Mr PTI Chairman, we have a problem

Published: November 29, 2013

Mr Chairman, my question to you is, where is the change that you promised to bring in 90 days? PHOTO: AFP

Dear Mr Chairman (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf),

Your meteoric rise as a powerful alternative political force in Pakistan was a reflection of the belief of the educated middle class in your slogan of ‘change’. For the first time, in recent history, our people saw a ray of hope against corruption, nepotism, plutocracy, injustice and entrenched hereditary politics.

You mobilised the sceptic and the idealist, the old and the young, the religious and the liberal, the elite and the poor, by your strident call,

‘Tabdeeli aa nahi rahi, tabdeeli aa gayi hai’

(Change is not yet to come, change is already here).

Men and women flocked to your jalsas in millions to witness this change.

Mr Chairman, my question to you is where is that very change you promised in 90 days?

Where is the security, employment, poverty reduction, equal opportunity, police and justice system that you promised?

Where are the plans for new dams, a modern education system and change in the thana-kacheri culture?

Where is the devolution of power to the village level?

One is left baffled at seeing where the energies of PTI workers are being diverted. The party is losing vision of peaceful protests.

The educated middle class youth has abandoned it due to its failure to deliver on its promises. The inchoate extreme right thinking of PTI leadership is coming to the forefront while squeezing the moderate, modern Pakistani out of the mainstream with the label of ‘fascist’.

PTI supporters are increasingly resorting to violence.

There seems to be a sense of frustration and disarray in the party and its workers. The leadership seems to be whipping up emotions of party workers using misleading propaganda over the drone attacks. One surely condemns the loss of innocent lives but it is false that there is an increase in extremism and terrorism due to US drone attacks when the effectiveness of the drone attacks in taking out top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership is clearly for everyone to see.

In its most recent sit-in protest against drone strikes, PTI workers tried to block NATO supplies to Afghanistan while endangering the lives of people who were merely moving cargo from one place to another in their trucks. The party workers showed ill-discipline by harassing and roughing up drivers and going through their papers and cargo. Is this some new form of party vigilantism?

PTI leadership is well aware that blocking Nato supplies will have detrimental consequences and is not a remedy to stop US drone attacks. Nato, and its allies, is not just the US but a coalition of over 28 countries. Severing Nato supplies would tantamount to sabotaging the peace efforts in Afghanistan of all these countries while giving Pakistan a bad name.

Already the world is wary of Pakistan’s role in promoting terrorism especially when Hakimullah Mehsud is killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan and Naseeruddin Haqqani in Barakahu, Islamabad.

In the aftermath of these major events, PTI remained equivocal tacitly encouraging the extreme right-wing to label the notorious Mehsud a martyr. Instead of applauding the killing of a terrorist, PTI started a furor over presumed subversion of negotiations with TTP.

The people of Pakistan want peace.

There is no room for negotiations with Taliban and their ilk as proposed by PTI. For a long time these nefarious elements have been given space to breed and it is high time that the leadership of Pakistan got together and decided to extirpate all such elements that threaten the security and writ of the State by using force and not negotiations.

I, an ardent PTI supporter, today demand from you:

  • The resignation of the top leadership from the party over failure to prevent the party from being hijacked by the elite of questionable reputation and the absence of promised youth representation in the party.
  • And lastly, Mr Chairman, your resignation from the Chairmanship of PTI, for taking away the hopes of youth for a better Pakistan.

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Aisha Ghumman

Aisha Ghumman

A civil servant with the 40th common batch and a graduate of LUMS.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.