Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has apparently scrapped its plan to forge an electoral alliance with Awami Muslim League of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed following stiff opposition from within.
PTI leaders – including Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Vice President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi – had opposed Imran’s plans to join hands with the AML at a meeting of PTI’s Political and Strategic Committee last month.
“There was vehement opposition to the PTI’s intention of building an electoral alliance with the AML,” a senior PTI leader told The Express Tribune.
He added that the idea of joining hands with the AML was floated by some “pro-establishment” leaders in the party.
Imran Khan met with Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on August 8 at the former’s residence in Islamabad, where the two leaders reportedly agreed in principle to forge an electoral alliance. Later on the eve of Independence Day, their two parties organised a public rally lending credence to reports of an alliance between them.
Sources told The Express Tribune that some party leaders had advised Imran to not attend the AML rally. “It was Jahangir Tareen who convinced Imran Khan to attend Sheikh Rashid’s political rally
,” said a PTI leader close to Imran. However, Tareen denies having done so.
The PTI is now struggling to avoid embarrassment on backtracking from its reported electoral alliance with the AML. Party representatives are using social media to claim that the PTI never sought political cooperation with the AML.
A senior PTI leader said that the possibility of an alliance with Sheikh Rashid is now a closed chapter. “How can the PTI join hands with a person who is following the establishment’s line?”
Currently, the party is negotiating with Jamaat-e-Islami for an electoral alliance or seats adjustment, according to another senior leader. “Yes, we are studying the possibility of forming political alliances, if possible, in a bid to get the maximum possible seats in the next general elections,” said the leader.
Sheikh Rashid is hardly privy to the shifting landscape which might require him to seek greener pastures elsewhere. “We (PTI and AML) will contest the next general elections together,” he said. - TRIBUNE
Good i didn't like it from the start, hopefully they will scrap it. It was a stupid move from the start.