Gilani shielded looters, plunderers during last four years: Imran
12 March, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Sunday accused Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani of protecting a thief-ridden setup instead of providing relief to the country's destitute masses.
Addressing media persons after the party's stormy central executive committee meeting in the capital, the PTI chief alleged that the prime minister was in no mood to provide relief to the inflation-ravaged common man, simply because he was too busy providing protection to the country's looters and plunderers during last four years.
Imran said that his party had set itself a target of expanding its party membership to over 4 million in the space of two months, adding that a draft of the party's new constitution would be unveiled to the general public within the next ten days.
The PTI leader also used the occasion to reiterate his conviction that the PPP and PML-N had struck a fresh deal, and alleged that unprecedented corruption had been the hallmark of the recently-held Senate elections.
In response to a question, Imran conceded that he indeed faced many challenges in the handling of party affairs, but assured reporters that a grassroots-level intra-party election would be held in a month's time.
"To end seething confusion, a comprehensive party structure will be put in place," he said, adding that his party aimed to bring a decisive end to family politics.
Following the party meeting, some CEC members speaking on the condition of anonymity confided to our sources that their leader did indeed face a complex set of challenges. To begin with, they claimed that the electables who had joined the PTI following its Lahore rally in October complained that they were being continuously disgraced by their party juniors.
It was also revealed that the CEC was sharply divided on the issue of the creation of slots of president and vice-chairman, and on the fact that the post of president would be next to the chairman in terms of seniority. It is interesting to note that these two posts have been crafted to accommodate the two Makhdooms of Multan i.e. Javed Hashmi as the party president and Shah Mehmood Qureshi as the party's vice-chairman.
Allegedly, Qureshi has already been offered the position of vice-chairman but has refused to accept a charge which is subservient or junior to Hashmi. During the meeting, Imran Khan's first cousin Inamullah Khan Niazi, who only recently joined the ranks of the PTI after leaving the PML-N, castigated the party leadership for what he termed as a gross mishandling of party affairs before staging a walk-out from the forum, leaving Imran and others in utter disbelief.
At around 4:00pm, Jamal Leghari, his brother Awais, Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Sikandar Bossan all made a dramatic entrance in the middle of the meeting. As Imran quickly apologised to them for not having informed them of the meeting on time, Jamal claimed that despite his joining the party as a group, several other people had not been informed about the CEC meeting either: "Please don't forget we joined you as a group: don't disgrace us further," the son of the late Farooq Leghari charged.
Ex-federal minister Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, meanwhile, politely reminded Imran about his political struggle that spanned over three decades, and lamented at the shabby treatment he had received at the hands of the party's junior most activists. He also called for a complete overhaul of the PTI's party structure.
Pervaiz Khattak, who joined the PTI after quitting his post as irrigation minister in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government a few months back, said angrily that he had opted for a new political alignment out of respect for the need to bring about a real change in the country, but added that so far he had been unable to find this respect and dignity within the ranks of the PTI. Khattak observed, "The PTI lacks a true democratic edifice," before adding, "Imran Khan Sahib we will all be remorseful if we did not change our attitude soon."
He also silenced senior PTI leader Hamid Khan, when the latter attempted to convince him to talk about the draft constitution by saying, "Don't tell us what to talk about, we have been in politics for the last 30-35 years."
A senior PTI leader from Sindh, meanwhile, complained that the party had taken just two PTI members from Sindh for the sake of CEC representation, while a handful of members had been chosen from Karachi. From the very start of the CEC meeting, the forum witnessed arguments and counter arguments on issues such as the introduction of regional committees to oversee provincial matters.