There has been a lot of mocking and celebrations since Ali Khan Tareen’s defeatat the hands of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s candidate Muhammad Iqbal Shah. But Is that what really happened? No, I don’t think so.
Maybe I’m wrong, but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf since Day 1 of its origin has been selling the narrative of being against the “status quo”, “dynastic politics” and domination of wealthy rulers with no public mandate – this has been the slogan for PTI and the major “Unique Selling Point (USP)” all along.
After the disqualification of the so-called ATM of the PTI, Jahangir Khan Tareen, PTI and Imran Khan should have separated itself from the Tareen family and set an example for the world, that if they are criticizing PML-N for still following a disqualified leader, they are not going to follow the same path just because the person is important and is the source of major funding for the party.
But what did they do? They announced their next candidate, and guess what,he happened to be the son of Jahangir Tareen.That’s what you call “dynastic politics”.
That day PTI lost the election without even competing and PML-N knew that pretty well. That wasn’t the very first contradiction of their own slogan and narrative, PTI has been known for such U-turns for a long time now.
Even after the criticism by their own stakeholders, Imran Khan didn’t listen and kept on justifying the selection of Ali Tareen in a way that is beyond any logic, because he was the one who started this very party to end such family politics. Senior advocateNaeem Bukhari, who is also one of the closest to Imran Khan, said that he was against this decision and that it would cost PTI badly.
Let’s come to the election campaign by both the parties. PTI’s whole leadership was there at Lodhran for the whole campaign.Even Imran Khan addressed the jalsa alongside Ali Tareen, which is clearly against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s code of ethics. But they didn’t care, because when it comes to them they don’t seem to be the onesto follow rules and regulations – that’s only for the rivals and a tool of criticism. On the other hand, Iqbal Shah who was the PML-N’s candidate didn’t get such support from the PML-N leadership and didn’t do any campaign at all.But he is known to be the man of public and there’s a great respect for that man among Lodhran’s public.
This election is a clear wakeup call for the PTI leadership.They need to learn that in Pakistan’s politics, catering public for mega power shows and political army of inactive soldiers on social media do not win elections.And, when after all that, you start contradicting you own narrative that you have been selling for years, it only makes it worse – and you never see it coming.
We can only hope that one day every political party and politician will mean what they promise to public, and instead of contradicting themselves they will set an example of how to practice what you preach.