- And PTI is just another political party; after all
The nation finally braces itself as our amateur democracy marches through the finish line completing its first ever decade; what we are calling the democratic decade. With the general elections 2018 round the corner, the political temperature across the country is constantly heating up in wake of the unprecedented developments occurring in the political spheres of all major players that are likely to shape up the future course of the country’s next democratic political leadership.
From eyes set on the final conclusion of NAB and the Sharifs episode, all set to lay down the political future of Sharif family; to the failed attempt by former President Asif Ali Zardari to convince Hamid Saeed Kazmi over NA-175 contest; to the ghost of Reham Khans unlaunched book haunting the PTI to its core; to the two sects with difference of political opinion fighting over their claim to be the flagbearers of MQM Pakistan; and finally to the apparently handicapped caretaker setup in place to ensure that all is, and goes well; it appears as if we are sitting on a stack of gunpowder with a lighted match in hand, as we march closer to judgment day.
Of all of the aforementioned recent happenings cum anomalies, however, one that has raised some serious eyebrows is the irregularity observed in the distribution of party tickets among members for contesting elections from constituencies across the country.
To the surprise of all, PTI, until now, seems to have topped the list of irregular ticket distribution that has sparked a wave of rage among various factions of the party resulting in pan Pakistan protests by enraged party workers. Surprising because PTI, to start with, was supposed, and claimed to be a party committed to change in the form of a New Pakistan via its merit based democratic practices focused on bringing the youth, and new faces forward to the mainstream politics; a pronounced party image that the recent onboarding’s, and irregular ticket distribution has adversely distorted.
The out of the way accommodation of political elites by Mr Khan and PTI is also a prenotion of possible post-election allocation of critical ministerial and cabinet assignments
While Khan proclaimed himself and the PTI to be the agents of change required to elevate the socio-economic status of the public, establish the rule of law across the table, and eradicate corruption from the midst, now seems to be taking a new (rather old) direction that seems to be undoing all the tall claims. With the inclusion of political elites in PTI, Khan now seems to be at the mercy of power house figures, and under the influence of the very corrupt politicians he once marched against. Coming from all around i.e. team Musharraf, the PPP, PML-N, and the MQM; these figures have proven that their presence in a party holds more weight than the party philosophy, along with the new vibrant faces passionate to bring a change, and that the status-quo holds the influence to tilt the balance of power in favour or against any party.
Khan’s awakening to this very reality, perhaps, has given way to this political lotacracy to the party’s top leadership positions, getting a hold of the driving seat. As it was with the onboarding of the likes of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen, etc, after all; that changed the political fate of the otherwise politically lonely PTI.
Now with the recent incomings like Gohar Ayub along with son Umar Ayub from Haripur, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa along with son Dost Muhammad Khosa, Khusro Bakhtiar from South Punjab, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Aamir Liaqat Hussain, etc, almost a majority of the party tickets have been distributed among this recently joining electable, putting aside the lot of originally, loyal political workers of the PTI. A possible seat adjustment on various constituencies with potential political allies is also underway adding further fuel to the fire of aloofness of ignored PTI members.
Whereas the grieved PTI workers have taken their protest to the streets, Bani Gala, and the media, the PTI leadership has continuously rejected the claims of otherwise visible irregularity observed in the distribution of tickets, and stated that the process was purely based on merit.
One might wonder, though, how can politicians joining the party very recently do justice to merit.
The out of the way accommodation of political elites by Mr Khan and PTI is also a prenotion of possible post-election allocation of critical ministerial and cabinet assignments.
The influence of political counterparts on Khan has, perhaps, made him a misguided missile prone to be ineffective no matter what the outcome of general elections maybe. While the only differentiating factor between PTI and the rest of political parties was preference of change over the status-quo, with the inclusion of the very status-quo itself now, the PTI is likely to be just another political party after all, rampantly pursuing its political gains, and nothing else.
With focus on electables rather than change agents, when the PTI of today looks into the mirror, it sees merely a PPP or a PML-N. While this focus can win an election for PTI in the short run, it will distort the party’s image as a ray of hope for Pakistan in the longer run; which the original ideology was, by the way.