Tehrik-i-Insaf has very graciously and generously offered its main political competitor (or arch-rival) the PML (N) some extraordinarily useful and handy propaganda material to establish that far from losing ground because of the court judgments against its leadership on account of the charges of high corruption, Nawaz Sharif’s party has actually risen in the popular esteem.
The result of the Lodhran battle has been nothing if not a huge embarrassment for the PTI and its charismatic leader Imran Khan.
All political analysts have been unanimous in the view that to lose a by-election in Pakistan, the ruling party needs a very high level of incompetence or a huge lack of desire to win. And the reputation of the PML (N)— particularly in Mian Shahbaz Sharifs Punjab, has always been quite heart-breaking for its opponents in this context.
It does not need Aristotle’s genius to surmise that the PML (N) just had no other option except to give the PTI the kind of drubbing it has received. The PML (N) needed to win Lodhran to provide Maryam Safdar and her partymen a great opportunity to put their tweeting skills on display.
By choosing to launch an inexperienced political rookie like Ali Tareen— son of the PTI’s Secretary General, in this political contest which had no political consequences except those that have occurred, the PTI has certain committed an act of unprecedented magnanimity towards those who want it dead and buried. If I had been Imran Khan I would have given the PML (N) a walk-over now, and waited for the General Elections when the mood of the voters would have been different and there would have been much less pronounced impact of the administration on the electoral process.
It is high time that the charismatic Khan of the PTI should remember from his experience of cricket, that matches are not won on reputation but through strategy, judgment and performance.