Firdous Ashiq Awan is the most senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) politician to publicly declare her intention to leave the Party, adding her name to the lengthy list of supporters who have left the once-ruling group since May 9.
When she addressed a press conference in Islamabad, she jokingly uttered the phrase “good to see you,” noting that it was now a well-known expression.
According to her statement to reporters, she had made the decision to leave the party because Imran Khan, the leader of the PTI, had become “detrimental for the nation” in his pursuit of his goals.
She said, “This was the reason I had joined the PTI,” stating that the “centre of my politics is serving humanity.”
I accepted a duty to work for this nation’s advancement, she said.
However, she regretted that “some elements were leading [then] premier Imran Khan astray while the national security agencies continued their fight against terrorism.”
“Billions were spent from the national treasury to brainwash the youth, and a plot was hatched to discredit the nation’s institutions,” she continued.
On May 9, after the former premier was taken into custody on the grounds of the federal capital’s high court, violent protests broke out all around the nation.
The PTI workers and leaders were thereafter the targets of a large crackdown by the government, which also led to the arrest of thousands of others on suspicion of targeting military and civilian targets.
Numerous PTI leaders, including some who were close to Imran Khan, began defecting as the crackdown grew more ruthless. The PTI leader referred to these actions as “forced divorces.”
There appeared to be no letup in the crackdown as some party leaders who had been released on court orders were then detained once more.
Shireen Mazari, Aamir Kiani, Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Aftab Siddiqui, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, and other party officials and politicians have announced their departure from the erstwhile ruling party.
One of Imran’s closest advisors, Asad Umar, resigned from his positions as secretary general and core committee member, citing the prevailing circumstances. After another one of Imran’s close confidants, Fawad Chaudhry, left the PTI, he made his statement shortly thereafter.
Meanwhile, prominent PTI leaders Dr. Yasmin Rashid and Mehmoodur Rasheed reportedly reiterated their allegiance to the party and expressed their continuous support for Imran Khan in other media reports.
“No! Dr. Yasmin Rashid addressed to questions from reporters outside an anti-terrorism court, “I’m not leaving PTI. Rashid also proclaimed his allegiance to the previous premier. We firmly stand with Imran Khan, she stated, “despite all obstacles.