SWABI: Former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser pledged on Friday he won’t let down the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leadership and workers.

Mr Qaiser, who is counted among the PTI’s heavyweights, remained in hiding till Thursday when he appeared at a late night press conference in Islamabad along with former PTI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Pervez Khattak.

He, however, remained tight-lipped during the short presser.

In an audio message which seems recorded in a hurry and addressed to his supporters, Mr Qaiser is heard assuring them: “I won’t let you down whatever the circumstances. He goes on to say: “I will come to my village in three or four days and will meet you. God willing, no one can divide us.”

It was the first time when he contacted his supporters since May 9 when he led a protest demonstration of party workers, who blocked the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway at the Swabi interchange for over eight hours and set on fire two toll plazas following Imran Khan’s arrest.

Meanwhile, PTI workers said Mr Qaiser wanted to gain sympathy of his supporters and remain active in politics. However, a majority of them said they won’t back him anymore.

“We don’t want to become cannon fodder in the political game of Asad Qaiser. He dodged us, focused on accumulating wealth and now leaving Imran Khan’s caravan,” said a supporter of Qaiser on condition of anonymity.

It is to be mentioned here that Mr Qaiser and his brother, Aqibullah Khan, also a former MNA, would appear in the Anti-Terrorism Court Mardan for the confirmation of their bail-before-arrest on Monday.

PROTEST: The workers of Peshawar Electric Supply Company on Friday staged a protest demonstration in Topi city against the owner and workers of a steel unit in Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate for allegedly misbehaving with the Pesco executive engineer and his staff and stopping them from discharging their official duty.

The protesting workers chanted slogans against the steel mills’ management, demanding the immediate arrest of the factory owner. They threatened to cut power supply to the steel mills if the police didn’t arrest its owner.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2023

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