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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 610, 12 June 2023

The Rise of Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP)



IPP a “symbol of progress.”

Varsha K

On 8 June, Jahangir Khan Tareen launched a new party called Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP), where most members were PTI dissidents. He said: “Today, we’re announcing the formation of the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party. Under one platform, we’re together and will try to steer Pakistan out of current crises.” The party was formed against the backdrop of the 9 May violence, where several PTI leaders were arrested and re-arrested on the allegations of committing vandalism. After their release, significant number of prominent PTI leaders like Fawad Chaudhry and Mahmood Maulvi announced their resignation and stated as taking a break from politics, while some joined other parties condemning the violent protest.
 
On the party launching occasion, Tareen highlighted what went wrong in PTI and how the new party would establish its objectives. Previously, according to Jahangir, PTI was formed with the objective of “implementing reforms that Pakistan needed and still needs.” He expressed his disappointment for the change of course the party took and how they devalued their objectives. Furthermore, he promised: “I am saying this from the bottom of my heart that if the miscreants and planners of May 9 are not brought to justice, attacks on houses of political rivals will also be considered acceptable. And we will never let this happen.” He expressed that the country needs leadership that gives hope to rebuild its new heights. 
 
Tareen highlighted the objectives of IPP and added: “Our objective is very clear.” According to Jahangir, the main purpose is to represent the aspiration of youth and protect women and children. He called IPP a “symbol of progress.” He added: “Our politics needs a new dimension. Democracy can only be strengthened if both the government and the opposition learn their responsibilities.” The party also aims to increase exports and develop the IT and agriculture sectors. Tareen announced that the reforms agenda would be released in the upcoming days, which widely includes social, political and economic aspects. This implies the populist strategy to gain larger vote share in the upcoming elections. 
 
PTI defectors Fawad Chaudhry, Amir Kiyani, Ali Zaidi, Imran Ismail, Mahmood Maulvi, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Ajmal Wazir, Nauraiz Shakoor and Fayyazul Hasan Chohan welcomed Tareen as “new boss” and accompanied him on the launch. However, Fawad Chaudhry was spotted on the occasion “hiding the face.” Aleem Khan expressed his choice of becoming president of IPP, while Tareen remains the “Quaid” of the IPP until he is free from disqualification case. Meanwhile, former Punjab minister Murad Raas, who formed the Democrat party, extended his support to Tareen with the vision of being in a good position in IPP. Furthermore, Jahangir was confident that several leaders would join IPP in the upcoming days whom he called “respected ones in the constituencies” and expressed his hopes to get good results in the upcoming elections. 
 
Responding to the IPP’s inauguration, PTI tweeted: “Launching new parties full of people that are coming after forced divorces is not the solution to problems Pakistan faces” and called for free and fair elections. On 10 June, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi remarked the launch of IPP as “dead on arrival” and said: “Some of our heavyweight political friends have made their choices, which is welcome. How­ever, the experiment is bound to fail.” He added: “The PTI is a reality … and I see a bright future for it.” It indicates the PTI’s ignorance of IPP as a competitor. However, Aleem Khan replied: “Respected Qureshi sahib, it is in God’s hand to give honour or humiliation and only He knows who is ‘dead on arrival’ and whose ‘the end’ it is.”
 
Imran Khan dubbed the then formulated IPP party as the “King’s party”, IPP will be playing crucial role in the October elections, especially in Punjab as most members are from that province. The reform agenda to be released implies a populist strategy which aims gain a decent share of votes in the vote bank., Voter share in the province faces a divide  and therefore there are chances for PTI to lose in the elections as the exodus continues.  However, PTI Chairman Imran Khan is more confident than ever that PTI will win despite the crackdown againstPTI.

References
Jahangir Tareen launches Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party with PTI defectors by his side,” Dawn, 8 June 2023
Zulqernain Tahir, “Old faces return to join Jahangir Khan Tareen's new platform,” Dawn, 9 June 2023
PTI’s Qureshi describes launch of Jahangir Tareen’s IPP as ‘dead on arrival’,” Dawn, 10 June 2023

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