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February 6, 2019

PTI leader blames party’s elected representatives for its declining popularity

Karachi

February 6, 2019

Criticising the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Karachi leadership for keeping mum about the injustices to the city and ignoring its residents’ issues, an annoyed PTI leader on Monday said the humiliating defeats of the party in the December 2018 local government by-polls and the PS-94 by-election in January showed the party’s popularity had been rapidly declining in the city.

Subhan Ali Sahil, a local PTI leader who has also served as the party’s city president and District West president, censured the Karachi leadership of his party while addressing a news conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC). He announced that the party’s ideological workers would hold a gathering outside the Insaf House, the party’s office in Karachi, on February 17 to chalk out a strategy to save the party in the city.

Sahil claimed that in the past two general elections, residents of Karachi showed their confidence in the party supremo, Imran Khan, and voted for the party’s candidates. “But elected members of the National and provincial assemblies from the city have largely ignored its voters in the past six months and only doing party’s activities on social media by taking selfies,” he said. “We have federal ministers from the city but no one is interested to resolve the city’s issues.

The disgruntled leader said more than 1,700 dock workers of Port Qasim – most of whom were the PTI supporters – had been sitting on a protest camp for the past four months outside the KPC but Federal Minister for Port and Shipping Ali Zaidi did not bother to even spare five minutes to visit them and listen to their grievances. “When they [dock workers] staged a protest camp on the National Highway in 2017 for similar issues, Zaidi and other PTI’s central leaders were daily visiting the camp,” he said.

Sahil said he and other ideological workers were not satisfied with how the party’s elected parliamentarians were performing as it was due to their poor performance, the party faced humiliating defeats in the recent two by-polls – the local government by-elections in December 2018 and the PS-94 by-election in District Korangi in January this year.

“From the beginning, we are demanding that the party’s elected parliamentarians focus on legislation and resolving their areas’ issues, while for running the party’s affairs, responsibility should be given to other leaders. It is the only way to strengthen the party in the city,” he said.

Discussing the issues that the city’s residents have been facing, Sahil said the PTI’s central leadership should take notice of errors in the census and demand a recount in the city as the census did not show half of the city’s population.

Sahil also asked the party chief, Imran, to take notice of the decline in the party’s popularity in Karachi and appoint a special adviser to oversee the party’s affairs in the city.

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