TAXILA: Two more PTI leaders have bid adieu to the party saying that they couldn’t remain associated with the Imran Khan-led party after the May 9 attacks.

In their statements, Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Humayun Akhtar Khan also condemned the attacks on army installations.

Mr Sarwar, who served as the petroleum and aviation minister in the previous PTI government, said his family has been doing politics for almost 50 years and never clashed with institutions.

“Pakistani forces have rendered sacrifices for the survival and protection of the country,” Mr Sarwar said in a video. He was flanked by his son, former MNA Mansoor Hayat and nephew former MPA Ammar Siddique Khan.

Ex-aviation minister likens May 9 attacks to ‘anti-state acts’

“The attacks on martyrs’ monuments, General Headquarters and other sensitive installations were tantamount to anti-state acts,” the former minister said.

Referring to the attacks on GHQ and Lahore’s Jinnah House, he said the protesters attacked “the heart of Pakistan”.

“I condemn those unholy actions ... all those involved in such crimes should be given exemplary punishment.”

Mr Sarwar also censured PTI over what he called its “policy of confrontation with institutions”.

“I disagreed with the confrontational policy at every forum of the party. We should not fight with institutions,” he remarked.

He said PTI chief Imran Khan Khan has condemned the May 9 violence, and said people involved in the attacks should be brought to justice.

Mr Sarwar quit the party a day after he was arrested from Islamabad over alleged involvement in the May 9 protests.

The Islamabad police arrested him in the early hours of Wednesday from the residence of his close friend in Islamabad.

He was shifted to Wah Cantonment Police Station.

Humayun Akhtar parts ways Mr Akhtar said his family had “an eternal bond” with the Pakistan Army since the independence.

He also referred to his father, retired Lt Gen Akhtar Abdul Rehman’s service, saying that “we are and will be proud of the army”.

Gen Rehman had served as ISI director general and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman. He died in a plane crash in 1988 which also killed then-president General Ziaul Haq.

“Like the entire nation, the incidents of May 9 deeply saddened our family,” he said, adding that as the son of a martyr, he was aggrieved by the damage done to martyrs’ monuments.

Mr Akhtar added that he could not continue his association with PTI and announced to quit the party.

“The nation has always respected the army and I am certain this relation between the nation and defenders will be everlasting.”

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2023

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