KARACHI: As election season draws ever closer, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is working to get its house in order in Sindh and chief Imran Khan is expected to organise a public gathering in Sukkur this November.
“[Party activities] did slow down in Sindh for a few months, but they are coming on track now,” said PTI spokesperson Faisal Vawda, adding that Khan is expected to visit the province on a more regular basis. At a recent meeting of the party’s leaders in Sindh, it was decided that the PTI chief will spend at least two days in the province every month.
Following the lead of opposition parties like the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the PTI is also reaching out to Sindhi nationalists. The party’s workers are also reportedly doing rounds of “targeted areas” in Karachi. “We boycotted the last elections and do not have any elected representatives, and it is affecting our campaign,” said Rizwan, a PTI activist who is covering the PS-90 seat, which is considered a stronghold of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
The party also had to reportedly postpone its elections in Sindh. “We have specifically asked for our elections to be kept at the end as there are a lot of things that need to be addressed,” said Vawda. For his part, PTI Sindh president Nadir Akmal Laghari says that he has done his job effectively since he assumed charge nearly eight months back.
He, however, seems to have had a hard time managing. The party does not have an information secretary for Sindh since Tariq Ikram left the position nearly four months back. It does not help, however, that the party’s headquarters in the province and the centre of its political activity, Insaf House, is deserted. PTI officials said that work was temporarily curtailed as they were busy taking “disciplinary action” against some workers.
This leaves the PTI’s central media cell at Khadda Market, an office in the Defense Housing Authority’s Phase II, and the residence of Syed Hafeezuddin, the general secretary of the party’s Sindh chapter, to manage the party’s growth in Sindh.
Vadwa is nonetheless sure that the party is moving in the right direction. “When Laghari started working about eight months back, we had seven district officers. Now we have 87,” he pointed out. “We are also negotiating with vegetable market traders. If they join us, then we will get nearly 100,000 voters in one go.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2012.