Rifts in PTI trigger street protests

Published March 20, 2022
MULTAN: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf activists stage a protest rally on Saturday against the local ruling party lawmaker, Rana Qasim Noon, calling him a ‘traitor’ for being seen in the opposition camp.—PPI
MULTAN: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf activists stage a protest rally on Saturday against the local ruling party lawmaker, Rana Qasim Noon, calling him a ‘traitor’ for being seen in the opposition camp.—PPI

LAHORE / PESHAWAR: As ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters gathered outside the house of MNA Malik Ahmed Hassan Dehar to protest his switching loyalties, workers of the opposition Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) staged a rally outside the residence of another PTI dissident Noor Alam Khan to give moral support to him and his family.

In Multan, PTI supporters, armed with batons and stones, chanted slogans against Mr Dehar outside his residence at Nangana Chowk and against MNA Rana Qasim Noon for apparently supporting the no-confidence move against Prime Minister Imran Khan. The protestors also torched posters of both MNAs.

PTI MPAs Nadeem Qureshi, who along with Khalid Javed Warraich led the protest, told the media that the dissidents must not hurt public sentiment. He said all the “turncoats” should either resign and contest elections against PTI candidates or face public wrath.

Meanwhile, a large number of MNA Dehar’s supporters holding batons also gathered at the site to prevent damage to his house. They chanted slogans in favour of the leader.

Also, JUI-F workers staged a rally outside the residence of PTI MNA Noor Alam Khan to show solidarity. Several workers of JUI F and Ansarul Islam, the party’s security wing, gathered outside his house and chanted slogans in his support. Ex-minister Asif Iqbal Daudzai, ex-MPA Khalid Waqar Chamkani and other party leaders led the rally.

JUI-F provincial spokesman Abdul Jalil Jan said the rally was held to express solidarity with Noor Alam Khan and give him moral support. He said the party had assured Mr Khan that he and his family would not be left alone.

Mr Khan, a former PPP member, joined the PTI before the 2018 general elections.

On Friday, PTI supporters also protested outside the residence of MNA Wajiha Akram in Lahore soon after she was seen inside Sindh House in Islamabad, where the dissenting lawmakers are staying.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2022

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