The PPP and PMLN banners span the skies in the by-elections. Sharif and Zardari have claimed victory and show scorn for the PTI. The vocal PMLN senators piled ridicule on Mr. Khan’s tsunami. All this is a self-inflicted wound. The people of Pakistan cannot believe their ears, nor can they accept what they saw in Mianwali, Multan and other places. Their darling PTI was absent and not to be found. The crooks and the looters won the seats because the PTI allowed them to win. The corruption could have been prevented, but the PTI didnt show up for the fight.
PTI supporters are in abject shock!
The PTI has claimed that it boycotted the elections because the voter list was bad and that the government machinery would be mobilized to alter the results. Both these “excuses” are not valid, because the PTI had nominated Mr. Khokar and already participated in the elections in Lahore and elsewhere.
These by-elections were held because many of the PPP and PMLN stalwarts had left their parties and joined the PTI. Thus sitting MPs had given up their seats to join the PTI. They had sacrificed their parliamentary status to join Mr. Imran Khan. It is totally unfair to them to deny them the opportunity to regain their own seat. One cannot imagine the anger that is seething in the parliamentarians who had to boycott the election. The parliamentarians were elected on the same voter list. However the “boycott” allowed others to win the seats–and win they did with thumping majorities, getting more votes than Mr. Tarin, Mr. Hashmi and Mr. Qureshi and others had originally gotten from the constituency. What is even more poignant is the fact that a colossal number of voters showed up to vote–so the participation was massive and not puny.
Mr. Khan had boycotted the last election claiming that Mr. Sharif had hoodwinked him.
Now Mr. Khan has again boycotted the election and he again he has no presence in the National Assembly. The NA and the Senate is where its at–talks shows and rallies are not where the decisions are being made. Sitting on the sidelines and holding rallies is not real politics. The ability to build coalitions and create consensus is the manner in which parliamentary democracy works. The PTI has shown immaturity in “boycotting” the elections.
The PMLN and the PPP have won the by-elections, and have a majority in the Senate. Thus the PTI, even if takes over the National Assembly will not be able to pass legislation. It will be constrained in passing any legislation without working with the PPP, and the PMLN.
Mr. Khan has been unable to use his cannons. His next chance will be in October. The next six months are going to be crucial. By then the powder will be wet. Mr. Khan said that he would lose the elections if the PTI made blunders. This is another blunder. PTI supporters around the world are in chock and cannot comprehend what is going on. Politics is about coalitions.
Mr. Khan refuses to build coalitions with any of the smaller parties. This portends failure, not success. If he has accepted questionable figures from other parties–he should also form partnerships with almost all political parties. If Mr. Bhutto could work with the ANP and the JUI, so can Mr. Imran Khan. His refusal to understand the basics will not allow him into power. The MQM allowed him a rally in Karachi. Mr. Khan was unable to build on that momentum and build bridges of harmony. Mr. Khan actually opened a new front with the JUI. That was totally unnecessary–that may alienate millions. Mr. Khan has been unable to form an alliance with the AML and Mr. Rashid. He has been unable to induct Senator Mushahid Hussain into the party. Marvi Memon would have been a great asset to the PTI. She was totally mishandled and has now joined the PMLN. Shireen Mazari seems to have been marginalized in the party. All these factors reflect some level of confusion in the party which does not bode well for the PTI. There are rumors that a major figure will be leaving the PTI.
As Zaheerudding Babar said–be careful of he flatterers!
The PTI’s tsunami even it is can win 240 seats cannot rule Pakistan without the help of the other parties. Mr. Khan must expunge the word “boycott” out of his vocabulary and learn to participate in the elections. The only thing that defines the reasons for the boycott–cold feet. Another reason was that Mr. Khan feared being trounced in the elections. If that is the case, Mr. Khan cannot bring about a tsunami. We had thought that holding massive rallies had abruptly halted his march towards irrelevancy (posted multiple articles on the PTI site). However it seems that bad advice forces him to resume his march towards ignominy and oblivion. Mr. Asghar Khan also was unable to convert his street power into a voting juggernaut, despite the fact that General Hamid Gul and others had manufactured his PNA.
Other political parties have held larger rallies than Mr. Imran Khan. Even the non-political Defense Pakistan Council has displayed massive street power. Mulana Fazal Ur Rehaman’s JUI has gathered more people in rallies than Mr. Imran Khan. The PMLN and even the MQM has shown power by holding larger rallies.
Mr. Khan was on a roll–a road we thought would lead him to representation in the current parliament, which would give him credibility. He could then use his vocal power inside parliament to ensure that evil is identified in the National Assembly–and he could have then built a powerful lobby with the smaller parties to affect the formation of the interim government and the new elections.
Now the seats held by Mr. Tarin, Mr. Qureshi, and Mr. Hashmi are held by others. It is obvious that the PPP will release massive funds for development to the new incumbents, making it harder for the PTI folks to regain their seats.
We hold serious reservations about Mr. Khan’s stance on Kashmir. Mr. Khan has not mentioned the words “disputed territory”, “Kashmir baniaga Pakistan”, Kashmir is Pakistani land”, “Kashmir should be resolved under US resolutions”, “Kashmir should be solved through a plebiscite”. Mr. Khan talks about Kashmir as a “human rights issue”, not a territorial dispute between Pakistan and Bharat. His interviews with the Bharati media are very strange and weired. We must remind the PTI that Lahore is 40% Kashmiri, and the Sharifs, and Mr. Shik Rashid and many Pakistani politicians are Kashmiri. The confusing, and appeasing statements by the PTI will ensure that the PTI cannot make inroads into Lahore and Northern Punjab. The media has been throwing soft-balls at Mr. Khan, but in the general elections these will become valid points.
Today Mr. Khan stands outside again–with the PMLN, and the PPP taking potshots at his party which has no seats in parliament. Mr. Khan should fire those that advised him to boycott the elections and wholeheartedly participate in the process, so that he can bring his reforms.
Today the nation is confused, watching the destruction of the PTI, even though it had the power to win several seats in the National Assembly.
Only those that are morally bankrupt, politically corrupt, and financially crooked can be happy over the PTI strategy. Mr. Khan seems to be surrounded by the Wise Men of Gotham. He should listen more closely to his Pakistani advisors in the US and Europe. Else his march towards irrelevancy will continue.
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