Activists Or Anarchists?

Activists or Anarchists?

The fact remains – the party is central to all national issues and matters of governance

(By Hamza Salman) PTI is always in the news. The fact remains – the party is central to all national issues and matters of governance. It has largely changed national psyche and brings with it a major promise of welfare-driven politics with equity and justice at the core. The very rationale for the its emergence and the challenge it has posed to Status Quo forces, in iteself, lends to incredible pressures for the top leadership, more so on the Chairman himself.

Decisions taken by the hierarchy are viewed under the microscope and form the central themes of popular tv talk shows generally. The recent bye-election in NA-154 threw up similar connotations. One cannot blame the media to be acting this way, but what about the supporters up and down the nation, with a strong healthy base derived from all segments of Pakistan’s society – do they have the right to give their opinion and be heard about major issues; should they follow the decisions or bring their own perceptions and judgements into play? Well, PTI touts itself to be fully a democratic party, and has undergone the arduous, highly-challenging phase of intraparty elections – something unprecedented in Pakistan political history.

Strategic leadership is the domain of top party hierarchy. It is a recipe for utter chaos for lower-level leadership and workers to be openly debating and discussing sensitive issues regarding decisions that truly are the domain of party Chairman and the CEC. The reasons are simple – workers simply are not in possession of all facts and developments, and however sincere they are with the party ideology, they simply do not possess the abilities to make a sound judgment call.

Moreover, they simply do not possess the extreme leadership skills and abilities to make sound judgement calls. This is not to quell the notion of accountability within a political party’s ranks. To the contrary, leaders are indeed answerable to the party support base at large, and the mechanism set must accommodate such voices to be heard at the right forums. However, needless speculation simply unsettles the mechanism, as half-baked notions bandied around, without full possession of the facts, merely serve to confuse the huge support base, and play right into the hands of the sensationalist section of Pakistan media.

A political phenomenon like Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf that is determined to fight the unholy union of Status Quo parties is a rather special case. Not only does it have to deal with the machinations of its entrenched and established political forces that work in unison against the winds of change being driven by PTI, but it also has to craft defense for itself for the mounting specious attacks launched against it on electronic media. What more, the PTI Chairman himself has explained this notion in detail, citing the fact that decision-making is the domain of the leader, and he cannot follow the popular sentiment necessarily – that’s why he is the leaders, and not a worker.

“A leader’s vision is more clear-cut and horizon is wider as compared with the workers.” On an endnote, the workers are advised to stay steadfast, and keep firm faith in the favorite son of the soil to extricate Pakistan from multiple crises – let’s strengthen his hands rather than creating internecine strife. Unity and discipline in the ranks is the need of the hour. We are activists, and must not swerve to become anarchists.