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Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf [PTI] / Movement for Justice Party

Tehrik-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan founded Tehrik-i-Insaf on April 25, 1996. The party has Islamic overtones and is inspired partly by Imran Khans renewed commitment to Islam. As a politician, his vision is to turn Pakistan into a just society, based on humane values, by creating an independent and honest judiciary that will uphold democracy, protect human rights and ensure the rule of law and, by promoting a merit based system that provides equal opportunity for upward social mobility to the working classes.

The PTI party is most popular with the youth of Pakistan. He initially supported General Musharraf, but when pro-government parties joined hands to form the National Alliance, Imran Khan did not join it. Soon after, he leveled charges of pre-poll rigging against the government, with Tariq Aziz, Principal Secretary to General Musharraf, the main target as the mastermind behind pre-poll rigging in the Punjab.

Khan cemented his national profile in 1992 when he led the national cricket team to win the World Cup. In 1996, he established his political party, but in the years since he had little success building it into a national party, despite his celebrity. He was the only member of his party to win a seat in parliament.

Tehrik-i-Insaf adopted a multi-pronged strategy that was designed to appeal to all classes of people. Imran Khan disagreed with Musharraf's Afghanistan and Kashmir policies, and attacked United States President Bush and his government as "fascists," expecting the voters to be attracted to that, although the MMA seemed to be the masters of this rhetoric. He made an elaborate case for the clean-up of the judiciary and linked it to foreign investment, which must appeal to the business class, but his attack on the IMF, while appealing to the common man, may scare away the industrialists. Imran Khan blew the whistle on General Musharraf's pre-poll rigging and named names, which had the potential to enhance his image as a clean man. Though Imran Khan may win his seat from Mianwali, his party seemed to have little in the way of a broad support base to win a national seat. However, his party's candidates are likely to secure more votes than in the previous elections.

In the 2002 general elections, Tehrik-i-Insaf won .8% of the vote with 1 of 272 elected members. Imran Khan announced plans to boycott the 2008 general election and all future elections until the Supreme Court judges placed in jail by Musharraf had been reinstated. He also alleged that the election was being rigged and the interim government was not remaining neutral.

The goals of Tehrik-i-Insaf, as expressed in the party's manifesto, are to:

  • Establish Pakistan as a truly independent and sovereign state that becomes a source of pride for our people
  • Strengthen state institutions to promote democracy and complete political, economic, and religious freedom for the people
  • Provide an accountable and efficient government that ensures the protection of life and property of its citizens
  • Launch an Education Revolution to promote universal literacy and raise the standard of education in our schools, colleges and universities
  • Ensure the availability of adequate Healthcare services for all citizens
  • Prioritize poverty alleviation through policies aimed at creating more job opportunities and enabling ownership of assets to the poor
  • Create a merit based system that provides equal opportunity for employment and upward social mobility for all, especially the working classes
  • Create an environment which encourages the private sector to grow and create greater wealth and employment opportunities
  • End the VIP culture by setting an example in simple living and an austere lifestyle
  • Eliminate draconian laws that give unchecked power to Police and the Agencies or which limit the rights of Citizens
  • A self reliant economy which is free of dependence on foreign aid
  • Promote regional peace and strengthen our relationships with friendly countries
  • On 14 November 2007 Pakistani authorities charged Imran Khan under the country's anti-terror act, which includes penalties such as life imprisonment. Khan was arrested shortly after arriving for a rally at Punjab University in the eastern city of Lahore. It was his first public appearance since the imposition of emergency rule. Khan came out of hiding to address a student rally, but shortly after arriving on campus, Khan was arrested. Khan went into hiding soon after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency nearly two weeks earlier.

    In April 2011 Pakistanis opposed to U.S. drone strikes on insurgent targets in Pakistan blocked a road used by the NATO alliance to deliver supplies to neighboring Afghanistan. Several thousand supporters of the Pakistani party led by Imran Khan staged a sit-in on the NATO supply route near the northwestern city of Peshawar.

    The emergence late in 2011 of former cricket hero, Imran Khan, as a serious challenger to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and its traditional rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, was a dramatic turn for the two parties that had dominated the government in recent years. Khans Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has organized massive anti-government rallies across the country in late 2011. Despite the impressive rallies, critics are skeptical about whether he can translate his popularity to electoral success. Election politics is very different from the politics of rallies and demonstrations. The large numbers of young people in his rally also show the yearning for change among Pakistans youth and the need for the leadership of Pakistan to respond to yearning for change.

    Political influence will depend on whether Khan is able to reach out and construct a credible team to convince voters he will be able to address critical economic, social and security issues facing Pakistan. The unusually large turnout for his rallies in late 2011 and the defection of some leading politicians brought new recognition to his party. The politicians include three former foreign ministers, two of them belonging to the current ruling party led by embattled President Asif Ali Zardari. The latest defection came last week when a prominent politician, Javed Hashmi, broke with former prime minister Nawaz Sharifs PML-N party to join Khans PTI.

    One position that Khan has staked out is his opposition to cooperating with the United States to tackle militants based in Pakistans volatile northwestern tribal region. He has campaigned against Pakistan sending troops to conduct anti-militancy operations and has been a staunch critic of U.S. drone strikes on militant hideouts in the border region.

    Khan says that collateral damage in the region is fueling militancy in both Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan because ordinary tribesmen are not part of the extremist groups. When there is collateral damage, the only people who benefit are the militants because either the people who lose their family they become militants or they support militants," said Khan. "So, one it is counterproductive, it is creating militancy more militancy, and secondly they [tribal leaders] say that if the drone attacks stop and Pakistani military operations stop and we empowered the people of tribal area they can take care of all terrorism. Instead of fighting homegrown Taliban, Imran Khan says the government should initiate a peace dialogue with them.

    The Pakistani military prevented a convoy of thousands of people with the goal of protesting U.S. drone strikes common in the country's tribal areas from reaching South Waziristan. Authorities stopped the group just short of the tribal region's border October 07, 2012. Pakistani cricket star turned politician Imran Khan had been leading the march, which left Islamabad the previous day. Local and Western peace activists, including some 30 U.S. activists, were traveling alongside supporters of Khan's Movement for Justice party. Some 30 U.S. peace activists with the anti-war group CodePink joined the march. Activist leader Medea Washington said they were trying to show Pakistan that not all Americans agreed with the drone policy. The march was a way of Khan trying to gain political capital as the country readies for national elections in 2013. The march may have been a turning point for Khan,

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    Page last modified: 23-07-2018 13:37:09 ZULU