In Pakistan’s political history, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the only political party that has gone through dramatic ups and downs in terms of popularity.
Some recent polls suggest that its popularity is at all-time low since the massive political gathering of 30th October. After Imran Khan’s phenomenal success in attracting the masses, a ‘tsunami’ of scathing criticism was directed at him and his party that PTI is gathering traditional politicians around him; voting for PTI would mean right wing vote division which would ultimately help PPP and Zardari in coming back to power, etc. But, here the question arises that whether this entire brickbat is logical and based on valid arguments or it is just propaganda against him? Another pertinent question is that is PTI really a symbol of ‘change’ or it is only a political sloganeering like of other parties?
Some analysts have talked a lot about the right-wing vote division. While discussing this point, they rely mainly on previous elections’ results that whenever the traditional right wing ‘comprising Jamaat-e-Islami , PML(N) and some other parties’ is divided, PPP being the main beneficiary this chasm came to power. But these analysts forget two fundamental things about PTI. Firstly, PTI has attracted not only the right-wing but also the left-wing votes because it represents ‘change’ for all the Pakistanis irrespective of their being the right wingers or the leftists. For instance, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi who has been the backbone of PML (N) and PPP’s former diehard follower Shah Mehmood Qureshi are on the same page in PTI. In addition, innumerable individuals with rightist or leftist political affiliations are now the steel frame of the PTI at the grassroots level.
The second, and perhaps the most crucial, fact is that this time 40 % of the voters are newly-registered young men and women who have never voted before and who aspire to bring ‘change’ in this filthy system of dynastic politics. Given the popularity of PTI and Imran Khan in the youth of Pakistan, it is expected that they will vote for PTI. If it happens, it would be a ‘huge success’ in the history of Pakistan.
The second criticism is about the inclusion of same ‘old and traditional’ faces in the party. It’s quite tricky, as some parties while raising the slogans of change and criticizing others, forget their own deeds. It is important to mention that there is a huge difference between Pakistan’s rural and urban social fabric. The rural fabric, or we can say the constituency politics, is mostly caste-and-biradari-based. Here, the loyalties are towards biradari as in times of trouble, they will come to help. So, in these circumstances, ‘personalities’ become far more important than the ‘parties’. That’s why every political party in Pakistan had to include these ‘electables’ if it wants to come into power and without power, you cannot bring ‘change’. Even Quaid-e-Azam, whose vision and purpose of change was above and beyond any doubt, and whose will and steadfastness to his ideals gave us this country, had to accept these electables coming from the Unionist Party of Punjab into his folds. Even majority of the Muslim League belonged to the Unionist Party of Punjab and had the Muslim League not got the Majority in Punjab, Pakistan would have been a dream yet.
PTI followers say that it is the only party and Imran Khan is the only leader who can bring real change in Pakistan. It is so because Pakistan needs someone who neither can only handle all these issues but introduce some institutional changes in our body politic and socioeconomic fabric along with reshaping the state structure which will lead us to prosperity and development on a sustainable basis. It is the need of the hour to build institutions and Imran Khan has proved his mastery in this skill. A glowing example of his abilities is in front of everyone in form of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital that is also reflective of his love and devotion for the oppressed and downtrodden Pakistanis and, at the same time, his ability and vision for change.
Secondly, the recent intra-party elections also show his determination towards changing the outdated political system and turning the state enterprises into ‘institutions’ where policies rather than ‘personalities’ matter.
Thirdly, PTI is the only party which has announced 20 % tickets for Youth which is indicative of its seriousness towards including the ‘infantry’ of change in the parliamentary process.
Fourthly, PTI is the most innovative party in the political domain of Pakistan and it is the innovation which leads a nation towards progress.
In the end, it is necessary to advise that do use your right to vote and play your part in giving the future direction to our dear homeland. This is the only way you can change the direction of the nation’s destiny. If you don’t vote, you will have no one to blame for if the next government does not solve your problems.