PTI and its future in Chitral

By Muhammad Amin (Garam Chashma)

PTI in Chitral abd its future. According to John Lock, a government’s functions are meant for the progress and security of the people without any external and internal dangers.

Thus ensuring quality life and protection of citizen’s life is one of the basic responsibilities of the state, of which government is the primary organ. Any government which fails to deliver this deemed violating the contract concluded between the state and the citizens. The state is responsible for providing basic services to its citizens like food security, health, education, shelter and security of life and property.

PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) was formed in 1996 with the agenda of reducing corruption and establishing a system of justice in the country. Imran Khan had to fight for a long period of time to fulfill his agenda and went through many hardships in his political struggles. As results of his uneasy political struggle, PTI was able to form a coalition government in the KP in the general elections of 2013.

The benchmark of any government performance is based on the deliveries made to the people. If the performance of the previous PTI government in the KPK will be assessed in terms of its achievements/deliveries, one can conclude although it was not an ideal one but better than others comparatively. In this respect, three things can be particularly highlighted regarding reforms in education, police and health sectors.

After the general elections of 2018, PTI was able to form an inconvenient government consisting of congeries of tiny  political parties coalition at the centre and the two provinces of Punjab and Balochistan. Astonishingly, the people of KP voted for the PTI second time , which was unparralled in its political history since partition. Thus PTI formed a strong government in the province without the support of other parties, may be a trust on the part of the people of KP for its past policies.

Ironically, Chitral did not send any lawmaker belonging to PTI to the provincial or National assembly either, a second blow to the party. However, Imran Khan PTI showed compassion to the people of Chitral keeping its backwardness and geographical isolation. With the poor performance in 2013 general elections a woman reserved seat was awarded to the district and again with loss of both the seats in the 2018 elections again showing positive attitude awarded minority seat to Chitral.

So what are the causes and effects with PTI future in the district?

Chitral is an isolated area from the rest of the country and the government intervention in the socioeconomic sector has been poor and minimum. Many NGOs and humanitarian organizations are engaged in the district alongside the government in the development activities.

Ironically, all the public offices in the district are held by the MMA ranging from member national and provincial assembly to the position of district nazim. So giving this sensitivity in Chitral, a minority seat of the provincial assembly was given to the area by the incumbent government. Thus a visible power struggle ensued between the opposite lawmakers on petty matters ranging from staff transfer to fund allocations and appointments etc.

This in turn badly effects the proper functioning of the state machinery in the district. So what is the future for PTI in Chitral with specific emphasis on the anticipated forthcoming local bodies’ elections?

As a part of the government austerity measures, the present PTI government has not delivered anything substantial to the district so far except the gigantic task of partitioning it into two districts and work on it has already began.

The dilemma is that so far PTI district leadership has not met the PM to request him to take notice of the urgent issues of the district and instruct the concerned departments to restart the mega projects initiated in the previous government.

According to insiders PTI in Chitral is divided into three groups. Since new faces have joined it after the 2018 elections and these new entrants have gained momentum inside the party bypassing the old workers. Here they allude to Sartaj Ahmad who lobbied and caused many councilors to join the party. These new comers have become very strong and working arduously for the cause for their patron. He has also the support of minority MA, Wazirzada.

There is no doubt that Sartaj Ahmad is politically experienced .He is pioneer in the establishment of the Chitral Chamber of commerce and industries and is also chairman of the CCDN (Chitral Communy Development Network) established by the AKRSP. He is politically energetic but many workers in the party do not like his arrogant political approaches .His political ambitions are also high in the future.

The second group is led by PTI district president Abdul Latif. His two times unsuccessful elections contests have reduced his popularity inside the party cadre.However, many look to him due to his early affiliation with the party as he was mainly responsible to introduce PTI in Chitral between 1996 and 1998.His credibility with the party rests on his affiliation with it at all odds when few at the initial time acknowledged the party.

The third group, as is assumed, consists of PTI workers, mainly old, who are unwilling to support either these two groups and want to change the status quo in the leadership structure. They assert that both are promoting their own interests and turning blind eye to the overall party interests.

The need of the time is create unity and stability among workers and any division should be discouraged plus inclusion of party workers in all decision making process be ensured.Responsibility should be given on the basis of individual integrity, good social interactions, commitment and not vice versa. Anyone who cares about his or his supporters, interests should not be given party tickets in the future.

If PTI persuades its present political strategy and fails in the future elections (as has been in the past), then it will be a nightmare for the future of the people of Chitral. Consequently, the whole district leadership will be responsible for the saga. Top party leadership should take notice of this critical scenario (whys & how) in the light of the party interests and its future in Chitral, if it wants a strong position here. In the present situation PTI leaders are engaged in the conflict of interest and self-ego. This is a golden opportunity for PTI leaders streamline the Party and make its outreach through the whole district; otherwise this party will become a minority in the near future. It also becomes an obligation for the people of Chitral to pay the party in the same coin as it has fulfilled its promise OF making two districts and as well awarding minority seat to Chitral, otherwise, we will be remembered as ungrateful nation in history.

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