A cohort of defecting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party heavyweights, including Fawad Chaudhry, Imran Ismail, Mahmood Moulvi, and Aamir Kiani, met with the party’s Vice-Chairman, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in Adiala jail on Wednesday.
These former PTI leaders had a detailed discussion with Qureshi, who Chairman Imran Khan has flagged as the party’s leader if Khan gets disqualified.
According to reliable sources, their agenda involved persuading Qureshi to disassociate himself from the deposed Prime Minister Khan, who was ousted via a no-confidence vote in April of the previous year.
In a subsequent press conference, Fawad Chaudhry, once a close Khan ally, suggested that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — the multi-party ruling alliance led by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman — should not be allowed to dominate the fate of Pakistan’s 250 million populace.
Flanked by fellow ex-PTI leaders Ismail and Moulvi, Fawad emphasized that an effective opposition was crucial to counterbalance the current government, hinting at rumors about establishing a new political entity primarily consisting of PTI deserters.
Fawad announced his temporary hiatus from politics and severance from PTI amidst the chaos that ensued on May 9 when PTI supporters attacked public and military installations nationwide. He called for action against those involved in these incidents, asserting it as their collective responsibility.
Fawad also revealed that they have reached out to other prominent leaders, including Ali Haider Zaidi, Pervez Khattak, Asad Umar, Atif Khan, and Farrukh Habib, aiming for a “stable solution.”
In contrast to his recent statement of his “last political press conference,” former Sindh governor and PTI leader Imran Ismail was seen alongside Fawad. Ismail, who previously criticized PTI’s anti-establishment rhetoric and supported the Pakistan Army, had announced his political retirement.
Aamir Kiani expressed similar sentiments, who also attended the jail meeting with Qureshi and announced his departure from PTI and politics on May 17.
However, Asad Qaiser and other PTI leaders refuted the press conference’s claims, dismissing any contact with Fawad Chaudhry.
In response to these developments, Zain Qureshi, Qureshi’s son, denied any possibility of his father’s departure from Khan or PTI, reaffirming Qureshi’s position as the PTI Vice-Chairman.