Home Latest News Shireen Mazari Exits PTI, Active Politics

Shireen Mazari Exits PTI, Active Politics

Senior leader of the PTI becomes latest figure to depart the party amidst ongoing crackdown

by Staff Report

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Shireen Mazari on Tuesday announced she is quitting the party, as well as stepping away from politics as a whole.

The former human rights minister had been arrested at least four times over the past week, with police—either Islamabad or Punjab—taking her into custody again after courts ordered her release. In multiple instances, she was released from custody of one prison, before immediately being placed in another police van for transport to a different holding facility. Her daughter, lawyer Imaan-Mazari, has been fighting for her mother’s release, noting she is an elderly woman with health concerns who cannot remain imprisoned without due cause.

“Because of the pain and anguish suffered by my daughter [when I was imprisoned] … I have decided to exit active politics and I want to add that from today, I will not be part of the PTI or any other political party,” she told a brief press conference. “My primary concern is my family—especially my children and my mother—because after the recent death of my husband, I am the only parent my children have,” she explained. “When Dr. Tabish [Mazari’s husband] was alive, there were many things I could do, because he was also available for the children but that no longer exists,” she said, adding that she also had significant health concerns, because her condition had deteriorated over the past 12 days.

“Nothing else is important for me right now,” she stressed.

A day earlier, Mazari had been re-arrested after a Gujranwala court approved her bail in a case related to vandalism and attacks on military and public installations, including the Lahore Corps Commanders’ house and General Headquarters, during the violent protests triggered by the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan in a corruption case. As part of her release, she signed an undertaking pledging to not give any inciting speeches or participate in violent protests.

In recent days, there has been an exodus from the PTI amidst an ongoing crackdown against the party. PTI chief Imran Khan has urged his supporters against harassing the defectors, saying they are experiencing a “tough” time and should not be targeted.

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