ISLAMABAD  - Despite significant political strength PTI Chief Imran Khan has apparently gained by kicking out one of its coalition partners, the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), from his party’s sole provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, critics look at the move differently.
Background discussions and interviews suggest that the salvo fired against QWP by the cricketer-turned-politician has been widely hailed by the public as well as political parties, struggling against the menace of corruption in the country.
Describing it an unprecedented development, rare in the country’s political history, many observers say that Imran Khan has been successful in killing two birds with one stone.
On the other hand critics aware of the PTI Chief’s political style argue this move would soon prove counter-productive as it would eventually strengthen the in-house opposition and would expose PTI government to more political vulnerabilities.
However, sources in the PTI say that Imran Khan’s move has virtually proved to be a happy development for the party rank and file. They believe that the party cadres were happy on the manner their party chief reacted to corruption that upheld the policy of zero tolerance for corruption.
They were of the view that this development would further enhance the image of the party and its leadership, and that would positively contribute to increasing party’s political strength at the grass root level. “Our party has greatly benefited from this move as it has proved that PTI is one party that follows principles and that’s what Imran Khan has done,” a senior PTI leader told The Nation on Thursday. They insisted that it was a well-calculated move no matter how it affects the provincial government.
Some maintained that this move would greatly help the party to benefit from the upcoming Local Bodies elections in the province.
On the other hand detractors say Imran Khan’s move would prove disastrous for his party’s government because of its numerical fragility in sustaining the government.
They were of the view that in the given situation it would be really an uphill task for Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak to pre-empt blackmailing attempts by other supporting parties and groups.
But sources in the PTI do not agree to this proposition saying the PTI government has done away with traditional style of politics leaving little role of MPs in the sphere of local development in their constituencies.
But the PTI has already eliminated the possibility of politics of blackmailing by the sitting MPs by brining sweeping reforms in the Local Government system.
“We are doing away with style of politics in the province. With these reforms all the development funds would be rooted through village Council and the Nazim would be accountable only to the chief minister, who can remove any Nazim,” they added.
The critics on their part do not agree to these notions and instead argue that QWP’s joining the opposition parties in the House would leave insignificant space for PTI to sustain its government for a longer period.
They were of the view that since all the opposition parties having very legitimate interest in the Local Bodies would not leave much political space for the ruling party PTI to manoeuvre. Some of the critics even predicted that opposition parties would soon engage PTI government in serious legal battles.