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|29/08/2012 12:38 PM||
|30/08/2012 5:06 AM||
|nother balance letter in published in the paper |
|30/08/2012 10:52 PM||
|A nice article written by Muneer Ahmed Bloach. |
|31/08/2012 4:50 PM||
|Thanks for sharing Khalid. I added the column too..|
|31/08/2012 4:53 PM||
|31/08/2012 5:04 PM||
|01/09/2012 4:43 PM||
|by Zaheer Ahmed:|
|01/09/2012 4:47 PM||
|by Rizwan Yahya:|
|01/09/2012 4:53 PM||
|by Sardar Sajid Arif:|
|01/09/2012 5:12 PM||
|01/09/2012 5:28 PM||
|02/09/2012 2:36 AM||
PTI agenda not a tough sell
August 31, 2012
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf in its tax policy unveiled on 24 August 2012
proposed concrete and rational measures for revenue generation in
Pakistan. These tax measures, if implemented, can change the fate of
Pakistan. One of the main reasons why democracy has failed to take root
in Pakistan is monopolisation of resources by the ruling trio -
indomitable military complex having control over many businesses and
state lands, feudal aristocracy enjoying political clout and
businessmen-turned politicians on the hunt for bank loans and their
Empowerment of the have-nots, imparting of education and skills
to all without any discrimination is the main agenda of PTI, which
distinguishes it from traditional political parties. Unless an agenda of
change is implemented, there is no hope for any betterment in the
socio-economic structure of Pakistan in the foreseeable future. PTI in
its economic and tax policies has rightly emphasised the need for
institutional reforms to achieve sustainable economic growth and
substantial tax collections.
Presenting of polices and plans by political parties is an
essential element of electioneering, but in Pakistan the 'traditional
election winners' give it no importance. They are confident that their
'subjects' will cast vote not on issues but follow the centuries-old
traditional pattern of yielding before the rich and mighty as their
rulers and undatas (bread-providers). It will be important to see
whether PTI succeeds to bring a change in the voting pattern or not.
This is the most pivotal question.
There is no doubt that once in power PTI will face a tough
challenge to change the existing unjust, exploitative economic system -
where few own the resources. With the help of masses, this resistance
can be overcome. It is now the choice of the masses to bring into power a
party that is capable of changing the system that favours the rich and
deprives the poor from upward socio-economic mobility. If they side with
the status quo parties, the blame cannot be shifted to PTI. It is
perhaps the best chance for the people of Pakistan to vote for change.
Pakistan is ruled and controlled by a few who pay less than 2%
in terms of personal taxes despite holding 95% of national wealth and
assets. Since they are not ready to pay taxes due from them and bent
upon looting the wealth of nation through corrupt practices, Pakistan is
moving towards complete economic collapse. In 2011-12, we had monstrous
fiscal deficit of more than Rs 1.5 trillion, internal and external
debts touched the alarming levels and inflation remained in double
digits. It is shameful that Pakistan's tax-to-GDP ratio is just 8.7%,
whereas debt-to-GDP has crossed the critical level of 65%.
Present tax system of Pakistan negates the basic precept of
democratic dispensation requiring that those who possess more economic
power (income and wealth) contribute more towards national exchequer -
progressive taxation being the most equitable and just method is
emphasised upon primarily for its redistributive role. In Pakistan it is
the other way around. The rich are thriving on the expensive of money
collected - rather extorted - unjustly from the poor.
Article 3 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
says: "The state shall ensure the elimination of all forms of
exploitation and the gradual fulfilment of the fundamental principle,
from each according to his ability to each according to his work". The
ruling trio, mentioned above, enjoys complete immunity from this
principle. The existing tax system, contrary to the Constitution,
protects the rich and mighty - the establishment and exploitative
elements have complete monopoly over economic resources and the poor are
dying of hunger and diseases. Since the privileged classes are not
ready to pay taxes and share resources with the masses, the incidence of
tax is mainly on the less privileged classes and the poor. What makes
the situation more tragic is the fact that whatever is collected, the
major part of it goes for debt servicing, defence and meeting the
luxuries of rulers - in the end nothing is left to provide even for
fundamental services of health, education, transport and housing for the
masses and government borrows money for running day to day affairs of
Determination of a tax base capable of measuring an individual's
ability-to-pay is a major problem of our tax system. This rule is
incorporated in the form of progressive rate schedule for personal
income tax, estate duty, and property tax world-wide. In Pakistan we
have moved from this policy to regressive taxation where the mighty
civil and military bureaucrats (now an integral part of our landed
aristocracy by earning State lands as meritorious awards and rewards),
rich industrialists and greedy businessmen are paying meagre personal
taxes. On the contrary, the poor are compelled to pay sales tax on goods
and services (levied under federal and provincial laws) at the
exorbitant rate of 16%. This is absolutely criminal and blatant
violation of Article 3 of the Constitution.
We keep on hearing in media that Pakistanis do not pay taxes.
This is half truth. The fact is that it is the rich and mighty who do
not pay income tax. As on 31 July 2012, we had about 110 million active
mobile users who had been paying both income tax and sales tax but only
1.3 million filed income tax declarations for tax year 2011 - if we
exclude statements filed by persons falling under presumptive taxes and
salaried individuals, the total number of returns was less than 600,000.
Majority of mobile users may not have taxable income yet they are
burdened with undue liability. On the contrary, many rich people just
pay a fraction of income tax (withheld at source) on their actual
taxable incomes without bothering to file their income tax returns and
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is least bothered to assess their taxable
income by computing their known expenses - utility bills. At least 20
million people should have filed returns on the basis of available data
from companies providing utilities.
If out of the population of 180 million, 10 million individuals
have taxable income of Rs 1.5 million (this is a very conservative
estimate), the total income tax collection at the current rate from them
should be Rs 3750 billion. If we add income tax from corporate bodies,
other non-individual taxpayers and individuals having income between Rs
500,000 to Rs 1,000,000, the gross figure would be nearly Rs 5000
billion. During fiscal year 2011-12, total net collection of direct
taxes was Rs 731.9 billion (in 2010-11 just Rs 602.5). This shows a
whooping gap of over Rs 4000 billion.
Similarly, in sales tax, federal excise and custom duties, due
to rampant corruption, the total collection is only 20% of actual
potential. In 2011-12, total sales tax collection was Rs 803.9 - showing
highest growth of 27.8% - mainly because of increase in prices of oil
products and other commodities. Federal Excise Duty (FED) registered a
decrease of 11.2 percent - collection was Rs 122 billion against Rs 137
billion in 2010-11. Collection of customs duty was Rs 218.2 billion,
showing 18% growth over Rs 184.9 billion in 2010-11. Total indirect tax
collection of Rs 1114 billion in 2011-12 was pathetically low. It should
have been at least Rs 3500 billion.
As shown above we can easily collect Rs 8500 billion (Rs 5000
billion direct taxes and Rs 3500 billion indirect taxes). It will also
restore a judicious balance between direct and indirect taxes relieving
the poor and middle class from undue burden of taxes. Without
introducing any new taxes, we can easily collect Rs 8 trillion that
would change the entire fiscal scene.
After tapping the real tax potential, there would be enough
funds for current and development expenses, retiring debts and
initiating projects for public welfare. This level of collection alone
can help us to achieve the cherished goal of becoming a self-reliant
nation free from all kinds of foreign political and economic
The dream of making Pakistan a self-reliant and egalitarian
State can never be realised unless the mighty sections of society pay
personal taxes. At the same time the tax policy must be a tool for
industrialisation - taxing the unproductive sector to divert money
towards productive sectors.
Above all, it is necessary to provide socio-economic justice to
all the citizens - progressive taxation ensures redistribution of income
and wealth by taxing the rich for the benefit of the poor. At present,
we are taxing the poor for the benefit of the rich. This trend must be
reversed if we have to progress.
(The writers, tax lawyers and partners in HUZAIMA & IKRAM
(Taxand Pakistan), are Adjunct Professors at Lahore University of
|02/09/2012 2:37 AM||
Asad Umar stated the five-point policy agenda, which comprises
tackling the energy crisis, cutting back government expenses, tax reform
(which includes cracking down on tax evasion), reforming the civil
service, and increasing services such as health and education to
It was a policy announcement so nice, they decided to make it twice.
After being criticised by many in the national media for their economic policy agenda when they first announced it in Islamabad,
the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf decided to take a second crack at
introducing the public to their proposals, changing the venue to the
country’s commercial capital and inviting more economic analysts and
business reporters to cover the event.
Former Engro Corporation CEO Asad Umar and former federal industries
minister Jahangir Khan Tareen, the party’s two leading policy wonks,
made a joint appearance at a local hotel in Karachi, and laid out in
unabashedly technical details many of the key aspects of the PTI’s
economic policy agenda.
Given the fact that both men have led KSE 100 companies, it is
somewhat unsurprising that they were both at the event on time, though
it still started late because most of the reporters sent to cover the
event took their time getting there.
Nor was any time wasted on political speeches glorifying party
leaders. Tareen made some short introductory remarks and then turned it
over to Umar, who then delved right into the five-point policy agenda,
which comprises tackling the energy crisis, cutting back government
expenses, tax reform (which includes cracking down on tax evasion),
reforming the civil service, and increasing services such as health and
education to citizens.
Policy buffs looking for details on the PTI’s proposals would have
been disappointed by the event: there appeared to be no more details on
offer than those laid out in Islamabad, though both men allowed for more
questions, which helped clarify many of the party’s positions.
For instance, it has become increasingly evident that the PTI leans
towards the left when it comes to its economic policy agenda. The party
advocates not only for a robust regulatory role for the government – on
which both the ideological left and the right agree – but also more
direct involvement of the state through professionally managed
state-owned enterprises. The PTI does not rule out privatisation, but
its leaders did not seem enthusiastic about the process either, prefer
instead to model itself on the state-centric vision of capitalism now
being championed by Chinese leaders as an alternative to Anglo-American
The weakest link in the PTI’s policy proposals appears to be tax
reform. The party broadly lays out a strategy to increase revenue and
addresses some critical elements utilised by corrupt bureaucrats and
businessmen, including the statutory regulatory order (SRO) system,
which allows Federal Board of Revenue officials to offer tax exemptions
to favoured businessmen.
However, neither Tareen nor Umar addressed the “presumptive taxation
regime”, which institutionalises incentives for businesses to remain
undocumented by removing income tax liabilities in exchange for payments
of federal withholding taxes.
Nonetheless, the PTI leaders appeared to suggest that if the FBR was
made an autonomous federal body, much like the State Bank of Pakistan,
it would begin functioning more efficiently in raising revenues. The
party hopes to use this, and other reforms, to increase the country’s
tax-to-GDP ratio to 15%.
Tareen and Umar both used far more measured language than party chief
Imran Khan when talking about the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Khan has famously referred to the Washington-based lender’s bailout
programmes for Pakistan as “slavery to the IMF”. The men who would most
likely deal with the IMF in a PTI-led government, however, seem to be
keen not to burn those boats, just in case the economy needs them.
But more than an economic policy announcement, the PTI seems keen to
present itself not just as the populist rabble-rousers who can get the
masses riled up about hot-button topics, but also as a mature political
party capable of governing the day it is sworn into office.
(Read: PTI’s economic policy)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2012.
|02/09/2012 2:40 AM||
The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad.
is hard to poke holes in the PTI’s economic policy which highlights and
addresses pressing problems of economics and governance confronting us
without telling us that milk and honey will begin to flow the moment the
PTI is voted into power. Being the sensible and pragmatic CEO that Asad
Umar has been, he has told us that there are no quick fixes to
Pakistan’s maladies, but neither are they incurable. Essentially his
party will try and enhance our resource pool, curtail state opulence and
undesirable expenditure and use the money freed up to reduce budget
deficit on the one hand and invest in basic citizen services (health,
education and skill development) on the other. What is there to disagree
with in any of this?
Yes, the devil is always in the
detail. The PTI says it will come up with sector-wise specific policies
that will include implementation plans. We should critically review the
macro plan and the detailed policies. We should examine if these
policies and plans address the problems that are holding Pakistan down.
We should scrutinise PTI’s priorities reflected in these policies and
determine who will they benefit. We should analyse whether they are pure
rhetoric or can actually be implemented. We should compare and contrast
them with the policies and performance of the other mainstream parties –
the PPP and the PML-N. Why is it that we have seen none of this in the
public debates since the release of the PTI’s economic policy?
media’s perfunctory and cynical response to PTI’s economic policy is
worrying. The problem is not that the media didn’t like the policy but
that it is not interested. We are interested in the Swiss letter and
whether or not the Supreme Court will send another prime minister
packing. We are interested in corruption scandals and who all can be
named and shamed. We are interested in conspiracy theories of all sorts,
in gossip, in violence. We have ample time and energy to be cynical and
dismissive, but none to be constructive. We love the blame-game but
have no interest or patience to engage with the real issues. If the
media sells what people buy, what does its lack of focus on
problem-solving say about us as a society?
It is not just
that health and education are not sexy and scandal and dirt are. The
rationality deficit we are witnessing seems rooted in an entrenched
sense of defeatism and doom. In The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures
of fear, humiliation and hope are reshaping the world Dominique Moisi
explains that he has chosen these three emotions as “they are closely
linked with the notion of confidence, which is the defining factor in
how nations and people address the challenges they face as well as how
they relate to one another.” This monograph should be mandatory reading
for thought leaders and decision-makers in Pakistan as it invites one to
self-examination and the need to quit feeling sorry for oneself.
explains the three emotions as follows: “Fear is the absence of
confidence. If your life is dominated by fear, you are apprehensive
about the present and expect the future to become ever more dangerous.
Hope, by contrast, is an expression of confidence; it is based on the
conviction that today is better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be
better than today. And humiliation is the injured confidence of those
who have lost hope in the future; your lack of hope is the fault of
others, who have treated you badly in the past. When the contrast
between your idealised and glorious past and your frustrating present is
too great, humiliation prevails.”
Moisi then argues that,
“humiliation without hope leads to despair and the nurturing of a
yearning for revenge that can easily turn into an impulse toward
destruction: if you can’t reach the level of those you feel are
humiliating you, at least you can drag them down to your level.” “The
weight of memory and resentment,” he contends, “constitutes the most
severe obstacle to change.” Moisi’s thesis is that China and India
emanate hope that is reflected in Asia’s upward trajectory. Since 9/11,
the West has been defined by fear that is making it insular and static.
And the Muslim world’s sense of humiliation sans hope is degenerating
into hatred and manifesting itself through destructive violence.
now revisit our response to the PTI’s economic policy. There have been
two main criticisms of the policy. The first is that it has produced no
novel ideas and is “old wine in new bottles”. Are we really confronted
with novel problems that can only be resolved by rocket scientists? Do
we not know what our problems are or for that matter even the solutions?
We live beyond our means. We don’t pay taxes. We have not invested in
the health, education and skill-set of our citizen. We have not invested
in maximising and exploiting the potential of our human and material
resources. We have not invested in our enforcement and service delivery
mechanisms that are now moth eaten and so the writ of the state is in
The Motorway police is efficient and respected.
Nadra is a success story despite being a public-sector enterprise.
Hospitals like Shaukat Khanum and Aga Khan inspire confidence. Engro is a
Pakistani corporate that competes with multi-nationals and excels. None
of these organisations employ rocket science, as none is needed. To
turn Pakistan around we don’t need to get too creative. All we need is
sincerity of purpose and the discipline to implement common sense
solutions. And this brings us to the second major criticism of the PTI’s
economic policy: getting everyone to pay taxes or their utility bills
will not be easy and thus PTI will not be able to implement its
This is a legitimate concern. Once bitten twice
shy, they say. We have been chewed up for the last 65 years. Public
office holders have made promises during election campaigns or in
post-coup speeches and not kept them. We are reluctant to trust leaders
because we have been deceived all too often. While this is true, it is
not policy critique. It is a credibility and performance issue. Being
critical is one thing, but let us at least ask the right questions. We
are just entering an election cycle. If we wish to change the politics
of patronage that we so despise, there is little room to be lazy. The
onus of making our politics issue-based is as much on us as it is on
political parties. Let us force all parties to present and defend their
policies and performance and then choose who we wish to vote for.
content of the PTI’s economic policy is sound. It has a worldly – dare
one say, secular – overtone in a sense that it is focused on doing well
in political and economic terms in the world that we have, and doing
well now instead of in the hereafter. And herein lies the paradox: on
crucial social and ideological issues – the protection of individual
rights, the treatment of the ‘others’, our place in the comity of
nations as well as our purpose as a nation state – that are reflected in
debates about human rights, national security and foreign policy, the
PTI seems to be standing beside retrogressive religious forces for whom
faith is not connected in any positive way with the improvement of daily
The PTI’s simple and sensible economic policy
rightly requires Pakistanis to undergo behavioural change. But our
problem is as much cultural and ethical as it is political and economic.
For the PTI to be a force for positive change it will need to be as
progressive and bold in approaching social issues as it is in the realm
of governance and economics.
Email: [email protected]
|02/09/2012 2:41 AM||
Saturday, September 01, 2012From Print Edition
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf announced its five-year economic vision
recently. There has been a varied response to it, but a recurring theme
in many of the responses, including that in the editorial on the subject
in The News, has been that the analysis of issues is spot-on but
implementation-level details are insufficient. To quote from the
editorial, “The PTI’s economic policy plan gets full marks for intention
and vision.” High praise, indeed. It has never been lack of plans for
detailed implementation which stops reform from happening. The
roadblocks are lack of political will and unwillingness to take the
entrenched vested interests head-on and compromises made for political
expediency and self-interests. The second major hurdle is governance
failure and weak institutions, and that causes even sincere efforts to
fail. The economic vision of the PTI addresses each of these and takes a
bold political stance on them.
The PTI’s economic
vision is based on five national emergencies that have to be declared to
deal with the core structural problems of Pakistan’s economy. The first
is energy reform. The key elements of resolving the energy crises
include changing the fuel mix, revamping the rundown low-efficiency
generation and distribution system, fast-tracking new generation
capacity and gas imports, incentivising exploration activity, developing
the local coal reserves, harnessing the hydroelectric potential of the
country, utilising its renewable energy potential and getting the
regulatory and incentive structure right for the whole energy sector.
Detailed work on most of these aspects has been done, and is underway in
a couple of areas. Just the conversion of furnace-oil based capacity to
coal would save approximately four billion dollars a year and we would
be able to get rid of the circular debt crises by reducing the cost of
power generation, instead of increasing tariffs. Recognising the
importance of fixing the energy crises we have included 20 billion
dollars of government investment in this sector in the five-year period.
Private investment will be in addition to this.
second emergency is the need for raising revenues. Everyone knows that a
modern economy cannot be run in a manner that meets the expectations of
its citizens, and is globally competitive, with a tax-to-GDP ratio of
less then 10 percent. The three broad thrusts of the revenue improvement
strategy are administrative reform which professionalises the FBR and
insulates it from political and bureaucratic influences, deployment of
technology for improving the tax collection effort and minimising
leakages, and direct tax measures on those who have successfully evaded
being a part of the tax net so far. The basic principle to be used for
the tax policy is “taxation regardless of source of income.” The blatant
double standards of the current tax policies of the federal and
provincial governments will be done away with. Minimum assets tax which
is adjustable against income tax paid, tax on agricultural income, which
brings it effectively at par with other sources of income, the law of
pre-eminent domain for property taxation, etc., are some examples of the
taxation measures which are proposed. Given that the system is rotten
to the core, some time will provided to people to come clean and pay
their due taxes at the normal tax rates. After that full force of the
law will be applied to bring to justice those who are cheating on taxes.
third emergency is on expenditure reform. The key elements of
expenditure reform include eliminating the losses of state-owned
enterprises (SOEs). The single biggest chunk of this saving, almost 400
billion rupees per annum, will come from the energy-sector reforms
explained above. In addition, by taking the SOEs outside the purview of
the ministries and insulating them from political interference, placing
them in control of professionals, we will achieve significant
improvement in their performance. The second major element is reduction
in the ministries from 37 to 17. The third part deals with
across-the-board cuts in the least value adding expenses in all civilian
and defence expenditure to bring them in line with our fiscal reality.
In order to create transparency and accountability of government
expenditure a key reform measure will be to effectively operationalised
the access to information laws and empower citizens to get engaged in
ensuring that their taxes are being used for their welfare, and not for
lining the pockets of corrupt elements. The fiscal improvements as a
result of the revenue increases and expenditure reduction will bring
debt servicing expenses as a proportion of the economy down by about one
percent of the GDP.
The combination of the expenditure
curtailment and revenue measures outlined above release total resources
equal to nine percent of the GDP or in terms of absolute numbers with
the size of the current economy about 2,000 billion rupees per annum.
About one-third of this will be used to bring the deficit down to a
sustainable level. The rest will all be spent on the fourth
emergency...human capital development. No nation can compete in the
global economy today, nor can there be sustainable poverty reduction,
without investing in its people’s health, education and skills as a
priority. The PTI economic vision makes a commitment to a quantum leap
in this area. The expenditure on education will be increased from
approximately two percent of GDP to five percent. In absolute terms,
with the growth of the economy this would be an approximately fivefold
increase. Similarly, in health the commitment is to increase the total
expenditure from the current less then 0.9 percent to 2.5 percent.
Again, in absolute terms, this would be equal to a six-fold increase.
leads us to the issue everyone is rightly interested in:
implementation. We believe that without deep institutionalised reform we
cannot achieve the creation of a welfare state which we, and tens of
millions of Pakistanis, desire. Hence, institutional reform is the fifth
emergency in our five-pillar reform programme. The key elements of this
reform include unprecedented devolution of power, all the way down to
the villages, so that we empower the citizens of Pakistan themselves to
take decisions, rather than a small elite sitting hundreds of miles away
doing that. This is the essence of real democracy...power to the
people. The second part deals with reforming the civil service and
insulating it from political influence, strengthening the regulatory
agencies and increasing their professionalism, dramatically reducing the
powers of the political elites and insulating the service delivery and
governance system from political influence in execution of policies,
creating a system which has transparency and makes the ruling elite
accountable to the citizens.
The above is a synopsis of a
detailed integrated strategy to lay the foundation to make Pakistan a
just, peaceful and prosperous country. Detailed strategies on energy and
local-governance have already been issued, and in the next couple of
months detailed policies for health, education (including skills
training, industrial and trade policy, agriculture and governance
reforms) will be issued. It’s time we start a national debate on what
needs to be done to make Pakistan a country which meets the desires and
aspirations of its citizens and gets the place in the comity of nations
which it deserves.
The writer is senior vice president of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf.
|02/09/2012 5:34 AM||
|powerful Leghari leaving PTI
Hussain 12 hrs ago | Comments (71)
ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is staring at a major dent in its ranks as the powerful Leghari clan from Dera Ghazi Khan has decided to leave the party, a move that could be potentially followed by another half a dozen former ministers and legislators, known as “elect-ables”.
These elect-able leaders have been waiting to part ways with Imran Khan in utter desperation and frustration for being ignored time and again by the party chief and his preference for non-elect-ables and technocrats, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
More than two PTI leaders told Pakistan Today that since there was no more a visible support of the establishment to the PTI, traditional politicians who were in a habit of changing their political affiliations with a hope of gaining power within days and weeks, are now weighing their options due to Imran’s unfriendly attitude and his preference for experts.
Although PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood expressed ignorance about any such development taking place within the party ranks, internal bickering and frustration within the PTI has reached an all time high and traditional politicians are openly expressing their anger against “technocrats”, who according to them “had no constituency” but were being given much importance by Imran, while they were being totally ignored in the party’s decision-making process and press interactions.
“Among those who had joined the PTI only a few months back dreaming for acquiring power within days and weeks are now repenting their bad decision-making. Among the upset leaders are the Hotis of Mardan, Awans of Chakwal and several others,” a well-placed source in the PTI said, requesting not to be named.
“Imran Khan used to take pride in claiming before the media that he would soon get more wickets of opponents. But this time around he is going down, as his own wickets are ready to fall with around half a dozen party leaders set to leave the party once the Legharis make their decision public,” the source said. The source added that disappointed politicians who had decided to leave the party included Sardar Jamal Khan Leghari and Sardar Owais Khan Leghari of DG Khan, Malik Ghulam Abbas of Chakwal, Malik Amin Aslam from Khushab and Khawaja Khan Hoti of Mardan.
“Legharis are also angry over being ignored in the party’s recent nominations when Ishaq Khan Khakwani was appointed the central vice president in place of Owais Leghari, who had requested for the same slot. However, Imran Khan preferred Khakwani over Leghari junior which infuriated him. After making up his mind, Sardar Owais Leghari recently informed Imran Khan of his decision to leave the PTI. He also informed him the reasons of his decision to leave the party, contending that he wanted to keep his Leghari tribe intact as his uncles Maqsood Leghari and Jaffer Leghari were unhappy with his decision of joining the PTI. However, Leghari assured Imran Khan that his family would contest next elections independently and would not join any other party,” the source added.
He said Owais Leghari also informed Imran that if his family did not contest the next election together, it might lose all seats in DG Khan and any split within the family might cost them heavily.
The source said the disappointed politicians were unhappy with the assertion that the PTI had been “hijacked” by technocrats who had no constituency but they were dictating terms to politicians who had been elected by their people.
However, the insider said the Legharis were in fact unhappy for being ignored by Imran Khan, as they were never consulted on major decisions, which were being made solely by technocrats and Imran.
“The PTI has become a party run by technocrats and the Niazi family who have no understanding of politics. Today, the PTI is being run by Imran Khan Niazi, Hafeezullah Niazi, Saifullah Niazi, Inamullah Niazi, Asad Umar, etc. Politicians like Javed Hashmi, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Owais Leghari and others have either been sidelined or have simply been ignored,” the source quoted an angry politician as saying during a recent party meeting held at Lahore.
Another source in the PTI confirmed that the Legharis had decided to leave the party, adding that Khawaja Khan Hoti had also decided to leave.
“Actually, too much influence of Niazis has virtually sidelined all political heavyweights. Moreover, the Niazis have also been urging old party workers to harass newcomers and the party is fast turning into a liberal fascist group,” the source added.
The source said Imran Khan tried to impress seasoned politicians in private meetings by claiming that the Goldsmith family was supporting his political career and Zac and Ben Goldsmith, both brothers of Jemima Khan, referred to him as the next prime minister of Pakistan.
“This might be a major reason behind the establishment backing out from supporting the PTI due to Goldsmith family’s influence on Imran.”
The source added that the politicians were realizing that they had joined an inexperienced politician who had no knowledge of ground realities and the tricks of trade necessary to win elections in Pakistan.
“Even Shah Mahmood Qureshi is facing a tough time from his family for joining the PTI and is facing family disputes of one or the other kind,” the source added.
“After facing a jolt due to departure of his younger brother Murid Qureshi, Shah Qureshi was left red-faced at a recent family get together when his brother-in-law Pir Shujaat Hasnain Qureshi, a former MPA, stunned the gathering by complaining that he was being harassed in the PTI by old workers. He also complained that they were happy in the PPP, but Qureshi’s decision had landed them in trouble with no hopes of winning the next election,” the source added.
He said on the other hand, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi had also been sidelined and he had been working in isolation. However, the source added that Hashmi had exhausted all his options and was forced to stick with the PTI.
PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood neither contradicted nor confirmed the development, saying, “I have no knowledge about any such development.”
However, when asked if he was not contradicting Pakistan Today’s information it would mean that he was confirming it, Mahmood took cognizance of the situation and said he would contradict.
But former PTI secretary information Umar Sarfraz Cheema came up with a bold stance and said people would come and go but the PTI would stick to its ideology and policies.
“It is the democratic right of a politician to join or leave a party per his ideology. However, it appears such people could not get what they were dreaming of from the PTI,” he added. Cheema said perhaps such people thought they would be given party tickets upon joining the PTI, adding that the PTI had a laid down criteria and procedure under which tickets and offices would be given.
Asked about the withdrawal of support by establishment to the PTI, Cheema said the PTI never sought support from the establishment.
“We neither sought the establishment’s support ever nor do we have intentions of doing so. We have always focused on mass mobilization and today the PTI is the only party having registered ten million workers,” he added.
Cheema also rubbished the claim of hijacking of the party by technocrats.
Owais and Jamal Khan Leghari and 30 other top politicians had joined the PTI on December 20, 2011, including 10 sitting and former parliamentarians and federal ministers such as Jahangir Khan Tareen, Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Sikandar Bosan.|
|02/09/2012 5:56 AM||
|Jamal leghari has denied this strongly on his twitter account a few minutes ago. Calling this absolutely baseless and rubbish. See his timeline.|
|02/09/2012 7:12 AM||
|@Manzoore: Please don't believe on speculations. It's not true at all. Jamal Leghari has rejected all these speculations, spread by anti-PTI elements. Here is his response:|
|02/09/2012 9:04 AM||
|03/09/2012 3:18 AM||
|I also hope this is all rubbish as Jamal Leghari said . In reality those who have joined PTI for personal gain will leave as Imran said multiple times and those who have joined for better Pakistan will stay at any cost.|
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