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Jahangir Tareen to perform all the functions and responsibilities of his old office: PTI

10 June, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf  chief Imran Khan issued a three-line notification declaring that Jahangir Tareen, the erstwhile secretary general, would once again “perform all the functions and have all the responsibilities” of his old office.

The decision comes just two weeks after Mr Khan, in pursuance of a report prepared by the party’s election tribunal, dissolved the party’s organisational structure and installed ‘care-taker office bearers’, pending fresh intra-party elections.

In background discussions, a couple of senior PTI leaders told media men that with the announcement of caretaker office bearers, the idea was that the party would be run by the same leaders, having similar powers, but under different a nomenclature. In the interim setup, Mr Tareen was designated central organiser, while former vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi was named the national organiser.

“The two positions — those of central & national organiser — were creating lots of confusion within the party’s rank and file and the chairman thought it would be appropriate to restore Mr Tareen’s powers as secretary general,” a PTI MNA told Dawn, adding that the secretary’s absence had created a limbo in the day-to-day workings of the party.

According to a notification, issued on June 5 and signed by Mr Khan, gives Mr Tareen all the powers of the secretary general “as defined in the party constitution”.

The notification, the MNA conceded, nullified the party chairman’s earlier decision which decreed that all incumbent offices at the central and provincial levels stood dissolved.

The decision was taken after retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad, who was head of the party’s election tribunal, found fault with the intra-party elections and recommended the dissolution of party offices, followed by fresh polls. Although the PTI chairman formally dissolved the tribunal, the latter rejected the appointment of organisers and continued to insist on leading the tribunal until its proposals were implemented in letter and spirit.

Justifying the restoration of his powers, Mr Tareen told reporters that the party was expanding day-in and day-out and needed somebody to look after the organisational affairs. “Therefore, I have been asked to discharge my duties as secretary general, as enshrined in the party constitution.”

The party’s new setup is also facing problems at the provincial level too. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, initially Yousaf Ayub was handed the role of PTI chief organizer, but he was soon replaced by Fazal Mehmood.

Dr Arif Alvi was appointed chief party organizer in Sindh but didn’t want to take the responsibility. Dr Alvi told newsmen, “I personally think somebody else should been given this role, but since the party chairman insists that I do it, I am staying put.”

Punjab, where the party faces the real organisational challenge is where former Punjab governor Mohammad Sarwar and Shah Mehmood Qureshi are running affairs. The former governor is shepherding party the party in Faisalabad, Lahore, Sargodha, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi divisions, while Mr Qureshi will take care of Multan, Sahiwal, DG Khan & Bahawalpur divisions.

According to one party insider, a number of PTI leaders in Punjab weren’t happy with what they called Mr Sarwar’s “gora-style” of running things.

For example, he said, Mr Sarwar had worked out a template based on leaders’ performance in previous elections, which would be used to award party tickets in future. “We were told that the basis of the party was its ideology, but now Mr Sarwar is bringing back the concept of electables. What about new leaders who have never contested elections in the past? As per Mr Sarwar’s formula, only people with an electoral history can be given tickets,” he complained.

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