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Is PTI all set for another embarrassment?

It seems like PTI is taking a page from the Pakistani Cricket Team’s book. With every passing day, PTI manages to find itself entrenched deeper in its own quicksand. I wrote a blog a couple of days ago, citing facts and mentioning why PTI would lose the contestation of NA-246. Despite an overwhelming response from the majority, most of the readers gave an unfavorable response and accused my analysis of being detached from political realities of the constituency. However, adamant on my own belief, today I bring to you more reasons as I still take a similar stance, iterating that PTI will put on a subpar performance in the Cantonment Board elections; being held after a lengthy span of 17 years. What I write next may, again, strike a nerve with many avid PTI supporters and cause them to wield pitchforks thereby, labeling me as ‘anti-PTI’.

Today marks the occasion where elections are being held in 42 Cantonment boards all over Pakistan. With the results just a few hours away, I feel that these elections will be nothing less than a nightmare for PTI. However this time, pinching themselves won’t bring it to an end. It should be kept in mind that these cantonment areas consist of a majority of semi elite class and educated residents; the same sector that PTI claims to capture the hearts and mind of. PTI is considered as a beacon of change, a party that is supported by the educated class as opposed to the illiterate. This is the root cause of its relatively better performance in urban as compared to rural areas. Keeping all this in mind, it seems that the stars are aligned in PTI’s favor and nothing less than a clean sweep is acceptable to rub its point in.

For the sake of this article we will focus mainly on the Lahore Cantonment Board and the Walton Cantonment Board. I underline these two in particular because it decides the political fate for PTI. The primary reason is that these cantonment boards are part of NA-125, the famous constituency that PTI claimed to have won but blamed rigging as the culprit for their loss. The claim was followed by a massive protest in the form of a sit-in at Lalik Chowk, which spanned over a month. It is pertinent to mention here that the said protest was the first of its kind since the inception of DHA. Even the winning candidate, Khawaja Saad Rifique, admitted on several occasions that PTI has a fan following within DHA. To a layman, it seems that this area is a haven and stronghold for PTI; hence an unfavorable outcome is a huge blow to PTI. Not only that, but it would be good enough to silence the voices that once chanted with fervor: “Change isn’t on its way, it’s already here”. After all, a loss doesn’t give much credibility to the hollow slogan.

To further add to the dismay of losing, it will rapidly undermine PTI’s cause and its vigorous claims of the 2013 elections being rigged. PTI put its political future on the line when it not only launched a full scale offense against the democratically elected government but also put on a show by resigning from the assemblies. This led them to endure heavy criticism, all for the formation of a judicial commission to probe the inquiry of the elections of 2013. NA-125 is one of the 4 constituencies that PTI demanded to be investigated. A loss would simply be a final word on the matter as the public sees it. It would cause Imran Khan to stop his whining and also give a pacifier to his supporters. It would mean that public does not agree with PTI’s assertion of the general elections being unfair.

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce something as simple as this. Someone who’s been actively following the political landscape for as far as the last six months can guess as much. PTI has failed to learn from the harrowing mistakes of its past. The Party and its leader have excelled very well in pointing out flaws in others and their policies. Yet, they have not taken the time out to review their own situation. The clash among the local leaders and office holders of PTI is to be blamed. This takes its roots in the intra party elections, which took place in February 2013. This splinter has damaged the party to its core. Like rust it has made the machinery all the more inefficient. The leaders have failed to become one cohesive unit. Just like the 2013 general elections, the party workers have bickered amongst themselves for the party ticket. It was Charlie and the Chocolate factory all over again. People were at each other’s throats for a golden ticket and threw a tantrum if they didn’t get what they wanted. This theory has been tried and tested with the results are before us in the form of the 2013 general elections. I honestly fail to grasp how the results will be any different this time around. When tickets are snatched from one hand and given to another so nonchalantly, how can you expect understanding and support from the person who thinks he/she was wronged.

In my opinion, the only foreseeable favorable result will be from KPK. However conditions indicate that even this won’t be a landslide victory. As a result, it’s certainly no reason for PTI to bring out the fancy china and celebrate. Especially when they claimed to have rebuilt KPK from the ashes and it stands anew. Where mythical rivers of honey and milk provide many bounties to its inhabitants. To add salt to their wounds, it will also do poorly in Baluchistan and most areas of Punjab. Despite what I have to say about PTI in the context of these elections, it is no doubt saddening to see a party fall from grace. What was supposed to be a ray of hope for millions, has disappointed the masses by its vicious circle of mistakes. I have a suggestion for all those PTI fans who have taken out their precious time to read this: rather than wasting your effort and hoping for a sense of pseudo accomplishment by spamming hate mails and abusing bloggers and critics, you should actually work for the betterment of the party. Use your ill spent time, on providing your concerns to the leadership. Khan Sahab needs to train his pack of “tigers” and “tigresses”, the way he used to discipline his fellow cricketers. As if PTI wasn’t already in hot water, the immaturity and intolerance of its supporter are further fanning the flames.

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