Islamabad (HRNW) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shireen Mazari, Fayyazul Chohan and Jalil Sharqpuri announced quitting the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in a major setback to the top opposition party which has seen a slew of leaders parted ways with it following the May 9 violence.
Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, Mazari — the former federal minister and close aide of Khan — condemned the May 9 vandalism during which PTI supporters ransacked and torched public and defence installations across the country.
“I strongly condemn the May 9 violence. I have always condemned the violence of any kind,” she remarked.
Mazari said she is not only leaving her party but also politics. “From today onwards, I am not a part of any political party.”
The senior PTI leader also said her health deteriorated during the last 12 days of the detention.
“My children and parents are [now] my priority,” she remarked.
“I condemn violence against state symbols like the GHQ, parliament and the Supreme Court,” she added.
Sharing her ordeal, Mazari said her daughter, Imaan Mazari, had to go through a tough time due to her repeated arrests. “When I was taken to jail for the third time, my daughter was crying a lot, I saw her video.”
The seasoned politician went on to say that she had also submitted an affidavit to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) pledging that she would not become a part of any violent protest in future.
Since the May 9 mayhem, many PTI leaders and lawmakers — including Aamir Mehmood Kiani, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi and Aftab Siddiqui among others — have publicly denounced the attacks on the state installations and announced leaving the party.
Reacting to the PTI leaders’ defection, Imran Khan has claimed that they had been pressurised into leaving the party.
“My sympathies go to all those who are under pressure and have been made to leave the party. And I commend and salute all the senior members who are resisting the extreme pressure to quit the party,” Khan wrote on his official Twitter handle last week.
Following the May 9 vandalism, the high-powered National Security Committee (NSC), comprising top civil and military leadership of the country, vowed to try the miscreants under relevant laws of the country including the Army Act.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the former Punjab minster expressed grief over the May 9 riots, saying that they should not confront with state and its institutions.
Fayyaz ul Chohan said that except for him, no one else in the party opposed to the ‘policy of violence’. “There was no one who could make Imran Khan understand that politics should be done with patience and tolerance,” he added.
Chohan noted that he was the only to oppose ‘policy of violence’ as “this is why I was sidelined in the party for the last one year.” “I tried to make Imran understand that we are followers of Quaid-e-Azam and told him to stop this confrontation against the state and institutions,” he added.
The former minister said that the PTI chief did not utter a single word of sympathy for him, despite the number of sacrifices he had given for the party. “Someone had told Imran that I support the army a lot,” he alleged.