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'May 9 riots aimed at army chief's ouster': Usman Dar parts ways with PTI

"May 9 incidents planned in a meeting chaired by Imran Khan at Zaman Park," politician claims

By Web Desk
October 04, 2023

In a major revelation and another blow to the Imran Khan-led party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar said that the riots of May 9 — the day when PTI workers ransacked state installations the ex-premier's arrest — were aimed at removing the army chief from his post, while he announced quitting the former ruling party.

Presenting a "charge sheet" against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Dar told a private TV channel during an interview that the May 9 incidents were planned in a meeting chaired by the former prime minister at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

Dar had been missing, according to PTI, for around a month. Following this, the PTI ex-PTI leader's brother-in-law filed a petition in the Sindh High Court, and a day earlier, the province's top court directed police to register a case of his disappearance.

But after resurfacing today, the now-former PTI leader blamed the party's leadership for orchestrating the May 9 events.

Dar said Imran himself chaired the meeting that decided the "plan of action" if he were arrested.

"The PTI chairman, in case of his arrest, ordered [the party] to target sensitive installations," Dar said about Khan — who is currently in jail. He was arrested on May 9 in a graft case, and although the sentence was suspended, he was sent to jail again in the 'cipher' case.

Dar, who served as a special assistant during PTI's tenure, said Imran "brainwashed" party workers to thwart his arrest. "He used workers as a human sheild," the former government official claimed.

Dar has become the latest leader to quit the party, joining a long list of leaders — including Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari, and Pervez Khattak — who parted ways with Imran following May 9.

A crackdown was also launched against those involved in the events, leading to the arrest of hundreds of party workers and leaders — including Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

'Two mindsets'

"I believe that the May 9 incident did not occur in a day," Dar said, claiming that after PTI was removed from power through a parliamentary no-confidence vote, "two mindsets" emerged in the party.

One group — including Azam Swati, Hammad Azhar, Murad Saeed, and Farrukh Habib — was in favour of confrontational politics.

The other group consisted of PTI leaders like Asad Umar, Omar Ayub, Ali Muhammad Khan, Shafqat Mehmood, and himself, who believed that the party should reconcile with the army.

Dar said that PTI's foundations shook post-May 9, asserting that it was the PTI chairman himself who supported an anti-state narrative.

"The PTI chief is responsible for the current circumstances. Indeed, May 9 was a shameful day, of which no condemnation can be enough," the ex-special assistant to then-premier Imran insisted.

PTI asks 'why did Dar keep mum until now'

Responding to the fresh development, PTI spokesperson Shoaib Shaheen asked why the former party stalwart kept mum on the matter of the May 9 incidents till now.

He said that Sindh's interim home minister had already confirmed that Dar was “under arrest”.

"Usman Dar endured a lot of things but there is a limit of tolerance," Shaheen added.

If Dar wanted to give the statement "voluntarily, why did he stay silent for so many days, the party spox added.

He also said that the former ruling party also condemned the May 9 violence.