KARACHI: Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), resigned from the party position and retired from politics, publicly announcing his decision during a live TV interview.

During an appearance on Dawn News, Mr Abbasi strongly disapproved of PTI’s anti-establishment agenda. He further stated that supporters of the party possess ‘radical’ views against the establishment and various government departments, which, according to him, ‘did more harm than good’ to the state.

The PTI leader had been absent from the public eye for several months, and it was believed that he had been picked up following the events of May 9.

He also couldn’t explain why he suddenly came forward after so many months to condemn the violence that occurred on that day. When asked about his whereabouts during this time, he simply said: “I stayed with a friend for a month after it happened, then I moved to Gilgit Baltistan (GB) with family,” he said.

Mr Abbasi declared that he was quitting politics because he could not “carry the burden of the events of May 9 on my shoulders anymore”.

“I don’t want to stand with anything that brings even an ounce of harm to my country,” he added.

“General discussion was around that if he gets arrested, the party workers will go out and he took names of the departments he wanted to go head on head with, which made it clear that now this fight is not political, it is now a fight with a specific department,” he said, while referring to the PTI chief’s arrest.

In response to questions about why PTI couldn’t effectively manage the situation, he stated that the PTI chairman had been influenced by people with ‘strong opinions’.

“He did not weigh the fallout of his actions, and when he realised, it was too late,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2023

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