Calling deposed prime minister Imran Khan an “irresponsible leader”, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Farrukh Habib on Monday announced parting ways with the former ruling party and joining the Jahangir Tareen-led Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP).
Addressing a press conference along with IPP leaders in Islamabad, Farrukh termed Imran Khan responsible for the May 9 riots, saying the latter kept “promoting violence and brainwashing youth”.
“Imran Khan did not act responsibly. Youth were brainwashed that institutions were against us. You [Imran] not only brainwashed them but also made them go against your own institutions, your own army,” he added.
Habib resurfaced today along with IPP leaders following his arrest in Gwadar along with his four brothers last month.
PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan had written on microblogging platform, X: “Farrukh Habib, former minister of state and President PTI West Punjab has been abducted by unidentified people a short while ago. The rising trend of abductions of PTI leaders is condemned in the strongest words possible. Leaders are abducted and then made to record statements of leaving PTI and Imran Khan.”
Habib joins the long list of PTI leaders who have left the former ruling party following the May 9 riots, which was declared a “black day” by the then PML-N-led coalition government and the military establishment.
Read more: Farrukh Habib whisked away from Gwadar
The former PTI leader, during today’s presser, said that there had been many protests in front of military institutions in the past but they were never violent.
“You [Imran Khan] brought the people to a point where they were ready to confront their own army. Imran Khan needed to act responsibly but he kept promoting violence,” he added.
He said that May 9 will be remembered as a dark chapter in the history of Pakistan, adding that he did not participate in any protest on that day despite a protest being held in his own constituency in Faisalabad.
Habib stated that Imran Khan was in power for three years after which he was removed through constitutional means with a vote of no-confidence. However, the former PM chose the path of violence instead of peaceful solutions.
He expressed regret over the tragic events of May 9, saying that what occurred on that day was a mistake. He proclaimed his departure from PTI and revealed that he had met with IPP chief Jahangir Tareen before joining his party.
Without specifically stating his whereabouts after his disappearance, he revealed that he was not at his residence for the past five months and he wasn’t even in contact with his family for the last few weeks.
On cypher issue, Farrukh said that Imran used it for his own political gain without analysing the consequences. “You may confront [the US] when you have a $1,000 billion in reserves but when your situation is bleak, you cannot afford such a confrontation,” he added.
More to follow…