LAHORE - The two tehreeks, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), have failed in their first effort to form an anti-government alliance – which, if forged, would show its joint force on May 11 in federal capital and elsewhere. Political circles have been closely monitoring the developments concerning the anti-government alliance formation, especially against the backdrop of strained government-military relations.
PTI has announced holding a demonstration at Islamabad’s famous D-Chowk on May 11 against the alleged rigging carried out during 2013 general elections, while PAT has announced carrying out countrywide rallies on the same day for initiating a ‘revolution’ – starting its major show from Rawalpindi. PTI and PAT leaders told this correspondent on Saturday that initially it was proposed from both sides to support each other during May 11 programs; however, later some leaders from the two sides proposed forming a bigger anti-government alliance by taking on board more likeminded forces after preparing a joint agenda or roadmap for the coalition.
Both sides then held several meetings on this matter and some of the leaders even suggested few names for the alliance. But the proposal has been shelved after the strong opposition of some senior PTI leaders.
They say, “We (PTI) are an elected party, which is running government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a major opposition player in the national parliament, while the PAT neither is part of any assembly nor it believes in change by remaining within contours of the existing democratic system.”
They also say, “PTI’s demonstration on May 11 only focuses on the rigging issue and is aimed at reforms in the electoral process to ensure transparent polls, but the PAT wants to bring a revolution by sending home all the governments before completion of their terms, which is against the spirit of democratic process.”
A senior PAT leader narrating the story of the efforts for an alliance informed, “We had proposed that both the top leaders of PAT and PTI – Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan – would address a joint press conference in the federal capital and announce the coalition, and stage their first joint show of force on May 11. However, opposition from some senior PTI leaders has failed these efforts.”
He however added, “Though, I don’t see a chance of PTI-PAT led coalition in the near future but the doors of PAT are open for the PTI if it is interested in the formation of an alliance, which focuses on complete overhaul of the system in an effort to end the miseries of the working classes and resolving the serious issues facing the country. I don’t think that PAT can join hands with PTI for achieving short-term targets by focusing just on the rigging issue.”
Ijaz Chaudhry, PTI core committee member and Punjab president, when contacted, insisted “we are still making efforts for reaching an understanding with PAT for jointly taking on the government, as we have still 14 days at hand until May 11”.
However, two chief lieutenants of PTI chairman Imran Khan requesting not to be named said, “The core committee meeting under the chair of Imran Khan in the federal capital three days back has sealed the fate of any such coalition and we don’t see any reason in the near future to reconsider this proposal.”