Former planning minister Asad Umar, who had resigned as the PTI’s secretary general in May following the May 9 riots, on Saturday resigned from the party’s basic membership as well as quit politics.

In a post on X, he wrote, “After more than one decade in public life, I have decided to completely quit politics.

“I am resigning from [the] basic membership of PTI,” Umar, who once was a close aide of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, stated.

Umar follows a long list of politicians who have quit the PTI after a nationwide crackdown was launched against the party and hundreds of prominent leaders were arrested in reaction to the May 9 riots that broke out after Imran’s arrest that day.

Following his press conference on May 24 — condemning May 9 events and announcing resignation from party positions — Umar had not indicated joining any other party, including the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party or the PTI Parliamentarians (PTI-P), which have been welcoming many PTI defectors to their folds.

Today, referring to the same press conference, Umar noted that he had “already stated publicly earlier that I disagree with the policy of confrontation with state institutions”.

The ex-PTI secretary general said “such a policy has led to a serious collision with state institutions, which is not in the interest of the country”.

Umar went on to thank those who had supported him in his public life, particularly the “NA-54 team and the voters who elected me twice”.

“I have tried my best to serve the constituency that I was elected from. May Allah’s blessings shine upon the Pakistani nation,” the ex-finance minister added.

PTI leader Taimur Khan Jhagra termed Umar’s departure from politics a “loss” and “no one’s gain”.

He thanked Umar for his help “at difficult points in my short political career, and specifically, for the stellar role he placed in guiding the Covid crisis through the National Command and Operation Centre”.

“I hope there can be more space in politics for professionals who have something to offer. Not less,” Jhagra stated, emphasising that the country needed to “heal and build bridges”.

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