PTI struggles to craft a response to judicial commission's findings

Published: July 25, 2015
Email
PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was said to be disappointed with the performance of Pirzada’s legal team. PHOTO: REUTERS

PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was said to be disappointed with the performance of Pirzada’s legal team. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

The Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has failed to come up with a formal response to the findings of the judicial commission on electoral rigging, apparently owing to internal wrangling and divisions.

On Friday, the party’s top leadership gathered at Imran’s Bani Gala residence to discuss the possible fallouts of the inquiry report and the party’s future strategy. No official statement was released to the media, however.

Background discussions with some insiders suggested the party was struggling to evolve a consensus on how to respond to the findings due to divergent views. Many senior leaders like Ejaz Chaudhry, Azam Swati, Nadir Leghari, Dr Arif Alvi, Shafqat Mehmood and Qasim Suri did not even turn up at the informal meeting, a PTI leader, who attended the meeting, told The Express Tribune.

The PTI’s legal eagles namely Hamid Khan, Ahmed Awais and Abdul Hafiz Pirzada were also not available for certain reasons, he added. PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was said to be disappointed with the performance of Pirzada’s legal team, which contested the case before the three-judge panel.

At the seven-hour marathon sitting at Bani Gala, where Jahangir Tareen, Asad Umar, Naeemul Haq and Dr Shireen Mazari were also present among many others, the party prepared its preliminary strategy to “re-establish the party’s image in the political arena”.

“We all are in shock over the findings of the judicial commission,” admitted one of the party leaders, who advised the PTI leadership “to focus on parliamentary politics now rather than dharnas (sit-ins).”

Many leaders were stunned to see Pakistan Peoples Party stalwart Babar Awan in Friday’s meeting, as Imran took his legal opinions, said the senior leader. “The party is going to accept the report in letter and spirit and will take its stand on addressing the shortcomings of the polling authority,” he added.

The PTI leaders will sit again today (Saturday) to finalise their plan with the PTI chief likely to announce his strategy in a press conference later.

PTI’s senior leader Hamid Khan admitted the party had failed to put up its case properly before the judicial commission.

Another participant of the meeting said the party leaders observed the PTI’s task force headed by Ishaq Khakwani had apparently failed to produce solid evidence before the judges.

Another PTI leader suggested the party should go for a quick reshuffle. “We might see changes in some portfolios of key leaders,” he added.

PTI Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry was, however, adamant. “We will not offer any apology. As an opposition, we will push the rulers to clean the mess of Election Commission of Pakistan and also go for a new accountability system to purge the institutions of corruption,” he said.

Another PTI leader said a new strategy had been proposed to counter the victorious moves of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. “Our lawmakers in the National Assembly will raise their voice against the corruption of sitting ministers,” he said.

However, senior leader Dr Arif Alvi dispelled all talks of a crisis, saying the PTI did not face any setback due to the commission’s report. “Our struggle to get justice will continue,” he said. “Unfortunately we always get defeated by the status quo.”

He was endorsed by PTI Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa President Azam Swati, who believed the “sacrifices” the party gave during the dharna and then for forming a judicial commission was a historic accomplishment for the protection and viability of democratic institutions.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2015.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (11)

  • Shafiullah Shirazi
    Jul 25, 2015 - 10:33AM

    Wounds of Pakistan are much deeper. IK and his party is not in position to treat them…. By the look of it there is hardly any chance of healing…..since there is no one on the horizon who could turn forward the wheel….How can that house can remain safe when the people living in the house want to burn it? Leave alone outsiders who are desperately waiting for any excuse to demolish it.Recommend

  • Shafiq Rehman
    Jul 25, 2015 - 11:20AM

    I was disappointed by IK’s decision to accept the JC to begin with, how can we expect a JC formed by Nawaz Sharif to topple his own government, NS is not a kid and IK is a kid (politically speaking). I am sad and frustrated.Recommend

  • Tahir
    Jul 25, 2015 - 12:21PM

    Real issue in PTI is lack of performance. In election compaign PTI failed to reach to common masses specially in rural areas.It did a good job by attracted educated young elite through social marketing strategies but common man in rural areas had no idea of PTI. In my village no body voted for PTI. After coming in govt in KPK there is no much change in corruption of patwaris and police. I happened to go to a hospital in KPK some months ago. Employees were coming at 11 am and misbehaving with poor people. PTI should realise its shortcomings and correct them rather than hiding behind false allegations of dhandli and remove all corrupt turn coats from the party. KPK govt is a golden opportunity for PTI to prove itself in which it has uptil now miserably failed.Time is running out for PTI.Recommend

  • zafar iqbal ranjha
    Jul 25, 2015 - 1:32PM

    PTI has to devise and revise its strategy carefully because it is faced to face with a class of politicians who are in this field since ages and their interests are interlinked and they are bent upon to destroy any one,even physically,who dare to challenge this empire built upon for loot and plunder. The judiciary was never expected to give any relief to the party which has blamed its former chief justice and some ex judges for electoral manoeuvrings for the benefits of party whose leadership is so lucky that even single verdict was never given by the superior against it.
    Sharifs have been darling of our judiciary,big media houses.Even religious leadership has been ever at their back. PTI failed to get legal team to present its case effectively,Hafeez Pirzada didn,t summon and question the characters which were blamed for rigging. Had he questioned,Messers Iftikhar Ch,Justice Ramday and even Fakhru Bhai, then this decision would not be so politically disastrous for PTI,it would have been spared the allegation of U turns. Why the leading counsel of the country failed to call upon the JC to play its inquisitorial role also by summoning the ex chairman NADRA and intelligence agencies to get their input?
    Anyhow PTI still gets the credit of fighting for fair and free election, Hopefully its leadership will come with new strategy for rule of law and accountability of the present and ex rulers who have plundered this nation ruthlessly. Zafar Iqbal ranjhaRecommend

  • Blithe
    Jul 25, 2015 - 2:07PM

    They should be thanking their lucky stars they are not in jail . Imagine if mqm had attacked the Parliment and PTV! Recommend

  • Lolz
    Jul 25, 2015 - 3:14PM

    PTI lost when they accepted to include organised rigging in the ToRs. Organised crimes are not investigated even in developed countries in one or two years. I haven’t seen a single case in Pakistan, whether terrorism or normal crime, where the mastermind has been identified and the investigations have been shared with the public! Moreover, how could one make judgement against a family that has been in rule for 30 years and when the judge is supposed to leave in couple of years! Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Jul 25, 2015 - 3:23PM

    Imran Khan~PTI~Babar Awan~Malik Riaz~PPP~Corrupt Zardari, is anyone else noticing and connecting the dots? They are all partners and want to destabilize a democratically elected government.

    Problem with Imran is that he can’t ever become Prime minister due to his own attitude and arrogance and he wants to become PM by hook or by crook. He has done more damage to PTI then anyone else in the party,its high time that he should accept his failure and resign from PTI and sideline himself from politics and instead focus on social welfare projects like Hospital and University. Politics is a dirty game and its making Imran dirtier by the day and is tainting his reputation. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jul 25, 2015 - 4:52PM

    Suggested reply : We accept the findings of the commission.
    Saying more than this is not advisable because most feel this decision was a political one tailored ‘ not to rock the boat ‘ , to let the status quo remain and for the PML-N this was a Pherick victory……..one in which they have come away with even less credibility than before. So PTI …….let your silence do the talking.Recommend

  • Khan Gul
    Jul 25, 2015 - 5:14PM

    ET make up your mind. Was Azam Swati there or not?

    Many senior leaders like Ejaz Chaudhry, Azam Swati, Nadir Leghari, Dr Arif Alvi, Shafqat Mehmood and Qasim Suri did not even turn up at the informal meeting, a PTI leader, who attended the meeting, told The Express Tribune.

    He was endorsed by PTI Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa President Azam Swati, who believed the “sacrifices” the party gave during the dharna
    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 25, 2015 - 8:13PM

    It was all over for PTI and for Imran. Whatever it has done to economy and democracy, it cannot grow again and become a formidable force. Recommend

  • goodDeedsLeadTo
    Jul 26, 2015 - 12:26AM

    PTI should change KP into a model province and use it to convince the skeptics PTI is not all talk they do walk the talk. it is true, PTI has already initiated many important legislations and changes on the ground, but still they need to do more to the level even their worst opponents should not have reason left to dismiss PTI’s claims.
    PTI should also not forget, the current PMLN is a product of heavy rigging and that they have robbed Pakistan. it is visible what they possess outside Pakistan, and the fact they have not paid income taxes on the money taken out to UK, Dubai or other places.
    PTI is a justice party, and they should put down their feet against the corrupt, make sure a system is put in place, even NS is not able to get away on corruption.Recommend

More in Pakistan