PTI leadership misguided Imran on all issues: Sher Afzal Marwat

Published May 8, 2024
PTI leader Sher Afzal Khan Marwat speaking outside Adiala Jail on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leader Sher Afzal Khan Marwat speaking outside Adiala Jail on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

PTI leader Sher Afzal Khan Marwat alleged on Wednesday that party leaders Omar Ayub Khan and Senator Shibli Faraz misguided former prime minister Imran Khan on all issues.

“Imran has been misguided on every matter, there are many such matters which I will bring to light once they (Faraz and Ayub) give their statements,” Marwat said while speaking to the media outside Adiala Jail.

Last week, Marwat was announced as the PTI candidate for the chairman of the Public Accounts Comm­ittee (PAC) after a meeting with Imran. However, a party insider told Dawn that the PTI’s political committee had met in Islamabad on Friday night under its chairman to discuss the nomination with a majority voting to replace Marwat with Jhang MNA Sheikh Waqas Akram.

“This is a conspiracy against me by the PTI establishment,” a bitter and angry-sounding Marwat had said, confirming the report, when approached for comment over the phone.

Marwat came to address the media outside Adiala Jail today as MNA Ali Muhammad Khan was concluding his speech. Questioned about the dispute over the PAC’s chairmanship, Ali Muhammad said Marwat was Imran’s follower and he and the party would accept whoever was decided as the nominee by the PTI founder.

Ali Muhammad left the scene as Marwat began to address the media. He said that he had himself requested Ali Muhammad to leave since “I might utter some controversial things so don’t stand beside me.”

Marwat said he was not allowed to meet Imran in jail a day ago or today, alleging that “Omar Ayub and Shibli Faraz did not allow my meeting to take place.”

He alleged that Ayub and Faraz had told Imran that the PML-N was not agreeable to Marwat’s appointment as the PAC chairman and that the position would go to someone else.

“I found out two days ago that Shibli Faraz told Imran that the Saudi ambassador also raised reservations about my appointment and said relations would not be good in such a case,” Marwat added, saying that it was a “major thing” if the Saudi government allegedly had an issue with his appointment.

“I will not create a problem for Khan sahib so he should consider me out of the [PAC chairmanship] race. I don’t want chairmanship of a committee where the Saudi government has a demand to not make someone [the chairman].”

Marwat claimed that he was responsible for reviving the party when it was a “dead horse and I went to the people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Sindh at a time when all these [acting leaders] were hiding in their burrows”. He added that he had discharged the duties given to him by Imran.

Marwat alleged he was “targeted” by the party leadership immediately after the general elections, adding that he had also informed Imran about the matter.

He said his disrespect was unacceptable to him at any cost. Divulging details of the matter of the PAC chairmanship, he said the issue was “finalised” when Barrister Gohar Ali Khan had announced him as the party nominee for the position but “they called for voting in the political committee”, adding that Imran had made him a member of the political committee despite Ayub’s reservations.

Marwat said after voting was carried out, his opponents visited Imran on Tuesday and informed him about the results of the vote by the political committee.

He also said that his brother Khalid Latif Khan was de-notified as special assistant to the chief minister for science, technology, and information technology instead of being given the chance to resign.

“They alleged that I want to take Imran’s position. If I wanted to take someone’s position then I would have done flattery as they do. I am not one to flatter and am Imran’s soldier.”

He alleged that Faraz had argued for the Senate opposition leader position over Barrister Ali Zafar to secure relief in legal cases. Marwat alleged that Faraz and Ayub were appointing people of their choosing to PTI committees to secure their positions.

Marwat announced that he would not work alongside the PTI leadership to mark his protest.

“I am going today and I will come to this jail when Imran calls me back, and I will come for protest when Imran gives me the responsibility of the protest,” he said, adding that he did not accept the party leadership.

He added that he would resign from the National Assembly without any reservations if Imran signalled him to do so.

Later, he said on X: “I have spoken my heart today. I would prefer to relax and stay away from media for a couple of days. It is therefore expected that media would respect my request.”

He doubled down on his allegation regarding Faraz being behind the move to strip him as the party nominee for the PAC chairman and reiterated that he was withdrawing from the contest.

All decisions post Imran’s arrest came from Imran: Panjutha

Meanwhile, PTI lawyer and focal person Intazar Hussain Panjutha responded to Marwat without naming him and said that the decisions taken by the party post-Imran’s arrest came from the PTI founder himself.

“Everyone stayed back according to Imran’s instructions and everyone stayed hidden and did their work,” he said, adding that a result of that was the PTI’s success in the general elections.

“PTI’s success was that this leadership — Shibli Faraz and Omar Ayub — kept the party united and kept the operations running day and night.

“They were instructed by Imran that all party members should come out but these two should come out at the end,” he said

“To come out or stay hidden was done on Imran’s directions and since August 5 when Khan was arrested till today, every party decision was taken by Imran himself,” Panjutha said.

Replying to Marwat’s allegations of Imran being misguided, Panjutha said he was not the only person who met Imran in prison.

“Does his family not meet him? Do only Shoaib Shaheen, Shibli Faraz and I meet him?” he asked.

Panjutha said that the “May 9 conspiracy” was carried out to destroy the party however the “new conspiracy” was to destroy the party from within through unrest.

“I want to clarify one thing, Imran Khan is still running the party […] We have never violated the discipline. Our primary mission is Imran’s party,” Panjutha said.

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