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PTI’s roadmap


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THE chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Imran Khan, is scheduled to unveil his map for the future at a public meeting in Bahawalpur today. The announcement is being anxiously awaited against the backdrop of reported discussion within the party over which course it should follow from here onwards. In simple terms, the PTI is divided between the moderates who have the patience and will to work gradually within the existing system and the more radical elements who want to strive for forcing sudden change at the risk of severely endangering the system.

These are the two extremes Mr Khan has been shuttling between. One moment he presses for an investigation into vote fraud by the available apparatus and the next he threatens to join Dr Tahirul Qadri. If the PTI is not too bothered about learning from its own experience in public protest so far, maybe there is a case for it to have a close look at the Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s example: how Dr Qadri has been unable to sustain action that would indicate mobility. The drive — led either by Mr Khan or by Dr Qadri or by the two of them jointly — cannot go in fits and starts. There has to be decisive progress aimed at well-defined targets that are fully understood by and acceptable to the masses whose favour is being sought. There is more frustration than purpose to the two moves so far.

Imran Khan has reasons to be upset. He is within his rights to ask for a probe into alleged poll rigging. The delay in addressing his demands betrays problems in the system of governance that lacks an ability to effectively respond to discontent and complaints. Also, there is not too much room for disagreement over him questioning the arrogance with which the current rulers work. The big question, however, relates to the sensitive issue of just how far he can take his agitation and what serious repercussions his acts could entail, for his party and for the country at large. Mr Khan warns he could be ultimately forced to dissolve the provincial assembly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where his party is in power. If this is a statement made in total disregard for the disastrous effects such a dissolution could have on the whole of Pakistan, it seems also to be based on an overestimation of what gains the PTI, now a political party with proven public support, could make in the ensuing chaos. The people want change but, oft bitten, they will be wary of being plunged into yet another period of uncertainty. The PTI leader will persist with his demand for poll-fraud investigation, but if he is to emerge as the alternative he must devote some of his energies to turning his Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government into a model ready to be replicated all across the country.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2014

Comments (17) Closed

Khan Shahzaib Jun 27, 2014 01:21am

People have given him mandate to run the KPK province, but Imran Khan is adamant to take a more national role and that too based on strong opposition to the federal government. It will bode well for him to work exemplary in KPK so that he becomes a national leader in true sense.

Safwan Jun 27, 2014 03:44am

@Khan Shahzaib With the kind of rigging that has been discovered can one really say that he not has received a national mandate until a proper investigation is carried out? Something that the current government has been so recluctant to do, I guess they have some reasons. . .

pathanoo Jun 27, 2014 05:15am

Imran Khan has lost the initiative. the Pakistani people had high hopes in him. But Imran has been more interested in being on the stage than accomplishing some thing for Pakistan. He now is a laughing stock except to his die hard fans. Most people do not care what he says. The sad part is he is continuing on as if he is leading the country. He will do well to get off the "Rigged Election" tantrum. If even true; no one is paying any attention to it. He should also, once and for all, denounce the TTP. Start addressing issues like education, poverty, transportation, hunger, employment, taxation etc rather than always be complaining. May be then, he might recover some of his charisma and people may start paying attention to him.

Naeem Qureshi Jun 27, 2014 06:52am

IK has an opportunity to establish examplery government in KP. But he wants the limelight and cannot focus on one thing. What a disappointment for all his supporter like me

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jun 27, 2014 07:24am

Your following advice to PTI and Mr. Imran Khan makes a lot of sense:

" the alternative he must devote some of his energies to turning his Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government into a model ready to be replicated all across the country."

Kam Jun 27, 2014 08:54am

Sometimes to break the status quo or make radical changes, true leaders have to take extreme steps. And this is what makes them leaders compared to all others. These are make or break moments. I think Imran has full democratic right and public support to make fundamental changes about election process. He should go ahead and keep pressure on the Nawaz government, to investigate what happened in May 2013 election and does whatever is necessary (and democratic) to achieve this. And do not worry about the system is already crippled and dysfunctional; it cannot be worst...

Em Moosa Jun 27, 2014 09:21am

IK party who has 35 seats in the national assembly can not be asked just to look after KPK. He is a national leader and his commitments with the nation to bring the change is for whole the country not for just a province. PMLN purposely trying to keep him hostage in KPK and they on the other hand can rule the Punjab province without any interfearence from PTI. NS is trying to be smart but people are no more fool. His invitation to IK visiting IDPs at the time IK is going to address his jalsa in Bahawalpur on the same day is just to say the people that IK preferred jalsa on IDPs. Why he did not invite other party leaders too.

Ahmed Jun 27, 2014 10:10am

Nawaz Sharif is clumsy operator but a great opportunist. If Election system is reformed , he will lose the opportunity to bribing his way to another 5 years.

Waqas Jun 27, 2014 11:46am

@Em Moosa Because his party is in KPK? and sorry to say IK always make wrong decisions, he should have accepted the invitation, not that this trip to IDP camp was going to take 14 hours. He could have gone back to the jalsa on his fav Helicopter anyway.

Anwar Rizwi Jun 27, 2014 02:18pm

Can someone please explain exactly why Imran Khan has the power to dissolve the KPK assembly?

S Jun 27, 2014 03:04pm

Even if the rigging is proved, it is highly unlikely that PTI would have won a straight majority at the federal level. I wish the PTI fanboys would understand this.

IKR Jun 27, 2014 03:37pm

@pathanoo Agreed.

haris Jun 27, 2014 07:24pm

@Waqas He visited IDP Camp in Bannu more than a week ago. Whats the point of visiting again?

M.Saeed Jun 27, 2014 11:14pm

Imran knows only one move of the game, that is spoil the sport and complain against everything moving. His over 20 years in politics has not made him understand even how to spell the word "Politics", not to talk of it's norms in the contemporary world.

irshad Jun 28, 2014 11:45am

Imran is being an intriguer by asking the Government his questions on Polls which he should take up with Election Commission or the Tribunals.He know the Law yet his stress over the Government is in effect an intrigue.

Fahim Jun 28, 2014 02:03pm

All demands put forward by IK are very reasonable but beneficiaries of the corrupt system will criticize him of being power seeker.

Justice must be done this time for better sake of Pakistan

John Jun 28, 2014 02:18pm

Dont worry, no one listens to to you blather anymore. The fed up population of Pakistan will rise behind Imran and get rid of the worms and sloths in the corridors of power. No more Gullu Buttery--we want democracy now!