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Friday May 24, 2024

PTI leaders begin quitting party after violent attacks on army installations

Aamer Mehmood Kiani says he is ending 27-year long association with party over May 9 vandalism

By Web Desk
May 17, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan shout slogans next to a fire as they block a road during a protest against his arrest in Karachi on May 9, 2023. — AFP
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan shout slogans next to a fire as they block a road during a protest against his arrest in Karachi on May 9, 2023. — AFP

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders have started jumping ship in protest against attacks on defence and public installations — which came in the wake of former prime minister Imran Khan’s arrest in a corruption case on May 9.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, hours after he parted ways with Imran Khan-led PTI over May 9 vandalism, Aamer Mehmood Kiani said he was not only quitting the party but politics as well.

Terming the May 9 vandalism by the PTI protesters as a day of "national tragedy", Kiani expressed regret over the nearly three-day-long riots and unrest across the country that claimed at least 10 lives and left dozens others injured across the country.

He said he joined the party in 1996 and many of his family members belonged to the Pakistan Army.

He said May 9 attacks on sensitive installations were “very painful” and added that for this reason, he decided to end his 27-year-long association with the party.

“I have never made any statement against Pakistan forces. After Allah, our survival is dependent on the army as our soldiers are scarifying their lives,” he remarked

He also expressed regret over the attacks on Lahore Corps Commander House and General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and announced stepping down from the basic membership of the party.

Meanwhile, PTI Member of Sindh Assembly (MPA) Sanjay Gangwani also announced leaving the party in protest against attacks on military installations. MPA Karim Gabol has also quit the party.

A day earlier, PTI Member of National Assembly (MNA) Mahmood Baqi Maulvi also quit the party citing the same reasons.

The development come a day after the high-powered National Security Committee (NSC) endorsed the Corps Commander Conference's decision to hold the trial of arsonists under the Army Act, Official Secrets Act, and other concerned laws under the Constitution.

The NSC, while strongly condemning military installations' acts of arson for the sake of political motives and personal interests, declared to observe May 9 as ‘Black Day’ at the national level.

The participants of the NSC meeting expressed complete solidarity and support for the armed forces. The meeting expressed the resolve that desecration and military installations and public property were intolerable and pledged to bring all the culprits to task.

Earlier, a Special Corps Commanders’ Conference — with Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir in the chair — had also expressed the resolve to hold the trial of abettors, planners and miscreants involved in attacks on military installations and public property under the Army Act and the Official Secret Act.