KARACHI: The PTI suffered another blow on Sunday when its MNA and Karachi chapter president Aftab Siddiqui announced quitting the party over “difference of opinion”, condemning the riots that erupted across the country after the arrest of party chief Imran Khan.

Mr Siddiqui said he would also resign from parliament. He announced this in a series of tweets in line with a recent trend within the PTI, which has so far seen two of its MNAs and two Sindh Assembly members quitting the party and parliament and disassociating themselves from the May 9 riots.

“I started my career as an engineering professional and with the blessing of Allah established myself as a well reputed and honourable businessman over the past three decades,” he tweeted.

Known as an established name in real estate and construction industry, Mr Siddiqui recalled his professional life and his urge for the welfare of the people which led him to politics. He also condemned the May 9 violence “as a peaceful citizen and a true patriot” as well as the “attacks” on military insta­l­lations and national monuments that left him dismayed.

Party’s Karachi chapter president Aftab Siddiqui also announces resigning from parliament

“I have decided to step aside from politics, and therefore, am resigning from my position as President PTI Karachi and MNA. I will continue to serve my country in my individual capacity working for the betterment of the people, and as a businessman contributing to the economy,” Mr Siddiqui added.

 .Aftab Siddiqui
.Aftab Siddiqui
With so much speculation about the authenticity of his tweet that came from an account created in February 2022 with less than 200 followers instead of his original account created in 2018 with more than 10,000 followers, Mr Siddiqui came up with a video message over social media confirming the authenticity of the tweet about his decision.

“A while, I tweeted to announce my decision to quit politics and all my offices associated with this. That tweet is authentic. I want to serve my country in different capacities. Pakistan Zindabad,” he said in the video message.

With the latest resignation, the PTI has lost its four legislators from Karachi — two each from National Assembly and Sindh Assembly — within a week. Earlier, MNA Mahmood B. Maulvi and MPAs Dr Sanjay Gangwani and Dr Imran Ali Shah had made the similar announcements on the same grounds.

On Saturday, two PTI leaders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — Ajmal Wazir and Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah — left the party, claiming that after the incidents of May 9 it was not possible for them to stay in the party.

Former KP minister Hisham Inamullah Khan of Lakki Marwat district and former MNA from Swabi district Engineer Usman Khan Tarakai also parted ways with the PTI on Saturday.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2023

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