News Analysis |
Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan claimed that in the presence of Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, and Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman, there is no need for Jewish conspirators in Pakistan. He termed them exceedingly dangerous for the survival of Pakistan.
Read more: Has PTI and PML-N defamed politics?
While addressing a charged gathering in Abbottabad, Khan slammed incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and declared him as the biggest puppet PM in Pakistan’s history.
Khan continued his attacks on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leadership. He ridiculed PML-N’s president and Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif for replacing his brother [Nawaz] in looting the struggling nation. Khan continued his rhetoric and accused Sharifs of plundering the nation’s wealth and transferring it abroad through money laundering.
He mocked PML-N head for utilizing half of the Punjab budget on the development of Lahore.
Hazara membership campaign
PTI chief was on tour of Hazara division for membership campaign. He is visiting small towns and cities across the country to participate in the party’s ongoing membership campaign.
While, visiting Hazara, as part of the PTI’s membership drive, he stopped at Haripur, Abbottabad, Mansehra, and Baffa and addressed the excited and charged crowds.
Khan also lamented Zardari for his corruption and also accused him of plundering nations wealth during his party’s rule in Sindh.
Khan is trying to sell PTI performance in KP
Ruling party under the leadership of ousted Nawaz has been campaigning relentlessly against his double-ousting. PTI’s strategy to sell performance in KP has not been overwhelmingly successful, coupled with strong criticism of ruling party’s old antics.
Imran reminded the participants of the gatherings on the brilliant and exemplary performance of the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Khan claimed to have uprooted the outdated system in the province to some extent and hoped to be able to have convinced people of its performance in the province.
On different occasions, Khan condemned the incumbent government’s current performance and criticized it on the provision of poor health services, and devaluation of local currency and drew a comparison with neighboring South Asian countries.
Khan praised KP for reforming Health system [which is testified by the 24-hours availability of doctors], the better justice system and reforms in education and police.
Will PTI clean sweep in Abbottabad?
In Abbottabad, on two national assembly seats- NA-17 and NA-18, Dr. Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon of PTI and Murtaza Javed Abbasi of PML-N secured seats respectively.
Sardar Mehtab- a winning candidate in 2008, lost out to Dr. Azhar by 26,828 votes, despite the fact that his votes increased by 11,680. This increase in votes was mainly due to ‘Imran effect’ which mobilized youth and encouraged the urban class to participate in the voting process. It was apparent from the fact that turnout in Abbottabad increased to 56.48% in 2013 from 42.72% in 2008. Though, Azhar was an independent candidate in 2008 and secured only 36,668 votes but, due to the popularity of Khan and emergence of PTI as an alternative, Dr. Azhar was elected on PTI’s ticket by securing 96, 549 votes in 2013.
However, in NA-18, Murtaza Javed Abbasi of ruling party and Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob fought an incredible battle in last two decades. Yaqoob who won on PML-Q ticket in 2002, lost out to PML-N’s Abbasi in 2008 and 2013. Abbasi overcame Yaqoob comprehensively on last two occasions and won by huge margins, and ‘Imran effect’ didn’t work out for Yaqoob after joining PTI in 2013 as his votes increased by approx. 6000, only.
2018 elections-test of PTI’s performance claims
Coming elections will be a litmus test for the part. Over last five years, PTI has built its image as a party indulged in transforming the culture and structural elements of the institutions. Khan appeared optimistic in his short addresses at multiple places and claimed that 2018 general elections would transform the destiny of this country.
Though, Khan is hoping to transform and uproot the current system and clueless leaders who plundered nations wealth. Imran is attending dozens of rallies in a day in different divisions to counter PML-N’s relentless and successful campaign against Nawaz’s double-ousting.
Imran is now trying to build a narrative switching his focus from Nawaz to Shehbaz. But, it must be careful in its counter attack. Because people seem to be tired of politics of accusation. Even, PTI’s staunchest of supporters argue to sell PTI’s performance rather than merely blaming Nawaz for all the ills. Membership campaign and engaging the local and lower tier leadership is a step in a right direction for PTI. PTI needs a renaissance before, it’s too late to control damage inflicted by Maryam’s playful tactics through successful improvisation of victimhood.