In another major blow, Fawad Chaudhry parts ways with PTI

May 24, 2023 : In another major blow to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), senior politician and former federal minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Wednesday parted ways with the former ruling party and its chairman Imran Khan.

“[With] ref[erence] to my earlier statement where I unequivocally condemned 9th May incidents, I have decided to take a break from politics, therefore, I have resigned from party position and parting ways from Imran Khan,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Fawad joins a long list of PTI leaders who have announced quitting PTI following the May 9 vandalism and violent protests across the country — hours after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested PTI chief Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case.

So far Dr Shireen Mazari, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Amir Kayani, Jai Prakash, Aftab Siddiqui and Sanjay Gangwani among many others have left Imran Khan’s party.

Shireen, while speaking to the media in Islamabad on Tuesday, announced that she was not only leaving the party but also saying goodbye to active politics, saying that her health and daughter Imaan Mazari suffered significantly during her 12-day incarceration.

“I am leaving politics because of my children, family, and health issues. My family and children are my first priority,” she said. “I have condemned the events that took place on May 9 and 10. I have condemned all forms of disorder.”

Though, PTI Chairman Imran sees this exodus as “forced divorces” at “gunpoint”, political experts suggest that it’s an attempt to factionalise the PTI just like the PML-N was converted into PML-Q overnight at the turn of the last century.

“Without beating around the bush, this is obviously the result of pressure coming from the establishment. The government is simply fanning it,” former PPP senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said.

Khokhar had himself paid the price of continuously speaking up on human rights violations, especially of the PTI leaders, before being asked to leave the PPP.

He said that the current practice of pressuring politicians to leave politics wasn’t pleasing. The incumbent rulers, he added, shouldn’t take pleasure in opponents’ departure from political arena.

“This doesn’t bode well for politics in general and those who are beaming at it today will surely regret it tomorrow.”

On the whirlwind of arrests and continuous pressure from the powerful quarters, the former senator said that “only time will tell if the PTI survives this”, adding that the political parties had survived in the past.

The unexpected chain of events has unfolded just days after a series of attacks on key civilian and military installations on May 9, following the arrest of the former prime minister in a graft case.

Soon after the arrest, protesters took to the streets, key government and military buildings were attacked, ransacked and torched, several people lost lives and dozens were injured while scores of the PTI supporters were detained, including key party leaders.

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