Pakistan: Internal rifts in PTI as Imran Khan remains behind bars – World News Network

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Islamabad [Pakistan], March 31 (ANI): As the party’s founder and supremo Imran Khan continues to be incarcerated, the internal divisions within Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have become a matter of embarrassment for the party, Dawn reported.
This became particularly evident in the discord over the distribution of parliamentary and general body tickets.
PTI leaders, while acknowledging such rifts as common in political entities during ticket allocations, express that the absence of Khan has exacerbated these issues.
They lament that party leaders don’t have access to Khan, imprisoned in Adiala Jail, whereas the lawyers who are allowed to meet him allegedly give either “partial messages” or twist messages according to their own interests, Dawn reported.
Considering the situation, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan has issued a notification, appointing Raoof Hasan as the ‘exclusive spokesperson’ to streamline communication on policy matters.
The friction within the PTI became starkly apparent during the National Assembly ticket distribution.
Advocate Sher Afzal Marwat alleged “nepotism” in awarding tickets. Even Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the interior minister during PTI’s tenure, alleged that the party’s ticket for the seat of MNA in Rawalpindi was sold for tens of millions of rupees.
Major cracks in the party came to fore when it was announced that Barrister Ali Zafar would be the candidate for the party chairmanship. On that occasion, Marwat said it meant Barrister Gohar had failed to deliver. Later, Barrister Gohar was again nominated as a candidate for the party chairmanship.
On the other hand, Marwat, who was running the election campaign in provinces at the time, was told to stop his activities and was summoned to Islamabad by the party.
Similarly, another point of contention emerged when former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser suggested that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government (led by PTI) should not cooperate with the federal government. However, a member of the National Assembly, Ali Mohammad Khan said that it would be a ‘wrong decision’.
The award of Senate tickets also triggered criticism within the PTI ranks. On social media, a campaign was started against Mirza Mohammad Afridi, who was awarded the party’s Senate ticket, according to Dawn.
Afridi alleged that some personalities, including the sitting and former MNAs from the erstwhile Fata, were doing propaganda against him.
Afridi was elected as an independent senator in March 2018 on a general seat and later joined PTI. He also became the Senate’s deputy chairman and remained associated with the party.
However, after last year’s May 9 violent protests, he criticised the riots by the PTI workers. The protests were triggered after the arrest of Imran Khan.
“In 2018, I was elected as an independent senator and later supported PTI. It is correct that I criticised the May 9 incident, but what I said, Imran Khan also used the same wordings,” Afridi said.
“I said that no one should attack military installations and Imran Khan also said that those who attacked military installations should be punished. I never announced quitting the party,” he added.
Differences were quite visible, even before and after the February 8 elections, over the issue of joining a parliamentary party.
Marwat claimed that some elements within the party were responsible for making “wrong decisions” and the party was deprived of reserved seats because of them.
A party representative, who asked not to be named, said differences within party leaders, especially over ticket distribution, were not unusual, Dawn reported
“However, we have been facing severe difficulties because our leader Imran Khan is under arrest,” he said, stressing that the issue of party leadership not being allowed to meet former premier in jail had aggravated the situation.
“In the past, Nawaz Sharif and leaders of other parties were arrested, but they were in contact with the first and second tiers of their party leadership. However, Imran Khan is not being allowed to meet any political leader of PTI. Only lawyers have been meeting Imran Khan, and they share either partial messages or twist them in their own interests,” he added.
Differences were quite visible, before and after the Feb 8 elections, over the issue of joining a parliamentary party.
However, PTI leader Raoof Hasan said there was no rift within the party, Dawn reported.
“Giving and sharing personal points of view is a normal routine in all the political parties. However, it has been decided that I will share the party policy, whereas statements of other party leaders regarding party policies will be considered their personal views,” he said.
“Imran Khan is the party leader and only he gives party policies directly or through personalities who meet him in jail. I will be the spokesperson for sharing those policies,” Hasan added. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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