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Saturday, February 4, 2023

How a perfect storm is setting up against a more diverse PTI

According to Juan Abbas, the government is facing divisions as members hold opposing stances on issues like ban on TLP and the indictment of Jahangir Tareen.

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Anyone who has been around in Pakistan for the past few months knows by now, shuffle-ups in the government are not uncommon, in fact, they may seem to occur every month.

Some are promoted for experience, and some demoted for incompetence, and some just left in the dark on any governing issues, thrown into the public for playing politics. And whenever policies shift with politics, a fall from power is imminent.

In 2014, after an unexpected turn in Pakistani politics, PTI, headed by Imran Khan, launched an anti-government movement. No matter its conclusion, it gave a message of a strong inter-party coalition, from all backgrounds, with Jahangir Tareen as one of the most prominent members.

Read more: The ‘Electables’ in Imran Khan’s PTI

In fact, he was also seen as a front-runner to be chosen as President. Perhaps that was the ambition that broke the party.

Arguably, Tareen was also prominent for his wealth at the time, as well as his aid to the PTI. The PTI, at the time, was heavily dependent on donors and donations. Fast forward, to April of 2021, we saw Tareen being prosecuted in court for links to sugar holdings and fraud.

His generosity during his time as a senior member of the party was applauded across the political spectrum as Tareen was a friend helping another friend for a good cause to serve a country.

Read more: Is Jahangir Tareen responsible for the rising price of sugar?

Rifts in the party

Though the details are somewhat vague, the inter-party unity transformed into inter-party divisions.

At around the same time, the TLP began its protests across Pakistan for the arrest of their new leader by Pakistani officials, some presume for his strong opposition of the French Ambassador’s presence in Pakistan.

Now, that is a separate story, and I personally have no opinion on that, however, the rifts between the government and TLP also broke out.

Read more: Is government going to freeze assets of TLP?

Earlier this week, a few members of the KPK resigned in opposition to the prosecution and indictment of Jahangir Tareen. And they showed little inclination to hide the fact that they were in fact behind another leader of the PTI, whose support meant a lot to them.

Coincidentally, recently, some other members of the government broke with their own colleagues, not on the position of Tareen, but of that of the TLP, and argued the ban placed on the party must be lifted for love to country and religion, no matter what further actions would bring.

Read more: Why is government going to ban TLP?

Distrust in the govt?

Now, if you connect the dots, it would take a fool to see the connection between the two. Let me explain. The first connection is that anyone knowing our nation’s politics would know, that criticizing your own party is a death sentence. It should not be, but it unfortunately is.

Nobody, or at least close to no one, has ever criticized the Prime Minister and other ministers, for any sovereign action, pertaining to the country’s national security and interests.

But that changed, with many Federal ministers coming out in support of the lift. Some saw it as a call to action, some saw it as a revolt, but others saw clear distrust in the Government.

Read more: Pakistan’s Agenda for Political Stability in the next decade: Nasim Zehra

And I’m going to say it as it is. Some people, not all who came out in support of the lift, but some have, and will take advantage of the TLP to settle the score with the Prime Minister for his outreached distrust in a common friend.

Though it was expected, people would publically come out in support of Jahangir Tareen, a perfect storm hit the capital city, and the national assembly is in some ways, the most diplomatic and yet effective way to undermine trust, and that is what took place recently.

Read more: PM Imran Khan to meet Jahangir Tareen?

A self-destructive mission

Ambitious politicians seeking another term in office, under somebody who is answerable to them, not the other way around as it should be. In the process, they seem to be harming any other potential front-runners.

I see this not as a competition to the top of PTI, but a self-destructive mission to see the party fail, and for that the Prime Minister must watch out, especially considering a strong friendship which is hanging from a thin thread, balancing with faith, falling with doubt.

Read more: Allegations against Jahangir Tareen: Criminal breach of trust, financial fraud and money laundering

This diversity can be seen as one of the most divisive issues facing the PM’s reign. And this is not diversity in opinion, it’s concrete diversity in thought, which will polarize and divide one of the most united systems in the country.

The author tweets at: @JuanAbbas. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.