ISLAMABAD: The threat of a ‘long march’ aside, it’s abundantly clear that the PPP has no tangible plan to cobble together a grand alliance of opposition parties to challenge the government to a political duel.
This has sowed doubt in the minds of other opposition parties, the PTI in particular, about the PPP’s future politics. “Contrary to our expectations, no significant announcement was made by the PPP on Dec 27,” Imran Khan said on Wednesday during an informal interaction with a select group of journalists at his residence in Bani Gala.
For PTI, joining a PPP-led alliance is ‘pointless’
“Now the PTI will closely examine the post-Dec 27 politics of the PPP. If we are convinced that they [PPP] are sincere in offering opposition to the government, we will have no objection in forming an alliance,” Imran said.
He claimed that even within the PPP some leaders have strong realisation that Asif Ali Zardari’s politics of ‘give and take’ has caused irreparable damage to the party’s popularity, especially in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He advised the PPP to reassess its political strategy if it wants better results in the next general elections.
“After the 2013 elections, the PPP was hand in glove with the PML-N government until the Panama Papers revelations surfaced,” he said. Bilawal wanted to play the role of a genuine opposition on the issue, but his father intervened in favour of the ruling regime, he added.
Having said that, the PPP and the PTI share commonality of viewpoint on the Panamagate scandal that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should defend the charges against his family, he said. “If the PPP opts for pro-people politics, then the PTI will surely join hands with it.”
PML-N heaves sigh of relief as PPP's deadline fizzles out
PTI trusts CJP-designate
Imran reposed his full confidence in the incoming chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar, but in the same breath reiterated that if his party was denied justice by the apex court, the PTI would have no option but to resume street agitation.
He criticised Justice Nisar’s predecessor, Anwar Zaheer Jamali, for not concluding a ‘straightforward’ case of corruption. “He [Justice Jamali] used to deliver speeches against corruption, but when the time came to take action he announced winter recess, disappointing the whole nation,” he lamented.
Rumours that new CJP, army chief 'favour' PML-N doing rounds: Imran
Imran said Justice Jamali’s successor was a man of integrity. “We respect him and hope that Justice Nisar would restore people’s confidence in Pakistan’s broken justice system. But if I am denied justice, you will find me on the streets again,” he said.
PTI prepares for next elections
The PTI chairman admitted that his party had jumped into the 2013 elections without any preparation due to a faulty intra-party election held just before the vote.
This time, Imran said, he would himself finalise the candidates and the PTI has already begun the search for potential candidates for different constituencies. “The PTI has a complete plan for the next general elections. Today, we are well aware of the kind of candidates our party requires for urban and rural constituencies and for Sindh and Balochistan,” he said.
PTI kicks off preparation for 2018 elections
Imran hinted that for the next elections his party would continue to look for electables. “In the last elections, the PTI had fielded around 80% candidates who had no experience of contesting elections. But the situation will be different this time around,” he added.
Over the issue of NAB chairman’s appointment, the PTI chairman said both Nawaz Sharif and Khursheed Shah had been facing corruption allegations. “How will they ever name an independent man to head NAB?” he said. “The PTI endorses Chaudhry Nisar’s demand of NAB chairman’s appointment by the apex court.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2016.
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