LAHORE, May 24 : In a significant blow to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Former Punjab information minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan publicly resigned from the party in an explosive press conference on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore at the press conference, Chohan lamented over what he describes as the party’s growing “policy of violence”, stating his disappointment with party chief Imran Khan for not advising against the use of force in politics.
“I am announcing that I have no association with PTI. I am not leaving politics,” Chohan told reporters in Lahore. “They say people have software….my hardware is P-plus and Army-plus. I am and will always be a patriot.”
Chohan, who claimed he had been sidelined within the party for over a year, said that he had tried multiple times to steer the PTI chief and the party leadership towards a more peaceful approach to politics, championing the principles of Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
He alleged that these attempts, including a seven-minute audio message to Imran Khan last year, resulted in his expulsion from the PTI’s core committee.
Moreover, Chohan expressed distress over what he claims to be PTI’s antagonistic stance against the country’s institutions and the Army. He said that he had implored Imran Khan to abandon this confrontational strategy and refocus on the political struggle at hand.
The former provincial minister said Imran Khan was still respectable for him, but he was disappointed that the PTI had been “turned into the Khaksar movement”.
Chohan shared his disaffection with the leadership, stating that he was continually disrespected and overlooked for ministerial positions and the party ticket, despite his loyalty to PTI. He credited Pervez Elahi for helping him maintain his dignity by appointing him as his spokesperson.
Adding to the series of grievances, Chohan said that he was most disheartened when he learned upon his release from detention that the party chairman did not utter or tweet “even a single line” for him or his family.
Despite a series of disheartening events during his time with the PTI, Chohan claimed that he still approached the party chairman six times for a brief meeting in the last year. However, he said that these attempts were met with resistance as Imran was told by those close to him that Chohan was the “Army’s man”.
When questioned about his future political plans, Chauhan remained non-committal but assured that he would not be leaving politics. His next steps, he stated, will be decided according to the situation, leaving the door open for joining another political party.
“We will not let all our efforts go to waste, and will InShaAllah continue this struggle form a new platform,” he said. “Things will hopefully be clearer in a few days.”