The fault lines dividing elected members and general workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Mardan have started to deepen as disgruntled party leaders demand district office bearers to resign and make way for sincere party workers.
The differences were triggered when district president and MNA Ali Muhammad and general secretary Iftikhar Ali Mashwani were unable to make proper arrangements for the party’s Azadi march in August 2014.
Requesting anonymity, a party insider told The Express Tribune Ali Muhammad’s passivity has irked party workers in the district and has given birth to factions. He said 24 of the 29 district cabinet members voted against Ali Muhammad, district vice presidents Tufail Anjum and Zahid Durrani and district general secretary Iftikhar Ali Mashwani during a PTI Mardan chapter meeting convened before, on August 13, 2014. Yet the office bearers are still running the party’s affairs, he said.
Seven candidates of PTI, hailing from Mardan, won seats during the general elections of 2013. Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Muhammad Atif was elected from PK-30 Mardan-VIII, Ali Muhammad was elected MNA from NA-10 Mardan-II, Muhammad Zahid Durrani and Tufail Anjum were elected MPAs from PK-24 Mardan-II and PK-29 Mardan-VII respectively and Iftikhar Ali Mashwani was elected MPA from PK-26 Mardan-IV.
Ubaidullah Mayar was elected MPA from PK-25 Mardan-III and the second MNA from the district was Mujahid Ali.
Raising concerns about PTI’s unity in Mardan, party leader Muhammad Farooq told The Express Tribune local government polls are around the corner but workers in Mardan are busy vying for party positions rather than preparing for elections. Farooq said the provincial leadership has been requested to intervene and disciplinary action is on the cards.
Meanwhile, Ali Muhammad concurred with the demands of disgruntled workers. While talking to The Express Tribune, Ali Muhammad said all district office bearers holding dual designations should give up one post voluntarily.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2015.