PTI’s internal rift: Imran Khan endorses TORs for intra-party polls
ISLAMABAD: The head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, has recently approved the five-point terms of reference (TORs) for intra-party elections under which elections will be held only for chairman/president of every tier.
Though the outgoing chief election commissioner Tasneem Ahmed Noorani had been pushing for elections on every single office of the party, calling the nomination of the party’s office-bearers ‘undemocratic,’ Imran believes only one seat of every tier should be elected, while the rest of the office-bearers should be nominated.
“The decision of not having election for every office has been taken keeping in view the internal groupings,” said PTI election commission spokesperson Advocate Farrukh Dal while talking to The Express Tribune.
He referred to the last intra-party elections and said that it had resulted in groupings and created rifts. “Groupings within the party have once again started ahead of the elections,” he added.
Two groups had emerged in the party for the coveted post of Punjab president. Former Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar, with the backing of Jahangir Tareen-led group, had announced to face off Shafqat Mehmood who has the support of Shah Mehmood Qureshi-led Nazariati group.
Sources said that the two groups have been actively backing their respective candidates despite a warning by the outgoing chief election commissioner. And the recent decision of Imran Khan has also triggered an internal debate, they added.
A sizeable number of old members have questioned the PTI chief’s move for the undemocratic mode of elections. In this regard, a barrage of emails has been sent to senior leaders, including the chairman, putting a question mark over the decision, sources said.
The party has moved on after the resignation of Noorani and resumed activities related to the IPE, including appointment of election commission members. In Punjab, the party has appointed Anees Ahemd Bajwa whereas in the centre Yaqoob Izhar and Azhar Tariq have been placed.
Responding to a question about the date of polling, Dal said that ‘elections are likely to take place in first week of June.’ The party had previously announced to hold the polls during the month of May.
While talking about the membership campaign of the party, Dal said that the deadline of March 31 has been extended for another 15 days.