It all comes down to PTI vs PPP: Will Imran Khan win the 2018 elections?

Published: July 12, 2017

If Imran strategises and sticks to his promises, he could prove to be a successful prime minister and a worthy leader.

Due to a fairly recent conflict between Babar Awan (read the main pillar of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)) and co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Awan left PPP to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The end of a two decade-long association with PPP was a shocking piece of news for the opposition in the National Assembly. Furthermore, Awan is not the only individual parting ways with PPP, as a couple of others have decided to do the same as well. The Member of the Pakistan National Assembly (MNA) Noor Alam Khan also joined the PTI, whereas former state minister Imtiaz Safdar Warraich from Gujranwala has decided to quit PPP and is set to join PTI officially as well. All three individuals were considered close allies of former President Zardari.

But that didn’t stop PPP candidate Saeed Ghani from winning the PS-114 Karachi by-polls, securing a lead of more than 5,000 votes over the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) candidate, Kamran Tessori. Ghani was followed by MQM-P’s Tessori, who anchored 18,106 votes. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Ali Akbar Gujjar came in third with 7,175 votes to his credit, while PTI’s Najeeb Haroon bagged 5,942 votes. PPP seems set and ready to make its place in Sindh in the upcoming general elections.

While PPP and PTI are sailing smoothly through 2017, PML-N, on the other hand, is having quite a tough time. Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced the joint investigation team (JIT) report result in which the Sharif family was declared guilty of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and illegal sources of income. Only time will tell what fate has in store for the ruling government.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan can be seen rallying support for Nawaz’s oust. The man just doesn’t give up, and in a way, we have him to thank for holding the Sharif family accountable. If Nawaz does step down, PTI or PPP could be possible victors of the 2018 elections. The important question here is  – if PTI does win the 2018 elections, will they be able to replicate their tremendous Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) provincial results in all four provinces?

In 2014, a public survey by Gallup reported that public satisfaction in K-P was the highest (57%) as opposed to that in Punjab and Sindh.

The K-P government has prohibited ministers, chief ministers, government officials and other white collar employees from intervening in policing issues, and hence the K-P police are not marred by political activity. Furthermore, the first online FIR system was introduced in K-P. As reported on news channels, some of the police stations in Peshawar have been centrally converted into model police stations.

An ambitious agenda has also been finalised by a PTI coalition which is to be implemented after the 2018 elections. The projects will strengthen revenue collection from K-P and establish efficient institutions that will improve governance in the province.

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH) and its branches have been serving numerous individuals across the country for a long time now. No other party chairman has done such great work in such a short span of time. Thanks to Imran, medicine and treatment is free in all government hospitals of K-P and the government has also launched a campaign called Sehat Ka Insaf that aims to fight polio.

Furthermore, the Tameer-e-School project was initiated by the PTI government to raise funds for K-P schools. Girls are generally not encouraged to pursue their education, hence in order to ensure that they attend school, the K-P regime allocated a stipend of Rs200 to every school-going girl.

If Imran strategises and sticks to his promises, he could prove to be a successful prime minister and a worthy leader.

On the other hand, we have Zardari, who is clearly not satisfied with the way things are panning out in Sindh.

In retrospect, PPP has not done much for the betterment of Sindh. Rural Sindh is the only zone where the party’s votes are assured. As a result of corruption and mismanagement, the party has witnessed a slow disintegration.

A while back, a survey covering the entirety of Pakistan was conducted, in which 33% voted for PTI, 19% for PPP and 17% for PML-N. The following question was put forth to the survey participants,

“If elections were held tomorrow, which political party you would vote for at the federal level?”

This question was asked on a provincial level and 40% voted for PTI in K-P, 50% for PPP in Sindh and 43% for PTI in Punjab.

Despite the prevailing governance problems across Pakistan, Sindh is the only province that seems to be going backwards in terms of introducing better policies to ensure an effective administration.

The PPP government could have redeemed themselves through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP)  wherein around 1.8 million people are given a stipend of Rs5,000 every three months. This amount is transferred into their accounts; however, beneficiaries have been unable to withdraw it.

As for Nawaz and PML-N, their party has been marred by the ongoing corruption charges. Although we can’t deny Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s achievements in Punjab, the question still sticks – what role is being played by PML-N when it comes to other provinces?

All I can say is that PML-N may have succeeded in leading Punjab, but has failed in leading the nation.

It’s as if we have been conducting social experiments to see which leader does what and whether they succeed or not. Nawaz and Zardari have already gotten enough chances, it’s time we give the captain a chance and I sincerely hope he doesn’t let us down.

Who do you think has a higher chance of winning the upcoming 2018 elections?

     View Results

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Sarah Illahi

Sarah Illahi

The author hails from Mirpurkhas and is a college student. She tweets as @Sarah_Illahi (

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

  • M. S. Chaudhry

    The writer lives in a cave or in fool’s paradise. PML(N) will win next election very easily and with a big margin esp. If Mian Sahib is disqualified.Recommend

  • Karachiite

    Funny how you didn’t even had option of PMLN winning 2018 elections. If PMLN can come to power for 3rd time after its Central leadership remaining in exile for almost a decade then how can you expect it to do so bad that it won’t be in top 3. Assemblies will remain intact regardless of Shareef family’s fate. PMLN might win in upcoming senate elections too.Recommend

  • Rooh Ullah Khattak

    If you think that corruption ll make a difference in the opinion of illiterate Pakistanis, you are yourself the king of illiteracy at least about the politics of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Hahahaha! Hillarious. How conveniently you have dicarded PMLN.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)

    Imran Khan is the future Prime minister of Pakistan FULL STOPRecommend

  • Umar Munir

    PMLN.. PMLN has the highest chance of winning the 2018 elections. Sorry but I couldn’t find the option in above poll.

    Saying “it all comes down to PPP vs. PTI” is too early. Even if Nawaz Sharif and the sharif family gets disqualified, PMLN still has a higher chance of winning 2018 elections than PTI.

    Sorry if this shatters your dreams. Let’s wait and see. Allah knows best!Recommend

  • BaynaamKhan

    LoL no it doesnt come down to PTI vs PPP, they both will fight for second. PMLN will still win heavily or at least 100 seats to stay in power. The survey you talk about is probably bogus. PMLN has no competition in most of the punjab as evident by recent LB polls. Wake up.Recommend

  • tray no

    Retarded post, PML(N) will easily win 2018 Elections inshalla, making gains in KPK where PTI have done nothing but use taxpayer money in their dharnas, and also in Sindh, where the corrupt PPP is about to have their political significance elminiated once and for all. PTI supporters just cannot admit that this PML(N) government is the best government in the history of Pakistan in terms of transparency, economy, infrastructure and energy development, and national security. PTI Murdabad, Imran Khan Murdabad, PML(N) Zindabad.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    Wow.. PML-N isn’t even an option in your poll? Elections are supposed to be based on the will of the people, not JIT findings.

    The whole blog conveniently leaves out results from polls in which PML-N is leading. Attention is drawn to PTI projects while PML-N projects are ignored. The only thing you can see is corruption charges.

    I am not a PML-N supporter, but your bias is quite obvious.Recommend

  • Papito

    Magnificent piece of work!Recommend

  • Asghar Moosa Lulat

    we need biomatric system or use internet to vote the party we desire.Recommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    I suggest to author for a new opinion poll that what party may be at second position if he do not want to include PMLn in opinion polls. Recommend

  • Tariq Mahmood

    Well results of poll are as follows
    2. PPP
    3. PTI
    4. MQM-PRecommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    well said Tariq. Hope author will see this and try to conduct another poll when his true senses come backRecommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    I think you are happy to see this artical, please come out from dreams and wait for 2018.Recommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    Ahmar…. Author will be laughing at himself if he read this column after publishedRecommend

  • Khalid Latif

    PPP and PTI may not even think of any success in future elections, against the (N). PPP and PTI have been ‘playing politics’ for four years, while (N) had been busy collecting wealth and planning to buy the whole election process. Right now, it appears that a new (N) Prime Minister will replace Nawaz. The govt will be, still, run by Nawaz from Jaati Umra, Raiwind. Similar situation will remain after 2018, if (N) is not banned. It this scenario, PPP and PTI will even lose the seats which they already have. It will be a clean sweep across the country; all provences and other areas. Bribery will be the deciding factor.Recommend

  • Parvez

    There has to be a PML in the list….may be not a PML-N…..possibly a PML-S……but leaving them out is simply being rather presumptuous.Recommend

  • Sheryar Farooqui

    Shameful how people still support those who looted them, these people deserve the Pakistan they live in. Even if PMLN comes into power, doesn’t change the fact that they are criminals, always will be. Imran Khan will be the leader of my generation, even if he doesn’t become PM, his resolve and courage is truly inspiring, competing against a mighty strong Mafia is no easy task……….what I hope is that the old horse has enough strength for one final blow to PPP and free us from the jungle rule in Sindh and Karachi.Recommend

  • Manzar Bashir

    a love for PTI is evident in this piece. I am rather taken back with the resource on hand for tribuneRecommend

  • Nahid Hussain Chohan

    Always I am not a supporter of….. I agree about the bias but it seems to be more towards PPP. If the polls are suggesting PMLN after everything then God help us all.Recommend

  • Nahid Hussain Chohan

    Never happen.Recommend

  • Nahid Hussain Chohan

    Agreed bribery will be the factor as no one in their right mind could vote for these thieves after the evidence is in front of them concerning PMLN and PPP both corrupt to the core.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    It is necessary to declare I am not a PML-N fan. People assume I am defending PML-N because I support them.

    The author mentioned K-P government steps for neutrality, PTI’s “ambitious agenda” and Shaukat Khanam positive impact. Even thanked Imran Khan.

    “In retrospect PPP has not done much for betterment of Sindh”, according to the author. Also mentioned the failure of Benazir Income support program. Where is the bias towards PPP?

    MQM-P is mentioned in the poll but not PML-N, the ruling party with the most seats in the parliament? Insane.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    This is exactly something people don’t understand. Pakistanis are emotional people. When Benazir was shot, PPP received a lot of sympathy vote from Punjab, even from areas where she wasn’t likely to win if she has stayed alive.

    Elections are about an year away. You disqualify Nawaz right now and a lot of people will come out in support of PML-N. Disenfranchised PML-N supporters will come to vote if they feel the Sharif family is being targeted by the Judiciary/Media/Agencies. This is the worst time to disqualify Nawaz from an elections POV.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Fake opinion pollsRecommend

  • Adnan Taufiq

    Do you think that PMLN will survive the current crisis?Recommend

  • Adnan Taufiq

    Are you talking about the sham polls ?Recommend

  • Adnan Taufiq

    I respect your wishful thinking even after JIT report!However I cannot stop your support for PMLN as this is your voting right.Recommend

  • Adnan Taufiq

    You should have the courage to see the writing on the wall!Recommend

  • Adnan Taufiq

    The party is going to be split into atleast 3 factions after the Sharif family is disqualified as Ch Nisar has already left!Recommend

  • Adnan Taufiq

    Let us see!Recommend

  • SAM

    1. World Bank has time and again give BISP a rousing applaud and just this year, Marvi Memon recieved an award from WB because of BISP Program. So BISP has very much delivered.

    2. Sindh Assembly has been the most active in legislation. NA and KPK Assembly have done pathetic.

    3. Recent developmental works in Karachi are revolutionary. The impression that Sindh is not developed is wrong. People from rural Sindh have better health facilities than KPK which has no burn centre at all and Punjab that has just 3.

    4. Bottom line is, this is a fight between Establishments’ babies. Whoever of them wins, will be given mandate from central Punjab but rest assured they will need a coalition to make government.

    5. Given that Imran Khan considers himself as the clean one and everyone else is garbage, he has zero ability to make a coalition. He has no parliamentary politics experience. He is a rowdy laadla of establishment.

    6. Whoever wins, it is more important to be on the right side of history. Vote goes to PPPRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    Your might be right in your prognosis since IK has the chane to replace S

    harif dynasty not on its merits but the default of God father who has missed the chance to step down and bring in one of his cronies in the leadership of his muslim league organisation.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    Adnan…… Do you think that PTI will survive in kpk during election in kpk. DO some research and reply.Recommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    yes, PMLn will be winning but there will be tough fight between PTI & PPP for second position. KPK will also skip from PTI hand.Recommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    we already had writing on walls in 1993 & 1999 but waht happened in 2008 and 2103 this needs to get you understood.Recommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    no issue of party split as in 1993 or 1999 but we saw very weel also in 1997 and 2008 & 2013. You are very keen to see in 2018 againRecommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    you people do not accept Nawaz sharif for 10 months more but you will have to see for 5 years more in 2018. Right down my point at safe place and see in 2018Recommend

  • pervaiz nasir

    This is pmln and will remain pmln always. no matter who preside this.Recommend

  • ABKhan

    Most of the comments on this column in NS support shows that how important it is to increase the budget on education. These people still supporting the corrupt and only schooling could help themRecommend

  • Ahmad Rafiq

    Where is PMLN in the polls ? A mere report by JIT leaves just two options, PPP and PTI ?

    I am sorry for the person who approved this blog post to be published.Recommend

  • Ahmad Rafiq

    Serious question : Can anyone just write and post a blog post like this one or is there any review before it is published ? Because honestly, this is unbelievable.

    PMLN will win 2018, fairly easily. It will need 100 more JITs to damage PMLN.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.Recommend

  • Khalid Latif

    Yes Nahid Sb. In the past, votes were naught, voters were intimidated and election staff bribed. This time all votes will be legitimate; every voter will be a genuine voter; prepaid.Recommend

  • Ahmar

    PML-N and Nawaz Sharif will emerge as a “victim of media+judiciary+establishment” out of this whole crisis.

    That is the narrative on which PML-N will contest 2018 elections i.e. his government wasn’t allowed to complete its full term. They have enough support in Punjab and even KP and Sindh given dismal PTI and PPP performances. They will be able to get majority seats, so yes.Recommend

  • Sane

    Vote in Pakistan costs of one Biryani Plate or couple of hundred rupees, specially in rural areas. Anyone who has wealth to spend shall win the election. PML(N) has wealth and ‘tricks’ both to win elections.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)

    My knowledge of Pakistani politics is almost zero, because Pakistani politicians are for me lowlife crooks. ! Although I am a non-resident Pakistani citizen, I shall vote in the coming elections for Imran Khan. He is an honest, modest, non greedy, daring, handsome, cosmopolitan and a progressive orientated Pakistani citizen! May we eradicate poverty and religion fanaticism!
    Kind regardsRecommend

  • Hassan Mirza

    Imran khan is an opportunist will be never prime minister of PakistanRecommend

  • Anonymous

    I do respect your opinion but really? I mean just WOW!


  • Sridhar_reddy

    usa may support imrans partyRecommend