Home Editorial Editorial: A New Pawn?

Editorial: A New Pawn?

The Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party will struggle to convince PTI supporters to shift their allegiances away from Imran Khan

by Editorial

Jahangir Khan Tareen announces formation of the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party

Jahangir Khan Tareen has formally announced the formation of the Istehkam-e-Pakistan (IPP) political party, seemingly sending a message from the establishment to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan that his time is up. Consisting almost entirely of PTI deserters, including prominent former leaders such as Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Murad Raas, the IPP claims, bizarrely, to be a “political party beyond politics.” It is undoubtedly helped by Tarin’s significant resources, as well as those of real estate tycoon Aleem Khan, who would reportedly serve as the party’s president, with Tarin its “patron” because of Supreme Court orders disqualifying him from holding public office. There is clearly a whiff of vengeance to the whole enterprise, with both Tarin and Aleem at odds with Khan over his alleged “mistreatment” of them while they were with the PTI.

The ongoing desertions from the PTI—recalling the circumstances under which politicians had once flocked to it—make clear the Army is no longer inclined to support Khan. From one angle, their loyalties have not changed; in exiting the PTI, they are responding to the same edicts they had submitted to when joining it. There are also attempts to negate the allegations of corruption against Tareen—most vociferously pursued by the PTI government after his falling out with Khan—with politicians linked with the IPP asserting he “respects the judiciary” and the rule of law.

In a visit to the Lahore Corps Commander’s house after its ransacking in the May 9 riots, Tareen held the PTI chairman and “other party leaders” responsible for the violence and condemned it, stressing he had been deeply saddened by the destruction. This was a clear message of where his loyalties lie. In the coming days, the IPP hopes to replace the PTI, while also offering a lifeline to the party’s leaders and workers who have resisted abandoning Imran Khan out of fear of political sidelining. It would however not have an easy go of it. The PTI’s vote-bank is Khan’s vote-bank and always has been. Isolating him and dumping his former allies into a new party is unlikely to convince his supporters to likewise jump ship.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment