Is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) pitted against itself? Are there signs of trouble ahead? Fingers are being pointed towards the leader from within the party. Blame and questions are being allegedly hurled at the premier. Something is up in the capital and people have started talking. They’re saying that it is possible that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan can be replaced as prime minister by someone else in the party itself.
PM Khan and Defence Minister and former Chief Minister (CM) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Pervez Khattak on Thursday allegedly exchanged bitter words during the parliamentary party meeting chaired by the premier himself.
Reports of a clash between the premier and the PTI leader spread like wildfire within the media. It was reported that Pervez Khattak during the meeting said, “we have made you the prime minister.”
“Gas is banned in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, we generate gas and electricity and we are the ones who are suffering,” said Khattak, adding, “We will not be able to get votes if this is your attitude.”
Khattak told media persons after the meeting that he neither talked harshly to the prime minister nor hurled any threat of not voting for PM Khan.
“No one spoke harshly, I spoke for my right,” said Khattak.
The damage had been done and to remove a prime minister, a no-confidence motion has to be brought in Parliament. Some analysts think that the wheels are already in motion.
The Current reached out to political analysts and senior journalists to ask their opinion as to who could replace PM Khan if the rumours of a change in command were true.
Senior journalist Hamid Mir shedding light on the recent squabble within the party leadership said, “Imran Khan will remain head of the PTI because the party is registered in his name but the revolt of Khattak may break the party. Khattak can muster support from the Opposition easily.”
Resident Editor Dawn Fahd Husain terming a coup within PTI an ‘unlikely scenario’ said, “A coup in PTI is an unlikely scenario at this moment. It seems unlikely that the party can coalesce behind any one person except PM Imran Khan.”
Journalist and Analyst Asma Shirazi talking about the dynamic political milieu in Pakistan said, “Will be too early to guess, things are changing every moment.”
Analyst Mehmal Sarfraz commenting on the recent rift in the PTI said, “There may be many contenders for the PM slot — as there are in other political parties — but there is no PTI without Imran Khan. I don’t think PM Khan can be replaced. Whoever tries to ‘replace’ him will have to leave the party first.”
Senior journalist and anchorperson Sabir Shakir responding with a Persian quote said, “ہنوذ دِلی دُور اَست [The heart is still far away].
Columnist Hafeezullah Niazi while commenting on the verbal altercation between the PTI leaders said, “In case of change within PTI, Pervez Khattak will replace Imran Khan,” adding, “Establishment is already tipping Pervez Khattak to replace Imran Khan as prime minister.”