|Old guard forces Khan to dump PTI interim setup|
19 March 2012
LAHORE – The PTI old guard have forced Imran Khan to abandon bringing interim party organisation. They have also led the party to intra-party polls in an effort to dispel the public impression that the PTI has become another traditional political party, TheNation has learnt.
The plan to bring an interim setup was aimed at accommodating those political figures who have joined the PTI after October 30 public moot, apparently to make peace between the founding members (the old guard) and traditional politicians (new entrants) over the issue of grabbing various party positions.
PTI sources privy to the development regarding abandonment of the interim party organisation plan by Imran and his close aides told this correspondent on Sunday that the old guard strongly resisted the above-mentioned plan and advised Mr Khan that it is high time that the public impression about PTI turning another traditional party was dispelled by making nominations on several party offices instead of holding intra-party polls.
They also told Imran that a feeling among the party supporters was growing stronger that the party had been hijacked by the traditional political faces who haven’t rendered a single sacrifice for it, while the mentioned political figures were fast becoming a steering force of the PTI instead of those who founded the party and remained with it through thick and thin.
Taking the argument further, they told the party chief that PTI should it was vital for the party to establish its ‘democratic credentials’ keeping in view the possibilities of general elections this year by holding the intra-party polls instead of making nominations to party offices through an interim party organization. They added that the party workers themselves should be allowed to choose their leaders at the union, tehsil, district and province level and that only the elected leaders should have the right to hold any party office.
While the traditional political lot in the PTI, to counter this move by the old guard, have started separate campaigns to form their groups within the party to muster support for grabbing the party positions during the intra-party polls, which the PTI chief has said would take place after the completion of membership drive to be kick-started in the last week of this month and expected to conclude in next two months.
Close circles of political bigwigs in the PTI like Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen, Javed Hashmi, Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali, Jamal Leghari, Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri and Mazhar Qureshi told this scribe that they have started separate campaigns within the party to create enough support base to help them reach the party offices of their desire. Shafqat Mehmood, Central Secretary Information, when contacted avoided a direct reply to abandoning the interim party organisation but said that the intra-party polls would be held after the completion of the membership drive. “Only those leaders will hold the party offices who get elected in these intra-party elections.”
PTI Central Vice President Ijaz Chaudhary when reached said: “It would be the sole prerogative of the party members to elect the old guard or the new comers.”
Meanwhile, the sources informing about the process expected to put in action for electing leaders for various party offices during the intra-party polls told this reporter that in the first phase for the primary units ‘Blocs’ would be elected, which would elect the party office bearers for the union council. They added that the elected union council leaders in the party polls would elect the tehsils leaderships, while the tehsil leaders would elect the district teams for the party.
They further informed that an executive council would be elected from the district leaderships, which would elect the leaders for the provincial party organizations. The sources informed that the elected provincial chapter organizations would elect a national council, while the council would elect the members of the central executive council and central organization of the party.
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