'Forced divorces': Imran reacts to leaders' exodus from PTI

PTI chairman questions where all human rights organisations of the country have disappeared

NEWSDESK   May 23, 2023
PTI chief Imran Khan talks to journalists in IHC on May 12, 2023. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB/Twitter PTI Official


In a cryptic reference to “forced divorces”, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday responded to the ongoing exodus of leaders from the party, with the total now reaching 24 since the violent arson incidents of May 9.

"We had all heard about forced marriages in Pakistan, but for PTI, a new phenomenon has emerged: forced divorces. Also wondering where have all the human rights organizations in the country disappeared," the former prime minister said in a tweet from his official account.

The comment comes as the fallout from the tragic incidents of May 9 continue to reverberate through the party. As many as 24 PTI leaders have now publicly parted ways with the party, a situation some political analysts are attributing to pressure from 'external forces.'

Read more Tally rises to 24 as PTI leaders’ exodus continues following May 9 riots

Among the notable departures are senior PTI leader and former Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, and Fayyazul Hasan Chohan, both of whom announced their disassociation from PTI earlier on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference, Mazari said that she will not be involved in politics in the future, while Chohan said he would continue his political struggle, but without PTI.

In his response, Imran raised questions about the situation's implications for human rights within the country, subtly questioning the sudden absence of human rights organszations during these developments.

The wave of resignations marks a significant period of turmoil for PTI, which was toppled from government on April 9 last year when Imran Khan was ousted from the office of premier through a vote of no-confidence.

Joining Mazari and Chohan in parting ways with PTI is Abdul Razaq Khan Niazi, a former PTI Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Khanewal.

In a press conference, Niazi condemned the attacks on military installations and suggested that such actions could not have occurred without the support of the party leadership. He further claimed that the events of May 9 had brought joy to India, insinuating a connection between the PTI's actions and India's interests.

Additionally, PTI leader Khawaja Qutab Fareed Koreja from Liaqatpur has decided to join the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) after observing the growing strength of the party in south Punjab and the shifting political landscape.

Also read Shireen Mazari quits PTI and politics 'for family's sake'

Reports have also surfaced suggesting that PTI leaders Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, currently imprisoned, are also planning to leave the party due to the May 9 violence. Their lawyer confirmed the development, stating that after holding separate meetings with them in jail, he is confident they will quit PTI upon their release. Musarrat Cheema is an official spokesperson for the PTI and a former Punjab Assembly legislator.

The attacks on military monuments and buildings have prompted several PTI members to abandon the party and condemn the incidents. Some political analysts speculate that the exodus is a result of pressure from ‘external forces’. PTI Chairman Imran Khan has repeatedly claimed that party members face immense pressure to abandon the PTI.

Prominent figures who have recently left the party include former federal health minister and founding member of PTI Aamer Mahmood Kiani, Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain (brother of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain), former federal minister Malik Amin Aslam, former provincial minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Malik, PTI West Punjab President Faizullah Kamoka, and Dr Muhammad Amjad.

Departures have also been witnessed in Sindh, where Mehmood Moulvi (PTI Sindh Vice President), Aftab Saddiqui (PTI Karachi President), Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Jay Parkash, Sanjay Gangwani, and Dr Imran Shah have left the party.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Ajmal Wazir (former spokesperson for the K-P Chief Minister and adviser on information), Usman Tarakai, and Malik Jawad Hussain have departed from the PTI. Meanwhile, former provincial minister Mubeen Khilji has quit the party in Balochistan.


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