Three more leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday announced they are exiting the party and joining the Jahangir Khan Tareen-led Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), which is largely comprised of politicians who left the PTI in the aftermath of the May 9 riots.
Flanked by IPP Information Secretary Firdous Ashiq Awan and Additional Secretary General Aun Chaudhry, former PTI lawmakers Andleeb Abbas, Sadia Sohail, and Sumaira Bokhari all announced they were parting ways with Imran Khan and joining the IPP. Reports of their decision had already been publicized earlier in the day following a meeting between them and Tareen at his residence.
Stating that she welcomed her “political sisters” to the IPP, Awan—who was also formerly a part of the PTI—claimed that the party’s “family” would continue to increase in the days to come.
“The IPP will make a strong Pakistan,” said Abbas. “We have a cause to follow, which is above a party and an individual. We have joined the IPP for a cause,” she added. Sohail, meanwhile, said all three had united to join the IPP for Pakistan. “May 9 should not have happened. All institutions should be respected,” she added. Bokhari maintained that nothing was more important than Pakistan.
The trio, who appeared apprehensive compared to past shifts in political affiliation, did not respond to any queries about why they had decided to quit the PTI at this point.
Formed on June 8 by estranged PTI leaders Tareen and Aleem Khan, the IPP has largely attracted politicians who have severed ties with Imran Khan in the aftermath of the crackdown launched against his party following the May 9 riots. Last week, in a press conference after several weeks’ “disappearance,” former PTI leader Farrukh Habib also announced he was joining the IPP. In contrast to the three women, he slammed Khan, declaring he had instigated his supporters to target institutions.