More setback to PTI as Fawad quits, Asad resigns as SG

Asad Umar released from Adiala Jail after court order

ISLAMABAD    -    As the number of de­serters within Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) continues to increase with each passing day, former federal minis­ter and party’s Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry on Wednes­day parted ways with the former ruling par­ty of ex-prime minister Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, PTI’s Secre­tary General Asad Umar at a press conference here also announced to step down from all party positions shortly after he was released from Adi­ala Jail yesterday. These developments are be­ing seen as a major blow to the opposition PTI as Chaudhry Fawad and Asad Umar are known for being courageous and outspoken politicians.

“I have resigned from party position and parting ways from Im­ran Khan," Chaudhry said while talking to twitter. “I have decid­ed to take a break from politics,” he added.

PTI Senior Vice Presi­dent Chaudhry also said that the announcement was in continuation of his earlier statement where he had unequiv­ocally condemned the 9th May incidents of vi­olence and arson at­tacks on military instal­lations. The stunning news of resignation of Chaudhry came a day after PTI senior leader Dr Shireen Mazari also announced to quit par­ty following her release from jail.

Chaudhry had not spo­ken publicly for the last few days since his re­lease from detention un­der maintenance of pub­lic order law. He is the latest one among a long list of PTI leaders who have announced quit­ting PTI following the May 9 violent protests that had erupted across the country after arrest of ex-pre­mier Khan in a graft case.

While talking to the media here, Asad Umaer said, “Not possible for me to lead par­ty under these circumstances. I am resigning as Secretary Gen­eral and core committee mem­ber of PTI.”

In response to a question, Umar clarified that he has not abandoned the party entire­ly but rather resigned as secre­tary general and core commit­tee member. 

Asad Umar said that the most dangerous thing that happened on May 9 was that military in­stallations were attacked.

He said that the incidents of May 9 are not only condem­nable, but also a point to pon­der on where we have come. “I feel like there should be trans­parent investigation against those involved in these inci­dents. But thousands of PTI workers and supporters were arrested, a lot of them are inno­cent... it is also important that they are released as soon as possible,” he added.

He emphasised that his de­cision was voluntary and not influenced by any ‘external pressure’. The former finance minister said that the army does not comprise just a few generals whose names are heard on TV, but thousands of soldiers who sacrifice their lives for the safety of the na­tion. “My family has been af­filiated with the army for the last three generations. From the 1965 war to the war on ter­ror, members of my family have been participating in these wars over the year,” he added.

“It gave a very wrong mes­sage… a transparent investi­gation should take place and those involved should be taken to task. But those who are inno­cent should be freed.”

When asked if he blamed Im­ran Khan for the events of May 9, he said: “I have told you in de­tail all that has happened in the past 13 months. Do I think all this destruction has come solely because of one man? No, I don’t think so.”

Earlier in the day, Asad Umar was discreetly released from detention in Adiala Jail after his arrest was nullified by the Is­lamabad High Court (IHC).

Ordering his immediate re­lease, the high court also barred police from arresting the PTI se­nior leader, who was detained under the MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) ordinance, for two days. The court ordered his release after the former minis­ter submitted an undertaking assuring that he will not par­take in any procession of his party that infringes upon sec­tion 144.

So far Dr Shireen Mazari, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Amir Kayani, Jai Prakash, Aftab Siddiqui and Sanjay Gangwani among many others have left Imran Khan’s party.

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