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Defeat in KPK upsets Imran, dissolves organisational structural

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Friday announced that after PTI suffered a huge blow in the first phase of the recently held local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the party has decided to dissolve its organisational structure.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a meeting of the party members, with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, the information minister said that the PTI has decided to form a new constitutional committee to devise a strategy for the second phase of the local bodies election in KP.

Speaking about the outcome of the polls, the minister said that he has received complaints that the tickets for the recently held LG polls in the province were distributed among families of party members.

“Since party tickets were distributed on the basis of nepotism as against the principles of fairness and merit, PM Imran Khan is very upset,” said Fawad, adding that in the light of the situation, the party has decided to dissolve its organisational structure across Pakistan.

Providing details, Fawad said that the new committee of the PTI will have the top leadership on board and that tickets for elections will now be issued by the party under a new mechanism.

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan discussing with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, chief secretary and principal secretary to the CM, and IG Punjab in Lahore on Thursday.

Expressing confidence in his party, Fawad said that the PTI is the biggest party in KP as well as the only “If the PTI goes down, then Pakistan’s politics will go down too, Fawad said.

According to Chaudhry, the prime minister had expressed dissatisfaction over the party’s performance. He said that according to the results of the elections in village councils, the PTI was still the “biggest party in the province”.

“But the way tickets were awarded […] PTI does not believe in dynastic politics. PM Imran has never let his personal relations affect his mission.”

He said that candidates should be awarded party tickets on merit, which is the opposite of what happened in the PML-N and PPP. “If that culture seeps into the PTI, there will be no difference between us and them,” he said, adding that the premier had voiced his anger over this.

“We are receiving complaints that in different areas party tickers were distributed among family members disregarding merit,” he said.

He said that the PTI leadership also debated the about the party’s organisational structure. He said that the way the PTI — one of the major political parties of the country — should have participated in the local government polls was not evident on ground.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Choudhary along with Special Assistants to the Prime Minister Dr. Shahbaz Gill and Sahibzada Jahangir addresses media-persons in Islamabad.

Therefore, the prime minister — after consulting with the party leadership — has decided to dissolve all organisations from the centre to the tehsils, he said. “Chief organisers and all office bearers have been removed from their positions,” he said.

“It has also been decided that the local leadership will not award party tickets when it comes to their relatives. A special committee will be formed where the case will be forwarded and it will decide whether or not to award the ticket.”

Separate committee formed

Fawad Choudhary said that a separate committee had been constituted which would include himself, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Communication and Postal Services Minister, Murad Saeed National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Planning Minister Asad Umar and others.

According to the minister, the committee has been tasked with proposing a new constitution and party structure. He added that the KP chief minister had also been tasked with meeting the local leadership and devising a mechanism for awarding tickets for the second phase of the local government polls.

Chaudhry said a formal report of the KP local government election results had not been presented to the prime minister because the results in village councils were still being compiled.

In the elections held in the 17 districts of KP on December 19, the PTI, which has been in power in the province since 2013, showed a dismal performance, conceding ground to the the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F).

According to the provisional results of 47 of the 63 tehsils declared by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the JUI-F won 17 seats of mayor/chairperson while the PTI came in second by securing 12 seats. Independent candidates grabbed the third highest number of seats at seven, followed by Awami National Party at six, PML-N at three and Jamaat-i-Islami, PPP and Tehreek-i-Islahat Pakistan bagging one seat each.

Instruction to Punjab Government

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed the Punjab government and his party’s leadership to begin homework for the upcoming local government elections in the province, local media reported. 

The prime minister’s directives came days after his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), lost a coveted mayoral seat in local elections in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that it has ruled since 2013. 

Local body elections were held in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province on Sunday, in what was the first time such polls had been held in areas that used to be part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which were merged with KP in 2018. 

In the second phase, local elections will be held in the remaining 18 districts of the province on January 16. Local polls are also planned in the coming months in Pakistan’s other provinces. 

PM Khan on Thursday held a meeting with Punjab government officials and political leadership at the Chief Minister’s secretariat, the Dawn newspaper reported. He acknowledged that wrong selection of candidates had led to the party’s defeat in its stronghold. 

“The government and party leadership should strictly select candidates on merit and avoid dynastic politics, which was exposed after causing damage to the party in KP,” Dawn quoted PM Khan as saying. “The mistakes made in KP must not be repeated in Punjab.”  

With candidates selected on merit, he said, the PTI would give a tough time to its opponents in Punjab local government elections. 

The prime minister said they wanted the transfer of power to the lower level, the Express Tribune reported. 

“Strong local government system has been provided to solve the problems of the people at the grassroots level,” the report quoted the premier as saying. 

“Candidates should be selected by taking the workers and local leaders into confidence and all reservations of PTI workers and the people should be removed.”