Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has lost all the six elections it contested directly or indirectly following the conclusion of the 2014 sit-ins. The party has caused national scandal and conflict over its rigging allegations. Yet, success eludes it, and will continue to, as the Haripur polls have proven. PTI started out with slogans of ending the feudal system, and simultaneously it inducted “electables” of the same system. They tried to have it both ways, and the fissures within the party are now obvious.

Reports suggest that the people of Haripur were fed up with the monopoly of the Tareens and Rajgans. While Babar Nawaz Khan of the PLM-N could count on the legacy of his father Akhtar Nawaz Khan and the performance of his uncle Qaumi Watan Party PK-51 MPA Gohar Nawaz Khan, PTI’s Amir Zaman lives in the federal capital and occasionally pays a visit to his hometown Khanpur. The general sentiment is that the PML-N gets things done. They are visibly there and have a relationship with the police, revenue officials, utility companies, etc. If a matter is to be resolved, the PML-N can do it.

With the PTI losing in Haripur, the picture is becoming clearer. The PTI electables, weren’t the best people from the traditionally powerful parties. They were already losing ground and losing votes, no matter what party they were a part of. Those who were losing in a winning party are now losing in a losing party. The PTI has had to absorb these losses. The electables are not electable at all- they are dead weight.

The reasons for the failure of the PTI do not end here. There is repeated talk of the PTI also going the way of “dynastic politics” with Reham Khan’s interference. They party is wary of her. The words of estranged Justice (Retd) Wajih ud Din have also not helped. He has clearly pointed out four people part of the PTI “Qabza mafia”: Aleem Khan, Nadir Leghari, KPK Chief Minsiter Pervez Khattak, and Jahangir Tareen.

Remember the Rawalpindi Cantt elections? Out of 20 seats the PML-N won 19, and the Jamaat-e-Islami got 1. The PML-N has many faults, and its top leadership is currently embroiled in it own scandals, but it is the Grand Old Party of Pakistan. It wins elections and gets votes as the by elections have proven. Just because some of the fish is rotten, does not mean that the whole party is. There is massive grassroots support for the Patwaris that we do not see. The PTI and its dharnas created a spectacle, but in the big bucket of national votes, the PTI is but a drop.