In the midst of a frenzied election season that brings out the fickler nature of politicians and political parties alike- preferring political expediency over party values - an example in staying true to ideological principles comes from the fledgling Pashteen Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) movement.

In a decisive move, the PTM’s core committee removed seven members for their participation in the upcoming elections. Where the former members stand to be integral members of the core committee, they have been given full grace to contest the election, granted that they do so without the platform of the movement. The reasoning is commendable and adds to the authenticity of the endeavor; where the movement is a collective voice of the people and can only remain faithful to its cause if untainted by the political intrigues that come part and parcel with the line-up to be inducted into the polity. Where the political parties of late scramble to pick and choose electables to put on their trophy shelf in a power-hungry race to popularity-touting hyperbolic manifestos- PTMs move is a lesson in being true to a movements fundamental values.

The PTM is emblematic of one of the more progressive grassroots movements of our time. Perhaps it might be ascribed to the fact that political movements in their infancy are purer and more grounded versions of their behemoth future-selves, impervious to illusions to grandeur and the lure of ascendant power. In the preamble to the election it is becoming more and more evident that the current clamoring throngs of interchangeable politicians, banded under rhetorical manifestos, have lost touch with the ideological tenets that their parties had set out upon in their inception. The social-democratic values that they had upheld for the collective right of the people have turned into hollow political rhetoric, regurgitated to fill ballot boxes.

The PTM is an indigenous movement, representing a sidelined ethnicity and comprised of the very people it seeks to symbolize. Where our political class becomes increasingly detached from the people it seeks to represent, PTMs decision demonstrates a will to stay true to the community, its values and its motives, a trait that the political parties need to be reminded of. Where one can expect that PTM might eventually move towards its political evolution, for now the movement has chosen to stay untarnished by the pitfalls of the lure of political power. Hopefully, the members that do choose to contest the elections embody the core values of the movements and if elected, bring a positive change in policy formulation for the greater good of the people.