Firdous Ashiq Awan, Murad Raas quit PTI

Firdous Ashiq Awan, Murad Raas quit PTI
Source: File photo

Lahore/ Islamabad (Web Desk): Former federal minister and special assistant to the Punjab chief minister, Firdous Ashiq Awan and ex-Punjab education minister Murad Raas became the latest senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders to part their ways from the party citing May 9 violence by the fellow activists.

Addressing a press conference alongside other leaders, including Pir Ahmad Khagga, Raja Yawar Kamal and Chaudhry Adnan in Lahore on Friday, former Punjab education minister said that he never expected to see a day when he would be parting ways with Imran.

The former provincial minister laid the blame for the party's current predicament, facing intense criticism with scores of leaders and thousands of workers arrested across the country following the riots, on Khan's advisers in Lahore.

"We do not believe in the PTI's politics of violence," the former provincial minister said.

Raas said he and other politicians present at the press conference had decided to form a group so work on Pakistan's progress could continue.

Earlier today, former special assistant to the Punjab chief minister Firdous Ashiq Awan also announced to quit the PTI.

Awan said that she was quitting the PTI over the party’s “violent and terrorist activities”.
Condemning the May 9 violence, she claimed that it was planned at Khan's Zaman Park residence.

“I believe that the martyrs, their love and the country’s respect are a part of our faith. Those who disrespected martyrs attacked Pakistan’s foundation and ideology," She said.

Firdous said that Imran Khan and Pakistan can’t function together.

It is pertinent to mention that the violent protests erupted across the country on May 9 after Imran Khan was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case.

Following the protests, the government launched a massive crackdown against PTI leaders and workers, and rounded up thousands of people on charges of attacking civil and military installations.

As the crackdown intensified, dozens of PTI leaders, including close confidants of Imran Khan, started jumping ship in what was described by the PTI chief as “forced divorces".

Several party leaders and lawmakers, including Shireen Mazari, Fawad Chaudhry, Aamir Kiani, Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Aftab Siddiqui, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Maleeka Bokhari, Jamshed Cheema, Musarrat Cheema and others announced leaving the PTI.