Lahore               -              A tremor of uncertainty goes through PTI cadres ahead of the local government elections. The process of reorganization is taking too long to complete. One can easily sense this feeling in the party office bearers who are not sure about their fate in the days to come.

Many in the PTI have now come to believe that adhocism has become an organizational philosophy of doing things under the present set up.  “A greater focus on firefighting rather than goal getting has a demoralizing effect on the party ranks and file,” a PTI leader said while commenting on the current state of affairs in the party.

PTI’s Central Secretary Information, Ahmad Jawad, previously a Navy Commander, is confident about the completion of the reorganizational process by the end of next month. He is also hopeful of intra-party polls taking place in the near future to formalize the much anticipated new changes in the party.

“A sense of permanency will soon prevail in the party cadres with the announcement of new office bearers,” Jawad told The Nation.    

Another factor adding confusion to the working of the party organization is the element of dichotomy.

The office of Secretary-General is supposed to be the most powerful office in any political party after that of the Chairman. But in the case of the PTI, this does not hold true. Another powerful office of Chief Organizer existing parallel to the office of Secretary-General has been put in place apparently for restructuring.  An old PTI guard, Saifullah Khan Nyazee, holds this office at the moment. This office is temporary, though, but it continues to exist since the task assigned to it is not complete as yet.

Also, the PTI has seen many reshuffles in key offices, even during the transitory phase.  Arshad Dad was appointed as Secretary-General after the disqualification of Jahangir Khan Tareen, But he was replaced with Amir Mahmood Kyani soon after the party came into power as a result of the 2018 general elections.  Similarly, Umar Sarfaraz Cheema was replaced with Ahmad Jawad as the party’ Secretary Information five months back. The same is the case with the party’s provincial chapters.  In Punjab, the PTI was doing with four chapters -Central Punjab, North Punjab, West Punjab, and South Punjab-just before the 2008 elections. Under the current arrangement, however, the northern and western chapters have been merged with that of the Central Punjab with new office bearers. Ejaz Ahmad Ch is heading the Central Punjab set up while Noor Khan Bhaba holds command of the Southern Punjab. Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Engineer Attaullah Shadikhel previously served as presidents of West Punjab and North Punjab, respectively.

It is not sure whether the present office bearers will continue in their current positions. While Aleem Khan is not part of the party’s Punjab organization anymore, Shoaib Siddiqui, another die-hard party worker from Lahore, resigned as Central Punjab General Secretary two months back reportedly after developing difference with the president. Ejaz Ch is the third central Punjab President in the last three years after Aleem Khan and Umar Dar.

Also, a complete disconnect exists among party organizations, the ministers, and the Assembly members. This has given rise to disgruntled elements within the party. There is much resentment among party cadres that fruits of being their party in the government were not reaching them. They want their empowerment also. They want their works to be done in their respective constituencies. But for this to happen, it is essential that the deputy commissioners and Assistant commissioners must cooperate with them.  To address this issue, the party’s central Punjab President Ejaz Ch is busy these days having meetings with the Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar. He is constantly stressing the point that the empowerment of party workers and prospective candidates is vital to win the coming local elections in Punjab, a province where the PML-N is well entrenched.

But there is an obstacle in the way of this so-called ‘empowerment’ sought for the party organizations. Of late, the Chief Secretary and the IGP have been given complete autonomy in their respective spheres. This has been done through a change in the rules of business. In the new situation, political interference in their work has become all the more difficult. The question remains about how the PTI as an organization manages to survive in the changed circumstances.