The insiders in PTI privy to the developments regarding the moves of the party’s high command to make an acceptable reputation internationally, especially in the Muslim countries, told this correspondent on Friday that Imran attached great importance to relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran, given their important role in South Asia particularly in the context of Pakistan. That’s why the PTI chairman is likely to make some informal contacts with members of Saudi royal family during his stay.
Citing another reason, the insiders quoted close associates of Imran as saying the PTI considered itself a ‘right-wing’ political force and desired close ties with the Saudi rulers, who believed to be close to the religious parties and the PML-N in Pakistan.
They added that Imran, while giving a low profile to the expected meetings, would avoid media contacts at this stage, but is scheduled to meet the fundraisers of the party in Saudi Arabia.
Imran also gives special importance to relations with China, Afghanistan, Turkey and Central Asian States, and had already visited China and Turkey last year after holding successful October 30 rally in Lahore, which placed the PTI among the mainstream political parties.
PTI Punjab President Ahsan Rasheed, who accompanied Imran, when contacted before boarding the airplane, said they were going to perform Umra, but political leaders usually met various people during their foreign visits.
However, he avoided to comment over the PTI chief’s expected meetings with members of Saudi royal family.
Meanwhile, top PTI circles told this reporter that in a bid to present a consensus point of view about the policies on various issues, the party chairman with the advice of his senior media managers had directed all provincial and city level information cells to get prior approval from the core committee and central information cell for projecting the actual party position in media.
They said the party’s policy makers had to face embarrassment on several occasions when various leaders took different positions on a single issue in the media, which sent the message among the readers and viewers that the PTI lacked unified and coherent policies on different issues.
They further said that Imran also directed for equal representation of old and new faces in the party’s information cells to create a balance in an effort ensure a ceasefire between the two groups in the party for running the section in an effective manner.