The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s student wing claims that it will host 10,000 students from across the province and the tribal areas. This will be the largest student gathering in the history of Pakistan, said Isaf Student Wing (ISF) Provincial President Hussain Akhunzada.
The annual student convention will be held on December 20 at the Tamash Khan Football Stadium at around 11:30am and PTI Chairman Imran Khan will address the students.
Unlike past ISF annual conventions, no one from the party’s provincial or central leadership will be attending except for the chairman. The ISF intends to show that it can independently lead the party in the province.
“On the chairman’s directives, members of the ISF and the Insaf Youth Wing (IYW) are contesting the intra-party elections at the Union Council (UC) level, which are due to start from December 18. The convention will boost their morale,” said IYW Provincial President Murad Saeed.
Akhunzada, however, said that the reason for not involving the provincial leadership was due to the non-existence of provincial cabinets. “On the students’ requests, we decided against involving the party’s leadership in the convention’s activities to remain neutral amid the intra-party elections.”
Besides the political objective, the convention aims to convey a message of commitment to the chairman; to confront the impression that even if the political heavy weights leave the party, the youth and students stand firmly beside him, Akhunzada said.
The event is financed by the ISF’s central office, while the accessories, including the party’s badges, posters, flags, membership cards and stickers are covered by the PTI.
A total of 12,813 candidates will be elected out of more than 40,000 candidates contesting intra-party elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Their lists have been finalised. From the 986 UCs in K-P, 13 members, including four women candidates, will be elected from each UC to form the cabinet.
“The election at UC level is more like a popularity contest and the candidate who gets the most votes will be the UC president, while the rest will be given other portfolios including posts of senior-vice presidents and general secretaries on the basis of a descending vote count,” said PTI activist Irfan Saleem, who is monitoring the election process.
Many candidates will be elected unopposed from UCs where a small number of candidates have filed nomination papers. For instance, in Peshawar, out of the 92 UCs, 17 of them have had only 13 candidates contesting in each UC.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2012.
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