Imran Khan's Troubles Mount as Close Allies Desert His Party

The recent developments surrounding former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, have created significant challenges for him. With several senior PTI members distancing themselves from the party, Imran Khan is facing a series of setbacks. Notably, some of his trusted allies, including the Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, have bid farewell to the PTI. This article will delve into the reasons behind these departures and shed light on the current political landscape in Pakistan.

1. Shireen Mazari's Resignation Signals PTI's Internal Turmoil

Shireen Mazari, the former Minister for Human Rights, announced her retirement from politics on Tuesday, bidding farewell to the PTI. In response, Imran Khan accused the government of employing pressure tactics to dismantle his political party. It is believed that these actions are an attempt by Khan to evade repercussions following the Army Act's enforcement on May 9, which targeted the PTI after its workers and supporters criticized military institutions.

2. PTI Members Departures Create Political Ripples

According to Pakistan's newspaper 'Don,' several PTI members, including former Cabinet Minister Aamir Kiyani and Malik Amin Aslam, have abandoned Imran Khan's party since the events of May 9 when PTI workers and supporters protested against military establishments. Additionally, Faisal Chaudhry, the former provincial minister and PTI spokesperson, has also severed ties with the party. Furthermore, Mahmood Maulvi and Aftab Siddiqui have joined the list of those who have chosen to part ways with the PTI.

3. Imran Khan's Response to PTI Departures

When questioned about the growing number of close allies leaving the PTI, Imran Khan responded, "People are not leaving voluntarily; they are being forced to abandon the party at gunpoint." He added, "Political parties cannot be destroyed through such tactics." Khan emphasized that a political party can only be dissolved by depleting its vote bank, implying that external pressures would not achieve that outcome.

4. PTI's Precarious Political Environment

The political situation in Pakistan, characterized by arrests, releases, and re-arrests, has left PTI members feeling trapped. Consequently, they have decided to distance themselves from the party and politics to avoid legal complications. Following their release from Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail, PTI's Senior Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, PTI spokesperson Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, and her husband Jamshed Cheema were re-arrested on Tuesday. The local court has ordered them to be detained for an additional 15 days under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law. Similarly, Shireen Mazari has been arrested four times since May 12. After her recent release, she promptly resigned and announced her retirement from active politics.

Imran Khan's close associates severing ties with the PTI have intensified the challenges he faces. The departures, including that of Shireen Mazari, the former Minister for Human Rights, highlight the internal turmoil within the PTI. Imran Khan alleges that external pressures are being employed to dismantle his party. However, the recent developments suggest a precarious political environment in Pakistan, where arrests and re-arrests contribute to the growing unease among PTI members. The coming days will likely determine the future trajectory of both Imran Khan and the PTI in Pakistani politics.