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Another blow to Imran Khan as ex-federal minister Ali Zaidi quits PTI, politics

KARACHI – Sindh president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has quit the party, as he bids adieu to politics, marking another blow to the embattled ex-prime minister Imran Khan.

In a video message, Zaidi announced his retirement from politics citing May 9 events in which civil and military installations were attacked. Once a close aide of Imran Khan said he decided to take this difficult decision to step down from his party position and active politics.

He strongly condemned the violence that took place earlier this month against state institutions, reiterating that those behind violent attacks must be held accountable. Zaidi however mentioned to focus on humanitarian work and continuing efforts to bring investment to crisis-hit Pakistan. He ended the clip by saying Pakistan Army Zindabad.

Following the May 9 protests and stringent crackdown, dozens of PTI leaders, including Shireen Mazari, Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi were arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance. Many of them were granted bail by courts on multiple occasions but were re-arrested immediately every time until they announce to distance themselves from former ruling party.

In a recent development, former federal minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar also announced to quit the party over May 9 vandalism. He mentioned parting ways, saying it is impossible to go with the PTI’s philosophy anymore.

Former special assistant to Punjab chief minister Firdous Ashiq Awan also decided to leave the party after the May 9 violence.

The back-to-back pressers to quit Imran Khan-led PTI were received with dismay by legal eagles, seasoned politicians, and even civil society members, with many condemning the current circumstances in which politicians were unable to continue politics.

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