The Karachi tsunami strikes

Going by the turnout at the Karachi rally, it is likely the PTI will become a formidable force in the next election.

Anum Fatima December 26, 2011
The successful PTI rally in Karachi proves one thing for sure, especially to the Imran Khan naysayers and doubters: that come next election, his party will be a formidable force to reckon with.

A bulk of the audience comprised youth, many of them presumably disenchanted with the way politics is done in this country. Of course, his party has already accepted several former ministers and members of parliament from the PML-Q and one heavyweight from the PML-N in the shape of Javed Hashmi. Mr Hashmi stood on three seats in the last general election and won all three and is reported to have several MPAs associated with him from the Multan region.

For taking these tried and tested politicians, the PTI chief exposes himself to criticism because including such names is not going to bring about the change that Imran Khan promises he will bring to Pakistan.

One hopes that when the time comes to award party tickets the party will give most of them to new faces. In this it could face a dilemma in that there may be pressure on Imran Khan to give them to those individuals who have won in the past. That is something that the party will have to strike a balance and in light of the fact that many of its supporters are attracted to it precisely because it seeks to bring change in the country.

While the party seems to be gaining from strength to strength, doubts about how it is getting so many so-called “electable” politicians is making some observers think that the PTI is getting help from certain quarters. This may not be a stretch of the imagination given that such things have happened in the past as well. However, it does seem that to a considerable extent, the groundswell of support for Imran Khan among the general population, and especially younger people, is genuine.

Right now a year or more remains before the next general election. Going by the turnout at the Karachi rally, it is likely that the PTI will become a formidable force in that election, and may prove to be more than just a spoiler, in electoral terms.
Anum Fatima Anum works as a sub-editor for The Express Tribune's editorial pages.
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