Imran Khan has said that there will be a two-term limit on anyone being head of his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), after the upcoming internal party polls to elect a chairperson.
“I will not be a lifetime head of this party because it is against democratic norms and values,” Khan said, addressing a gathering of newly-elected party office bearers at the PTI office here on Tuesday.
He said that unlike the PML-N and PPP, the PTI would not become a “family limited and branded political” party.
The PTI’s intra-party elections were unprecedented in Pakistan, where other parties did not want a democratic culture, he said. In “selected parties”, he said, the leaders controlled the party; in “elected parties”, the party controlled the leaders.
Without internal elections, the party chief was a king with absolute power to oust and enlist anyone, while in democratic parties, this was the remit of the party ranks.
“In family limited parties, political workers and others seek to gain favour by lavishing the leadership with gifts and money, like residences in Bahria Town,” Khan said. The workers were the leaders’ slaves and courtiers, he added.
Khan said that the PTI would groom political leaders to lead Pakistan in the future. “The leaders of the family limited parties groom their kids to use political workers as slaves and rule the country,” he said.
Democracy is a prerequisite for prosperity, and the more democratic the set-up, the higher the rate of prosperity, he added. “True democracy has remained a dream in Pakistan as one party has been hijacked by the Sharifs and one by the Bhuttos,” Khan said.
The PTI, should it be elected into power, would continue to hold its leaders accountable and party workers would have the right to oust anyone found guilty of corruption, he said.
The PTI chief said his party would issue its manifesto at its “Tsunami Plus” gathering at Minar-i-Pakistan on March 23. He urged all the new party office bearers to ensure full participation in the event, on the anniversary of the Pakistan Resolution of 1940. The PTI wants to revive Quaid-i-Azam’s Pakistan, he said.
Khan claimed that the Punjab government had not been dissolved yet because the PML-N wanted to use patwaris and police to sabotage the March 23 gathering. He said that the party would buy tickets for its workers to travel to Minar-i-Pakistan on the “Jangla Bus”, a reference to the Metro Bus Service.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2013.