MULTAN-The decision of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to withdraw Islamabad lockdown call has dismayed the youth, though some still believe that it was the best decision in view of the prevailing situation, disclosed a survey.
Talking to The Nation here on Wednesday, the young followers of Imran Khan expressed serious disappointment on the decision. “The youth are the powerhouse of the PTI. We’re Imran Khan’s real strength. But his decision has dismayed us, the youth. I am not sure if the youth will ever respond to Imran Khan’s any future calls as they used to do in the past,” said Faisal Hannan, an active PTI worker from PP-198.
Imran Khan withdrew his Islamabad lockdown call on November 1 following Supreme Court’s decision to constitute a commission for the investigation of Panama Leaks scandal. The decision also stunned PTI’s allies like Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), PML-Q and Awami Muslim League, whose leaders lamented that they were not taken into confidence by Imran Khan before calling off the agitation.
Sheikh Rashid expressed grief and Allama Tahirul Qadri recited Inna Lillah on the decision described as U Turn by many while Raja Basharat declared it a wrong step.
Anwarul Haq, a PTI activist from Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), lamented that the workers braved shelling, police torture and harsh weather conditions for the sake of party call but the sudden announcement from Imran Khan stunned them. “The youth force of PTI faced all odds bravely while Imran Khan was intact inside his palace. We wanted to lockdown Islamabad. The youth had not gone there for a retreat,” he argued.
Another provoked worker Muhammad Imran said that the reports of backdoor contacts also made the workers suspicious. “Rehman Malik claims that the withdrawal of lockdown call is result of backdoor contacts. If this report turns out true, it will crush the morale of PTI workers,” he warned.
Ramiz Khan was of the opinion that an ill-advised decision offered the opponents like Asfandyar Wali an opportunity to talk against PTI. “He (Asfandyar Wali) says it is result of Imran Khan’s political immaturity. He claims that the ANP would have supported PTI if it had supported them on CPEC issue,” he added.
Ata Bodla said that Sheikh Rashid joined Imran Khan at all occasions but he backed out of his commitment and did not go to Laal Haveli on October 28. “This step sent out very negative message to all the allies of PTI. Their recent statements clearly show their mood. They’ll think twice before joining hands with PTI now,” he regretted.
Similarly, the close aides of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, PTI Vice Chairman, from his old constituency NA-148 and current one NA-150 are also perturbed on Imran Khan’s decision. Political analysts claim that the decision may prove a catalyst for the beginning of a series of switchovers of leaders and workers from PTI to other parties, which will result in a serious dent in the strength of PTI in Multan.
On the other hand, the decision of PTI Chairman has taken the social media to the storm and a severe war of words sparked between PML (N) and PTI workers. Some of the PTI workers declared it a big success of their chairman while PML-N supporters claimed Imran Khan caused humiliation for his workers, who faced teargas shelling, police thrashing and arrests for nothing.