PTI intra-party polls unlikely before general election
24 September, 2012
LAHORE: The internal differences of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have been keeping the party from announcing a formal schedule for the intra-party elections to be held at union council level throughout the country, and the polls are unlikely before the general election, PTI sources told our sources.
The sources maintained that the undeclared war between the PTI old guard and political giants entering the party during its era of popularity was hindering the finalisation of dates for the elections. They added that the party's old stalwarts awaited elections at all levels with the hope to get recognition for the services rendered by them during the party's hard times.
One of the old leaders of the party told this scribe that delay in the elections was increasing reservations among the party workers as they thought that their sacrifices and hard work might be ignored to accommodate the newcomers. He said any unwise decision from the party core committee might cause a large-scale split.
The party office-bearers cited the incomplete voter lists as cause of the delay, saying the schedule would be given as soon as the lists were finalised. They were of the view that almost 15 days were needed to initiate the election process.
It is pertinent to mention that PTI Chairman Imran Khan dissolved all regional bodies in June last year and constituted regional steering committees in all the provinces, a move that aimed to pave way for holding party elections. Since then the party affairs are being run through ad hoc arrangements. Khan has repeatedly said that elections would be held for each and every position so that no body could question appointments of new position-holders, who would take the party into general election.
But it is also a ground reality that PTI top leadership, despite showing strong urge for holding intra-party elections, has failed to make a final announcement, and has been just hinting at various dates for the much-awaited polls.
After the party's show of strength in Lahore, a number of politicians have been joining it along with their supporters. The new leaders have been given positions largely based on their past political record. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who joined the PTI after quitting the PPP, was immediately made vice chairman of the party. Makhdoom Javed Hashmi was made president. Khwaja Muhammad Hoti, former MNA of the ANP, was given the post of senior vice president (he later left the party). Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali, Sikandar Bosan, Jamal Khan Leghari, Mian Azhar and Mian Mehmood Rashid were appointed to decision-making slots in PTI.
The sources claimed that with party elections, all the nominated office-bearers have their places at stake, which they could only secure by show of electoral strength in their respective constituencies. Some of these leaders have expressed their concerns before the PTI chief and asked him to find out a middle way, they said. The party's top leadership had held many meetings to resolve the outstanding issues, but failed to garner an agreement to hold intra-party polls before the next general election, the sources claimed.
The party's information secretary, Shafqat Mahmood, was not available for comment.