ISLAMABAD: Within 48 hours of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s unexpected but definitive drubbing in the first phase of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa local bodies elections, hardcore party workers have reminded Imran Khan that “voters and workers followed no one else but him” and and have asked him to step in to arrest the rot that is ripping the party from within before it is too late.
In messages that have gone viral on party’s social media accounts, the workers have appealed that process of awarding tickets to candidates be withdrawn from the “power seeking people” followed by a strict process of accountability against the “seasonal birds who would fly to other nests after completely destroying the party”.
Responding to the confusion, mixed messaging and mutual allegations as to who should be burdened with the blame for the defeat that saw four major KP cities and towns lost to JUI and ANP and other political parties succeeding in making inroads into the province’s third-tier political structure that was touted as PTI’s fortress since 2013, the party workers have said the tickets for local elections were “distributed” by a 9-member party committee headed by Chief Minister Mehmood Khan and consisted of MNAs and MPAs as per a party notification generated on August 30, 2021.
The notification does subtly recognise the tensions between the parliamentarians and grass root workers’ cadres. Signed by party Secretary General Amir Mehmood Kiyani, the document talks about the need to deal with the tensions that were being discussed within the party but denied publicly to show a united house.
Sources, who wanted to remain anonymous, say there is a concerted effort within the party to blame Chief Organiser Saifullah Khan Nyazee for the local bodies fiasco. “In fact, the blame lies with CM Mehmood Khan, Asad Qaiser, Shah Farman, Pervaiz Khattak, Senator Azam Swati, Atif Khan, Murad Saeed, Ali Ameen Gandapur and Fazal Muhammad Khan,” they said because they were all assigned by the party as members of the Provincial Apex Committee to not only “evaluate and review” the district organisations in KP but also to “endeavor to bring harmony amongst the parliamentarians and party cadre to prepare party for the upcoming local bodies elections”. In a social media message, the party workers protested against the party decision to handover power the selection process to
ministers and parliamentarians. “Who would listen to the grievances of workers when ministers and MPs have been empowered to reward friends, close relatives and investors”. They accused the party elite of detesting party cadres for they know that party’s real strength lay with the workers. “That is why they tried to divide the workers so that no one could challenge their authority.”