Pakistan’s Former Federal Minister of Population Welfare and PTI leader Firdous Ashiq Awan parted ways with the Imran Khan-led party stating that Khan’s agenda is ‘poison’ for Pakistan. On Friday, May 26, the PTI leader conducted a press conference at Islamabad Press Club and announced her departure from the party, Dawn reported. Awan joined the prolific list of Pakistani politicians who have left the party amid the ongoing political turmoil that has engulfed the country.
‘Imran Khan’s agenda is like poison for Pakistan and this agenda ‘ I am a victim of this agenda too ‘ he becomes an enemy to his friends first,’ Awan proclaimed in the Friday press conference. The Pakistani politician also accused the PTI chief of using people like ’tissue papers’. While several erstwhile PTI leaders stated that the May 9 vandalism influenced their decision to leave the party, Awan’s scathing attack against Khan has garnered significant eyeballs.
Firdous Ashiq Awan consults with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 16, 2020, Image: AP
During the press conference, Firdous alleged that the violence and riot-like situation that erupted after Khan’s arrest was ‘planned at Zaman Park’. ‘A conspiracy was prepared on foreign agenda and its aim was to disrespect Pakistan’s national institutions and please foreign masters,’ she said. She insisted that Imran Khan and Pakistan ‘cannot function together,’ Dawn reported.
Smoke erupts from burning objects set on fire by angry supporters of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan as police fire tear gas to disperse them during a protest against the arrest of Khan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 9, 2023
‘My Political Journey will continue’: Awan
Unlike Shireen Mazari who quit both the party and politics, Awan insisted that her political journey is far from over. She stated that she will continue to keep working for the nation. ‘My journey with PTI comes to an end today ‘ God willing, our political journey will continue because the reason for our politics is the well-being of the people of our constituency,’ Awan insisted.
The 53-year-old politician stated that her fight against the party has been going on for a while. She revealed that she was on ‘self-exile’ from the party over the difference in her and Khan’s ‘narratives’ about the current situation in the country. ‘This (the narrative) is the reason why PTI has reached a dead end today,’ she exclaimed. She concluded her assertions by expressing her love for the martyrs. ‘I believe that the martyrs ‘ their love and the country’s respect are a part of our faith. Those who disrespected martyrs attacked Pakistan’s foundation and ideology,’ Awan stated.
The Mayhem in Pakistan
On May 9, former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested by Islamabad High Court in the Al-Qadir Trust Case. The corruption case also involved his wife Bushra Bibi. Following Khan’s arrest, the supporters of the cricketing legend conducted violent demonstrations across Pakistan.
Imran Khan surrounded by Media and Pakistan security forces on the day of his arrest, May 9, 2023, Image: AP
From ransacking the house of the Lahore Commander Corps to causing harm to the country’s military infrastructure, Pakistan burned like never before. In the midst of all the chaos, PTI leaders also came under scrutiny of the country’s administration and multiple senior leaders from the party also got arrested. This triggered several PTI leaders to leave the party.
The departure of leaders like, Shireen Mazari (Former Human Rights Minister) and Asad Umar (Former Finance Minister) caused a major blow to the party. While Khan called these resignations a ‘forced divorce’, several PTI leaders reasoned that they are leaving the party because of the vandalism that took place after Khan’s arrest. Hence, it will be interesting to see, what the future of PTI will look like.