PTI's Shakeel Shahid, confidants desert Imran Khan

 The process of parting ways with the party of former prime minister Imran Khan continues as more leaders from Faisalabad decided to bid farewell to the embattled party on Monday.

Addressing the press conference along with Chaudhry Ali Akhtar and Ehtisham Javed, former MPA Shakeel Shahid said, "Today we have decided to part ways with the PTI". Condemning the 9/5 riots, Mr. Shahid said, "It has become difficult to be in the party after the events that took place on May 9".

Meanwhile, Mr Akhtar also condemned the May 9 violence, reiterating his resignation from the party.

On the other hand, describing May 9 as the "darkest" day in history, Mr Javed said, "I condemn the vandalism on May 9. We stand with the army and the country." 

Earlier today, PTI leader Irshad Khan decided to leave the party following the events that transpired on May 9.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Khan said, "I strongly condemn the events that took place on May 9. I will no longer be a part of a party that has a culture of using foul language."

Mr Khan said, "I am stepping down from the post and leaving the party. I had already predicted the situation we have faced recently."

On Sunday, former MPA Nadia Aziz decided to leave the party. Addressing the presser, Ms Aziz condemned the 9/5 attacks, saying, "I was not involved in any protest during the May 9 riots."

She heaped praise on the army, saying, "The martyrs sacrificed their lives for the security and safety of the country. I never spoke a word against the army".

Speaking about her political future, Ms Aziz said that she was saying goodbye to politics temporarily.

Ms Aziz said that those involved in the May 9 violence should be brought to justice.

"I have always done violence-free politics. There is a dire need to respect women," she asserted.

Earlier today, Tariq Mehmoodul Hasan, announced his decision to quit the embattled party.

Addressing a press conference in London, Mr Hasan, who served as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on overseas Pakistanis, said, "It is with a heavy heart that I come before you today. Speaking about the May 9 riots, Mr Memon said, "The May 9 vandalism has shaken the nation.

He heaped praise on the army, saying, "I also wanted to pay tribute to the Pakistan Army, whose soldiers laid down their lives for the country."

He hoped that the people would soon emerge strong after the events that transpired on May 9. 

On Saturday, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail quit the party and also resigned from all party posts. 

He made this announcement while addressing a press conference. He was a founding member of the PTI and said the party wanted to work for the betterment of the country.

He said the PTI was given a chance to rule over the country in 2018 elections and it tried to improve the situation. “After Imran Khan was dethroned, the PTI again started to make efforts to come back in power again and a narrative was developed that the PTI was against the Establishment,” Mr Ismail highlighted.

He said Imran Khan was arrested and suddenly violent protests erupted in the country and on May 9, the Jinnah House was attacked by the rioters. He said those who were involved in the attacks should be punished. "A soldier gives his life for the country because he knows his countrymen will always support him and respect his sacrifices," he said, adding everyone should admire the sacrifices rendered by the security institutions. 

The former governor said this would be his last press conference as he would not take part in the country’s politics in the future. 

Earlier, an anti-terrorism court of Karachi ordered the release of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former Sindh governor Imran Ismail. Investigation officer submitted the detailed report mentioning no solid evidence was found against Imran Ismail which linked him with May 9 ruckus. 

The court accepted the report of police and said Imran Ismail was innocent in the riots that took place after Imran Khan’s arrest.

Meanwhile, he was released from the Central Jail, Karachi.

On Friday, Former special assistant to Punjab chief minister Firdous Ashiq Awan decided to leave the party after the May 9 violence. 

Addressing a press conference, Ms Awan condemned the events that took place on May 9. She claimed that vandalism was planned at Zaman Park. 

"A conspiracy was hatched on a foreign agenda aimed at dishonouring country's institutions and pleasing foreign masters," she claimed.

Ms Awan said she was parting with the PTI over the party's violent and terrorist activities.

She said, "I believe that the martyrs' love and respect for their country are part of our faith. Those who disrespected the martyrs attacked the foundation and ideology of Pakistan."

Ms Awan said Imran Khan and country could not run together. 

Speaking about her political career, Ms Awan said, "I will continue my political journey and serve the nation. My political journey will continue because the cause of our politics is the welfare of the people of our constituency". 

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