Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), since its inception, is known for the empowerment of women in politics. It’s leader, Imran Khan, has specifically targeted the young and educated ladies of urban and upper class families. Large number of ladies have so far participated in popularizing the party, they have have been active in collecting large amount of funds for the party and have been very much active in the universities, colleges etc for enhancing its memberships.
The women leaders and workers of the party are branded for playing a fundamental role in organizing rallies and public meeting like 126 day Dharna at D-Chowk, Islamabad and a recent rally at Minar-e-Pakistan. Some of these ladies have reached the highest forums of the party, are included in decision making process and are running various teams of workers and official of the party at different levels. The party has truly provided equal opportunities for the men and women on all political spheres and the party leadership has hardly discriminated against women in any case. Some of the brilliant examples of such women leaders in the party are Shireen Mazari, Dr. Yasmeen Rashid, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Andleeb Abbas. However, there are the names who had been involved in building the party almost from scratch and taking it to the heights and making it one of the largest party of pakistan, now eyeing victory stand in the next election.
Now, when party’s dream of coming in to power is close to be fulfilled in the forthcoming general elections, some of the leading women leaders who have played an important role in building the party empire throughout the decades have left the party one pretext or the other, mainly on the attitude of no other than the supreme leader of PTI, Imran Khan.
A young lady who was expected to present all talk show, to vehemently defend PTI’s policies and Imran Khan’s persona, has been in forefront in organizing public meetings and rallies mainly in town and cities of the province, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where politics is largely dominated by male politicians and entering of lady, that too a young one, still unmarried and studying at a university, is not an ordinary thing. She had great communication skills as well as new and fresh ideas, expressions and innovations along with extremely good reasoning. She had the power to influence the youth and she used this influence to the advantage of party by introducing large number of university and college students of KPK and FATA to the party. She had a charisma to attract the audience during a talk show and shape their point of views in accordance with party’s motto. She created a scamble in the conservative political environment of KPK by snatching the role of decision making, political or otherwise, from the elders to the youth. But, somehow, the party managed to loose her due to a single instance of complaint when she took her cell phone to the party and accused him of sending her illicit messages. Instead of getting the issue resolved by striking some mutual understanding, the party leadership kept on dragging the issue, the problems kept on increasing and the difference expanding due to some vested interests within the party ranks. Eventually she had to leave the party and even after that there was no one who would take her to confidence and bring her back to the party.
In return to all this, Gulalai has registered her own party under the name, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Gulalai Group), and her emblem for this election is Racket. She has announced to contest from seven constituencies in the three provinces of the country and is poised to give one on one fight to her ex-leader Imran Khan. She has also called out for new applicants for her party country wide. Recently in one of her tweets she said, “Be brave enough to stand for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.”
— Ayesha Gulalai Wazir (@wazir_gulalai) June 4, 2018
Once known as the ‘mother of insafians’ , Fauzia Kasuri parted with the party after having played very active role to vitalise the youth in the party for almost 25 years. She is understood as the only female co-founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as a new Lahore based political party in 1992. Hailing from a well known business family of Punjab, she was working with Imran Khan even before he came into politics, when he decided to initiate the cancer hospital project in Lahore and the project needed huge funds. Fauzia Kasuri was the forerunner of the philanthropists who not only donated huge money herself but also helped Khan to gather donations from the business families to complete the project. When in politics, she was again there to help him launch the party and also to make it financially viable. Her services are not limited to financial support only, rather she used her influence in educated class of the society to popularise the party, arranged Khan’s visits to the high-gentry educational institutions and thus, helped him spread the message of starting a clean era of politics under his leadership.
She is very composed, soft spoken, down to earth and forward looking lady, hardly has ever asked for recognition or positions and has been working sincerely for the party, mainly focusing on bringing youth and new blood into the party. Hardly ever raising any controversy in the media, she had been feeling ignored in the party affairs after a new wave of politicians entered in the party for last two years. She had been trying to get the differences resolved within the party and there have been news that her complaints were considered at the level of the Chairman but no concrete step was taken to satisfy her issues. Finally, she left the party, fees weeks earlier, without making much noise, and has joined political opponent of the PTI in Karachi, PSP of Mustafa Kamal, a former MQM Mayor of Karachi and then the close aide of Altaf Hussain. She is planning to contest elections from the same constituency in Karachi from where Imran khan was also considering to be a candidate.
Pathetic n sad behavior of some PTI supporters, attacking me, just bcos I left Pti? I have only changed parties, not my principles. Pls grow up. You do no service to your leadership. Pettiness is not in fashion..reflects of a loser mentality.For my part, I just block rudeness.
— Fauzia Kasuri (@FauziaKasuri) June 5, 2018
Naz Baloch, a young Karachiite, has been a great warrior of Imran Khan on all forums, especially at Karachi, in the days when it was utmost difficult for a new political party to carry on political activities in Karachi in the face of harsh attitude of MQM. Political opponents in Karachi were silenced by the mqm activists and violence was frequently used by the political workers under the cover of provincial government as well as overwhelming majority in the metropolitan of the country. These were the conditions when the young and educated Naz Baloch came out to support Imran Khan’s slogan for change and worked fearlessly to approach youth of city to join PTI to change the existing rotten political system. She can be termed as the equivalent of Gulalai residing in Karachi but with more courageous and outspoken personality. She also left the party two years earlier mainly on the reason that her voice was not appropriately heard in the party ranks and she had not been given due importance in party’s organisational structure in Karachi. Being a great political worker, she was immediately attracted by the young leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, she has joined PPP where she is greatly active in party’s affairs.
Although the party does not realize yet, it has lost one of the few gems in the form of these women who have played a huge role in the deepening the roots of the party in the country’s political arena. The party, once known for the empowerment of women, is now facing the resilience from the very ladies who were the reason behind it’s popularity.