PESHAWAR: Disgruntled youth members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are now looking to join former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).
A majority of them are disappointed by PTI’s performance over the last three years. The members believe the party has done nothing to improve conditions for the youth.
The youth was considered backbone of the ruling party in K-P. In his speeches, PTI Chairperson Imran Khan said young people were the harbinger of change.
However, the youth members are looking for greener pastures and many of them have turned to PSP.
Mudassir, a member of the Provincial Youth Assembly, told The Express Tribune Imran only asks them to attend rallies so they can shout slogans. He added PTI came to prominence through efforts made by the youth. According to Mudassir, the party has forgotten about the youth after coming to power in K-P.
“They just used us and are not spending a single penny for our betterment,” he said.
About the transfer of Anti-Corruption Establishment former director Ziaullah Toru, Mudassir said the chief secretary ordered the move because the official was about to arrest a “friend” of the latter. He believed the government and bureaucracy were corrupt so it was better to join PSP.
The number of youth who have moved to PSP has increased. Around 200 youth members have jumped ship in PK-3 alone while over 1,000 members have defected to PSP across the province.
Yaseen Ghaffar, a PTI district media coordinator and an active member of the youth assembly, told The Express Tribune PTI was a dream for the nation. “However, corrupt activists and ministers are destroying it,” he added.
According to Ghaffar, 16,000 posts were announced in the education department. However, he said ministers and other influential people appointed people on the basis of favouritism.
“A post for an IT administrator was announced for the K-P Assembly, but the speaker of the house put his nephew in the slot,” Ghaffar added.
Zeeshan, another youth assembly member, told The Express Tribune young people with strong educational backgrounds joined PTI.
“However, they were disappointed that Imran ignored them,” he said. “The PTI candidate lost in the PK-8 by-polls because the party ticket was taken from the youth and handed to him.”
Zeeshan said the funds allocated for the education and future of the youth were being used for festivals. “This is a waste of money,” he added.
PTI member Riaz Khan, who joined the party in 2000, is also planning on joining Mustafa Kamal’s party. He told The Express Tribune the contribution of workers had been forgotten by leaders of the ruling party in K-P. “We worked hard,” he said. “Not for tickets or seats, but for our children’s future. Now we have realised that the leaders were just using us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2016.