Been there, done that: How ‘Naya’ will Naya Pakistan be anyway?

Published: September 7, 2014

Can big names and old faces bring a revolution and change the system or are they just another step towards decadence? PHOTO: AFP

Can big names and old faces bring a revolution and change the system or are they just another step towards decadence? This question needs to be asked about the leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) trying to win ‘freedom’ for the people of Pakistan and who are also, directly or indirectly, equally responsible for the current condition the people are in.

PTI’s top leadership is notorious for jumping parties, and loyalties, but the party has yet to deliver what it has promised to the masses – even after governing a province for the past 14 months.

Most people lost hope when many old horses joined the party and took over key positions despite PTI’s claim to represent the younger generation of Pakistan.

“Most of PTI’s leadership has been tried and tested and they are known for their greed for power. These feudal lords, capitalists and industrialists cannot give freedom to the nation from the cruel chains of poverty and unemployment,” commented Fahad Rizwan, a social activist.

Sajid Aslam, a banker by profession, said that PTI claimed to bring honest and efficient leaders but failed to fulfil its promise and gave tickets to those who were rejected formerly due to incompetence. Here are just some of the leaders who, were previously part of other parties but later, joined the PTI bandwagon at important posts:

Shah Mehmood Qureshi

He became an MPA of the Punjab Assembly in 1985 and worked with the Pakistan Muslim League in 1988 and 1993. He joined Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1993 and served as state minister for parliamentary affairs.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Photo: File

He also served as foreign minister but was relieved from his duties at the foreign ministry due to differences over the Raymond Davis issue. He resigned from PPP, held meetings with PML-N but joined PTI in November 2011.

Azam Swati

Millionaire businessman, once the richest parliamentarian, Azam Swati served as Federal Minister for Science and Technology and senator under Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) banner from 2006 to 2011. He joined PTI on December 17, 2011.

Azam Swati. Photo: File

Jehangir Tareen

A businessman and former parliamentarian, he served as Minister of Industries, Production and Special Initiatives between August 2004 and November 2007, with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).

Jehangir Tareen. Photo: APP/File

Pervez Khattak

An industrialist and political leader, Pervez Khattak is known for changing parties. He worked with PPP, then moved to the Pakistan Peoples Party-Sherpao, joined PPP again and finally jumped on to PTI. He has served as Irrigation Minister and twice as Minister for Labour and Industry.

Pervez Khattak. Photo: APP

Asad Umar

Asad Umar is a former businessman. He served as CEO and President of Engro Corporation for eight years during a 27-year-long career with the company. His older brother, Zubair Umar, is chairman of the privatisation commission of the PML-N government.

Asad Umar. Photo: File

Amjad Afridi

The incumbent Minister for Tourism, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Amjad Afridi has also worked as the housing minister during Awami National Party’s (ANP) provincial government since 2008.

Mehmood Khan

Currently Minister for Irrigation, Mehmood Khan has served as an MPA for PPP. Besides him, MNA Salimur Rahman served as mayor of Swat on ANP’s ticket and MPA Dr Haider was an ANP worker previously. All three are now part of the PTI.

Alongside these leaders, there are dozens others who worked with other political parties before joining the PTI. With the same old people representing the face of ‘Naya Pakistan’ how ‘Naya’ can it really be anyway? Imran Khan needs to understand that if he wishes to truly bring substantial change in the lives of the average Pakistani citizen he cannot mooch off of parties that have already disappointed the citizens of the country. If Khan wants to succeed, he needs to believe in the phrase ‘out with the old, in with the new’.

Old may be gold, but in Pakistan’s case, we beg to differ.

Fawad Ali Shah

Fawad Ali Shah

He is a Islamabad based reporter who works for the Express Tribune. He tweets as @fawadalishah84 (

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

  • amoghavarsha.ii

    perfect !
    jumpers serve only there interest. They know where they are jumping. And always jump for greener pasture, lesser competition.Recommend

  • raza

    Your concerns are fair. But people like SMQ and pervez khattak don’t have a single corruption allegation on them despite more than 29 years in politics each. And Asad Umar is one of PAkistans most capable and it’s technical people like him who can rebuild government institutes.Recommend

  • Afroz Mohsin

    I failed to draw the conclusion from article. Is writer trying to make a point that since some of the old horses are in PTI rank then there is no need to give weightage to PTI and people should stick with old gun like of PML.N, PPP, ANP, JUI(F).

    Writer has very cleverly intentionally or unintentionally not mentioned the name of young blood which PTI has introduced namely 1)Murad Saeed 2) Mr Ali Muhammad Khan 3)Mr.Sheryar Afridi and many more.
    So half truth is almost more dangerous then blatant lie.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Not really understood……… you advocate that Zardari or Nawaz Sharif or Asfendar Wali or Maulana Fazlu or Altaf Bhai or the Mullah brigade are the people who can change this rotten system that delivers zilch, for the people ?……..I think not.Recommend

  • Emaarjay

    Old may be gold in many cases, but in the case of SMQ ,it is platinum ! He has steadfastly stood for what is right ! You never mentioned what the differences were between him and the PPP in the Raymond Davis case ? To put the record straight , the PPP wanted to let the murderer of 3 Pakistani Citizens go scot free. The only one standing with the Pakistani public was Shah Mahmood Qureshi,who reused to lie and declare RD a diplomat,when he clearly and legally wasn’t . That Sir, is called “principles” ,something that you may vaguely be familiar with ? Recommend

  • Humza

    Enlightening article that exposes the myth of “Naya Pakistan”. Despite my admiration for Imran Khan’s charitable work, I had my suspicions when he increasingly allied himself with the likes of Shaikh Rasheed and the Chaudhries of Gujrat. The only sensible person in PTI was Javed Hashmi but Imran Khan refused his wise counsel and kept on with a senseless violent protest which has been rejected by Pakistanis. I think people should learn there is no quick scheme to make money and no quick scheme to fix countries or improve society. Hard work and working within a system are the only ways for a society to love forward. Imran Khan must learn to work within the system and stop his old style dharnas with old style politics of mudsligging and old style politicians if he talks Naya Pakistan.Recommend

  • S Hashmi

    Dear learned author, the difference is that these people did not get any money for joining PTI. They joined PTI purely with their own will.Recommend

  • Amna

    Same old nonsense argument…blah blah.Recommend

  • Nadir Mehmood

    A good analyses.Recommend

  • Nadir Mehmood

    No doubt Imran has a poor, tested and an old team with him. Being a captain of this time will not earn him any success. Hashmi has already stabbed in the back.Recommend

  • Silent Conqueror

    Do you know who formed Turkey’s “Justice and Development Party”, that is considered to have brought revolution in Turkey by some? It was formed by politicians of other political parties that had been in power for last many yearsRecommend

  • Aiman Rani

    Alexander the Great said: I am not afraid of an army of lions lead by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep lead by a lion. So as long as Imran Khan leading, there is nothing to be worried about.Recommend

  • truth

    and u witnessed urself?
    The fact is that all these politicians saw where the wind was blowing and the wind was blowing in PTI’s way. I wonder people didn’t pay heed to IK’s call for 11 years. Every1 supporting him must see himself how many time he bothered him since he was in politics, how many of you voted him.
    Actually, that was the reason that made IK believe that he cant win elections by right means so he took in same dirty flock of Pakistani politics.
    How suddenly IK got hype in 2012, who drove these big names towards PTI all a sudden is a question mark. But beyond that, all faults lie within us for if had believed in our wisdom we would have given him a chance. Conversely, we become easy prey to propaganda. We acknowledged him when he was given hype on social media and electronic media. Still we follow trends on twitter and facebook. Still we are so misguided that even what IK says is as perfect as ‘Revelation” Our conduct is converting him to another “Nawaz Shareef”, (a rather guided one), for we are still not telling him that we can not digest any wrong against wrong. Only right we should opt and only right way can lead to right destination.Recommend

  • Asad Umar

    i cant get why asad umar’s name is there?
    PTi is his 1st party. he is not responsible for what his brother did!Recommend

  • Farzan


  • wahab

    Why do you always bring others parties, other parties are not advocating for Naya PakistanRecommend

  • Parvez

    Exactly……..they are advocates of the status quo because they and they alone are beneficiaries of this rotten system in which the people get nothing.Recommend

  • sid

    What could have ppp done in case of reymond davis when was sitting in lahore high court to make sure that Raymond davis would be granted bail n then safe exit.Recommend

  • Billu Barber

    Very much like Iftikhar Muhammad is not responsible for what his son did..!Recommend

  • Patriot

    Well, the thing that matters is that are these people corrupt? If not, then Naya Pakistan will certainly be NAYA ’cause honest people will run it, regardless of their previous party history.Recommend

  • MZM

    The new additions to their family are Sheikh Rasheed and Tahir ul Qadri. But PTI supporters won’t admit it even after countless appearances of these pious people from “the container.”Recommend