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Prime Minister Qureshi

Naveed Aman Khan

FOREIGN Minister and political stalwart of PTI Qureshi flanked by Choudhry Sarwar spoke his heart out which clears long denied internal divisions, clashes and leg pullings within the Party. Defying and denying its genuine political ideology and manifesto PTI contested 2018 election with ‘electables’. Different politicians flew to PTI nest as the Party was being favoured by ‘friends’. So did Tareen, Qureshi and Hashmi. From the Party Qureshi being very shrewd first got timely rid of heavy weight Hashmi. Qureshi’s next target was Tareen. But in 2018 election PTI could not win comfortable numbers in the Centre and Punjab. This number game added tension to politically inexperienced IK. For his ‘term’ IK was on the mercy of ‘Tareen ATM’. Tareen showered ATM as well as winning candidates to IK at Bani Gala. He factually became transporter of IK pocketing, fetching and lodging members for PTI rule more than any other political stalwart.
Though Qureshi also did a lot for PTI yet Tareen remained unbeatable. At the time of election 2018 PTI has been having over a dozen candidates of premiership. Still a large list of hopeful premiers is open in PTI waiting for any fortunate moment. More than any as is Qureshi hopeful. IK’s failure will pave Qureshi’s way to PM House and he (IK) seems total failure. After facing life time disqualification Tareen on the consent of IK continued playing his political role for PTI rule. Supreme Court disallowed Nawaz Sharif for holding any political position but under the same section of the article 62F of the Constitution Tareen continued playing games in politics. In Tareen’s matter neither Supreme Court charged him against contempt of court nor Qureshi uttered single word. But now suddenly Qureshi lashed out on Tareen’s unconstitutional role in business of the government of PTI.
Tareen’s continual unconstitutional support to IK is a big obstacle on Qureshi’s way to PM House. In an ideal situation this broke his patience and he decided to burst out. Every one knows that IK is backing Tareen for his role in the government matters but who made Qureshi blast at this stage before the fiscal budget 2019-20? Who is behind Qureshi? If he lashed out by his own he will meet the same fate of Justice Wajeehuddin and Hamid Khan but if ‘friends’ are backing him IK with Tareen will have to go. Is IK’s chapter closing? Is Qureshi next hope of the ‘friends’? Undoubtedly Within PTI Qureshi is serious threat to IK. In Musharraff regime Qureshi missed his flight to land PM House. The entire nation has anxiously been waiting for ‘delivery’ of PTI. After ‘nine months’ IK led PTI seems drastically barren and unsuccessful for deliverance. IK still considers Tareen his most trusted man in politics, particularly when dealing with Punjab. IK strongly believes that PTI would not have been able to form government in the Centre and Punjab had Tareen not gathered the required numbers to him solely.
After bickering between PTI top stalwarts Tareen and Qureshi, will Qureshi be the next prey for raising his voice against the blue eye of IK? If it happens he won’t be the first as what happened to Hamid Khan and Justice Wajihuddin. Will Qureshi fight it out? Is raising voice against Tareen is actually voice against IK? Is IK still a strong leader of PTI and the party without him would not have been able to survive or he has lost his grip over the Party? Should he not look after the Party’s interests timely before it is too late. The need of the moment is that IK should either hold intra-party election or announce his successor himself. One good thing in PTI is that unlike the Bhuttos and Sharifs, there is no family legacy imposed on the Party. But at the same time, in the absence of a democratic and electoral process within the PTI, will it struggle to move ahead without IK’s direction? Is not a personality cult as damaging to a Party as a political dynasty. About the future of the Party serious discussions have commenced. The outburst of Qureshi against Tareen, a day after the PTI retained its Punjab Assembly seat from Multan clearly reflects that there is serious trouble in PTI.
After Qureshi’s out burst Tareen was openly supported by close to him PTI leaders like, Fawad Chaudhry, Pervez Khattak, Imran Ismail, Aown Chaudhry, Faisal Vawda and Shakoor Shad who surprised everyone when he defeated Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from Lyari in 2018. In 2013, when the Election Commission of PTI, headed by Justice Wajihuddin, levelled serious allegations against Tareen and a few others, for manipulating inter party elections, IK preferred Tareen over the commission’s findings. Later Justice was asked to quit the party. Then, same treatment meted to Hamid Khan, the man responsible for the PTI’s constitution, who also had serious reservations about Tareen. Is IK still bleak hope for his ‘friends’ who expected him to set good examples not only in the government but in the Party also? How can he side with a person who has not only been disqualified by his Party’s Election Commission but also the Supreme Court? Here Qureshi stands high on raising his voice against Tareen. Qureshi has risen at the time when IK seems drowning. As per set precedent during last three terms of the ‘friends’ how can President Alvi complete journey with only one PM? It’s the time for ‘change’).
— The writer is political analyst based in Islamabad.