Tareen bloc and PTI

The ongoing rift is a distraction on the path of good governance and could derail the govt’s achievements

August 11, 2021

All is not well in the ruling PTI as far as loyalty and discipline of its members is concerned. Inevitably, there is a power struggle and it concerns individuals’ personal ambitions. But this disgust has come at a wrong time for the party. Prime Minister Imran Khan is at the zenith of his power, as his PTI rules the entire country, including G-B and AJK. The only exception is Sindh, where it acts as a federal watchdog. Thus, the focus of party legislators and activists should have been on realising the manifesto of change for which they were entrusted with. But that is not the case. Infighting and grouping is quite evident, and the polarisation in Punjab is a case in point.

Last week, two PTI members namely Firdous Ashiq Awan and Aun Chaudhry resigned from their advisory portfolios with the Punjab government. It is linked to the crossing of swords between Punjab CM Usman Buzdar and the estranged PTI stalwart Jehangir Khan Tareen. Likewise, MPA Nazir Chohan spilled the beans by accusing Tareen of masterminding rifts within the party, and parted ways with him. His stance, however, is taken with a pinch of salt as he mended fences with Shahzad Akbar, Adviser to the PM on Interior and Accountability, after the latter had booked him in a case. At the same time, there is a proactive forward bloc in Punjab which reportedly comprises 40 MNAs and MPAs, who believe that Tareen has been wronged by the party leadership, and owe their allegiance to him. This is PTI’s biggest challenge as to how to put the house in order.

This brinkmanship in PTI is already impacting its performance. PM Imran should revisit this Tareen factor with an open head and heart, and come up with a sagacious way out. Tareen’s services for the PTI cannot be brushed aside nor should his supporters be shown the door. Let the law take its course, and politics be its own dynamics. No point in being judgemental. It will cost the PTI very dear. The ongoing rift is a distraction on the path of good governance and could derail the government’s achievements.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2021.

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