Tehrik-i-Insaf on the footsteps of other parties,'Turncoats' inducted in the party

The recent induction of some ‘turncoats’ in Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), which is very optimistic about its future in electoral politics in the country, has frustrated its workers and leaders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Information gathered by Dawn reveal that PTI, which is looking for winning horses, has been in contact with some sitting lawmakers and influential political figures in the province to bring them to its folds before the next general elections.
However, entry of ‘turncoats’ has disappointed PTI workers and leaders in the province as they fear that induction of ‘opportunists’ would dent the popularity of the party among people, particularly the youths, who want a real and positive change in the country.
“We are not against the new entrants in the party, but it will damage the morale of workers if the known turncoats are given senior positions or tickets for the coming polls. If this happens, there will be no difference between PTI and other parties,” a senior PTI leader tells Dawn .
The PTI leaders suspect that politicians, who are known for changing loyalties, are lobbying to join PTI before next general elections to obtain party tickets. They say that the core committee has decided that PTI will be ideological, revolutionary and anti-status quo party and there will be no room for opportunists.
“Some elements are encouraging these notorious opportunists to join the PTI,” says a party source.
According to the office-bearers, Provincial Minister for Irrigation Pervez Khattak and another former minister of Pakistan People’s Party from Nowshera district along with his friends are using different channels to ensure their entry in the PTI.
“There is frustration among the workers since some known turncoats have shown their intentions through media about joining the party,” he says, adding that PTI has not approached or invited these people to join the party.
Pervez Khattak denies that he has any contact with the PTI or any other party. “Let the people discuss political discourse. But neither I have shown such intentions nor any party has approached me,” he says.
The cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan`s PTI claims that it has enrolled over one million members in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PTI activists are convinced that they will clean bold their rivals in the next elections.
A senior office-bearer of the party says that PIT will not enter into electoral alliance with any party except Jamaat-i-Islami. He adds that they will field candidates on all seats in the province where voters` mode is very unpredictable.
Some political figures have recently joined PTI and many have been negotiating their deals. The Awami National Party MNA from Mardan, Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti, has inducted his son Omar Farooq in PTI.
Few days ago a farmer MPA of the ruling PPP from Nowshera, Qurban Ali Khan, joined PTI. Political observers say that Qurban`s switch over to PTI can be a setback for PPP in the district.
Another MPA of PPP from Peshawar, a former nazim and a diehard jiyala from Peshawar are ready to join the party.
Sources in PTI say that two sitting MPAs from Swat, another MPA from Nowshera and a minister, who belongs to Kohat district, have approached the party. However, one MPA from Swat district when approached did not comment.
MPA Israrullah Khan Gandapur, the son of former chief minister Inayatullah Khan Gandapur, who got elected on PPP-S ticket from Dera Ismail Khan told express news 24/7 that PTI office-bearers had approached him for joining the party.
Insiders say that allotment of tickets in the upcoming elections will depend upon educational qualification, credibility, financial status and social status of the candidates. However, the party’s office-bearers and workers will be given priority in the allotment of the tickets.
They say that some former officers of the intelligence agencies are facilitating the party in selection of candidates. “These retired officers are collecting data about political personalities with their previous records and provide it to PTI,” says one source. Political analysts say that PTI’s future is depended on understanding between the PPP and ANP in the province.

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