A surprise omission, a good addition
ISLAMABAD: There is a big omission and positive inclusion in the new organizational structure of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) that Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his capacity as party chairman, introduced after the debacle to which he faced the first phase of local elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, long-time PTI vice-president, has been kicked out of the new structure, which has been put in place to allow the party to perform better in upcoming local polls in Punjab and in the remaining districts of KP.
Qureshi is silent on the new arrangement. Neither he nor any other leader of the PTI has spoken of his exclusion. There was a time when there seemed to be a serious feud between Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen within the group and Imran Khan used to play a balancing act and engage in firefighting to keep the two in its lap. With Tareen out of the PTI, much to the foreign minister’s satisfaction, Qureshi was not retained in his prestigious former post as vice president.
Among the party figures who have been chosen for key positions in the new structure, the inclusion of Defense Minister Pervez Khattak is of great importance given his track record of political success in the KP, his personal position and of his insight. He belongs to the race of traditional politicians who believe in maintaining cordial relations with political rivals and taking them with them. Khattak also has his own constituency where he and some of his family have won back-to-back elections. During his tenure as chief minister of the KP, even his opponents did not have too many complaints against him.
The PTI had achieved a phenomenal victory in the KP in 2018 by winning the elections for the second consecutive time after Khattak’s five-year reign as chief minister. The tenure factor, which generally goes against the incumbent KP government, did not affect the electoral performance of the PTI. On the contrary, he had added to his earnings. An example of Khattak’s political acumen was when all federal and provincial lawmakers in the PTI tendered their resignations to speakers in 2014 on the orders of Imran Khan, he did not accept the idea and stuck to it. position that the party would benefit from it. more if its KP lawmakers stayed in place.
With the exception of Khattak, all other PTI leaders who have received leadership positions in the new structure depend entirely on Imran Khan’s charisma and attractiveness and would find it difficult to bring influential people into the fold. PTI or keep the current batch.
Like some other major political parties, the PTI also revolves around one man – Imran Khan. Even the limited relevance, impact and influence of the new PTI leadership will be of little importance in the management and management of the party in the provinces at the micro and local levels for organizational purposes. It is unclear how successful the new Secretary General Asad Umar will be in this regard. He is an honest and outspoken person, who can give good presentations and briefings on different issues, but lacks the quality of interacting with ordinary people to impress them.
Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, who has been appointed president of southern Punjab, also has his own constituency. While being part of the southern province of the Saraiki Belt Front, he had joined the PTI just before the 2018 legislative elections. His brother, who is the Punjab’s finance minister, had returned from a seat in the Assembly of Punjab of Rahim Yar Khan. How far Khusro Bakhtiar will be able to bring gains to the party in the next general election remains to be seen.
Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood is a refined man but is not a typical leader of the masses and has no experience leading this important branch of the PTI. He is responsible for the politically most important region, the Punjab, in particular its central part where the Muslim League of Pakistan-Nawaz (PMLN) is the most popular electorally.
It is well known that the PTI has been a house of divided in Sindh, particularly in Karachi, where Federal Minister Ali Zaidi played a role. It will be a huge challenge for him to make a meaningful contribution to the party or help bury his internal strife in the metropolis of Sindh where the PTI posted an impressive performance in the 2018 polls.
Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, who has always been skeptical of the PTI’s policy in Balochistan, has been ignored in the new organizational setup. The vice-president of the National Assembly, Qasim Suri, was preferred as president of Balochistan. Given the peculiarities of Balochistan politics, it has a limited role to play.
As a general rule, anyone who is elected president or vice-president resigns from his post for moral reasons in order to present himself as a neutral person. The reverse happened in this case.
Aamir Mahmood Kayani, who has been appointed Deputy Secretary General, is a party alumnus. Some time ago, he was removed from his post as Federal Minister of Health after a controversy erupted over the massive rise in drug prices.