M Anwar Nasar |
Imran Khan is not only arbitrary in making party policies but is also taking provincial autonomy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad. Taking this extreme step and reversing provincialism is fatal to the democratic culture of Pakistan.
In Pakistani politics, generally, the actual taste of democracy is hardly found in the sphere of politics, political parties, and government. The political narrative of the new world order works for the empowerment of an increasing number of people. Democracy, in other words, is the will and say of the people in the affairs of the state and the government.
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The culture of democratic norms to be institutionalized comes from the democratic nature of party politics. If the political parties are run by real political leaders then it would devolve the power to the common class and vice versa. Obviously, a more hierarchical structure of the political party strengthens both its people and the party.
The nationalist leadership of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa struggled for decades for the acquisition of provincial autonomy. In this run, they were labeled with different titles like ‘traitor’.
In Pakistani politics, with exception to few, the central leadership of political parties fears to expand the central power down to the lower ebb of its organization. This kind of culture is then institutionalized in the personality cults as they rise to higher ranks inside the party. The same reflection is found when a party comes to form a government at central or provincial level.
Initially, I will try to highlight the arbitrariness of Imran Khan. The words, actions, and activities of IK expose the authoritarian and dictatorial nature of his dealings. This trait can be emphatically found at his perpetration at party and government level.
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Justice (r) Wajihudin was assigned the task to head the commission for the purpose of investigating ‘irregularities’ held in an intra-party election in 2013. Justice (r) Wajihudin pointed out the main reasons for the irregularities. Consequently, this led to the genesis of difference with the party leadership. Instead of ousting those at fault from the party, the PTI chairman suspended Wajihudin’s party membership. This is a clear manifestation of IK’s arrogance where he suspended the investigator instead of cleansing party from the mafia.
At various stages, Imran Khan comes on the screen and announces a future plan but he changes it later. It shows that either his party lacks think tanks or he does not consult members of his party.
Imran Khan’s claim that ‘a political party which has no democracy inside the party could not bring democracy inside the country’ is becoming paradoxical in the context of PTI.
Imran Khan avoids true mass scale party elections with his unique electoral process inside his party. He oversimplified the electoral process in the case of intra-party elections. He, simply, framed two panels i.e. ‘Insaaf panel’ and ‘Ehtisaab Panel’. In the ‘Insaaf panel’ Imran Khan was chairman and all other popular leaders had been assigned the particular positions of Vice-chairman, General Secretary and so on.
And the rival panel was comprised of comparatively less popular leaders. Ironically, voters were made to either vote for ‘Insaaf panel’ or ‘Ehtisaab Panel’. Ehtisaab panel’s Naik Muhammad Khan ran against Imran Khan for the chairmanship.
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How could Ehtisaab Panel possibly win with an amalgamation of unpopular political activists in comparison to Imran Khan, Shah Mehmud Qureshi, and Jahangir Tareen? Consequently, Imran Khan’s claim that ‘a political party which has no democracy inside the party could not bring democracy inside the country’ is becoming paradoxical in the context of PTI.
The prospect of reversing provincial autonomy to Islamabad shows the despotic nature of IK’s personality. He refuses to transfer power to the locals of the particular region in KPK.
In Pakistani politics, generally, the actual taste of democracy is hardly found in the sphere of politics, political parties, and government.
A couple of weeks earlier teachers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had staged a sit-in in front of Imran Khan’s home in Bani Gala. Under the 18th amendment, the education had been transferred to provinces. Now it is Imran Khan’s responsibility to empower the provincial government rather than concentrating the power to him. This concentration of power restricts provincialism.
The real power of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rests in the hands of a handful of political figures. These political leaders are not the original inhabitants of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa i.e. Jahangir Tareen and Asad Umar. They have been imposed on the provincial government in the prospect of monitoring and planning. But in reality, they have violated the norm of provincialism.
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How could the inhabitants of Punjab become more aware of the local situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa than its locals? Both the ‘legal team’ for the cooperation of provincial government and ‘monitoring team’ for the scrutiny of the government must be comprised of local people.
The nationalist leadership of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa struggled for decades for the acquisition of provincial autonomy. In this run, they were labeled with different titles like ‘traitor’ and so on. They were finally given some control in the previous government under the 18th amendment. Now Imran Khan is again reversing the 18th amendment by transferring the power to Islamabad. This is not only something apolitical but also unconstitutional.
Imran Khan is not only arbitrary in making party policies but is also taking provincial autonomy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad.
During PTI’s sit-in held in D-Chowk Islamabad, most of the people I had met there were either Peshawerites or from the twin cities. So Imran Khan was using Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s people and resources for the acquisition of some undemocratic aspiration to derail the government.
In a nutshell, Imran Khan should avoid actions that will lead to the stigmatization of his political career. Moreover, being a true democrat he should quit, once for all, the nature of arbitrariness and promote provincialism for it is a trust assigned to him by the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through their ballot.
Mr. Anwar has completed his Mphil from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He is freelance writer for Balochistan Point and Balochistan Express. The views expressed in this article are authors own and do not necessirly relfect Global Village Space editorial policy.