PESHAWAR: Two former lawmakers from North Waziristan and Orakzai tribal districts on Friday quit the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf over the May 9 and 10 violent protests, especially arson attacks against military and government installations, following the arrest of PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan.
Former provincial minister and PTI North Waziristan district president Iqbal Wazir and former MNA Jawad Hussain announced their exit from Mr Imran’s party in Peshawar and Orakzai, respectively.
Also in the day, senior vice-president of the PTI’s North Waziristan district chapter Qaiser Wazir also announced he had left the party.
Mr Iqbal, who was the minister for relief and rehabilitation in the last PTI-led provincial government, told a presser at the Peshawar Press Club that he had resigned from the party’s basic membership.
Insist took decision on their own, not under any pressure
Accompanied by PTI workers and friends, he said that he had always been loyal to the party and remained steadfast in his support to it during trials, tribulations and even when the PTI government in the centre was removed through a no confidence vote.
“We played our role first to protect Imran Khan in Banigala and then in Zaman Park despite facing many hardships. However, the May 9 violence after his arrest forced me to say goodbye to the party,” he said.
The provincial minister claimed that some PTI leaders and some “misguided” workers attacked the offices of the national security agencies, an act intolerable for him and his supporters.
“The protection of national security agencies is above our politics. It is against our national interests to clash with the national security agencies. I hereby announce my resignation from the office of the PTI’s North Waziristan district president as well as from the party’s basic membership,” he said.
Mr Iqbal said that he had decided to quit the party on his own and not under any pressure.
“After seeing the heartbreaking events of violence, it was impossible for me to remain part of the PTI any longer,” he said.
The former MPA said that he would decide about the next course of action after consulting his voters, supporters and tribal elders.
He praised the people of his area for always supporting him.
Meanwhile, former MNA Jawad Hussain told reporters in Orakzai tribal district that he remained loyal to Mr Imran as the member of the lower house of parliament and never betrayed him, and even resigned from the National Assembly on his directives.
He said that the violence reported on May 9 and 10 after the arrest of the PTI chief shocked him.
“Pakistan’s institutions are ours. Pakistan will be strong only when its institutions are stable and strong,” he said.
Mr Jawad condemned the vandalism at and ransacking of the Lahore corps commander’s residence, Jinnah House, and torching of the Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar and said he quit the PTI to protest those acts of violence.
He said he had left the party on his own and under no “external pressure.”
The former MNA said he would decide about his future political affiliation in consultation with local elders.
On Thursday, provincial PTI president and former chief minister Pervez Khattak had denied quitting the party.
“I am going nowhere. Baseless reports are spread on social media regarding me leaving the PTI,” Mr Khattak told reporters.
The PTI leader claimed that those rumours were being spread by his political opponents.
Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2023
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