Ex-aide Tariq Mehmood, former MPA Khurram Ali Khan and ex-MNA Jamshed Thomas condemn attacks on defence installations
The mass departure of leaders and parliamentarians from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) triggered by the May 9 vandalism is continuing unabated as three more leaders announced leaving the Imran Khan-led party.
Former special assistant to prime minister Tariq Mehmood Al Hasan, former MPA Malik Khurram Ali Khan and former MNA Jamshed Thomas on Sunday condemned the May 9 violent protests following the arrest of Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case and announced stepping down from the party positions.
The development comes amid an ongoing wave of desertions from the former ruling party over the attacks on sensitive defence and public installations during the nearly three-day-long riots sparked by the arrest of the party chief earlier this month.
Dozens of party leaders, lawmakers and founding members — including Shireen Mazari, Imran Ismail, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, Ali Zaidi, Maleeka Bokhari among others — have parted ways with Khan for the same reason.
Earlier this week, the deposed prime minister — who was removed from power in April last year — filed a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court against the imposition of Article 245 across the country except Sindh and the ongoing crackdown on the party workers in the wake of May 9 riots.
The Federation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other ruling alliance leaders including Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto and Maulana Fazlur Rehman have been made respondents in the petition filed through advocate Hamid Khan.
Referring to the deployment of army troops in aid of civil authorities, the PTI chief implored the court to declare the imposition of Article 245 invalid and barred the authorities from arresting party workers and leaders who are allegedly involved in ransacking state installations following Khan’s arrest on May 9.
The petition has also requested the apex court to stop the trial of civilians accused of attacking defence installations in military courts, terming it a violation of fundamental rights.
Moreover, the petition also prayed to the apex court to take action against the “forced separation” of PTI leaders.