Pervez Khattak forms ‘PTI Parliamentarians’

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PESHAWAR: Former prime minister Imran Khan’s aide Pervez Khattak has formed a new party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Parliamentarians, days after being thrown out of PTI, sources told.

Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Mahmood Khan and ex-lawmakers Shaukat Ali and Syed Muhammad Ishtiaq Urmar are among 57 ex-assembly members who have joined the party, the sources said.

The development comes as the Khan-led PTI remains embattled, with its chairman facing several cases and a threat of disqualification, while several party leaders leaving him following May 9 — the day PTI workers wreaked havoc on the country and attacked army installations.

Former Khan aides have also dented his party in Punjab as Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan, and other people considered close to the PTI chief had formed the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party in June.

Khattak said he condemned the May 9 incidents — for which several suspects are set to face stern punishments as the government and army remain determined to try them in military courts.

“Our existence is directly linked to that of Pakistan. PTI is now completely finished in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” the former provincial chief minister, who holds an important position in the province’s politics, said.

Khattak, who served as the PTI’s secretary general and chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the PTI government, quit the post of PTI KP president soon after the May 9 mayhem.

However, earlier this week, the party sacked him over his failure to respond to a “show cause notice” issued to him.

Sources told The News the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had also contacted Khattak and asked him to join their parties.

However, Khattak has decided to form his own political party instead of joining any other.

The move is a major setback for the PTI as it seeks to regain power and form government in the upcoming general election.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that his government’s term would end in mid-August, and they plan to leave earlier than their stipulated term.