So, there has been a lot of mocking and celebrations since last night after the PTI’s Ali Khan Tareen was defeated by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)’s candidate Muhammad Iqbal Shah but is that what really happened in Lodhran?
No! I don’t think so and maybe I’m wrong.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) since day one of its origin is selling the narrative of being against the “status-quo”, “dynastic politics” and domination of wealthy rulers with no public mandate.
This was the party’s slogan and probably its “Unique Selling Point (USP)” all along.
After the disqualification of so-called “ATM” of PTI by the opposition; Jahangir Khan Tareen, PTI and Imran Khan should have separated itself from the Tareen family and set an example for the world that if they are criticizing PML-N for still following the disqualified leader, they are going to follow the same path just because the person is important and is the source of major funding for the party.
But, what they did?
They announced their next candidate and guess what he’s the son of Jahangir Tareen and that’s what you call “dynastic politics”.
That day PTI lost the election without even competing and PML N knew that pretty well. That wasn’t the very first contradiction of their own slogan and narrative, PTI has been known for such U-turns for a long time now.
Even after the criticism by their own stake-holders, Imran Khan didn’t listen and keep on justifying the selection of Ali Tareen in a way that is beyond any logic because he was the one who started this very party to end such family politics. Senior advocate, Naeem Bukhari who is also one of the closest to Imran Khan said that he was against this decision and it will cost PTI badly.
Come to the election campaign by the both parties, PTI’s whole leadership was there at Lodhran for the whole campaign, even the Imran Khan addressed a ‘jalsa’ alongside Ali Tareen which is clearly against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s code of conduct but they didn’t care because when it comes to them they don’t seem to be the one to follow rules and regulations, that’s only for the rivals and tool of criticism.
On the other hand, Iqbal Shah who was the PML-N’s candidate didn’t get such support from PML-N leadership and didn’t do any campaign at all but he is known to be a people’s man and there’s a great respect for that man among Lodhran’s public.
This election is a clear wake–up call for the PTI leadership that they need to learn that in Pakistan’s politics, catering public for mega power shows and political army of inactive soldiers on social media do not win elections and when after all that you start contradicting you own narrative that you have been selling for years, it only make it worse and you never see it coming.
We can only hope that one day every political party and politician will mean what they will promise to public and instead of contradicting themselves they will set an example of how to practice what you preach.
Their only strategy for the elections seem to be only criticizing every possible aspect they see in the governance and always telling them how to rule and how to do politics but when it comes to their own practice, they failed to perform in KPK and all that bragging about their one advancement of police came out as false promises during recent incidents of Mardan.
Their parliamentarians are just focusing on spending as much time as they can in Bani Gala and that’s not how politics work in Pakistan or in any other country for that matter.