A Breather For PTI


From the ”Naya Pakistan” to allegations of electoral rigging, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf has gone through a roller-coaster ride in Pakistan’s politics. But after the Judicial Commission Report, they have hit an all time low. Viewing it optimistically, the same way that goes down may also go up & when in down town, Imran khan and his team ought to take a breather, reflect and maybe repair the faults in their own machinery. Though, it wouldn’t be less than a miracle for Khan sahab to realize the need of this.

For starters, PTI needs to define it’s ideological lines, its position on the political compass. The party that urged talks with the banned Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan and even suggested opening offices for them at Peshawar, didn’t mind the music and dance for more than a hundred days at the Dharna. Such contradictions are not only confusing for voters, they also imperil the party’s outlook in the long run.

Secondly, the rhetoric of “change”, being so vaguely obscure, may need changing itself or at least some more clarity. PTI has a good set of goals, but the path to achieve those goals is still unclear. Moreover, some people are getting skeptical of the party’s own commitment to change, because apparently they have exerted more of their energy against the Federal government instead of concentrating on exemplary performance in KPK. Further, any sizable change would be very difficult to bring about without noticeable involvement of the proletariat class, which PTI is yet to attract.

The party 15 years ago, revolved solely around Imran Khan. Today, with a huge difference in public appeal, its pretty much the same. The formation of a fandom or cult arround the “charismatic” Imran Khan may seem positive now but in the long run it will weaken the party itself. Idolizing Khan sahab as the sole leader and the last hope, will attenuate the other party leadership. In the long run, it might lead to rifts among the party, which are already rising. For a party to survive, its ideology must live on and evolve. If we continuously structure the entire party and its ambitions around one person, this will easily guarantee a near limit to the political future and life of the party. If PTI promises a new Pakistan, it needs to bring new politics, instead of the same old idol worship, blind following and mud slinging.

Finally, no matter how bad external conditions get, Khan sahab needs to get his men on one page first. The rising conflicts among the party’s ranks need to be solved as the first priority. The party’s own election tribunal headed by Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed (retd) recommended the removal of senior office holders including Jhangir Tareen and Parvez Khatak for “buying votes in the intra-party elections.” The tribunal was later dissolved, but this has lead to rise of tensions among the party, specifically after the Judicial Commission Report. These conditions are clear indicators of the close attention the party needs right now. Though, Khan sahab had generously taken out time to invite Justice Wajihuddin (retd) but the meeting remained fruitless and there is still much more to be done, that is, if Khan sahab wishes to climb back the ladder he slipped down from.



Hasnat Sheikh is a student of law, he takes part in politics and is also interested in literature , poetry and history. He tweets at @hasnatsheikh

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