Imran Khan ‘halts’ return of PTI deserters



ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan has blocked the return of those politicos who had deserted the party until he is released from prison.

After the violent protests of May 9, 2023, a plethora of PTI leaders had announced to quit the party as a crackdown was launched against them for their incendiary speeches and attacking state installations.

A few months later and ahead of the February 8 elections, reports had emerged that some deserters desired to join the party’s ranks once more, but the PTI leadership categorically denied taking anyone back.

On order of the former prime minister, a seven-member committee has been formed that will decide fate of the PTI leaders’ return to the party-fold, the sources added.

The committee will be led by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and comprise Asad Qaiser, Hamid Khan, Shehryar Afridi, Barrister Gohar and Shibli Faraz, the sources said.

They said the body would send a list of final names to the PTI founder who would take decision about them.

Meanwhile, they said, Shandana Gulzar will report on the PTI women’s cases as well as the leaders’ reasons behind quitting the party.