The PTI on Tuesday issued a statement disputing Asad Umar’s claims that he left his party positions due to Chairman Imran Khan’s “confrontational” policies.

The statement issued by PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan came hours after the former party secretary general told a private news channel that he had quit his party positions over the political strategy adopted by Imran in the aftermath of May 9.

On May 24, Umar had announced that he was leaving his party positions with immediate effect. He said that after the events of May 9, when violent protests broke out in the country following Imran’s arrest, it was not possible for him to continue.

Speaking on ARY News show ‘Off the record’ on Monday night, Umar said that the job of the party’s secretary general was not to give free advice but to implement the strategy that had been decided upon.

“If I am against a strategy and opposing it then how can I implement it?” he asked. “This was the reason I resigned.”

Umar was of the view that after 1971, Pakistan hadn’t witnessed “such a dangerous time”. He added that the country stood at a pivotal point where it was imperative for all stakeholders and political players to take two steps back.

“You will have to step down from your ideology and compromise to come up with a solution,” Umar said, reiterating that he did not agree with the strategy adopted by Imran.

The former minister highlighted that he had been opposing the PTI chief’s strategy even before May 9.

The former PTI secretary general reiterated that he had always been saying that “we are underestimating the danger and May 9 eventually rang the danger bells”.

Umar urged everyone to take a step back and look at the prevailing scenario through a different lens.

In response to Umar’s statement, PTI’s Hasan said, “Umar could have disassociated from the party when he had developed differences with the party or the party chief. That would have been appropriate.”

The spokesperson also refuted Umar’s claims, stating that it seemed to contradict the reality of the situation.

“Now, when the party is being targeted under a plan, he thought of resigning from the party. This may have served his personal interests, but not the party’s,” Hasan said.

He also took exception to Umar’s assertion that the PTI had refused to negotiate with other political parties.

“Asad Umar himself used to say that these parties would never talk about anything else other than a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO),” he said, adding that the other parties had only one objective which was to save themselves from their corruption cases.

“The ex-minister’s perspective on the finalisation of a deal between the PDM and the PTI, as per the Supreme Court’s orders, also demonstrates obscurity,” he said, referring to negotiations between the two sides in April.

He emphasised that the PTI showcased exceptional flexibility by operating within the confines of the Constitution. “Additionally, PTI put forward a proposal for a constitutional amendment to guarantee the conclusive resolution of the talks,” he highlighted.

Therefore, Umar was free to discuss his “indefensible” decision but should refrain from distorting facts, Hasan said.

“His principled decision to leave his party position would have carried more weight if he had made that choice prior to the party facing challenging times,” he emphasised.

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