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The PTI puzzle

Updated October 06, 2016

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IMRAN KHAN, supreme leader of the PTI and would-be national conscience against corruption, is an individual of many words and frequent speeches.

Seemingly, every day, in some part or the other of the country, via some medium or the other, on some stage high or low, Mr Khan speaks to his supporters, the undecided and the very nation itself.

Perhaps never before has there been a political leader with so much to say on so many occasions and with such gusto.

And yet, Mr Khan appears to suffer from an unusual allergy: parliament, the house of the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan.

Yesterday, as the nation’s elected leaders gathered in the house of the people just off Constitution Avenue in Islamabad, Mr Khan and his PTI representatives were conspicuous by their absence during the joint sitting.

Mr Khan had thundered a day before his refusal to accept the legitimacy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his disdain for a parliament elected by dodgy means — according to the PTI at least.

There is no gainsaying, lamenting or remonstrating with Imran Khan and the PTI. Theirs is a singular mission — the overthrow of the elected order and the installation of the PTI as the one true leadership of the country.

To the extent that democratic means are pursued in order to achieve power, the PTI is well within its rights to try whatever strategy and tactics it deems necessary to achieve its objective.

But the outsider must still marvel at and be perplexed by the party’s decision-making.

For what better podium, what better stage and what better opportunity for the PTI to deliver its message than a joint sitting of parliament, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself seated nearby and forced to listen?

If, in an incidental manner, a word or two was said about the Kashmir dispute and India’s intransigence, all the better. But perplexing remain the PTI’s ways.

Published in Dawn October 6th, 2016