LAHORE, June 09: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday rejected the newly formed Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), saying the country’s issues could not be resolved by launching parties with people who were “coming after forced divorces”.
Earlier in the day, Jahangir Tareen, once a close aide of PTI chief Imran Khan, announced the formation of a new political party, IPP, with a pledge to work for economic and social reforms.
Nearly 100 former PTI members of the national and provincial assemblies joined the new party, expressing confidence in Tareen’s leadership.
“Today, we’re announcing formation of Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party. Under one platform, we’re together and will try to steer Pakistan out of current crises,” Tareen said while addressing the party’s first joint news conference in Islamabad.
Reacting to the development, the PTI noted that the formation of new parties would not mitigate the problems of people.
“Launching new parties full of people that are coming after forced divorces is not the solution to the problems Pakistan faces,” the PTI said on its official Twitter handle.
The former ruling party renewed the call for “fresh free and fair elections”, emphasising that the people of the country should be allowed to choose their representatives.
Several PTI deserters including former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, ex-shipping minister Ali Zaidi, former federal minister Amir Kayani, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Mahmood Molvi, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Murad Raas and Jai Parkash joined the IPP.
A number of PTI legislators had parted ways with the party after the government held Imran responsible for the riots that broke out across the country following his arrest in a graft case on May 9.
Protesters attacked the government infrastructure as well as the military installations and also vandalised the GHQ and Lahore corps commander’s residence.
Tareen is known to wield influence over important leaders from Karachi, interior Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
One-time Imran confidant, Tareen, who helped the PTI form government in Punjab in 2018, developed differences with the PTI chief after the latter allowed the FIA to lay hands on him in a sugar scam case in early 2021.
Later, Tareen’s group of 25 MPAs, including Aleem Khan, was instrumental in toppling the PTI-led Punjab government. These lawmakers had voted in favour of PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz for the chief minister election in April last year.
In December 2017, the Supreme Court disqualified Tareen, who was the PTI secretary general at that time, declaring that he had proven dishonest under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and Section 99 of Representation of People Act on one count among the multiple charges brought against him.
On September 27, 2018, the same apex court bench rejected a review petition filed by him.