Gearing up: Imran calls his party bigwigs to discuss alliances, strategy

Jahangir Tareen’s ‘Clean Party’ to hold a similar meeting a day later.

Zahid Gishkori November 10, 2011


Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has called a crucial party meeting on November 13 to review its anti-government and anti-Nawaz Sharif campaign and to discuss forging alliances with like-minded groups and parties for the next general election.

The party will announce its new strategy during a meeting of the central executive committee (CEC), said PTI central information secretary Umar Cheema.

“It’s time for PTI to make new alliances with pure political parties, to pile up pressure against its opponents,” Cheema said while talking to The Express Tribune.

His party, he said, will also ask the Election Commission to register 40 million young people who have recently received their computerised national identity cards but whose names have not been registered in the draft electoral list so far.

PTI chief Imran Khan, who has been claiming that scores of key political figures are all set to join him in the coming weeks, said his party plans to field a thousand candidates in the upcoming elections. “All our candidates will disclose their real assets before representing the party,” Imran said in a recent statement.

The party’s CEC will also nominate members to visit southern Punjab for meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Q (like-minded) leaders who have expressed a desire to work with PTI, after its popular Lahore rally. The team will most probably be headed by former governor Punjab Mian Azhar, who is purportedly trying to win over some PML-N legislators, unhappy with their leadership in Punjab.

The committee will also nominate a team to work under PTI Sindh president Naeemul Haq to organise rallies in the province next month.  The party’s 10-point “Sindh Sukkar” (Prosperous Sindh) agenda will also be a part of the CEC meeting.

The party is going to test the waters in the province by taking out a series of rallies, Haq told The Express Tribune.

The CEC will also nominate members of parliamentary board which will scrutinise names of politicians who have recently expressed intentions to join the PTI, the party’s general secretary Dr Arif Alvi said. “There is no place in our party for those who have been involved in corruption.”

The committee will adopt a mechanism for awarding tickets to the candidates in the upcoming elections, said Cheema, adding that Allama Iqbal’s grandson Waleed Iqbal joined PTI two days ago.

Imran, who will chair the CEC meeting, will also decide on a possible political venture with Jahangir Tareen’s Clean Party

Tareen, claiming support of over a dozen former ministers, indicated last Sunday that he is ready to form a political venture with the PTI to pile up pressure against the incumbent government.

The Clean Party will also hold a meeting to chalk out its strategy on November 14, said former federal minister Ishaq Khan Khakwani.

“Various dissident politicians across party lines, especially from the PML-Q, have been invited to attend the meeting,” Khakwani told The Express Tribune.

The formal announcement of party office bearers, members of its CEC and prospective political ventures with other parties are expected to be decided at this meeting, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2011.

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