By Anahita Zurvan
More than the win of PML-N, it is the defeat of PTI in NA-154, Lodhran.
It is not the narrative of political inheritance which made Ali Tareen lose, but the slim-picking tendency of PTI leadership which caused this shock.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has constituted a “fact-finding committee” to look for reasons behind the unexpected defeat. Owing to its recklessness, PTI appointed Jahangir Tareen as the head of its committee to probe the affair. He is supposed to turn in this report in a week’s time to the Chairman PTI, Imran Khan.
The unforeseen defeat came quite as a shock as PTI candidate, ALI Tareen—an Oxonine and the son of Jahangir Tareen, had all the credentials to defeat PML candidate, Pir Iqbal Shah by a fair margin. But the results were otherwise. Shah defeated Tareen with the margin of 27, 609 votes. PML-N’s Iqbal Shah secured 113,542 votes, while his opponent, PTI’s Ali Tareen, challenging his first election on his father’s seat, attained 85,933 votes. It is important to note here that Jahangir Tareen is famous for not showing up in his constituency after winning the elections. Above all, if the Supreme Court has disqualified someone, PTI leadership must show the muscle to distance itself from that member. Nation is expecting PTI to come across clean and competent keeping in view all the promises it has made to its followers. It is a lesson for PTI to learn from and to set their direction for future course of action.
Important to note here that the seat got vacant following the disqualification of PTI leader, Jahangir Tareen, by the apex court in December 2017. It was measured as the stronghold of Tareen, and PTI had won NA-154 seat with a lead of around 40,000 votes in the last by-election of 2015.
Along with PTI’s Ali Tareen, PML-N’ Iqbal Shah and PPP’s Mirza Mohammad Ali Baig, seven other candidates contested as independents candidates.
For these by-elections, the government had positioned 4,000 security personnel inclusive of army officials in the constituency to control any untoward situation.