Will Shah Mehmood Qureshi learn to tolerate Imran Khan’s Captaincy
It was during last December when Imran Khan was busy in public meetings and news channels shows in Karachi, building a pre-rally hype to make December 25th Jalsa successful. In one such occasion talking to students packed in IBA auditorium he responded to several tricky questions like a seasoned politician and we thought that Imran is finally loosening up and showing the political maturity and foresightedness required to take Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to the next level. He shrugged off question about Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Azam Khan Swati past affiliations and histories by a Cricket metaphor that if captaincy is good, he can outplay his opponents even with a weaker team. But these people are no way weak in their constituencies and are capable of winning election regardless of their party affiliations. He even deflected ensnares regarding his past criticism on Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) by saying that he has come to Karachi for connecting people, not tearing them apart.
But recent reports of Shah Mehmood Qureshi ‘s sever disagreement with Imran Khan’s unilateral decision to boycott by-elections is going to cast doubts on PTI rising popularity. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is also a Vice Chairman of PTI, was furious about not letting his son contest Multan’s by-election which was easily snag by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son. Reports says that Qureshi had serious quarrels with Imran Khan for not consulting the party member in boycotting the by-elections.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi needs to get use to Imran Khan’s style of captaincy. He will take unilateral decision from time to time. This was also a acid test for Qureshi, before the next year general elections, to experience Imran Khan’s autocratic captaincy. This style may have helped him winning a Cricket world cup, but politics is a different ballgame all together. There is also an underlying mistrust between Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Imran Khan. Apparently Imran fears that Shah Mehmood Qureshi son’s victory in Multan’s by-election could help him leverage a deal with his former party PPP or PML-N if going get tough for him in PTI before upcoming general elections.
For PTI to make any big impact in next polls, Imran Khan has to foster a joint decision making mechanism to keep everyone on board. Some of his party member hails from a feudal background who can win election from their constituency with or without PTI ticket. PTI is not a Cricket team, it is a political party. The sooner Imran realize this simple fact, the better will be PTI prospects in next general election which is not too far away.