RAWALPINDI: The residents of NA-56 in Rawalpindi are no doubt proud of being represented in the National Assembly by Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.
But less than two months after the elections, wall-chalkings have appeared in the constituency asking ‘Where is Khan?’, ‘Whom will you approach?’
The PTI chief, who won the seat after defeating PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi on May 11, has not returned to the area for thanking the voters except visiting the house of a PTI supporter once, who was shot dead on Election Day.
The PTI chairman secured more than 80,000 votes against 67,000 of Abbasi.
During the election campaign, Hanif Abbasi had frequently warned the area's people not to make the blunder of voting for Mr Khan. He used to argue that the PTI chief would never spare time from his luxurious villa in Bani Gala to visit the narrow streets of Rawalpindi for hearing the day-to-day problems of residents.
On the other hand, there are also people who complain how difficult it was to approach Imran Khan.
“In this area, people are faced with day-to-day problems like approval of building maps, timely lifting of garbage from outside their houses and shortage of drinking water. I think Imran Khan is too big a politician for these small problems,” said Zahoor Anwer, a resident of Satellite Town’s B. Block, who had also voted for the PTI chief.
Javed Khan, 44, a rickshaw driver, had long been fascinated by Imran Khan’s speeches during which he would frequently mention the woes of taxi and rickshaw drivers.
But the rickshaw driver lost all the hopes the day he tried to visit Bani Gala along with his five friends to meet Imran Khan. He and his friends were denied access to the residence of the PTI chief and turned away from the gate by a dozen of security guards.
In Rawalpindi, people always prefer to elect a candidate who would later help them in getting their issues resolved through civic agencies like the Town Municipal Administration (TMA), Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), hospitals and educational institutions.
In 2010, the then MNA Hanif Abbasi was at loggerheads with the director general RDA only for delaying the building plan of his voter. Almost all lawmakers in the city visit the offices of municipal authorities for helping their voters to get their work done. “I don’t think Imran Khan will ever pay a visit to a TMA office like this,” said Waheed Mughal, a resident of the constituency.
A wall-chalking by PML-N supporters in Haideri Chowk reminds voters in NA-56 about the missing Imran Khan which is indeed an embarrassing situation for the PTI workers.
However, Rana Sohail, a local PTI leader, told Dawn that his party had set up a complaint office at Sixth Road where the residents can file their problems. He added that the PTI workers can deal with the local issues without involving the party head.
“Imran Khan will soon also visit the area and listen to the complaints of the residents.” The PTI local leader said after facing a crushing defeat in the constituency PML-N leaders were spreading propaganda against the PTI chief.