Wednesday May 29, 2024

No let-up in PTI desertions

Firdous Ashiq Awan, Murad Raas, Khurram Shahzad, Mian Ahsan Ansar Bhatti, Saifullah Nyazee, Abrarul Haq follow top leaders

By News Report & our correspondents
May 27, 2023
PTI leaders Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee (left) and Abrarul Haq addressing press conferences in Islamabad and Lahore, respectively, on May 26, 2023, in these stills taken from videos. — YouTube/GeoNews
PTI leaders Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee (left) and Abrarul Haq addressing press conferences in Islamabad and Lahore, respectively, on May 26, 2023, in these stills taken from videos. — YouTube/GeoNews

ISLAMABAD: Mass desertions from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) do not seem to be coming to an end in the wake of May 9 violence, as Friday saw more leaders exiting the beleaguered party.

The leaders who jumped off the PTI ship included former Punjab adviser Firdous Ashiq Awan, former Punjab education minister Murad Raas, former MNA Khurram Shahzad, Mian Ahsan Ansar Bhatti, Imran Khan’s close aide Saifullah Nyazee and Ibrarul Haq.

The PTI leaders have been disassociating themselves from the party in the aftermath of May 9 events and the quest for fixing responsibility for the arson and deliberate targeting of military installations.

Senator Saifullah Nyazee, former close confidante of the PTI Chairman Imran Khan and the party’s chief organizer, Friday parted ways with the party and condemned the May 9 attacks.

Addressing a news conference at the National Press Club, Islamabad, Saifullah Nyazee said in order to focus on his family and his own health, he was quitting the PTI.

He contended that the attacks on properties and vehicles were neither the teachings of Islam nor the training at home. “Every Pakistani could only condemn such attacks,” he remarked.

Earlier, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, who served as special assistant to the PM on information and worked under ex-chief minister Usman Buzdar, told newsmen at the same venue that Pakistan and Imran could not go together.

Firdous said she no longer would be a part of the PTI due to the terrorist acts that took place on May 9 and was parting ways with the party. Dr. Awan said she had joined the PTI to build a new Pakistan and not for business or employment.

“I became a part of PTI for the national interest. To keep this objective supreme, I raised my voice in the party and continued to challenge this particular thinking of Imran, which has become poisonous for Pakistan,” she said.

She regretted that a negative propaganda was carried out by spending billions of rupees of the national treasury. She added that the mindset and negative mentality that the nation saw on May 9 was the result of this political strategy.

“The love of martyrs and the country is part of our faith. Those who disrespected the martyrs actually attacked the assets of Pakistan. However, she said her political journey will continue, and the focus and purpose of her politics was the people of her constituency.

Also, PTI leader and former Punjab education minister Murad Raas announced that he had quit the party. Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Raas said no amount of condemnation was enough for what happened on May 9.

“We never thought we would part ways with the party,” he said alongside other leaders, including Pir Ahmad Khagga, Raja Yawar Kamal and Chaudhry Adnan. “We do not believe in the PTI’s politics of violence,” the former provincial minister said.

Raas said he and other politicians present at the press conference had decided to form a group so work on Pakistan’s progress could continue.

President PTI Sindh Youth Wing and Member Sindh Assembly Abbas Jafri also parted ways with the party. In a video statement, Jafri said he had condemned the May 9 incident before and still condemned it.

“The foundation of Pakistan is the army and this foundations can’t be weakened at any cost. I resign from the party membership and all positions of the party,” he said while talking to the media in Karachi.

PTI MPA Rabia Azfar Nizami on her Twitter account wrote: “I condemn what happened on 9 May, as the armed forces are an integral part to keep Pakistan as a federation. I cannot afford to risk my children at the cost of my political adventure. I hereby announce leaving the PTI, all official positions and politics and would explore an alternative route to serve the purpose I care for. #PakistanZindabad”.

A teary-eyed Shahzad said he was bidding farewell to the party. Khurram said his loyalty lay with the country and he had no intentions of moving abroad.

Ibrarul Haq also bid farewell to the party during a press conference in Lahore. He expressed deep reverence for the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their country.

He said almost everyone condemned the events of May 9 and resolved to pursue meaningful endeavors for the betterment of Pakistan. Ex-MPA from Pindi Bhattian Mian Ahsan Ansar Bhatti also officially parted ways with the party. Addressing a press conference, he expressed profound pain caused by the events of May 9.

It is worth mentioning that PTI Sindh Vice President Mahmood Maulvi, PTI Karachi President Aftab Siddiqui, District President Khairpur Syed Ghulam Shah, MNA Jai Prakash, MPA Bilal Ghaffar, MPA Umar Omari, MPA Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, MPA Sanjay Gangwani and MPA Dr. Imran Shah are also among those who quit the PTI.

Fauzia Kasuri, PTI’s former (founding) member, said Friday Imran Khan betrayed hundreds of party workers.

In her tweet, she said, “I don’t give bud duaas (don’t curse). But, @ImranKhanPTI lied, betrayed and hurt hundreds of workers like me. He was arrogant, cruel and unjust. I left my Insaf to Allah. It’s happening now! Pak Zindabad!”