PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) could not complete the process of compiling membership data that has caused delay in the much-trumpeted intra-party elections.
The party ran the drive for several months to make new members for electing office-bearers. The party leadership decided to hold intra-party elections in an effort to end infighting within the party over offices. Several aspirants emerged for the post of provincial president and other offices when several heavyweights from other parties joined the PTI.
The post of PTI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president has been lying vacant for the last one year as party’s Chairman Imran Khan has been uncertain to make a decision in this regard. He removed former provincial president Asad Qaiser in August 2011.
The PTI completed its membership drive on June 30 this year, but is still taking its time to compile the data as it is unsure about the numbers of the members made during the campaign.
“We will be able to give the figures about the membership drive after feeding the data into the computer,” a PTI leader said.
Another leader estimated the new membership at six million and supposed half of them must be from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Another party leader said the number of new members was around 10 million, including 1.5 to 2.5 million from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The party leaders are also not sure when the process of compilation of membership drive is expected to complete but a leader guessed election schedule could be announced in September.
This situation is causing a delay in the intra-party election at a time when the general elections could anytime be announced due to continuing uncertainty in the country. Analysts say the party would hardly have time to go to masses for getting their support.
Asad Qaiser, the former provincial president, said no policy on intra-party election had been conveyed to them from the central leadership. He said the delay was not good for the party.
“We are also worried as to why such a delay is being made in announcing the intra-party election. The delay is damaging the party,” he told The News. Asad Qaiser said he would contest election for the post of provincial president.
Several of the party leaders have already shown the intention to contest party election. Besides Asad Qaiser, a former provincial information secretary Zahid Hussain has also announced to contest election under the Workers Forum.
He told The News that his group had representation from all regions of the province and Fata. “Our group is the strongest one and I will prove it in election. We will win the seats we contest for,” he hoped.
The former political advisor to Imran Khan, Shaukat Yousafzai, has also announced to contest for the position of PTI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president.
He has brought several politicians to the party and also enjoys good reputation in the party.
All of the three aforementioned politicians are old party workers but have opted to contest election separately and against each other.
The only new PTI leader who joined the party this year and is contesting election is Pervez Khattak.
There is a tussle between the old and new party leaders but the coming party election runs the risk of causing division even among the ranks of old leaders of the party.