The political atmosphere in the country is once again heated up after the Supreme Court of Pakistan, yesterday, ordered to hold elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab within 90 days.
However, the main stakeholders-Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI)- seem to be satisfied and both factions have focused on devising a strategy for the upcoming elections.
After the SC’s 2-3 split verdicts, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan (IK) announced the suspension of ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ (or court house arrest) and has his eyes fixed on the new elections.
Although PTI’s workers, on social media, are celebrating this verdict as a victory for their party, however on the other hand, the wounds of Tehreek-e-Insaf’s court arrest drive are still fresh because the movement not only failed miserably but instead of getting arrested on that day, the activists were only active on social media.
It’s worth mentioning that a few days ago PTI’s leadership started ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ which was limited to social media only, and no leader was arrested in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Ikhtiar Wali, the spokesperson of PMLN Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and former member of the Provincial Assembly, says that those who claimed to sacrifice their lives for Imran Khan were afraid to even approach prison vehicles despite several announcements by the police to make peaceful voluntary arrests.
He said that the police were asking PTI leaders and workers through megaphones in the streets and alleys of Peshawar, Swat, Dir, Dera Ismail Khan, Mardan, and other cities of K-P to facilitate them in the ‘Jail Bharo Movement’ but none of them came forward voluntarily, while instead of being arrested, they were busy taking selfies with police cars for social media posts.
Akhtar Wali said, PTI’s circus company made great efforts to convince and extract the workers in these cities for ‘Jail Bharu Tehreek’ but it failed miserably because the people of K-P during the last nine years of their rule in the province were aware of their poor performance and their malicious slogans.
Akhtar Wali further said that the loyalists of Imran are raising loud slogans of Jail Bharo Tehreek’ while the families of the arrested workers have requested their recovery within 24 hours.
He said that the immature policies and U-turns of IK pushed the country into a political and economic crisis; it is beyond his understanding that first, the members of the PTI National Assembly resigned and later two provincial assemblies were dissolved, and now they are demanding re-election.
The PMLN’s spokesperson said that Imran Khan had launched ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ to appease his estranged workers and leaders, who were restless after the premature dissolution of KP and Punjab Assemblies, but became disillusioned after the flop show.
On the other hand, a former provincial minister and Awami National Party leader Wajid Ali Khan termed the announcement of Jail Bharo Tehreek as a mere political stunt by Imran Khan and said that because of Imran’s immature political decisions, PTI has its angry political workers and there was apparently nothing left to convince the leaders except to dissolve the KP Assembly where the PTI had a two-thirds majority.
He said that PTI workers and leaders used to gather only for photo sessions and videos to post on social media during ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek.’ He said that similar movements were launched in 1981, 1986, and 2004 which succeeded in supporting democracy.
On the contrary, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former provincial minister Shaukat Yousafzai said that a large number of people participated in the Jail Bharo movement and left their homes on the call of party chairman Imran Khan.
‘We do not accept the current imported rulers and their policies. The party leaders proved by their arrest that they will not hesitate to make any sacrifice to save the country.’ He said.
He alleged the caretaker government used the apolitical police of this province in Jail Bharo Movement, “register as many cases as possible, but IK and his associates are not going to run away.”