PTI faces intraparty conflict as Arif Alvi, Haleem Adil Sheikh lose support

Karachi (HRNW): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been struggling with its party structure in Sindh after the general elections of 2013, even though it had managed to secure thousands of votes from Karachi. On Thursday, workers and members of the party from different parts of the province reached the Karachi Press Club to protest provincial president Dr Arif Alvi and senior vice president Haleem Adil Sheikh’s hijacking of the party. The members also held a press conference after the protest, featuring the party’s former district president Barkat Bhangwar and senior member Ayub Farooqi.

The workers chanted slogans of ‘Go Alvi Go’ and demanded the removal of the provincial president, together with the holding of intraparty elections. Bhangwar said he has been associated with the party for the past 15 years, however, now he is being side-lined. He claimed this was because a group of ‘opportunists’ had dominated the party. Bhangwar said they do not want to leave the party, as they are ideological workers and accused certain members of the party of wanting them to leave in order to hijack the PTI’s provincial affairs.

In order for us to travel all the way to Karachi there must be a huge issue, said Bhangwar, adding that they just want their voices to be heard. He went on to add that important posts in the party are being awarded by Dr Alvi and Sheikh to people they like and ideological workers are being neglected, which is disheartening as they are people who have given much of their time and hard work to the party. He alleged that people like Sheikh would leave the party to join the Pakistan Peoples Party or Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz once they saw that PTI Chairperson Imran Khan was not going to become prime minister. He accused Sheikh of being more interested in power than serving the party.

Farooqi shared that this is one of the reasons why the party has failed to gain strength in the province despite getting a huge number of votes, as the real workers have to face a lot of hurdles when trying to rise in the ranks. Why has no one asked the incumbent office bearers why the party keeps losing elections in Karachi as well as the rest of Sindh, he questioned. Farooqi said that this is our party and we will not let leaders like Sheikh or Alvi ruin it. They also revealed that wall-chalking has been done in rural Sindh reading ‘Go Alvi Go’ and ‘Go Sheikh Go’.

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