Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Allama Tahir ul Qadri's long march and PTI's dilemma - Should PTI join TuQ March?

By Shah Zalmay Khan (@PTI_FATA)
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PTI should join TuQ march.............PTI shouldn't join TuQ march.
PTI should...... PTI shouldn't.
Should..... Shouldn't..... Should..... Shouldn't.... Should...... Shouldn't.... bla bla bla.
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If anything best explains PTI's state of affairs since 23 December, it is the word 'CONFUSION' (especially after Altaf Hussain's 11 January drone attack on Dr Qadri :P).
So what should PTI do?
Well the answer is simple - PTI shouldn't go with TuQ's long march.
Why? Let me explain this simple answer. 
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Long March is only way for TuQ:
Because TuQ has no alternative to the long march and also has nothing to lose. He has no electoral party structure anywhere in the country. He can gather a million people for a Jalsa from 272 constituencies of Pakistan but he cannot win even 10,000 votes in any constituency alone. TuQ himself may win his seat but there is no number-2 in his party, nobody else to contest (not to forget he says he doesn't want to participate at all).
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Long March is NOT the only way for PTI:
PTI has a vibrant popular support base across Pakistan. It has a great strength in the form of youth aged below 35, more than 30 million of whom would be voting for the first time in coming elections. PTI has been consalidating and improving its party structure across Pakistan since 30 Oct 2011 and is actually in a position to claim being a national party - spread fom Chitral to Karachi and from Quetta to Waziristan. It has a large number of educated 2nd-tier, 3rd-tier and 4th-tier leaders, hundreds of thousands of youth volunteers, the biggest social media volunteer's strength and millions of members across Pakistan. While TuQ managed to stage a Jalsa after months of preparations, PTI has been doing record-breaking Jalsas across Pakistan (nearly50 big Jalsas held over the past year). Contrary to all assertions of "Tsunami has evaporated", there is all the evidence that Tsunami is very much here.
So at this point of time, PTI sees a positive political future ahead. All PTI needs is a truly neutral caretaker setup, an assertive and truly independent ECP playing its due constitutional role. Also that the use of govt funds for election campaign by ruling PPP and PMLN is stopped forthwith.
None of these goals require that PTI joins TuQ's long march because there are other means through which PTI can achieve them (not to mention that TuQ's march has already pressurized the govt a lot and it will be very difficult for them to do some MukMuka now).
On the flip side, if PTI teams up with TuQ for the march, one immediate result may be the pack-up of the current rulers. However, this pack-up will not bring PTI any plusses and the possible disasters will be:
1) PTI will be stamped with the ESTABLISHMENT tag and with the very weak media team that it has, one must be sure of a PR disaster that may well lead to an election disaster.
2) The only reason many people support PTI is because of Imran Khan's and PTI's undisputable integrity and CREDIBILITY. Joining TuQ's march will surely ruin the credibility because of all the 'Who-funded-him', 'Who-brought-him-from-abroad', 'Who-is-pulling-his-strings' and 'Why-he-partnered-with-MQM' type controversies associated with the learned Allama.
3) Many of the educated PTI supporters (especially the hardcore Insafian volunteers in social media) have reservations over TuQ's sudden advent and march so PTI can't afford to lose or demotivate some of its most ardent supporters. 
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But what if PPP/PMLN do some mischief in appointing caretaker govts?
Answer is that in the highly charged political environment of today's Pakistan, it will be difficult for PPP/PMLN. Even if the ruling PPP/PMLN try to do some mischief, PTI always has the option of the Tsunami March in hand.
What then is the difference between TuQ' s long march and PTI's Tsunami march? Well the difference is that of TARGET.
While TuQ's march is aimed (even if implicitly) at overthrowing the current govt with mildly unconstitutional tactics, PTI's Tsunami march will be aimed at the caretaker govt (if not neutral).
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In the end, let me narrate a folk joke that is extremely pertinent to the current scenario & PTI.
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TuQ has nothing to lose but PTI has a brand new 'Kambal' in the form of bright electoral prospects which may be lost due to this 'Mela'.
I rest my case :P.
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The writer is a tribesman from Bajaur Agency (FATA) and tweets at @PTI_FATA (no official association with PTI)
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Disclaimer: This blog is not an official PTI webpage and is run by a group of volunteers having no official position in PTI. All posts are personal opinions of the bloggers and should, in no way, be taken as official PTI word.
With Regards,
"Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA Volunteers" Team.


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