PESHAWAR: Former federal minister Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti is one of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s big guns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is about to quit the party after a brief association, but the PTI leadership has no intention of requesting him to stay.
The Imran Khan-led party does not hesitate to say it is ready to say him goodbye. “If someone does not believe in PTI’s ideology and democratic process within the party, he may better leave it today than tomorrow,” Shah Farman, the party’s secretary information for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told The News.
The ‘democratic process’ was a reference to PTI’s planned intra-party election. Many people are predicting that the election would cause differences in the party because several known politicians, mostly newcomers, would be disappointed as they were expecting to be given party positions.
Khwaja Hoti argued that Imran Khan disappointed him by bringing corrupt politicians into the party and pursuing idealistic policies. He has also accused him of going back on some commitments purportedly made with him.
The former lawmaker from Mardan became disillusioned by Imran Khan, whom he had praised profusely for his integrity, in less than nine months. Now he preparing to abandon the PTI and embark on a new political journey with the PML-N.
“Personalities carry no importance in PTI,” said a statement from Shah Farman. “Individuals joining or quitting does not impact the party. Those who have joined the party to serve their interests will meet failure. We will win general election on the basis of our ideology and with workers’ support,” the statement said.
Shah Farman said if someone thought his departure from the party could dent PTI, he was mistaken. Instead, he added, those who are leaving the party would be on the losing side. He made it clear workers would elect leaders to party offices and decide about awarding tickets.
“Nobody should have any doubt about it (intra-party elections and awarding of tickets on merit). And if somebody does, he needs to realise now that they are mistaken,” the statement said.
The information secretary said the party respected all politicians who had joined PTI but discipline would not be compromised. However, when The News asked Shah Farman whether any disciplinary action has been initiated against Khwaja Hoti, he replied in the negative.
Retorting Khwaja Hoti’s statement that PTI has accepted corrupt politicians, Shah Farman said the party had already explained that it would not award ticket to corrupt people and thus they could not become part of PTI government. He said Khwaja Hoti had asserted that Imran Khan had not fulfilled commitments made with him but did not say explain those commitments.
“If the reference to commitment concern any party position, I think he should not object to the democratic process within the party if he thinks he is a democrat,” he added.