Former Member National Assembly and granddaughter of Nawab Amir Muhammad Khan of Kalabagh, the former governor of erstwhile West Pakistan, along with her family members on Thursday announced to part ways with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, ending her six-year affiliation with the party after being denied party ticket to contest the upcoming general election.
Coming from one of the influential families of Mianwali, the home town of PTI chairman Imran Khan, the ex-MNA and journalist served as Imran Khan’s campaign manager in the district during the last general election.
Addressing a press conference at her residence in Kalabagh on Thursday, she said: "We opened doors of our historical mansion to Imran Khan and became his companions in his journey to change."
Ayla Malik who served as member of the lower house of the parliament from 2002 to 2007 on a reserved seat for women said: "With our hard work, and with the help of Allah we managed to win four seats out of six in last election.
The biggest Tsunami wave during the last election was witnessed in Mianwali. All because of our hard work," said Ayla Malik.
"We had to face a little disappointment when Khan decided to leave the seat from his ancestral town (after 2013 election) and left us to fight state machinery and government persecution in the by-election.
He practically disassociated himself from the constituency but our family stood by him.
Imran Khan left the seat, but we remained stuck to his slogan of change,
Ignoring our selfless sacrifices, once again unpopular decisions have been taken that have caused disappointment among party workers.
And despite being aware of all the facts, Imran Khan, instead of addressing the issue, handed over the matters to non-serious elements".
"From today, we are parting our ways with the PTI, and in the coming days we would be free to take our own decisions and set our direction.
All options are open for us. We will decide our future course of action after consultation with people of our constituency".
She said her family stood by Imran Khan despite having a lot of reservations over the former cricket hero's unpopular political decisions.
"The manner in which we were snubbed while awarding party tickets is unacceptable. We would be the first to welcome the party's decision, if we had been taken into confidence," said she.
The former MNA is expected to field her son-in-law, Amir Muhammad Khan, as an independent candidate from the Punjab Assembly Constituency PP-86 Mianwali.
Talking to The News on condition of anonymity, a PTI leader from Mianwali said Imran Khan’s complacency could jeopardize party’s position in his hometown.
The PTI leader said Haji Sheeka Khan, another disgruntled leader of the PTI who is contesting the election as an independent candidate from PP-86, together with young Nawab can pose serious threat to party’s campaign in Mianwali.
He said Sheeka Khan is far more popular than Ameenullah Khan, party’s ticket holder from the constituency.
Resentment over the party tickets has triggered protests and resignations in different parts of the country ahead of the general elections which Imran Khan is confident his party will sweep.