Apr 122013

The News report by Mumtaz Alvi

Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) exudes immense confidence these days about his party getting into the corridors of power after a few weeks, so do those around him. Is it optimism or pragmatism?


The tone, tenor and the body language of the trend-setter in the hitherto stinking and corruption-infested political arena was not different during his latest interaction with the media at a local hotel on Tuesday afternoon.


Imran Khan was invited to speak on the launching of party manifesto, in the manner of the future prime minister. It may be recalled that in the party’s recent public meeting at Mingora, Imran himself claimed that PTI will form government within next few weeks.


Imran has in fact introduced, among some other new things, two revolutionary approaches i.e. fund-raising to finance election campaign of those, who cannot afford it and the launch of ‘change volunteers’, who will apprise people of PTI’s vision during their house-to-house visits. How far does he succeed in this is yet to be seen. However, this has to a certain extent shaken the deep-rooted political dynasties: one based in Larkana and the other in Raiwind.


But to many, his most remarkable achievement has been the intra-party election that other political parties have never dared to hold. The exercise consumed PTI’s eleven months.


Every second sentence Imran speaks is about bringing about a real change. But those sitting on the stage beside him are often known faces such as Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi and Jehangir Tareen, who have been part of the previous regimes one way or the other.


Quite surprisingly, he has struck a deal to support the veteran from Rawalpindi, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, who has been minister in PML-N as well as PML-Q governments under Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf.


Ostensibly, Imran’s flight is high, his intentions clear and his past record impeccable. But one wonders if he has found a team to help him translate into reality what he has been saying in his largely-attended public meetings and then in the party manifesto, unveiled Tuesday in full media glare.


Irrespective of PTI’s performance in the May 11 general elections, a mystery still shrouds the attitude of those who will not get party tickets. No one can say with certitude whether those left out would still support Imran.


Needless to say, PPP and PML-N leadership is also faced with same dilemma this time. But there is more focus on PTI, as Imran has given so much confidence to his supporters and has repeatedly announced to form next government. It is surprising for many as to how he would be able to do so without allying with any other party.


His unique experiment of awarding at least 25 per cent party tickets to youth is also debatable though a bold decision. Imran needs 172 out of 342 MNAs on his side to form a PTI government. Can he make the apparently impossible, possible?


“We plan to kick off an innovative massive election campaign after the ECP announces the final list of candidates that will leave others far behind. Imran will address a string of huge public meetings,” claimed PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood while talking to The News.


Shafqat, a former senator, said that the wind of change was already started blowing across for Imran had given hope to the nation through his actions and words. “You would not find any contradiction in what he says and what he does, which the leaderships of other two major parties lack,” he charged.


For instance, Imran abhors what he calls family limited parties and he has discouraged it by keeping his cousins and other relatives at bay.

Apr 012012

The News report

LONDON: A foreign-born scholar of Pakistani descent, Dr Azeem Ibrahim, a PhD from Cambridge University, a former Research Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a World Fellow at Yale, world’s top three seats of learning, has joined Imran Khan and has been named his Strategic Policy Development Advisor.


In a special article for The News, Dr Azeem said it was time the country achieved its “second independence” and threw off the denigrating suggestions that it is a failed state, a client state or a country on the brink of disaster.

Continue reading »

Dec 282011

Former cricketer Imran Khan reckons he could end militancy and corruption in 90 days if elected prime minister in a show of confidence which has helped make him Pakistan’s most popular politician.
He drew at least 100,000 people to the streets of Karachi on Sunday in a massive rally that increases pressure on the government and cements his standing as the new political force.
After 15 years as an aside to Pakistan politics, he is riding a wave of dissatisfaction with the government of President Asif Ali Zardari, who co-chairs the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and is facing challenges from the military, the Supreme Court and political opponents after a year of cascading crises. Continue reading »

Dec 202011

* New PTI entrants repose full confidence in Imran’s leadership

As many as 28 bigwigs most of them hailing from southern Punjab, including present and former parliamentarians and technocrats, reposed confidence in the leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday, apparently to secure their political future in the next elections.

These included former federal minister Jehangir Khan Tareen, sons of former president Farooq Leghari, Awais Khan Leghari and Jamal Khan Leghari; Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Dr GB Jamal, Sikander Khan Bosan, Ishaq Khan Khakwani, Sadia Khaqan Abbasi, Sarwar Khan of Taxila, Umar Farooq Miankhel of DI Khan with his four brothers, Mohabbat Khan Marri, Ghulam Sarwar Cheema, Shabbir Jokhio along with supporters, Afzal Khan Yousufzai, Dr Javed Hussain from Parachinar and four technocrats including Abid Hassan, a former World Bank official and others.

Addressing reporters at the National Press Club, Jehangir Tareen Khan, Jamal Khan Leghari, Awais Khan Leghari and Ghulam Sarwar Khan formally announced their joining of the PTI. The PTI chairman was also present on the occasion.

They said that the wrong policies of the PML-Q, including its joining of the PPP and PML-Functional, forced them to reconsider their political affiliation, adding that political vision of Imran Khan greatly inspired them and he was only the person who could lead the country in the future and bring the nation out of the present crisis.

“We have several meetings with the PTI chief and discussed methodology as how to steer the country out of the present troubles before taking the decision,” they claimed.

Speaking on the occasion, PTI chief Imran Khan said that the party would take advantage of the new comers, as all were experienced and mature politicians.

“I am glad that the people having good political background are joining the PTI,” he said, adding that the PTI during its 15-year-long struggle raised voice against the corrupt system. He said the PTI dreamed about a fair judicial system in the country and now the country’s judiciary is on the right path, he maintained.

Most of the joining leaders are known to have good repute and their affiliation will give big boost to the PTI.

Separately, renowned singer and Youth Parliament Pakistan Chairman Abrarul Haq has also joined the PTI, announcing that he has full confidence in the leadership of Imran Khan.

Flanked by Imran Khan, the renowned singer was addressing a press conference in this connection at his residence in Defence Housing Authority, Lahore, on Monday.

Abrar said that the youth would be a cause of positive change in the country. He said that under the great leadership of Imran Khan a golden period full of opportunities for the youth would start soon.

Speaking on the occasion, Imran said that democracy was under serious threat in Pakistan and time had come to save the country from the corrupt politicians.

Abrar, while presenting great tributes to Imran, said that he had established Sughra Shafi Hospital and Sahara Trust for Life taking inspiration from Imran who established Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital through public participation.

A large number PTI leaders and fans of Abrar were present on the occasion. It is noteworthy that a day earlier Abrar had a meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Dec 062011

LONDON: Jemima Goldsmith has said that she loaned Imran Khan money in 2003 but he return all after selling the flat in London, in order to pay for his house outside Islamabad.

In a message via social networking site, Jemima clarified that she initially paid the money for the house until he sold his flat and then paid her back.

She said, “Can’t believe we’re divorced and I’m still Imran’s Achilles’ heel. He has faults but greed is not one of them, unlike many in Pakistani politics.” Continue reading »