Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) پاکستان تحريک انصاف is a political party in Pakistan, founded in 1996 by former national cricket captain Imran Khan.
It is a Third Way, Centrist party which aims to create a welfare state, where the state is responsible for education, health and employability of citizens. It promotes freedom of thought, abolition of personal income tax and dismantling religious discrimination in Pakistan.
Directly following its founding in 1996, the party had little initial success. Khan won a seat in the Pakistani general election, 2002. The party boycotted the 2008 election, but in 2013 it received over 7.5 million votes, making it second in the number of votes and third in the number of seats won. It sits in opposition to the government at national level, but governs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The party terms itself an ‘anti-status quo movement’ advocating egalitarian Islamic democracy. It claims to be the only non-family party of mainstream Pakistani politics. With over 10 million members in Pakistan and abroad, it claims to be Pakistan’s largest party by membership. According to the 2013 election results, the PTI is Pakistan’s second largest party in terms of votes, third-largest party in terms of parliamentary seats, the second-largest in Punjab and Karachi, and the largest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where it leads a coalition government.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was founded by Imran Khan on 25 April 1996 in Lahore, Pakistan. Founded initially as a sociopolitical movement, in June 1996 the first Central Executive Committee of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was formed under the leadership of Imran Khan, including Naeemul Haque, Ahsan Rasheed, Hafeez Khan, Mowahid Hussain, Mahmood Awan and Nausherwan Burki as founding members. PTI began to grow slowly but did not achieve immediate popularity. Khan launched PTI as a party which he claimed represented the true aspirations of the people of Pakistan.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s constitution was approved on 24 January 1999 by the Central Executive Committee in Lahore. In October 2002, Khan ran for office in the National Elections and became a member of parliament (MP) for Mianwali, his home town. Khan, however, remained deeply critical of the entire political order of Pakistan, which he deemed corrupt, inefficient, and morally bereft of any of the founding principles of Pakistan. In protest, Khan began a grassroots campaign to raise awareness about his political party.
After Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007 and Nawaz Sharif returned from self-exile in Saudi Arabia, pressure increased upon President Musharraf to hold democratic elections. PTI, in conjunction with many political parties, joined the All Parties Democratic Movement, which was opposed to further military rule. The general election in 2008 resulted in a PPP victory. This election was boycotted by PTI.
During the presidency of Asif Ali Zardari, Imran Khan’s popularity soared amid discontent with the ruling administration’s domestic and foreign policy. PTI promised to create an independent, self-reliant Pakistan free from debt, dependency and discord. In Pakistan: A Personal History, PTI chairman Khan argues that a selfish and corrupt ruling elite, primarily made up of politicians, feudal leaders, and military bureaucrats, had destroyed Pakistan and brought it to the brink of disaster. PTI maintains that it represents all Pakistanis, regardless of religious, ethnic, linguistic, and provincial backgrounds.
Pakistan Tahreek e Insaf’s agenda envisions a modern Islamic republic that advocates individuals’ welfare through community co-operation. PTI wants to set Pakistan on a course to political stability, social harmony, and economic prosperity for all religious, ethnic and racial communities.
PTI has an agenda to blend traditional social and religious values and cultural and ethnic diversity of Pakistan into common goals and aspirations for a just society based on Mohammad Iqbal’s and Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of Islamic democratic culture providing social security, welfare and the rule of law.
Mohammad Iqbal’s work has influenced Imran Khan in his deliberations on an “Islamic social state”.
The party manifesto includes a desire to provide credible leadership, to restore Pakistan’s political and economic sovereignty, to establish a strong system of accountability and to combat corruption.
A campaign poster of the PTI
The party has a published constitution. It aims for unity, solidarity, social justice and prosperity. The Central Executive Committee is its main central council, with a duty is to assist the chairman with the day-to-day functions of the National Council, to lay down party policy, to guide the party at national level and to act as executive authority of the party. The chairman is the head and the chief spokesman of the party. His duty is to ensure that the organisation works at all levels in accordance with the aims and objectives of the party. He may delegate his powers to the Secretary General or any member of the Central Executive Committee. He may suspend any office bearer pending disciplinary action. In the event of removal or suspension of an office bearer, he may delegate power and duties of such office bearer to any other member of the Party.
A new constitution was drafted by a committee headed by lawyer and Senior Vice-President Hamid Khan, creating the positions of Vice-Chairman and President.