ISLAMABAD - The sudden re-entry of some PTI defectors into politics and their meetings with party leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail have given some strong hints that a plan is under way to materialize the old idea of “minus-Imran formula.”
On the other hand, business tycoon and PTI dissident Jahangir Khan Tareen’s recent political engagements in Islamabad and Lahore also indicate the likelihood of formation of another king’s party. In the context of Pakistan's politics, such parties had been established when the country was under the direct rule of the military. Following their meetings with Qureshi, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, along with two other PTI defectors including Imran Ismail and Mahmood Maulvi, told the media that people of Pakistan could not be left at the mercy of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a coalition of ruling parties.
Chaudhry stated that discussions had been held with the former and present PTI leadership regarding the present situation. He added that contact has been made with Asad Umar, Asad Qaiser, Ali Zaidi, Pervez Khattak. Hammad Azhar and others. The purpose is to find a solution to the current crisis in the country, he also said.
Soon after the presser of Chaudhry, some unconfirmed reports started doing the rounds on social media that these contacts were perhaps part of a proposal to run the PTI after excluding its chief and ex-premier Imran Khan. This instantly prompted some PTI leaders to clarify their position and rebut the plan being dubbed as “minus Imran formula”.
PTI leader Hammad Azhar and the son of Qureshi immediately reaffirmed their support to Chairman PTI Khan. Azhar took to twitter to say that only the party chief will make the final decision regarding any “solution or advice by a friend”.
“No politics without Imran khan!” said PTI leader Farrukh Habib while talking to twitter. PTI’s legal mind Babar Awan also said there was no room or future for any “king’s party” in the country’s politics. “Minus Imran means minus the people,” he added. Meanwhile, Tareen who himself had been disqualified for life, by the Supreme Court, for becoming a member of the parliament now stays in the capital in an apparent plan of forming a new political party. Any such new party is being labelled as king’s party, by many political analysts, which will be either next ruling party or part of an upcoming ruling coalition.
As long as Tareen doesn’t get his disqualification reversed from the apex court by getting benefit of the newly promulgated law, the prospects of success of any king’s party under his leadership would remain questionable. Be it king’s party or minus Imran formula, any such plans and proposals would become clear soon as the tenure of the present government is going to expire in the middle of August to pave the way for the next general elections. However, it would be anybody’s guess how any king’s party or a plan like minus Imran formula would succeed to mobilize the voters to get their support in a short span of time.