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Wednesday June 19, 2024

Situationer: Fawad Group emergence sows confusion in PTI

Fawad and Mehmood Molvi met with PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Adialia on Wednesday

By Ansar Abbasi
June 01, 2023
Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Fawad Chaudhry (centre) addresses a press conference alongside ex-governor Sindh Imran Ismail outside Adiala jail on May 31, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Geo News/Live
Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Fawad Chaudhry (centre) addresses a press conference alongside ex-governor Sindh Imran Ismail outside Adiala jail on May 31, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Geo News/Live    

ISLAMABAD: The unexpected emergence of the Fawad Chaudhry Group on Wednesday has created a sense of confusion within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, following the fateful events of May 9. It may take several months for this development to fully materialize.

The post-May 9 situation for PTI is highly uncertain, with concerns about how to handle legal consequences for Imran Khan, even among party leaders who have not yet abandoned him. Those still loyal to Imran Khan are aware of his significant voter base.

If Imran Khan were to be disqualified, it is expected that Vice Chairman PTI Shah Mehmood Qureshi would assume leadership of the party, according to a PTI leader interviewed by The News. Pervez Khattak is also seen as a potential option. However, the future decisions of Qureshi and Khattak remain uncertain, as they are politically astute and have the acceptance of influential powers.

Many eyebrows were raised within the PTI following Wednesday’s unexpected move by Fawad Chaudhry, who earlier stated that he wanted to take a break from politics for some time after leaving PTI hardly six days back, along with two other deserters of PTI including, Imran Ismail and Mahmood Moulvi.

They met Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Adiala jail. Addressing a press conference after meeting with the detained PTI vice chairman, Fawad said that 250 million people could not be left at the mercy of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). He said that the incumbent government cannot be given an open field in the absence of an active opposition.

He made these remarks amid rumours about the launch of a new political party in the country, mostly comprising defectors from PTI. Fawad said that besides meeting Qureshi, he also spoke to Pervez Khattak, Asad Qaiser, Asad Umar, Farrukh Habib, Ali Zaidi, Hammad Azhar and others.

This is unusual despite statements issued by Qureshi’s son and Asad Qaiser trying to distance themselves from Fawad Chaudhry’s move. What is cooking up between them is not clear today but everyone knows both Shah and Khattak are capable of springing a surprise.

Background discussions with PTI leaders, most of them hiding to avert arrest, show there is a lot of confusion and uncertainty within the PTI. This situation is causing many within the PTI to re-calculate their future political options. They want Imran Khan’s votes but don’t know how the minus-Imran Khan formula will unfold and what impact it would have on their politics.