Senior PTI leaders, including some very close aides of Khan, have decided to leave the party, while maintaining that an anti-state agenda cannot be supported…writes Hamza Ameer
In the wake of the nationwide violence on May 9 following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, over 18 members of the party have announced their departure, while reports suggest that over 50 others are also ready follow suit.
According to latest reports, senior PTI leaders, including some very close aides of Khan, have decided to leave the party, while maintaining that an anti-state agenda cannot be supported nor can attacks of on the country’s military establishment be tolerated.
Some of the PTI leaders who have announced their departure are Malik Amin Aslam, Muhammad Amjad, Imran Ali Shah, Aamer Mehmood Kiani, Muhammad Baki Moulvi and Sanjay Gangwani.
Meanwhile, 10 PTI members from Multan have also quit the party.
The departing leaders have stated that after witnessing the widespread chaos, violence and targeted attacks on the military installations by PTI workers, it has become impossible to remain a part of the party.
“Any patriotic Pakistani would not become part of an anti-state agenda. And unfortunately, what happened on 9th May and those who led it and provoked it, cannot be called Pakistani,” said one of the leaders.
Kiani, a former Minister and close aide of Khan, said that he comes from a very strong military family background and the PTI cannot justify for what its workers did.
“I am parting ways from the PTI because I just cannot justify or stand by with those who attacked our military installations and the institution. This anti-state agenda is something I can never stand for,” he said.
Informed sources have also revealed a considerable number of PTI leaders from the Punjab province are also gearing up to part ways.
“I can that there is active contact going on between Jahangir Tareen, his associate political leaders and many PTI leaders. They are being urged to leave PTI and Imran Khan to form a much stronger faction of PTI and continue to do politics in the country,” said the sources.
Minority wing president Jai Prakash quits party
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insafs (PTI) minority wing president Jai Prakash has also announced to quit the party, saying the ‘peaceful’ protest of May 9 went to the extent of attacking military installations, media reports said.
During a press conference, Prakash also condemned the May 9 protests in the strongest terms, saying “Pakistan exists because of the army, and we exist because of Pakistan”, Samaa TV reported.
Following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on May 9, violent protests broke out in several cities across the country during which many private and government properties were damaged and set ablaze, including the army’s GHQ in Rawalpindi and the Lahore Corps Commander House.
Prakash also claimed that there were no directions regarding whatever happened on May 9.
Stating that he was bidding goodbye to the party with a heavy heart, Prakash said, “I had no intention to leave the party till May 8.”
The former Member of National Assembly made it clear that he was quitting the PTI without any pressure, Samaa TV reported.
On May 15, PTI’s former Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had alleged that Prakash had been picked up from his house by over “40 masked men”.
Meanwhile, PTI South Waziristan chapter head Iqbal also parted ways with the party.
Iqbal in a statement condemned the May 9 violence, saying he was deeply saddened when party workers attacked national institutions, adding that he is quitting PTI without any pressure, Samaa TV reported.
Some other PTI leaders who have announced their departure are Malik Amin Aslam, Muhammad Amjad, Imran Ali Shah, Aamer Mehmood Kiani, Muhammad Baki Moulvi and Sanjay Gangwani.