The former ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday lost another senior leader as former planning minister Asad Umar announced that he quit politics, resigning from the party’s basic membership.
Earlier, Umar had resigned as the PTI secretary general following the May 9 riots.
In a post on social microblogging website X, the former minister wrote, “After more than one decade in public life, I have decided to completely quit politics.”
Umar, who was once considered one of the closest aides of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, also announced letting go off his basic PTI membership.
He is the latest in a series of PTI leaders who resigned from the party following a nationwide crackdown in response to the May 9 riots. On that day, numerous PTI leaders were rounded up for protesting against the arrest of Imran by the paramilitary Rangers from inside an Islamabad court premises in a graft case.
Since his news conference on May 24 in which he denounced the May 9 events and announced his resignation from party positions, Umar did not show any inclination to join other parties, including the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party or the PTI Parliamentarians, both of which had been actively accepting the PTI defectors.
Read PML-N ready to talk to PTI minus ‘May 9 gang’: Sanaullah
In reference to his news conference, Umar added in his post on X that he had previously made it publicly clear that he disagreed with “the policy of confrontation with state institutions”.
He expressed concern that such a policy had resulted in a serious clash between state institutions, which was not in the best interests of the country. Umar took the opportunity to express gratitude to those who supported him in his public life, particularly acknowledging the NA-54 team and the voters who elected him twice.
“I have made every effort to serve the constituency from which I was elected. May Allah’s blessings be upon the Pakistani nation,” the former minister concluded.
PTI laments uptick in ‘atrocities’ before polls
The PTI on Friday said the “state’s atrocities” against the party had intensified after the date of the next general elections was decided.
In a statement issued after a meeting of the PTI Core Committee, the party maintained that the series of “kidnapping of PTI leaders for statements” by some state institutions was still under way.
“The inaction of the ECP and the caretaker government on the ‘enforced disappearance’ of [PTI] Central Additional Secretary General Ali Nawaz Awan is the worst example of lawlessness,” it continued.
The PTI accused the ECP and the caretaker government of completely failing to fulfil their constitutional duty and being the “key facilitators” in the state agenda of “deviating” from the Constitution.
It added that the ECP and the interim set-up should realise their sensitive duties and instead of being a “part of conspiracies against democracy”, they should play their role for its survival and protection.
The PTI Core Committee demanded that the series of “illegal” raids, arrests, harassment as well as enforced disappearances of party activists and leaders across the country should be stopped immediately.
The PTI reiterated its demand to conduct the trial of cases against its party chief and deposed premier, Imran, in open court in the presence of local and foreign media.
It continued that there was no constitutional or legal justification for conducting the trial against the PTI chief in secret or in jail.