TNT: Do you believe that PTI has a team of dedicated workers today which can root out corruption and address other issues facing the country since independence?
Dr Arfi Alvi: Our team is extending today. Look corruption is not the only issue and every issue is multi-factorial. If we only talk about anti-corruption measures, several books can be written on the subject. However, few points can be very significant to control this menace like having non-corrupt leadership, bringing transparency in procedures, building up cultural resistance against corruption and implementation of laws.
What we would do in our first 100 days. For instance, we should go after the people who have corrupted the system and not the elements who become corrupt by the system. See there is a big segment which corrupts the system. Serious violations are made by simply issuing SRO’s. We should catch and punish top icons of corruption. We have to set a trend to control corruption in future.
TNT: What factor you see behind the current upward graph of PTI. Whether its growing popularity or its philosophy is attracting people to join the party?
Dr Arif Alvi: Well our philosophy is old and adore is new. Means philosophy is 10-12 years old.
You know politics or philosophy based on ethnicity becomes quickly popular. We have an example of MQM. It was founded on the basis of ethnic politics which was an old philosophy. My father was used to write pamphlets saying the rights of Urdu speaking people have been encroached.
TNT: Would you agree to the idea that the governments’ failure to handle national issues is the prime reason behind PTI’s growing popularity among masses today?
Dr Arfi Alvi: No. Actually the people have recognised it now. Today the need of medicine (PTI’s philosophy) has increased manifold but the drug is same.
I think its impetus. But I don’t give credit to government for this. You may hold current situation about 10 percent responsible for it. There may be difference of opinion between you and me in this regard.
TNT: Has PTI failed to find a suitable person within the party to appoint him as Vice-Chairman since its inception? Do you believe Shah Mehmood Qureshi was more committed to party’s ideology as compare to the workers who worked relentlessly for safeguarding the PTI’s interests for last 15 years?
Dr Arif Alvi: Well, you must keep talent recognition in mind. This can be political talent and when you come into power it may be technological talent as well. When you run the country, you have to consider various others things including loyalty.
TNT- So can we say that Mehmood Qureshi comes at No 2 after Imran Khan as far as political capability is concerned?
Dr Arif Alvi: Masha Allah probably… very capable. But I won’t say the second most capable after Imran in the party. Because, it is a mixture of not only capability but also of position, political weight, personal experience and so many other things. So Shah Mehmood Qureshi has deservingly been made vice chairman of PTI.
TNT: This reflects traditional politics in the party, which has been claiming to bring revolution in Pakistan. What do you say?
Dr Arif Alvi: We are doing so…we don’t concern whether it is traditional or not.
TNT: But people do have a concern about it as they are coming to you because they are fed up of traditional politics. Today you allege govt for creating new ministries to accommodate its allies but you did the same thing within PTI by creating a new position of VC to specially accommodate Mr Qureshi.
Dr Arif Alvi: Absolutely, we created the position and will do so in future too. Positions should not be the issue. But the thing is that we should accommodate people with respect. Majority of the people come and expect position in the party and there is no problem in this. Its fine…we will surely give them on merit. However, we will assess them objectively while giving party ticket before election. We have been asked at every forum that PTI doesn’t has any electable except Imran Khan. I say where from the they (electable) will come. Definitely, people from other parties will come.
TNT- Cay we say here that PTI has failed to produce electables during for last 15 years?
Dr Arif Alvi- Yes to an extent we did fail. There is no probem in admitting this. But now we are successful. You know it is always very difficult for the third party to come into the mainstream.
TNT- Does Imran Khan have any personal enmity with PML-N as he always target Sharif brothers and not the government in his speeches?
Dr Arif Alvi: No…I am disagree with you. We have been targeting all on various occasions. We criticise MQM, PPP, PML-N and others from time to time. How can we criticise all parties in one speech. If you remember we focused on PPP some eight months back. It’s like playing chess. We also staged sit-ins against drone attacks. We are putting focus of people on different issues gradually.
Q- How would PTI bring a revolution? Why it has not unfolded its plans to handle economic, foreign policy and others issues?
A- No we haven’t given as yet. Because it is my firm belief that Pakistan does not need any Einstein to address issues. You and me even every body knows the solution to the major problems facing by the nation today. If you pick up newspapers you will find solutions to all major issues in them. The matter is that who will do this. PTI has formed think-tanks during the last one year to make policies to deal with issues facing by the nation. Now we have been asked to make the findings of these think-tanks public. Finally these will be published very soon.
TNT- Recently Imran Khan visited China on the invitation of Communist Party of China. Could you share the purpose of the tour?
Dr Arif Alvi- Me and Khan sahab went there. We had an interaction with the China’s anti-corruption unit minister. They don’t have any unique idea to root out corruption but their determination is unique as their any low-ranking official can pursue a case against a minister.
TNT- Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is often blamed for having support of establishment today?.How would you defend this?
Dr Arif Alvi- We are pro-establishment in a way that we believe military and bureaucracy are our need. Decisions taken by military in the past have caused great loss to Pakistan. We supported Musharraf for sometime.
TNT- Means today PTI is not pro-establishment?
Dr Arif Alvi- We have never been pro-establishment. We did support Musharraf but later appologised for that. We thought that short cut to handle corruption is through a government, which is recognised by the Supreme Court. However, our judgment was wrong.
TNT- Don’t you consider Musharraf as part of establishment?
Dr Arif Alvi- Ok, if he were a part of establishment then fine you can say. But we supported a person who was in power and we thought that his power-base was not corrupt politics. Later, we realised that he himself was corrupt and supportive of corruption.
TNT- Would you make seat adjustment or form an alliance for the next election?
Dr Arif Alvi- Yes seat-to-seat adjustment is possible. But making an alliance is difficult. However it is premature to say any thing right now.
TNT: How many people are joining PTI in the Karachi public meeting?
Dr Arif Alvi: So many people but they don’t want their names to be made public right now.
TNT: How did you enter into politics?
Dr Arif Alvi: I have been in politics since long. I was part of agitation against Ayub Khan’s dictatorship when I was studying at Dental College Lahore. I got elected as president of the student union of the college. During democratic struggle, I received two bullets in my right arm. In 1970, I started practice but soon left for the US for further studies in 1973. When Bhutto announced election in 1977, I began search for an honest leadership and later worked with Jamaat-e-Islami. For specialization I went to America in 1982. In the meantime, I quit JI for some reasons. Soon after, I joined Imran before the launch of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. I remained president of the party’s Sindh chapter for several years before I was forced to assume the position of Secretary General.