LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Punjab organizer Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Monday has termed the loss of National Assembly (NA) seat in NA-122 by-election a ‘narrow defeat’. In a message posted on a social media website, Sarwar called for celebrations and lessons in light of PP-147 and NA-122 results. He stated that the party is eyeing local body (LB) polls and General Elections in hope of reviving Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s ‘naya Pakistan’. Sarwar said that the close defeat has not discouraged them but their resolve and commitment is as strong as it was since the start. PTI’s organizer said that he is proud of the volunteers whose hard work gave shivers to the ruling party despite their resources and support of government machinery. “If this was a result based purely on energy, passion, activism and vision then PTI workers and volunteers are winners,” he added. Sarwar stated that NA-122 result has only made the party stronger. The senior politician said that the party was not unaware of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) stronghold in Punjab. However, the narrow margin shows that PTI is not far behind in popularity and power, he added. He stated that PTI has ‘broken their grip’ in Punjab.
Sarwar has pointed towards LB polls and General Elections at least twice in his message as next goals that are to be achieved. He stated that both the coming elections are tests for the party. He has urged workers of the party to not lose hope. The party’s organizer said that NA-122’s result only shows that PTI is the second biggest of the country after PML-N. He stated that Imran Khan would be the next Prime Minister (PM) of Pakistan if volunteers, workers and other members of the party continue respective struggles for a common cause. Sarwar was a PML-N member and had served as the Punjab Governor until January when he criticised the government’s foreign policy and tabled his resignation. Soon after the resignation, he pledged his loyalty to PTI. He had termed United States (US) president Barack Obama’s visit to India a failure of Pakistan. He assailed the Foreign Office (FO) for losing out on an opportunity. Reportedly, Sarwar was aiming for foreign minister’s seat but the premier turned him down. At the time, sources privy to the PM House said that Nawaz had decided to sack him before his resignation due to anti-government statements. In a press conference after his resignation, Sarwar said that he could serve Pakistani people better out of the office.