Ganesh Chaturthi

Pak: Senior PTI leader quits Imran Khan's party over violent May 9 activities

26 May,2023 04:26 PM IST |  Islamabad, Pakistan  |  mid-day online correspondent

Awan is the latest senior leader to step down from Imran Khan`s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party

Image used for representational purpose.

Firdous Ashiq Awan announced her resignation from Imran Khan's party on Friday, citing the recent violent and "terrorist activities." Awan, aged 53, previously served as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting from 2019 to 2020, PTI reported.

Awan is the latest senior leader to step down from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. As the former Federal Minister for Population Welfare, she expressed her decision to part ways with PTI due to the party's involvement in "violent and terrorist activities."

"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," she stated. The Dawn newspaper quoted her as saying, "Imran Khan and Pakistan can't go together."

Awan's resignation follows the departure of other prominent PTI leaders, including Secretary General Asad Umar, former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, and former Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari. These leaders condemned the actions of Khan's supporters, who attacked and set fire to sensitive defense installations across Pakistan on May 9.

The violent protests erupted after Khan's arrest by paramilitary Rangers from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). In response to the arrest, PTI workers vandalized several military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander's House, the Mianwali airbase, and the ISI building in Faisalabad. The mob also stormed the Army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, marking the first such incident.

Also read: Imran Khan "thanks" Pakistan government for putting him on 'no-fly' list

According to police reports, the violent clashes resulted in a death toll of 10, while Khan's party claims that 40 of its workers lost their lives in firing by security personnel. Thousands of Khan's supporters were subsequently arrested. The powerful Army referred to the incidents as a "dark day" in the nation's history.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared that those involved in attacks on military installations would face trial in military courts, while those charged with attacks on civilian targets would be prosecuted under civilian laws.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's Defense Minister Khawaja Asif stated that the government was considering a possible ban on Imran Khan's PTI party following the attacks carried out by his supporters on military installations after the former prime minister's arrest.

Imran Khan was removed from power in April of the previous year after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership. He alleged that this was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him due to his independent foreign policy decisions regarding Russia, China, and Afghanistan.

(With inputs from PTI)

news imran khan world news pakistan islamabad lahore karachi
Related Stories