Imran Ismail, Ali Zaidi bid ‘goodbye’ to PTI

News Desk
Sunday, May 28, 2023

KARACHI: PTI’s founding member and former Sindh governor Imran Ismail and party’s Sindh President Ali Zaidi on Saturday also joined the growing list of leaders parting ways with Imran Khan over May 9 violence.

Following his release from jail, Ismail announced he was quitting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The PTI leader, condemning the May 9 protests that erupted after PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest, spoke in support of the Pakistan Army and criticised the former ruling party’s anti-establishment tirade.

Addressing his “last political press conference”, Ismail said his affiliation and ties with Khan were very good. He recalled the time when the PTI was formed, saying he was very young and was part of a group of three to four people who laid the party’s foundation.

“I always chased the dream of making Pakistan a better country and we got that chance when our party came into power in 2018. We decided to struggle and take part in the elections once again.”

He said a narrative started building that the PTI is against the Pakistan Army, which a lot of leaders were uncomfortable with. Speaking about the “evil” May 9 riots that erupted after the PTI chief’s arrest in Al-Qadir Trust case, Ismail said the attacks happened on the General Head Quarters (GHQ), Corps Commander House, and the memorials of the martyrs. He said whoever was a part of these attacks should be inquired — whether that person belongs to the PTI or not.

The former Sindh governor spoke in support of the army, saying he was not a part of the riots and that the FIR against him was “baseless”. “After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided to step down from all PTI positions. I am leaving PTI and I don’t know if I will continue to remain active in politics. Today, I say goodbye to Imran Khan and PTI,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, PTI Sindh President Ali Zaidi in a video message on Saturday announced he is quitting politics and has resigned from party positions. Zaidi said he had joined politics for Pakistan and had already condemned the May 9 incidents.

“Pakistan’s armed forces are our pride and because of them, we sleep peacefully because they protect our borders. What happened [on May 9] was very wrong and everyone should be held accountable whoever may be involved in it,” said the PTI leader, who was shifted to Jacobabad jail last week.

The former federal minister said after a lot of thinking he took the “difficult decision” of leaving politics. “I’m quitting politics. I’m resigning from my positions of Tehreek-e-Insaf Sindh president, core committee member and MNA,” said Zaidi.

Zaidi said he will continue to “work for Pakistan and bring investments from abroad” which he used to do before entering politics. “I used to bring foreign exchange to Pakistan before entering politics, I want to do that work again. I am saying goodbye to politics,” said the former federal minister and ended his video statement with a pro-army slogan.

Zaidi was arrested on May 9 under Section 4 of the Maintenance of Public Order and put under house arrest and his residence in Karachi was declared a sub-jail.

Earlier, former federal minister and PTI leader Khusro Bakhtiar announced he was parting ways with Imran Khan. In a video statement, Bakhtiar said he had advised the PTI leadership a year ago that a front against institutions will be harmful. He added he had left the core committee membership and leadership of the South Punjab chapter a year ago. The former minister said the incidents of May 9 forced him to distance himself from PTI’s ideology.—News Desk