Desertions begin in PTI as Kayani, Molvi quit

ISLAMABAD    -    Some serious rifts within the op­position Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have emerged over the party's stance against the military and al­leged involvement of its workers in attacking and setting on fire military installations with many started distancing themselves from it.

The party of former prime min­ister Imran Khan dealt a serious blow on Wednesday when one of its founding members Aamer Mehmood Kiani not only quit PTI but also politics over May 9 inci­dents of arson and vandalism.

Many former lawmakers and other party leaders are also ready to quit the party and join the dissidents over the violent attacks on military setups and party’s harsh policy against the military establishment, some PTI insiders told The Nation.

The violent protests had erupt­ed throughout the country on May 9 following the arrest of Chairman PTI Imran Khan by the paramilitary troops from the premises of Islamabad High Court in a graft case. Two PTI lawmakers of Sindh Assembly – Sanjay Gangwani and Karim Bux Gabol — also announced to re­sign from the party. Meanwhile, PTI Senator Waleed Iqbal in a TV interview condemned the violent attacks and urged that attack on corps commander’s residence in Lahore was an individual act of PTI workers and all those in­volved in it should be dealt with relevant laws including Pakistan Army Act — a statement that is being seen as opposite to the par­ty policy. A day earlier, Mahmood Maulvi, PTI MNA from Karachi, also announced his resignation from the party and his seat in the National Assembly, saying that the party’s confrontation with the military was not justifiable in any way. Addressing a press conference here in Islamabad, Aamer Mehmood Kiani publicly announced his decision to disso­ciate from PTI after a long affilia­tion of 27 years due to the alleged violent attacks of its workers on military installations.

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