Four more PTI MPAs from the south and central Punjab regions announce their departure from the party. A growing sense of frustration is evident within the ranks of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as former Prime Minister Imran Khan left several imprisoned leaders behind, leading to a major blow for the opposition party. Former Human Rights Minister Dr. Shireen Mazari’s departure further compounds the challenges faced by the PTI.
The party members feel disheartened as Imran Khan did not publicly advocate for the detained leaders as they had expected. PTI spokesperson Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan publicly expressed his disappointment, stating that the ex-premier did not offer any support through even a single tweet during Chohan’s “illegal” detention by the police.
Earlier, Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, the daughter of PTI leader Shireen Mazari, expressed frustration that Imran Khan showed little concern for her ailing mother, who faced a series of “false” cases and subsequent detentions by the police. She further criticized Khan for prioritizing himself and his wife over others. Similarly, Hiba Fawad Chaudhry, the wife of former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, criticized Imran Khan on Twitter for omitting her spouse’s name in a tweet about the detention of party leaders.
In a press conference, former federal minister and PTI Senior Vice President Dr. Mazari announced her resignation from the party and retirement from active politics, citing personal reasons. Her departure is considered a significant setback for the PTI as she was a vocal party member.
Dr. Mazari made this announcement following her release from jail. Although courts had granted her bail multiple times, she was immediately re-arrested each time until she decided to part ways with the party. Like other departing party members, Mazari also condemned the acts of violence on May 9. She emphasized her condemnation of any form of violence, especially against state institutions such as the General Headquarters, Supreme Court, and Parliament. She attributed her decision to leave the PTI and active politics to her 12-day ordeal during her arrest, her deteriorating health, and the well-being of her daughter, Imaan. Mazari stated that her family, including her mother and children, as well as her health, were her main priorities, and nothing else held significance for her.
Additionally, former provincial minister for prisons and PTI spokesperson Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan announced his departure from the party due to his differences with Khan. He criticized the ex-premier for promoting politics of violence and clarified that while he won’t be leaving politics entirely, he will consult with some PTI leaders and former Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi before announcing his next plan of action.
Chohan alleged that he was the only one who advised Khan to abandon the politics of violence and claimed that he was sidelined within the party for holding that stance. He further accused several PTI leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry, Murad Saeed, Ali Amin Gandapur, Dr. Shireen Mazari, Musarrat Cheema, and Shahbaz Gill, of causing significant damage to the party by supporting Khan’s anti-army stance. Chohan also condemned the arson and vandalism incidents on military installations that occurred on May 9, attributing the blame to Khan for encouraging party supporters to target these establishments.
As defections from the PTI continue following the May 9 arson attacks on civilian and military buildings, four more former PTI legislators from the south and central Punjab regions announced their departure from the party. They strongly condemned the violent protests that erupted nationwide after the arrest of party chief Imran Khan. Abdul Razzaq Niazi