Former Punjab minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan on Tuesday dealt a severe blow to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) by parting his way with the party condemning May 9 arson and vandalism.
Addressing a press conference here, he expressed his sorrow over the riots that took place after the arrest of Imran Khan and emphasized the importance of avoiding conflicts with the state and its institutions.
Chohan revealed he was the sole dissenting voice within the party against the “policy of violence.”
He said that his opposition to the party’s violent tendencies had resulted in his marginalization over the past year.
“I tried to make Imran understand that we are followers of Quaid-e-Azam and told him to stop this confrontation against the state and institutions,” he added.
Chohan noted that despite his numerous sacrifices for the PTI, Imran Khan did not express any sympathy towards him.
Former human rights minister and PTI stalwart Shireen Mazari on Tuesday quit the party and announced her retirement from “active politics” citing personal reasons.
Immediately after the development, speculation was rife that PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi would follow suit in quitting the party. However, in a brief media talk upon his rearrest outside Adiala Jail by the Punjab Police, Qureshi asserted that he was a member of the PTI and would not part ways with it.
The Islamabad High Court had earlier ordered his release after he submitted an affidavit condemning the May 9 protests.
Read more: Will Shah Mahmood Qureshi also quit PTI?
On May 9, PTI Chairman Imran Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau with the help of the paramilitary Rangers at the Islamabad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case — a development that sparked countrywide protests amid incidents of vandalism and violence.
Following the protests, at least 13 PTI leaders, including Mazari, were arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance. She was granted bails by courts on multiple occasions but was re-arrested immediately every time.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Mazari started off by condemning the violence that took place in the May 9 and 10 protests, adding that she had given an undertaking to the same in the Islamabad High Court.