Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was founded by Imran Khan (IK), a former international cricketer turned politician. Imran Khan gained popularity in Pakistan during his international cricket career. This fame climaxed when IK captained Pakistan cricket team to victory in the 1992 World Cup. He permanently retired from cricket soon after this victory and spent most of the following years in fund-raising for his hospital.t was on 25 April 1996, when an outpatient ward of Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital was bombed, when Imran Khan announced the launch of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
The membership campaign was started by Imran Khan for PTI to make it more famous and make the people of Pakistan know its agenda more deeply. The ‘membership drive’ is still going on and has been successful till date. Also it was given an indication that the campaign will be spread country-wide and will surely cover the populated areas of the country.
The membership campaign arranged by the party is a unique one, with number ‘floats’ roaming the specified cities with huge banners on them of the party and Imran Khan. Also a documentary named ‘Nijat-e-Dahinda (The Saviour)’ is shown on screen, in which the vision of the chairman and the manifesto of the party is explained. In the end of the documentary, Imran Khan appears and gives a message to the people to join the party and strengthen its hands.The party is predominantly funded by wealthy benefactors who live in Europe and North America.
PTI started its membership drive with the slogan of ‘change’ from Lahore on 16 Nov 2008 and ended it on 1 Dec 2008 with the chairman of the party Imran Khan giving a speech at Nasir Bagh, where more than 4000 people gathered
The membership was very successful and near 1,50,000 people with more than 500 lawyers joined the party.This was a great shock to all the mainstream parties of Pakistan (PML(N), PML(Q),PPP) as Tehreek-e-Insaf was always considered as very little party with no supporters at all. This was also an indication that people in Lahore started to think PTI as a substitute for the always leading political party, PML(N). The membership made PML(Q) start its own membership campaign on the pattern of PTI, but it was not able to get any attention. Also other parties like Pakistan Muslim League(N) and Pakistan Peoples Party have jumped into ground and started to popularize their parties in Lahore.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, for the first time since its founding in 1996, did not contest the Pakistani general election on 18 February 2008. The reason given was that Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was put under house arrest by General (ret.) Pervez Musharraf and not allowed to work. All of PTI’s nominees burnt their nomination papers, with the chairman, Imran Khan, tearing up his papers in front of the whole media. In a press conference at the time, Khan said:
“I am tearing my nomination papers publicly because I feel that to even file my papers will be a betrayal of our judiciary. For the first time in 60 years history our supreme court has stood for an independent judiciary and rule of law and shunned the doctrine of necessity. Any politician, who participates in these fraudulent elections held under an unconstitutional and illegal PCO, will be strengthening a dictator and upholding the doctrine of necessity that has been the greatest impediment in our country achieving its huge potential. We will not only betray the honorable judges who have made personal sacrifices to uphold the constitution, but also our future generations.
This would have been the first election that PTI would have fought while being properly prepared. But we have decided to boycott it and urge other parties not to participate and give legitimacy to an unconstitutional act. As per the decision of the APDM we hope that all the parties will boycott the elections if the Pre-Nov 3 conditions are not restored. I also urge all political parties to join hands in the foiling Gen. Musharraf’s last attempt to cling power.
Insaf Student Federation is the official student wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. ISF is present in all provinces of Pakistan.