ISLAMABAD: A special committee constituted by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman and Prime Minister Imran Khan last week to review the party’s organisational structure has decided to revoke the present constitution of the party and revive the previous one adopted in 2015 with a few changes aimed at strengthening the party at grassroots level.

The committee has recommended that the party should have five tiers instead of seven and make provincial constituencies as the new tier in place of tehsils.

These details were provided to Dawn by Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, who is also a part of the newly formed 21-member committee.

He said the main committee had then formed a subcommittee under the newly nominated secretary general of the party, Asad Umar, for this purpose which completed its task on Tuesday. The report would now be submitted to the party chairman and the main committee for final approval.

Report to be submitted to Imran for approval

“We have suggested that the 2019 constitution of the party should be revoked and we should go back to the constitution that had been adopted by the party in 2015 with certain changes,” said Mr Chaudhry, who is also a member of the subcommittee that finalised its recommendations.

He said the purpose of reviewing the party’s organisational structure through changes in the constitution was to reorganise and prepare the party for the upcoming local government elections in the provinces and, ultimately, the next general elections.

The other members of the subcommittee include PTI’s additional secretary general Aamer Mehmood Kiani, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi.

After the general elections in 2013, the PTI introduced a new party structure under which Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were divided into four regions — each with no office-bearers at the provincial level. Later, the same structure based on regions was maintained in the new constitution adopted by the party in 2019 and Sindh and Balochistan were also divided into four regions.

After the shocking defeat of the party in the first phase of the local government elections in its stronghold Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on December 19, Imran Khan in his capacity as the PTI chairman dissolved the party’s organisational structure across the country and formed a committee to review the constitution.

The dissolution of the PTI’s organisations from the centre to the tehsil level across the country had been announced by Fawad Chaudhry at a news conference in Islamabad on December 24. The next day, the prime minister nominated new office-bearers of the party at the central and provincial levels, reviving the eight-year-old party structure.

Mr Khan appointed Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar as the central secretary general in place of MNA Kiani, who has been made the additional secretary general.

Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood was made the president of the party’s central Punjab chapter and Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtyar the president of the PTI’s south Punjab chapter. Mr Zaidi became the president of PTI’s Sindh chapter, whereas Defence Minister Pervez Khattak was given the responsibility to reorganise the party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri was nominated as president of the party’s Balochistan chapter.

The new nominations show that Mr Khan has abolished the party’s organisational structure as given in the 2019 constitution and appointed office-bearers at the central and provincial levels. There have been no changes in the party’s structures in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan chapters so far.

Fawad Chaudhry earlier said Imran Khan had made these nominations temporarily by using his special powers as the party chairman. He said this “interim set-up” would continue to function until the party had a new constitution.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2021

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