Former Punjab CM Usman Buzdar bids farewell to PTI, politics

LAHORE, June 02: Former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar joined a long list of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders to bid farewell to the former ruling party as well as active politics on Friday.

In a brief press conference in Lahore, Buzdar condemned the events of May 9, saying what happened “was not right”.

“I am resigning from the PTI and have also decided to quit politics,” the former chief minister maintained.

Buzdar expressed solidarity with the Pakistan Army and. He said he has always stood by them and will continue to do so in the future as well.

Responding to a question, the former chief minister stated that he requests higher authorities to release “innocent people” who have been arrested.

The PTI found itself in hot waters following the events of May 9, when in an unprecedented show of vandalism, protesters allegedly belonging to the party, vandalised public and state properties and even attacked the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the Lahore corps commander’s residence.

The attack occurred hours after the paramilitary Rangers arrested the PTI chief in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case – later retitled as National Crime Agency £190 million scandal – on the orders of the National Accountability Bureau, from the Islamabad High Court premises.

The rioting was followed by a harsh crackdown against the former ruling party leaders and workers that still continues.

A day earlier, PTI leader Pervez Khattak had announced his resignation from all positions of the party in the wake of May 9 incidents.

While addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday, Khattak said that “nothing good happened on May 9… I have condemned the incident before, may Allah prevent such an incident from happening again.”

Earlier today, PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi vowed  to remain with the party and stated that he would not ‘hold any press conferences’, in a thinly veiled reference to leaders who announced their departure from PTI after being released from prison.

Talking to journalists at a Lahore courtroom on Friday, Elahi claimed that caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi was the “root” of all riots and deemed him responsible for all “atrocities”. Elahi maintained that he did not lodge any political cases against anyone.

The former Punjab chief minister added that wrongdoers would suffer accordingly.

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