Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have come under fire recently from the media for taking leaders from old parties into PTI’s ranks. As outlined below, there are some valid points in favour of taking leaders from other parties into PTI:

  • Ever since PTI has gained popularity in the hearts and minds of Pakistanis, the established parties have started a very strong media campaigns against Imran Khan and PTI. They are using every possible means to malign the image of Imran Khan and other leaders of his party. Although these enemies of PTI have not succeeded, they are trying to plant the seeds of doubt in people’s minds. New politicians, who have worked only for PTI, are not familiar with such tactics of the major parties of Pakistan and as such, are not able to counter them effectively. Old faces such as Javed Hashmi, previously associated with PML (N) and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, previously associated with PPP, are aware of the political manoeuvres of these parties and can suggest ways and means to PTI to counter hostile and unfair propaganda effectively.
  • Imran Khan, though doing a great job of representing his party, cannot represent PTI all the time and every platform. He needs seasoned and experienced people who have been in the political arena before and know how to handle political situations well. Experienced politicians are also needed to structure the party more firmly and properly since PTI is undergoing massive expansion nowadays. They can tour cities and talk to the public while Imran Khan can go about the task of organizing and leading his party
  • Old faces joining PTI are amongst the better ones from all parties. If PML(N) & PPP say that PML(Q) leaders were responsible for drone attacks on Pakistan, they should also not forget that they are in power for the past four years and they have escalated this war more than Musharraf. Also, we all know that party leaders are the ones forming national policies and when political parties work under a dictator, they just follow his instructions like the cabinet ministers were doing under Musharraf. Even if someone wanted to do any good under Musharraf, he was not allowed to do it. Another point to consider is, there is no way Javed Hashmi is comparable with Rana Sanaullah or Shah Mehmood with Rehman Malik. So please use your political acumen and you will conclude that these people have all the right to join PTI to change Pakistan as per PTI agenda.
  • As PTI Chairman Imran Khan clarified, PTI will only give tickets to its leaders based on merit and on the advice and agreement of its central executive committee even though his party was open to all new comers, their earlier political affiliations notwithstanding. Asked about the criterion for joining his party, he said “People who agree with the party’s agenda can join PTI.”
  • It has been repeatedly stated by Imran Khan that PTI is welcoming leaders from other parties only if those leaders agree to the PTI agenda, meaning people joining for selfish means and gains will be disappointed to join the party.

“Only people with our ideology will last in the party,” Imran Khan stated.

  • As Imran Khan elaborated, “new faces” were also joining the party but the media did not raise such hue and cry over the new faces as much as they did over some of the big guns joining PTI. “More than 1000 tickets are to be allotted, majority will be new people,” he further stated.
  • PTI agenda is justice, how can it do justice with Pakistan if it will not do justice within the party? Imran Khan is a staunch supporter of the rule of law and it is not possible that PTI members will be free from law, everyone including PTI officials will have to comply with the laws of Pakistan and be the first ones to face accountability.

As mentioned above, it is clear that the inclusion of old faces does not mean that PTI has changed its agenda because it has been clearly stated by Imran Khan that only those people will survive who will agree to party ideology and the party will not change its ideology for any individual no matter how powerful that person is. For Imran Khan and PTI, the most important issue is to bring change and relieve Pakistani people of the worst conditions of living that they are facing nowadays. In light of the above arguments, please draw your own conclusion whether the inclusion of politicians from established parties is a good thing for PTI or not.