11182017Headline:

Reforming PTI for a better future by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

I am reading a book on Constitutional Confucianism in which one of the writers made an interesting observation about Liberal Democracy. He quoted that Gaetano Mosca and Vilfredo Pareto advocated that universal suffrage would give rise to the illusion that the people had become the ruling class but in fact society would still be run by elite, and these elite would be composed almost entirely of members of the bourgeoisie.

In Pakistan this is especially true as almost all political parties are run and managed by elites of the country including PTI. Of all the people who are elected on PTI ticket most of them are multi-millionaires while none of them coming from a lower middle class background. In one South KPK constituency the candidate spent over 25 million on a KPK provincial seat campaign while in another Punjab constituency the candidate spent over 10 million. Those that spend these kind of money will not be serving the people but rather recouping their investments through contracts and development funds. Unless this culture of money is changed in Pakistan it will be difficult to build a Naya KPK or a Naya Pakistan.

The participation of labor and small farmer class is non-existent in PTI. Almost all CEC members of PTI are elites of the country. The media blitz about painters and tailors becoming District President was more a marketing strategy than devolution of power to the middle class.

I once asked IK that why is it that as soon as he travels outside Pakistan I have never seen him wearing a shalwar kameez. I found it odd and advised him to keep the same attire whether inside or outside the country. People question whether the IK they see in pictures with Prince Charles in a tuxedo looking healthy and sharp is the real IK or the one wearing shalwar kameez in PTI jalsas in Pakistan. May be both are two sides of the same personality but this duality of does not convey the right message to the people of Pakistan. People see their leaders enjoying good life while they have to deal with load shedding, inflation, joblessness and terrorist attacks. To introduce real reform in Pakistan people should feel that the leader belong to them and they belong to the leader like one body and soul.

We conveniently quote examples of Nelson Mandela, Mahathir Mohamad, Lee Kwan Yew, and Deng Xiaoping but we refuse to see the real picture of their struggle and hardship. Nelson Mandela spends 27 years in a jail cell. Son of Deng Xiaoping was thrown from the roof of a university by the revolutionaries disabling him for life. This was done even though he was founding member of the Chinese revolution and is now called father of modern China.

In the intra-party elections candidates with financial resources spend millions to become regional presidents, provincial cabinet members and CEC members. The point I want you all to think about is that PTI can not become party of change unless the real masses of people get to the position of decision-making. These are not just district presidency positions but also membership of provincial and central CEC. Labor and farmer wings should be made stronger and more effective. Participation of women should be increased especially in rural areas. On paper all PTI union council and District councils have at least 4 women members but the reality is that these women are usually wives, sisters or daughters of the male members. These positions are filled to control the district & union councils in terms of number of votes rather than to achieve real work for the party. Majority of these women never participate in party activities and decision-making processes.

The PTI government in KPK is not showing any revolutionary approach to solving the issues. They are using same kind of hollow promises that other governments in the past have done. The real change will happen when people in power think out of the box and reform the whole government machinery that has become obsolete and non-performing. Issuing notices and sending instructions to government departments to perform better does not produce results.

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