The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been trying its best to force the Prime Minister to resign in the wake of JIT report submitted in the SC, but the party seems rather indifferent to dissenting voices within its own ranks. The decision of PTI Sindh leader Naz Baloch to join PPP is a huge setback for the party in the province. A party stalwart’s statement that Naz Baloch was a "nobody"and that her departure won’t make a difference suggests the party is not ready to wake up and smell the coffee. As of late, PTI’s popularity in Sindh is declining to some extent. This would not have been of great significance otherwise, but the PTI leadership’s earlier bombastic statements about sweeping through Sindh now seem to have been hype supported by little substance. The disgruntled Naz Baloch, for instance, complained of the party’s policies in Sindh. She said that the PTI is focused on Punjab and that Imran Khan is not ready to visit Sindh to mobilise workers. This represents a severe indictment of the party’s policies towards its own partisans in Sindh.
The Panama Leaks case has been Imran Khan’s focus of attention, which is understandable because the PTI sees it as an opportunity to prove what it has always alleged about the Sharif family. But the party seems unprepared for the next elections. Given the circumstances, if the party leadership thinks they would perform well in elections if the prime minister is disqualified, that would be wishful thinking at best.
The PTI built its political mettle on commendable grounds - seeking votes in the name of youth empowerment and an opposition to the electoral status quo. Unfortunately, as has been pointed out on many occasions, the leaders who accompany Imran Khan at the moment are not the best representatives of what the PTI claims to stand for.
Ideological workers of the party are disappointed by its alliances with certain elements and the inclusion of politicians like Babar Awan and Firdous Ashiq Awan, who have previously been part of the very same political forces that the PTI has so vociferously attacked. The PTI leadership has a lot of clear thinking to do before the next elections, regardless of the circumstances under which the 2018 polls are held. *
Published in Daily Times, July 17th , 2017.