As the exodus of politicians continues from the PTI following the severe crackdown on the party, speculation is rife about what the future holds for a number of individuals. Amidst this, reports have emerged this week that PTI’s estranged leader Jehangir Tareen has decided to form a new national-level political party. This is something that has been predicted to be on the cards for over a year, especially since Mr. Tareen fell out with the party chairman. This is once again a repetition of how politics is conducted in this country and the new party will likely coopt a lot of defectors from the PTI, but we must think and reflect whether this style of politics is doing anything to make political parties more representative and in touch with the needs and aspirations of the public.
Reports suggest that Mr. Tareen has been busy forming a forward bloc in the party amid the ongoing crackdown against PTI leaders. Over the last few days, he has met dozens of PTI lawmakers from Southern Punjab who are considered to be “electables”, that joined the PTI at the behest of Mr. Tareen. Therefore, given how Mr. Tareen is perceived to hold considerable influence in South Punjab, some experts are of the view that this new party can make a dent in the political landscape.
Sources reveal that apart from those who have already made an exit, those upset with the party are also expected to join the new setup. Further, many political families from Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Muzzafargarh, Lodhran and Multan are expected to join hands with Mr. Tareen. Apparently, a political office has been established in Lahore, which further confirms the speculation around this new political entity.
As these established political patterns continue to repeat themselves, we must pause and consider the impact such developments have on the political landscape. These transactional marriages are devoid of any ideological or grassroots grounding, and do little to further the cause of democratic political parties in the country that can listen to and cater to the needs of citizens. This antiquated and overly cynical mode of politics can only last so long, and it will contribute to the disillusionment of the common man from a political system that is dysfunctional, self-serving, and out of touch.