The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) received a blow on Wednesday when one of its office bearers, Dr Shireen Mazari, resigned following public criticism of the party.
“It is a time of sadness and disappointment for me today,” former central vice president Dr Mazari told The Express Tribune while commenting on her resignation, which she addressed to party chief Imran Khan.
The key reason for her resignation, according to Mazari, was a change in party policy. “…Sadly, the commitment to change, that made us all in PTI develop a comradeship and bond that was unique, is withering away fast in all but name. So, it is with a heavy heart that I leave the PTI knowing that the only change the PTI has brought has been in yourself (Imran) and the nature of the collective leadership.”
It further said that “a shift in moving from directly reaching out to the electorate to using intermediaries – the so-called “electables” – between the people and yourself has gradually turned the PTI into a traditional political party with all the excess baggage that connotes.”
She said that the party had been hijacked by ‘the feudal’, which she mentioned in her official resignation: “The reality is that today the PTI has been effectively taken over by traditional politicians reflecting big money and/or feudal ‘sardars’. As if that is not disappointing enough, retired civil and military bureaucrats have also found senior niches in the party. Tragically, none of these new entrants can bring about the change which PTI had been promising.”
Dr Mazari also censured party policies, particularly those concerning the economy and energy, saying they reflected a “status quo mindset.”
“A whole critique can be made of the economic policy but the main point is that it has no relief for the common man, including a total absence of any reduction in utility rates,” the letter added.
When contacted, PTI spokesperson Shafqat Mehmood told The Express Tribune, “It would had been better had issues been discussed and resolved in house.”
Mehmood said Dr Mazari had joined party in 2008, but “she did not find that party policies were flawed until Rajunpur rally.” The rally Mehmood is referring to is one organised by Dr Mazari which Imran was unable to attend.
The PTI spokesperson said that Dr Mazari had violated party discipline and was therefore issued a show cause notice on September 19, where she was asked to explain “unfounded, inaccurate, and false statements in the media against the chairman and the party on September 17,” which was released to the media on Wednesday.
Responding to a question as to whether there was any possibility that the party would make any attempt to win her back, Mehmood said “Dr Mazari was given the opportunity to explain but instead she resigned … and now the time has passed.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2012.