In the last general elections Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf got majority of votes of the young generation living in posh urban areas of the country. For them Imran Khan was a moderate, liberal and enlightened leader. After forming government in KPK, Imran Khan vehemently supported peace talks with the Taliban. After the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike, PTI staged a sit- in to stop NATO supply to Afghanistan through KPK, to protest against the drone attacks. During all this period image of Imran Khan as a liberal enlightened leader started to diminish. Of late his nomination by the Taliban as a member of their negotiation team may prove to be the last nail in the coffin. His refusal to join the committee does not make any difference, as his voters now regard his party as a ‘religious rightist’ political party.

Electoral history of Pakistan reveals that voters, especially those living in Punjab and Sindh, do not vote for religious rightist political parties. Therefore, PTI under Imran Khan will face a very tough time to attract voters in the next general elections unless he makes special efforts to win his lost vote bank of the young generation by exhibiting himself as a liberal, moderate and enlightened leader. However image once lost is hard to regain.


Lahore, February 4.