Back to back defections make big dent in PTI

Dr Shireen Mazari, Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan jump ship n Mazari announces retirement from active politics n Chohan lashes out at Imran over politics of violence

Another four PTI MPAs announce quitting party from south and central Punjab regions.


ISLAMABAD/LAHORE    -    Some deep sense of frustration continues to grow within the ranks of Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf party after former prime minister Imran Khan abandoned many jailed leaders as the oppo­sition party faced a major blow on Tuesday with former hu­man rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari parting ways with it.

While some serious feelings are prevalent within the party that Imran Khan did not spoke publicly for the imprisoned lead­ers contrary to their expecta­tions, PTI spokesperson Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan came out in the open to say that even a single tweet did not come in his sup­port from ex-premier over his “illegal” detention by the police.

Few days earlier, Imaan Zain­ab Mazari-Hazir, the daughter of PTI leader Shireen Mazari, had ex­pressed her frustration that par­ty chairman Imran Khan did not care for her ailing mother who was being implicated by police in “false” cases one after the other only to keep her detained. She fur­ther said that Khan was only con­cerned about him and his wife.

Before this, Hiba Fawad Chaudhry, the wife of former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, took ex-premier to task on twitter when the latter didn’t mention the name of her spouse in a tweet about party’s leaders’ detention by police under main­tenance of public order. Khan had mentioned the names of party leaders including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, and Shireen Mazari but he skipped the name of PTI leader Chaudhry who was facing jail at that time.

Meanwhile, former feder­al minister and PTI Senior Vice President Dr Mazari during a press conference not only quit the party but also announced her retirement from “active politics” citing personal reasons. The de­velopment is being seen as a ma­jor blow to PTI as she was a very vocal member of the party.

Dr Mazari made this announce­ment after her release from jail. She was granted bails by courts on multiple occasions but was re-arrested immediately every time till she announced to part ways with the party. Like other party leaders who are quitting PTI, Mazari also condemned May 9 incidents of violence. “I’ve always condemned ev­ery kind of violence especial­ly against state institutions and symbols like the General Head­quarters, Supreme Court and Parliament,” she said, adding that such violence should be condemned. Mazari said she had taken the decision to leave the PTI and active politics after the ordeal of her 12 days during her arrest, due to her bad health conditions and for the well-be­ing of her daughter Imaan.

She said her family, her moth­er, and kids as well as her health were her main priority and nothing else was important for her. Separately, former provin­cial minister for prisons and PTI spokesperson Fayaz ul Has­san Chohan also announced to quit the party over his differ­ences with Khan, saying that the ex-premier promoted poli­tics of violence. He clarified that he won’t be leaving politics and would announce his next plan of action after consulting with some PTI leaders and former chief minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.

Chohan claimed that he was the only one who had advised Khan to leave the politics of vio­lence. “I was sidelined in the par­ty over this stance,” he added. He alleged that many PTI lead­ers including Fawad Chaudhry, Murad Saeed, Ali Amin Gan­dapur, Dr Shireen Mazari, Mu­sarrat Cheema and Shahbaz Gill did the most damage to the party for supporting Khan over his an­ti-army stance. Chohan also con­demned May 9 incidents of arson and vandalism on military instal­lations and blamed Khan for en­couraging party supporters to move towards these set-ups.

As the defections from the PTI continue in the wake of May 9 ar­son attacks on the civilian and military buildings, four more ex-PTI legislators announced quit­ting the party from south and central Punjab regions while condemning the violent protests which erupted across the coun­try after the arrest of party chief Imran Khan. A PTI ticket holder from Khanewal Abdul Razzaq Ni­azi announced quitting the par­ty while addressing a press con­ference at Lahore Press Club here on Tuesday. He said he had also returned the party ticket for Punjab Assembly seat to the PTI leadership as he would be con­testing the coming election as an independent candidate.

Niazi said he was under no pressure to leave the PTI as it was his own decision to end affiliation with a party whose leadership believed in violence and provoked party activists to attack military installations. 

Also, Ch Saleem Baryar and former MPA Ahsan Sal­eem Baryar, a political fami­ly from Sialkot announced to quit the PTI. Likewise, ex-MPA from Sharaqpur, Jaleel Ah­mad Sharaqpuri who had earli­er defected to the PTI from the PML-N also announced his dis­sociation from the PTI and party head Imran Khan. Ex-MPA from Uch Sharif, Makhdoom Hassan Gilani also did the same. All these ex-legislators condemned the arson attacks of May 9 call­ing for strict punishment to those responsible for attacks on the military installations. 

Prominent figures who have recently left the party include former federal health min­ister and founding member of PTI Aamer Mahmood Ki­ani, Chaudhry Wajahat Hus­sain (brother of PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain), former federal minister Malik Amin Aslam, former provincial minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Malik, PTI West Punjab Presi­dent Faizullah Kamoka, and Dr Muhammad Amjad.

Departures have also been witnessed in Sindh, where Mehmood Moulvi (PTI Sindh Vice President), Aftab Saddiqui (PTI Karachi President), Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Jay Parkash, Sanjay Gangwani, and Dr Imran Shah have left the party.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Ajmal Wazir (former spokes­person for the KP Chief Minis­ter and adviser on information), Usman Tarakai, and Malik Jawad Hussain have departed from the PTI. Meanwhile, former provin­cial minister Mubeen Khilji has quit the party in Balochistan.

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