Farrukh Habib, once a prominent figure in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), publicly severed ties with the party to join the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) led by Jahangir Tareen. In a detailed press briefing flanked by IPP stalwarts in Islamabad, Habib criticized former Prime Minister Imran Khan, attributing the chaos of the May 9 riots to Khan’s incitement and manipulation of the youth. He accused Khan of instigating dissent against national institutions, particularly the military, by exploiting the impressionable minds of young supporters.
Habib, reemerging after his contentious arrest, refuted claims of abduction made by PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan. Instead, his appearance marked a growing exodus of PTI affiliates disillusioned after the devastating riots, recognized as a national calamity by opposition and military alike.
Condemnation of Khan’s Leadership and Vision
During the conference, Habib reminisced about past demonstrations, highlighting their peaceful nature in stark contrast to the recent turmoil believed to be fostered by Khan’s rhetoric. He condemned Khan’s radical approach, which dangerously polarized citizens to the extent of confronting their military.
Reflecting on the notorious May 9 events, Habib disassociated himself from the violence, emphasizing his absence despite the upheaval in his constituency of Faisalabad. He criticized Khan’s trajectory after his constitutional ousting via a no-confidence motion, pinpointing his resort to agitation over tranquillity.
Habib voiced sorrow over the May 9 saga, deeming it an unfortunate mark on Pakistan’s ledger. His announcement to exit PTI was coupled with acknowledging discussions with IPP head Jahangir Tareen pre-switch. He cryptically touched upon his recent seclusion, noting his detachment from both domicile and family.
Addressing the ‘cypher’ controversy, Habib chastised Khan for his imprudent defiance against the US, ignoring Pakistan’s economic fragility. His statements implied a reckless disregard for national stability in pursuing personal political ambitions.