Saturday Jun 04 2022

Shafqat Mahmood resigns as Punjab PTI president

PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood. -APP/file
PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood. -APP/file

  • Shafqat Mahmood tenders resignation amid reports that the party was not happy over response from Punjab during long march.
  • Says due to health issues, he could not continue his responsibilities.
  • In his absence, Shah Mehmood Qureshi will look after Punjab chapter.

LAHORE: A week after the failure of a PTI sit-in plan on the call of Chairman Imran Khan, the party's Punjab President Shafqat Mehmood resigned from the post over "health-related" issues.

The PTI Punjab leadership remained under criticism for its inability to put up a solid power show in Islamabad, which was also considered a moral defeat of the party against the Shehbaz Sharif-led government. 

Sources revealed that in the absence of the Punjab chapter head, Vice-President Shah Mehmood Qureshi will look after the chapter.

Read more: Imran Khan warns government against filing treason case

Mehmood, also a former senator in the PPP era in the mid-90s, got elected as an MNA in 2013 and 2018. In 2013, he was the only PTI MNA who managed to secure a seat from Lahore. Nevertheless, there have been questions about his connectivity with party stalwarts and office-bearers. 

The former education minister, after the PTI's Azadi March, remained hospitalised and underwent surgery on Wednesday. Finally, on June 3, he quit the PTI's top organisational office in Punjab.

In a statement, he said that due to health issues, he could not continue his responsibilities. “I am grateful to the party chairman for assigning me this role,” he said, adding that he would continue to work after recovery.

Taking to his Twitter handle, he wrote: "It was an honour and privilege to serve as President PTI Punjab and I thank chairman Imran Khan for the opportunity." 

"It is time for change due to my surgery and convalescence. I congratulate the new President and will serve the party in whatever capacity assigned," he added.

Read more: Imran Khan vows to remain undeterred till fresh elections are announced

It is noteworthy that the PTI also has a real test ahead in which it would have to fight the PML-N for 20 vacant seats of the Punjab Assembly. The names of Ejaz Chaudhry and Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed are doing rounds for the next PTI Punjab president.