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.