PTI to enter next elections with winning horses

Published: June 20, 2016
Jahangir Tareen talks about how the party plans to ensure its victory in the next general elections. PHOTO: PTI

Jahangir Tareen talks about how the party plans to ensure its victory in the next general elections. PHOTO: PTI

ISLAMABAD: Call it reverting to traditional politics of status quo or recognition of realities on ground, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) now plans to contest the next elections with ‘winning’ horses at the forefront.

The party appears ready to assimilate individuals who have strong personal clout in their constituencies to maximise strength in national and provincial legislatures necessary to form government.

Intra-party polls: PTI electoral race heats up

This policy is evident from the party’s allocation of tickets for the July 22 general elections of AJK Legislative Assembly. In many AJK constituencies, PTI ideologues complain of being ignored as tickets are awarded to those who joined party only a few weeks before the election date was announced.

During a recent interaction with journalists, Imran disclosed his plans of fielding strong candidates, especially in rural constituencies to ensure victory in next elections. In this scheme, PTI will prioritise ‘electables of good reputation’ – a rare breed in contemporary politics –while giving ideological workers some tickets in a few urban constituencies where the party feels it has strong vote bank.

Among the proponents of this idea is PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen. In an interview with The Express Tribune, Tareen shared his own experiences of electoral politics and the prerequisites for winning an election.

“Our basic narrative is change. We will build on this narrative by questioning why change is necessary for you. You then need to transform this narrative into votes, and [for that] you will need strong candidates,” he said.

Tareen believes that in the contemporary situation, even when a party succeeds in delivering its message to masses, people – especially in rural areas – still give more consideration to individual candidates based on biradri (clan) and other personal affiliations.

“For every constituency, besides a candidate for an MNA, you need a panel of MPAs to make a strong combination. You would have to consider biradris before awarding tickets to candidates. We have already started working on that,” he said.]

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Last time, PTI could not get time to focus on this aspect because intra-party elections took quite long to consummate, he claims.

Asked if it does not contradict PTI’s basic doctrine, he said: “Our narrative will remain the same, it is our base. But at the same time having strong candidates is equally important especially in rural constituencies.”

“There are many good people around. We will only go with those who can align themselves with our narrative. I myself am among such people,” he remarked.

Tareen believes that maintaining personal contact with constituents, something traditional politicians are good at, is key to winning elections.

Traditionally people vote for the candidate who keeps contact with them by participating in their family functions and lends due and undue favours to them in what are commonly called the ‘thana and kucheri’ matters. Their ability to deliver in policymaking does not matter.

The Bane of actual democratic values, PTI has been raising its voice against this deep rooted trend.

Tareen returned to the National Assembly for the third time after defeating Siddique Baloch of the PML-N in the famous by-polls from NA-154 Lodhran on December 23. He had lost to the same candidate in the 2013 elections.

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Before entering the 2013 race, Tareen’s last two consecutive victories in 2002 and 2008 elections from NA-195 were attribute to the blessing of his brother-in-law Makhmoom Ahmed Mahmood who was once considered his political mentor.

Winning the last year’s by-election with a margin of around 40,000 votes against the PML-N’s strong candidate is considered a big victory for Tareen and PTI. He shared his personal experiences of winning elections from a new constituency he created for himself.

“You need political acumen to contest and win an election. Basic thing here is the image of a candidate in the eyes of voters. You have to make a good image. Next comes building personal contact with people by visiting them.”

“Even if you have a good image, if you do not visit them, they will say we know he is a good person but he never personally requested us to vote for him,” Tareen said.

PML-N’s fastidious choice of candidates

Tareen said PML-N goes for candidates who have a long experience of contesting elections and can collude with local power brokers at union and village level.

“I adopted a different approach. I focused more on the lower tier – the voters. But this did not mean I ignored local power brokers. I touched everyone, irrespective of whether they support me or not” he added.

Building up public pressure from lower level through aggressive campaigning, better organisational ability, projection of personal image and direct contact with politically important people in union councils and each village paid off for him in by-polls.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2016.


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Reader Comments (15)

  • F Khan
    Jun 20, 2016 - 8:23AM

    There have been multiple by-elections in Karachi in recent times including local bodies elections.I have not seen PTI wining,where are these wining horses?Recommend

  • shahqus
    Jun 20, 2016 - 8:57AM

    I am an aggressive PTI ideologue and i totally support this move, we need to win an election to bring change. So we have to beat noon in there own game. Recommend

  • rehan
    Jun 20, 2016 - 9:23AM

    Imran Khan operates on big talks, promises that he can not keep and accusations he can not prove. His Ego and dictator ship type of leading will never allow a democratic process. He is even willing to scarify our Countries democratic process just to get to the PM seat. I pray that our street people will start to understand this soon or we will go back an other 10 years of development in our democratic process. We need to understand that democratic thinking does not come over night and not without faults as there is no short cut. Not for us not for any other nation. What I do not understand is that a so called educated Man like Imran Khan only sees short cuts and leads the less fortunate in that direction.Recommend

  • Bukhari
    Jun 20, 2016 - 10:27AM

    Glad to see PTI finally understand electoral politics of Pakistan. Also agree with F Khan, PTI still have to workout on Karachi & Sindh politics. Recommend

  • Achievement
    Jun 20, 2016 - 11:16AM

    This is exactly what I see with Pakistan, if you control a leader of a Biradari, you control constituency. An educated friend of mine from Faisalabad back in 2013 elections was a strong supporter of PTI but voted PMLN. Why? Because, he did not know PTI candidate’s profile. So better to control the leaders to win then win the people to make change.Recommend

  • Unknown
    Jun 20, 2016 - 12:52PM

    @F Khan:

    Who cares about Karachi? Why put Karachi in every news when its not even remotely related?Recommend

  • Achievement
    Jun 20, 2016 - 1:58PM

    @F Khan:

    Karachi no more remains part of forming federal government. Karachites don’t deserve to play politics at national level.


  • Munna Bhai
    Jun 20, 2016 - 2:16PM


    As Karachi feeds Pakistan and every needy person of this land’s last resort is Karachi .Recommend

  • azmat
    Jun 20, 2016 - 2:17PM

    @F Khan:
    I dont think you understand the meaning of the word “rural”Recommend

  • NDA
    Jun 20, 2016 - 3:30PM

    @Munna Bhai:

    First Karachi. The blame goes to people of Karachi who supported a bunch of thugs in the shape of MQM. you made yourself irrelevant.

    PTi & Imran Khan brand politics is outdated. No plan, no vision, no human resource, no organization, how will it run a government . Recommend

  • Raghu
    Jun 20, 2016 - 3:30PM

    Imran Khan can try but his desperation is making it apparent that deep down he knows PMLn will win again in 2018. Recommend

  • Raghu
    Jun 20, 2016 - 3:52PM

    Karachi quickly becomes related only when you talk about Revenue generation. Now thats a shame not to give Karachi its due right. I am a PTI supporter but i complain that IK has not put much time and effort in Karachi. Only Khurram and Arif Alvi of PTI are active in Karachi and i cannot see any other person. Faisal Vadwa is also not impressive. People will vote for you when they see you do work.Recommend

  • NDA
    Jun 20, 2016 - 6:47PM

    @Raghu: Imran Khan is obsessed with PLM-N and Punjab. He thinks, if he takes Lahore fort he can conquer the rest. A flawed thinking and strategy. Recommend

  • Lakhkar Khan
    Jun 20, 2016 - 7:57PM

    PTI = promise big, deliver nothing.

    Pakistani politics, business as usual.Recommend

  • R Naveed
    Jun 21, 2016 - 9:10AM

    Pakistan need a real change in getting rid of currupt Hukmaran familiesRecommend

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