Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Shireen Mazari has decided to quit the Imran Khan-led party, local media reported.
The development came as Mazari had been arrested several times during the past few days following the May 9 riots triggered by the arrest of the former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case, The News reported.
Earlier, she was re-arrested once again after a court in Gujarat city in Pakistan’s Punjab province approved her bail in a case related to the vandalism and attacks on defence and public installations including Lahore Corps Commander House and General Headquarters (GHQ) during the violent protests, The News reported.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Khan on Tuesday claimed that members of his party were being forced to leave the party at “gunpoint”, The Express Tribune reported.
Speaking informally to journalists at an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad, Khan said, “People are not leaving the party on their own, they are being forced to do so, and that too at gunpoint”, The Express Tribune reported.
However, he maintained he was not bothered by several PTI leaders who have in recent days called it quits, saying that “parties never die down like that; they are weeded out like the (ruling coalition) PDM is eroding, the way their vote bank is depleting.”
“I am only worried about the workers and especially the women,” he added, The Express Tribune reported.
The PTI chief made these remarks ahead of his hearing at the ATC where judge Raja Jawad Abbas was hearing his petition for bail in eight different cases.
Khan was booked under terrorism charges over violence that ensued outside the Judicial Complex ahead of his hearing in regard to the Toshakhana case in April.
During the proceedings, Khan’s lawyer Salman Safdar told the court that his client faced security threats and for that reason, the Lahore ATC had granted him permission to have his statement recorded by the judicial investigation team (JIT) at his residence in Zaman Park.
“It is not that we do not wish to face these cases,” the lawyer argued.
“We are prepared to answer every question,” he added saying that if the court would permit him, he would present his arguments for all cases in the next hearing, The Express Tribune reported.