LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan referred to the departure of his party’s leaders as a “forced divorce” following the riots on May 9. Khan, a former prime minister currently facing various legal cases, took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the situation.
As PTI workers engaged in acts of violence, targeting not only public buildings but also military installations such as the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, several party leaders began announcing their departure. The reasons cited by those leaving the party primarily revolved around PTI’s perceived “policy of violence,” with PTI claiming that they were coerced into making these decisions.
Khan expressed concern about the absence of human rights organizations in the country and questioned their silence in the face of these events. As the exodus of party members unfolded, Khan extended his sympathy to those who felt compelled to leave the PTI, acknowledging the pressure they faced. He also commended and applauded the senior members who chose to resist the intense pressure to abandon the party.
The repercussions of the May 9 violence were not limited to the party’s leadership. Thousands of PTI workers were arrested in connection with the riots, and even senior leaders faced imprisonment. The government and the military vowed not to show leniency to those involved in the attacks, labeling May 9 as a “Black Day.”
Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir emphasized that the legal process of trial against the planners, instigators, abettors, and perpetrators involved in the May 9 mayhem had commenced under the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secret Act, adhering to existing legal procedures derived from the Constitution.
The list of leaders who have left the PTI includes prominent figures such as former federal minister Shireen Mazari, former provincial minister Fayazul Hassan Chohan, and founding PTI member Aamer Mahmood Kiani, among others. Their departures signify a significant loss for the party, as they had played crucial roles during the PTI’s governance from 2018 to 2022.
The situation continues to unfold, with the PTI facing significant challenges in regaining stability and addressing the concerns raised by the departing leaders.
The political landscape in Pakistan remains turbulent, prompting questions about the future trajectory of the PTI and its ability to navigate these trying times.