in Pakistan and multiculturalism.

Author's remarkable work is a inclusive investigation of social and cultural forces in the society of Pakistan, and is an significant supply for anyone deficient to understand modern Pakistan.5 After giving literature review suitable to this topic it is dire need to produce the objectives of the current study and they are as under;

  1. To highlight the role of casts and Biradaris in the electoral politics of Pakistan in the 21st century explaining the 2018 elections of Pakistan.

  2. To provide an insight view of the environment in which the general elections of Pakistan held and impact of the casts and Biradaris on the ideological and party affiliations of the candidates.

Historical importance of the casts and Biradaris of Hafizabad

Hafizabad has historical significance as in 327 BC, the Greek ruler Alexander the Great attacked modern day Pakistan, and at that time the territory of Hafizabad was a populated area recognized as Sandal Bar. Hafizabad was earlier a place of some reputation, and is revealed in the Ain-i-Akbari as the four Mahal (Mughal Districts) Hafizabad, Eminabad, Mahomalli, BaghRaiBucha were covering the modern day Lahore and Gujranwala division and are discussed in Ain e Akbari. In the Ain e Akbari the Mahal of Hafizabad had 113700 amount of revenue. Hafiz, the founder of the city Hafizabad, was a favorite of Emperor Akbar the great.During the Muslim rule in Punjab three leading casts and Biradaris; Bhatti, Tarar and Kharal remains loyal to the Muslim rulers of the area and after the weakening of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh rulers emerged from the Gujranwala area neighboring Hafizabad. They invaded on the Muslim tribes loyal to Mughal rule and occupied different areas.

Ranjit Singh being a local i nhabitant of the Gujranwala crushed the Muslim resistant from the Chatha Casts of Gujranwala area and confiscated the land and left the area of Hafizabad for his commanders as he move fast toward Lahore. The Muslims tribes living in the area of Hafizabad were predominately Bhatti, Tarar and Kharal, they successfully resisted the Sikh plunders and first time in 1774 area fell to Jhanda Singh Bhangi and included in BhangiMisal after it to Ranjit Singh commanders Mahan Singh. When the resistance prolonged in Hafizabad it worried theRanjit Singh in 1799 and he had to left the invasion on Lahore and join his subordinate leading the expedition in Hafizabad.

Reinforcement of Ranjit Singh in 1799 to Sikh army helped them to fight the Bhatti, Tarar and Kharal for two years as these tribes fought the open war against Sikh army and in 1801 the large number of Tarars and Kharals were killed and forced to fled in the forests where as the Muslim tribe of Bhatti had to left the small castles and retreat towards JalalPur and PindiBhattian where Sikh army continually siege the these great towns till the killing of leaders of Bhatti cast and some of them fled towards Jhang in the protection of Sials another Muslim tribe.6 The remains of number of villages near new ones are witness to that resistance. During the Sikh rule the lands and property of these Muslim tribes were confiscated and tribes were forced to leave their households and live in miserable condition. 7The entry of Britain was welcomed by these tribes as British authorities promised for return of land and property after the removal of Sikh rule from the area.

During the British rule these tribes remained loyal to Britain and provided all kind of help during the era of British rule in Punjab and India. During the invasion of Britain on Punjab one Kharal in their home area of Gogera (Okara cum Sahiwal) resisted the English rule and after the death of hero of the anti-colonial war in Punjab Rai Ahmad Khan Kharal the British authorities started extra judicial killing in the area. This extra judicial killing of the Kharal tribe in Gogera (Okara cum Sahiwal) forced the Kharal tribe to leave the area or accept the submission to British rule. So number Kharal left the area including Randhaira, Churaira and Lalhaira sub tribes of Kharal and they reached and settled in the Hafizabad area as two sub tribes of Kharal; Lodhikey and Churaira was living in friendly environment after the end of Sikh rule in the area.8

Arrival of Randhira and Churaira Kharal put the other local Kharal of the area under suspicions in the eyes of British authorities along with the Bhatti tribe of the area as difference between the new authorities and Bhatti tribe put this cast or tribe also under suspicion. These developments resulted in cold shoulder relations between Bhatti, Kharal and British authorities and created vacuum for Tarar cast to participate actively in the politics of Hafizabad till the end of British rule in Pakistan. After the independence the gradual change come in the political field of the Hafizabad and Bhatti and Kharal gradually started to play active role in this area. Currently Bhatti...

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