Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was rocked by a spree of resignations of senior leadership on May 24. PTI’s senior vice president and spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday announced on Twitter that he was parting ways with the party, stating that he condemned violent protests that shattered the nation on May 9 following the PTI chief’s arrest in an alleged corruption case.
Later on Wednesday, Khan’s close confidant Asad Umar, soon after his release from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, announced his resignation from all party positions, except for its primary membership.
Among others, Nadia Sher Khan, a former PTI lawmaker from Imran Khan’s home state of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, announced that she was resigning from the party.
What did Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar say?
Both top leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), despite their fierce defence of Imran Khan’s political positioning within Pakistan’s complex civilian-military nexus of mutual dependence, stated May 9 vandalism as the reason behind their resignation.
“After my earlier statement where I unequivocally condemned the 9th May incidents, I have decided to take a break from politics. Therefore, I have resigned from my party position and parting ways with Imran Khan,” Chaudhry wrote in a tweet on Wednesday evening.
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Earlier, PTI’s top leader and party erstwhile whip Shireen Mazari also resigned from the party, after condemning violent protests staged by Khan’s supporters on May 9.
She said in a statement, “I strongly condemn the May 9 violence. I have always condemned the violence of any kind.”
Imran Khan has maintained that these are forced resignations.
Mazari had earlier voiced concerns about police brutality against PTI workers. She also claimed that the violence was part of a larger conspiracy against the PTI.
Mazari was then arrested five times in the following 14 days, and now she has also tendered her resignation. And not just that, Pakistan’s former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, another close aide of Khan, was detained for “inciting violent protests” and threatening peace amid the country’s worsening political turmoil.
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