Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is to shift its Central Secretariat from Islamabad to Lahore so that it can prepare for the elections and counter criticism from its opponents, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The party has rented a bungalow along the Canal, which will house the offices of the chairperson, vice chairpersons and other key party leaders. The new office is expected be functional by mid-December.
The Central Secretariat, said PTI officials, will monitor political activities and devise the party’s strategy for the elections. The Central Executive Committee will also convene its meetings in the new office.
Party leaders hope that the shifting of the secretariat will also signal a shift in the political outreach of the party.
Ejaz Chaudhry, the central vice president, said Imran Khan had taken the decision because “Lahore is the hub of political activities”. He said the move made sense because the party’s central media cell was already functioning out of Lahore.
Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood said the party’s central office was being shifted to launch an effective election campaign.
Political analyst Amjad Nawaz Warriach said the PTI had been criticised by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for setting up its central office in Islamabad. He said a Lahore-based central office would help the PTI counter the PML-N’s criticism “since the chairperson will be there to guide them”.
He described Lahore as the “trendsetter in the country’s politics”. He said the PTI’s central secretariat in Lahore was “a big threat to the Sharifs”.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2012.