Imran Khan launched his election campaign for the NA-53 constituency in Islamabad on Saturday, pumped about how the party has "never been as well-prepared going into the election as this year".
"The first rule of engagement is: never underestimate your opponent," the 'captain' said, waxing philosophical all Sun Tzu-like.
It seems what he hadn't anticipated, however, was the trying nature of ticket distribution. The PTI chief launched into a tirade about what "torture" the exercise was, sharing how his wife Bushra Begum had "watched him grow old" the past three weeks.
Out of 4000 applications received, between 650 and 700 were green-lit for tickets, he announced.
The "biggest torture" however was apparently the distribution of tickets for reserved seats for women.
Among those vying, many were senior members and had experience dating back 20 years and thought they deserved the tickets. On the other hand there were those who served [the party] for the past 5-6 years. I will never forget what they did for the sit-in. There were those working at the grassroot-level. And then there were those who were barristers, whom we knew could represent us in the assembly, said Imran Khan describing the tough shots he had to call.
He said that the first order of business, after the party comes into power, will be to hold intra-party elections and only those women who come out on top will be given priority [for a reserved seat].
Even so, the party did manage to meet the 5 per cent legal requirement and awarded tickets to 14 women out of 244 candidates in the general seats.