Analysis: PTI’s popularity in question over delay in intra-party polls

Published: February 3, 2013
No provincial or district leadership exists since Imran Khan dissolved party cabinets. PHOTO: FILE

No provincial or district leadership exists since Imran Khan dissolved party cabinets. PHOTO: FILE


The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seems to be losing its grip and popular support in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) due to lack of leadership and unity.

Though the PTI is relatively popular in K-P, no provincial or district leadership exists since PTI Chief Imran Khan dissolved party cabinets to hold intra-party elections.

The strategy of internalising democracy in the party may be failing because the PTI has been unable to hold elections for the past 18 months. Sources familiar with the matter say this is the result of lack of coordination between the central and provincial leadership, constant interference of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) in provincial affairs and the differences over the assignment of important portfolios.

Party leaders contesting for different portfolios remain optimistic about PTI’s popularity despite internal rifts and challenges. The scuffles have resulted in the postponement of elections in three districts.

PTI’s provincial convener Dr Meher Taj Roghani expressed concern over prolonged delay in holding party elections. “The election commission needs to hurry up,” he said, so that a better election strategy could be prepared.

The uncertainty over rewarding party tickets to candidates hoping to contest the general elections is also not helping. In the past six months, local heavyweights, including Iftikhar Jhagra and Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti have left the party due to this. Both candidates have previously served as provincial ministers in the past.

While PTI has partially held provincial intra-party elections, the provincial cabinet is yet to be announced. The chairman of the political science department at the University of Peshawar, A Z Hilali thinks that it is still too soon to predict the decline in PTI’s popularity.

“We have an immature political culture in Pakistan. Things change very rapidly here when it comes to the popularity of political parties,” he said, labelling PTI as an “Imran-centric party”.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (36)

  • Hassaan
    Feb 3, 2013 - 12:00PM

    Other family-limited haven’t seen “Real” Democracy in their whole life. At least, PTI is trying its absolute best to do something new and unique. Give them time. Recommend

  • Nawaz Sharif
    Feb 3, 2013 - 12:50PM

    The very fact that Imran is holding intra party elections and has not promised tickets to anyone means that winning is not important to IK, rather whats more important to him is to make PTI an institution.
    I wish him all the best, though I wish they would have started there public campaigning from early 2010 and not early 2011. That way it would be Oct 30, 2010, and Dec 25,2010…and hence by now all elections would be done with and PTI would be full force.
    Regardless…all the best Imran!!


  • Waseem
    Feb 3, 2013 - 1:34PM

    PTI flop show is over before election. Bring on some new musical concert, may be that will attract some matric students.


  • Feb 3, 2013 - 1:48PM

    PTI trying to complete intra-party elections is a very very tall order, but the result of that would be for the whole country to see. You will have a truly democratic party working at the grass roots level. We are already getting reports that for the PTI intra-party elections held already, many people from lower strata of the society such as masons, rickshaw drivers, and middle class youngsters have emerged as winners in their areas. This is the best thing that we can do perpetuate democracy in Pakistan, and I am happy that PTI is spearheading this effort.


  • Ali Khan
    Feb 3, 2013 - 2:45PM

    Go PTI go to show the real face of democrase to the pakistani nation
    for the first time ever in the history of pakistan headsup for PTi.


  • Muslim Leaguer
    Feb 3, 2013 - 3:02PM

    The tsunami of PTI is over since the retirement of General Ahmed Shuja Pasha!
    Pasha’s successors in ISI are now patronising TUQ of container revolution.


  • Elhaan Khan
    Feb 3, 2013 - 3:06PM

    I’m from KP and I can tell you that this report sounds true as people questioning that if IK can’t manage his party affairs quickly, then how come he will be able to run the country? Besides that, his pro-Taliban scares Pakhtun as majority Pakhtuns consider Taliban establishment’s proxies to control KP and Afghanistan .


  • Faisal
    Feb 3, 2013 - 3:46PM

    I’ve a firm belief, against all odds and and efforts of Express Tribune, PTI is gonna come into power and I’ll be there to tell them what how express tribune have been trying to undermine them. Time is near :)


  • VoiceOfgilgit
    Feb 3, 2013 - 3:50PM

    IK provide the base for a true democratic political party. All good things take some time.


  • Jibran
    Feb 3, 2013 - 4:36PM

    It is true that PTI for the movement has lost popularity in KP due the reasons mentioned in the report However i believe that before the establishment of care taker govt and before general polls many politicians may join PTI which will help in minimizing the wrong perception of PTI in KP. so far PTI and its leaders and Activists are disaster and resembling the activists of National Socialist German Workers Party who lacks the ability to even bear the existence of opposition to them.


  • Truth detector
    Feb 3, 2013 - 4:52PM

    Wow, ET is so quick & forthcoming to put this headline. May I ask honorable editors of ET when was the last time ( or ever) you have published an editorial urging “family” parties to hold internal party elections that is the essence of democracy lack of which renders a democracy nothing more than a farce or a ruse.

    Of course, intra-party election is an alien phenomena in Pakistan. There will be bumps & setbacks. But this is how things evolve. If democracy means handing over party leadership based on questionable ‘wills’ & making a political party a family fiefdom then God help us. Democracy has no future then, I want my dictatorship back at least that would mean less chaos & better chance of prosperity.


  • shery
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:13PM

    a tailor Humayun Khan has been elected for the post of president in kohat chapter of Pti, similar a rickshaw driver elected vp in bannu during recently held pti’s intraparty elections….results like these have put more faith of ppl of Khyber in PTI… unlike other family limited parties, pti believes in real democracy. By giving chance to peasants like Humayun khanl ,pti will bring diversity to its governing body , much needed for a diverse nation as ours …. kyberpakhtunkhwa ppl r not blind not to see the change happening !!!!


  • John the Baptist
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:14PM

    This supposed “chaos” is just a reflection of the pushes and pulls of a democratic process and a necessary part of he Change paradigm. It is not easy for the “experts” to digest as it does not correspond to the current ruler/darbari political structure. Ignore the naysayers. Full speed ahead Imran. We are all with you all the way and know that the right decisions are always the most difficult ones!!!


  • moin
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:16PM

    @waseem, do u charge noora-brothers per sentence or per line or per post? Anyway i must admit, credit goes to noora-brothers for creating a different type of jobs !


  • hussain
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:36PM


  • Hukka
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:43PM

    They better get their act together or tsunami will fail


  • dr gigyani
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:58PM

    How can we rely a report by someone who doesn’t know whether Mehr Taj Roghani is a He or aShe?


  • Concerned
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:59PM

    Moin when PTI followers will learn how to respect others. This attitude is damaging PTI like anything. From Irman Khan to botttom no one shows any respect to any one.


  • ishiPTI
    Feb 3, 2013 - 6:57PM

    you guys must now that when a candidate for MPA & MNA seats will have 300-700 elected bodies in their constituencies, how much destructive tsunami for status-quo they will bring in elections, inshallah!!!


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Feb 3, 2013 - 6:58PM

    I expected to see tough contest in elections but PTI”s downfall and PPP’s worst record has made things very easy for PML(N). Its unfortunate to see PML(Q) giving better fight than PTI and PTI.


  • A2Z
    Feb 3, 2013 - 7:52PM

    @Concerned…which type of respect are you talking about. Respect in words is absolutely necessary but respect from heart depends upon the subject. Unfortunately PPP, PML-N, ANP, MQM etc haven’t done anything which would earn them even an iota of respect. Waseem is not using any bad words for CTBT.


  • Lahore
    Feb 3, 2013 - 8:00PM

    Imran Khan is the last sincere hope to save Pakistan!
    Help him, or leave your country to DOGS!


  • Ahmed
    Feb 3, 2013 - 8:02PM

    anyone who wants information regarding pti intra party elections. please visit this website

    i request all my pti followers to spread the above website link and those people who are famous for spreading misinformation and writing such articles should be exposed.


  • Feb 3, 2013 - 8:04PM

    PTI has completed the process of intra party elections in KPK and hopefully, they will complete it in PUNJAB before the schedule of general election is announced


  • Zaffar
    Feb 3, 2013 - 8:26PM

    @Elhaan Khan:
    and I am from KPK. I can tell you that IK PTI is still strong and democratic. There is NO anti-PTI feelings as he represents whole of Pakistan. I think you need to get out of your house and do a survey and not depend on ET


  • khan
    Feb 3, 2013 - 8:35PM

    Typical ET article , not a day goes by without an article similar to this waste of time, trying to tell people that PTI the most useless party on the surface of the earth. God knows why ET is so concerned about PTI that it seems to be acting as a PTI watchdog if anything.
    What other party ash ANY EFEFCTIVE LEADERSHIP taht you are concerned that PTI ahsnt got one?. Why not do a few artciles on teh local leaderships of other parties and see what kind of people they have and how they been selected ?.


  • Ahmed
    Feb 3, 2013 - 11:26PM

    I am sure MQM is graph is rising sky high and it will win every seat in every province since ET seems to be doing everything in its power to malign PTI and glorify MQM.


  • Zoaib
    Feb 3, 2013 - 11:36PM

    One would also have liked ET to at least acknowledge one or two great examples such as Humayun Chacha, a tailor by profession, who won the elections for President Kohat District and also other from the working class who got a chance to rise in PTI due to these elections and will now be at key positions to nominate candidates for the next General Elections. If this is not CHANGE then I don’t know what is.

    But sigh, all we see is a report about a delay in only one or two districts of KPK. What can one say?


  • Shahbaz Khan
    Feb 4, 2013 - 12:09AM

    I am a well wisher of PTI but have heaped a lot of criticism on the party recently due to its incomprehensible stance on recent political developments. But the intra-party election is one thing for which the party should get a lot of credit. I agree the execution could have been smoother and swifter, but issues do arise even when established multinational corporations with enormous experience and resources initiate new mega projects. PTI had limited resources and virtually no experience or precedence to follow for intra-party election. Efforts of PTI’s workers in this regard are highly commendable.


  • John the Baptist
    Feb 4, 2013 - 1:24AM


    Respect is earned, not taken for granted. I have no respect for politically corrupt morons who have brought our great nation to its knees and neither do other PTI folks. Does that make it clear, Mr. darbari?


  • John the Baptist
    Feb 4, 2013 - 1:32AM

    I am so disappointed by Express Tribune’s constant berating of PTI–our media is still owned by politically motivated darbaris. It is a great shame that a newspaper of this supposedly “high” calibre will behave so openly in this manner. The shear nakedness of the intent to malign PTI every step of the way is utterly revolting. I request that the Editorial Board at least try to put some semblance of fairness in their reporting on PTI but then again it will be easier to ask Nawaz Sharif to pay taxes!

    Ugly ugly politics in broad daylight– very discouraging and depressing!


  • shimakara
    Feb 4, 2013 - 1:41AM

    Lafafa analysis sponsored by PML N. this is propaganda against PTI.


  • Feb 4, 2013 - 4:12AM

    @Concerned: There’s blood on the streets and you’re asking for respect? PTI represents frustrations of Pakistanis who are eager for change. So if you claim to stand for the status quo (who don’t respect humanity, let alone good speech), you might get an earful..
    That said, points should be raised through meaningful debate, and not name calling, and via an educated dialogue, where possible.


  • Irfan
    Feb 4, 2013 - 5:23AM

    Pti after intra election a big party we pti will be sweep


  • fawad
    Feb 4, 2013 - 2:02PM

    This is a revolution by itself. Instead of just focusing on winning next general elections, PTI insists on bringing revolution (Intra Party elections) in it’s own party before claiming to bring one in the country. I fully support PTI for this stance.


  • Shakeel N
    Feb 11, 2013 - 8:32PM

    PTI will surely emerge as true democratic party after these intra-party election. I think people should appreciate this effort. I dont think “ideological” members of PTI will switch loyalties merely sue to delays in intra-party elections.


More in KP & FATA