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November 19, 2017

Kundi-Gandapur tussle exposes rifts in PTI

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November 19, 2017

PESHAWAR: The tussle between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers Dawar Khan Kundi and Ali Amin Gandapur in Dera Ismail Khan is just one more example of the grouping and indiscipline in the party.

Dawar Kundi is MNA from Tank-Dera Ismail Khan constituency while Ali Amin Gandapur is MPA from Dera Ismail Khan. The former accused the latter of protecting the accused in the case in which a 16-year-old girl was stripped naked and paraded in a village in Dera Ismail Khan. He also condemned the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police for first registering a case against the victim family instead of going after the accused.

Dawar Kundi infuriated his party leader Imran Khan by claiming that he wasn’t taking action against Ali Amin Gandapur because Gandapur had contacts with the banned groups. Imran Khan has already announced that Dawar Kundi was a dissident and would be expelled from the PTI.

However, Dawar Kundi argued that he could not be expelled just like that as the PTI had certain procedures that needed to be followed. The party’s central information secretary, Shafqat Mahmood, said show-cause notice had been served on Dawar Kundi, but he had not been expelled yet as this decision would be taken in light of his reply.

Ali Amin Gandapur, who is a provincial minister, has denied all charges made against him. The Inspector General of Police, KP, Salahuddin Mahsud, too has denied that any lawmaker is putting pressure on the police in this case. Imran Khan also quoted the IGP while defending Ali Amin Gandapur

The Dawar Kundi-Ali Amin Gandapur tussle isn’t the only one among the PTI leaders in Dera Ismail Khan. Ali Amin Gandapur is also involved in a struggle with the family of late PTI provincial minister Israrullah Khan Gandapur, who was martyred in a suicide bombing. The latter’s family has made allegations against Ali Amin Gandapur. These two Gandapur families are political rivals.

Such rivalries in the PTI are common and affecting the party’s popularity. Some months ago, provincial education minister Muhammad Atif Khan faced opposition from his party’s MPA, Iftikhar Mashwani, in their native Mardan district. Though the issue was later resolved through the mediation of KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and other well-wishers, the bitterness caused by it won’t go away easily.

In Abbottabad, there has been a tussle between a party leader Ali Asghar Khan and other local leaders and this could intense when PTI tickets for contesting the elections next year would have to be distributed.

Like Dawar Kundi, the PTI MNA from Lakki Marwat, Dr Col (R) Amirullah Marwat had in the past shown unhappiness with chief minister for not allocating funds to their constituencies and instead of providing funds to the opposition lawmakers.

A group of ‘dissident’ PTI MPAs and MNAs got together a few times to become organised as a pressure group and jointly demand from Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak funds and projects for their constituencies. Among the prominent members of this group were MPAs Yasin Khalil and Qurban Ali Khan.

There are differences galore in the PTI, but Imran Khan has kept the party together due to the fact that he is the real vote-getter in the PTI and the party lawmakers owe their 2013 general elections victory to him.

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