PTI’s Qureshi describes launch of Jahangir Tareen’s IPP as ‘dead on arrival’

Published June 10, 2023
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to the media in Lahore on Satirday. — Screengrab via GNN YouTube
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to the media in Lahore on Satirday. — Screengrab via GNN YouTube

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi described the launch of the newly formed Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) — the new home of several PTI deserters — as “dead on arrival” on Saturday.

Qureshi made the remark while speaking to the media outside an anti-terrorism court in Lahore.

“There was an accident and a patient was taken to a hospital’s emergency [ward] … The doctor examined him and said, ‘Dead on arrival’.

“So I will say this is a launch which is dead on arrival,” he said about the IPP.

Responding to Qureshi, another one-time confidant of the PTI chief and now a part of the IPP, Aleem Khan said on Twitter, “Respected Qureshi sahib, it is in God’s hand to give honour or humiliation and only He knows who is ‘dead on arrival’ and whose ‘the end’ it is.”

Led by Jahangir Khan Tareen — who once used to be a close aide of PTI chief Imran Khan — the IPP was formally launched on Thursday.

At the launching ceremony, the former PTI leader was flanked by several other PTI defectors — including those who left in the aftermath of the May 9 incidents and amid a state crackdown on it.

Those seen on the stage alongside him included former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, former PTI financer Aleem Khan, former Azad Kashmir prime minister Tanvir Ilays and former ministers Amir Kayani, Ali Zaidi, and Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Saeed Akbar Nawani and Nauman Langrial.

Former federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry who was spotted in the back row deliberately chose not to sit on the stage, a Dawn report said. His “uneasy body language” gave way to speculations about his decision to join the IPP presumably “under pressure”, the report added.

On several former PTI leaders joining the new party, Qureshi said today that “every political personality has the right to make their own political decisions”.

The “friends” who have decided to join the IPP include “big names” and politicians, he said, adding that they had used their right to decide for themselves.

Asked how he saw the future of the PTI shaping up in the current scenario, Qureshi said it was a federal party whose reach, ideology and support were across the country.

“The PTI is a reality … and I see a bright future for it,” he added.

May 9 and Lahore huddle

Reports had emerged of Tareen gathering PTI deserters on one platform and forming a new party soon after May 9, when the PTI chief’s arrest at the Islamabad High Court sparked countrywide protests.

He was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau with the help of the paramilitary Rangers in the Al Qadir Trust case.

While the protests were afoot during his detention, public and private properties, including military installations were vandalised.

Since then, several PTI leaders have been arrested and re-arrested amid a crackdown on the party on allegations of planning, perpetrating and committing vandalism.

Many among them announced parting ways with the party soon after their release and, according to a Dawn report, several of them eventually joined hands with Tareen on Wednesday.

At a huddle in Lahore, former PTI stalwarts Fawad Chaudhry, Amir Kayani, Ali Zaidi, Imran Ismail, Mahmood Maulvi, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Ajmal Wazir, Nauraiz Shakoor and Fayyazul Hasan Chohan embraced their ‘new boss’ with smile on their faces, the report said.

It also highlighted that some of them had announced a ‘temporary break’ from politics while quitting the PTI in the wake of May 9 incidents. However, their break lasted only a couple of weeks before they formally entered the new political camp.

Moreover, former Punjab minister Murad Raas, who had formed the ‘Democrats’ group in league with another ex-minister Hashim Dogar a few days ago claiming the support of nearly three dozen ex-lawmakers, also decided to side with Tareen on the promise of getting a good position in the new party the latter is going to launch shortly, the report said.

Meanwhile, Aleem Khan has reportedly set his sights on the president’s slot in the IPP while Tareen may be called ‘Quaid’ of the new party till he gets relief from the court regarding his lifetime disqualification from holding a public office.

The new party is expected to play an important role in Punjab politics in the next general elections as most of PTI deserters and electables belonging to south Punjab have already joined it, the report said.

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