PESHAWAR/LAHORE/KARACHI - Conceding defeat in the February 8 general elections, Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) Chairman Jahangir Khan Tareen and PTI-Patriot President Pervez Khattak Monday announced to step down from their respective party positions. Jahangir Tareen also announced to quit politics but vowed to continue to serve the country in his private capacity. Pervez Khattak, however, announced his resignation from party chairmanship saying he would remain in politics but currently he was taking a break from it too.
Tareen contested elections from two National Assembly seats NA-149 (Multan) and NA-155 (Lodhran) but lost both the seats. His party also performed poorly in the elections and ended up securing only two National Assembly seats from Lahore. The IPP won only the Punjab Assembly seat. Pervez Khattak’s party was also routed in the February 8 elections. He himself could not win even a single seat. Tareen announced his decision on the social media website X saying that he had great respect for the will of the people. He also expressed gratitude to all IPP members and wished them the best.
“I would like to thank everyone who supported me in this election and want to offer my congratulations to my opponents. I have immense respect for the will of the people of Pakistan. Therefore, I have decided to resign from my position as Chairman IPP and step away from politics altogether. My gratitude to all the members of IPP. I wish them the absolute best. By the Grace of Allah, I will continue to serve my country to the best of my ability in a private capacity. May the next few years see Pakistan prosper”.
Both Tareen and Khattak were leading breakaway factions of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founded by Imran Khan, but their parties faced humiliating defeat in recent elections. They were considered close aides of the PTI founder but later developed differences with him and formed their own parties only a few months before the February 8 general elections.
Meanwhile, IPP President Abdul Aleem Khan expressed his deep sorrow over the decision of Jahangir Khan Tareen to resign from the party chairmanship. Aleem Khan said in his tweet that Jahangir Khan Tareen undoubtedly was a professional of the highest caliber. He said that it was indeed an honor having Jahangir Khan Tareen in any government for that regime. He said that unfortunately no government could benefit from his abilities. He said Jahangir Khan Tareen will always be the Patron- in- chief of the IPP. He further said that Jahangir Khan Tareen’s welfare activities were praiseworthy as he was a kind- hearted person.
In a related development, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) emir Sirajul Haq also resigned over poor performance of his party in the general elections. His party failed to even win a single seat in the National Assembly in the national elections. Siraj also lost his National Assembly seat.
‘SHIFT IN KP’S POLITICAL LANDSCAPE’
Several key political leaders either resign electoral politics or party positions after failing to win NA polls. While the independent candidates, mostly backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), turned the tables in the February 8 elections on the one hand, several key political leaders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also failed to make it to the National Assembly, and some even tendered their resignations from party positions.
Even heads of some parties hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have lost the February 8 elections. Awami National Party, Jamaat-e-Islami and Qaumi Watan Party will not have any representation in the upcoming National Assembly as they failed to secure any berth in the legislature.
Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Sirajul Haq, lost his native constituency of NA-6 in Lower Dir district to PTI-backed independent candidate Mohammad Bashir. Also, Qaumi Watan Party central chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan remained unsuccessful in NA-24, Charsadda-I, secured by JUI-F’s Maulana Gohar Ali Shah.
The Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party also failed to secure any seat in the National Assembly. The former ANP MNA, Ameer Haider Hoti, lost elections in both NA-22 and PK-58 constituencies in Mardan district. Following his defeat, Hoti resigned from his party office. He is a senior ANP leader and served as the longest-serving chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 2008 to 2013.
Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has also announced resignation from the leadership of the JI following the party’s failure in the general elections.
In a statement, Siraj ul Haq stated that despite efforts and hard work, the desired success could not be achieved in the elections, and thus, he was resigning from the leadership of JI, accepting the failure in the elections.
Also on Monday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Parliamentarian (PTIP) Chairman Pervez Khattak reportedly announced to resign from his party position and electoral politics following his defeat in the February 8 elections. In a statement, he stated that he and all his family accepted the decision of people of Nowshera wholeheartedly, as they did not vote for him but for their preferred candidates, rejecting him and his close family members. “Now, I will decide my and my children’s future after a few days. I hope that the candidates, chosen by people of Nowshera, can serve them better than us,” he said.
‘GRAND DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE’
The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) Monday voiced its strong opposition to the recent elections, labeling them as anti-state, and has announced plans for a sit-in protest scheduled for February 16.
During a press conference, GDA chief Pir Pagara denounced the election results, accusing them of being manipulated to favour certain parties. He emphasised the need to reject what he deemed as unfair electoral practices and called upon the youth to join the protest at Hyderabad Bypass.
He expressed his refusal to accept seats obtained through unfair means, dismissing suggestions to dissolve the GDA alliance. He affirmed the alliance’s resolve to stand against electoral injustices, asserting that neither personal affiliations nor external pressures would sway their stance. Additionally, GDA leader Safdar Abbasi declared that two members of the Sindh Assembly belonging to their party would abstain from taking the oath, opting instead to stage a protest outside the assembly premises on the day of the meeting.