Friday, June 02, 2023
Former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar Friday became the latest Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader to quit politics in the aftermath of the May 9 violent riots.
"First of all, I condemn the May 9 incidents. The military installations which were targeted were properties of the state of Pakistan and I believe we should avoid such incidents," Buzdar told journalists during a press conference in Lahore.
Buzdar, whose term as Punjab's chief minister was cut short in March 2022, said he had always stood with the armed forces of Pakistan and will continue to do so.
"I have always committed to politics of nobility [...] but due to the current circumstances, I have decided to quit politics," the former chief minister, once considered to be close to PTI Chairman Imran Khan, said.
The former chief minister called on all stakeholders to reach a consensus and asked the authorities to release all those who were innocent from jail.
Khan’s party has been feeling the heat of the state’s might after his party workers burnt and smashed military installations, including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, after his arrest on May 9 — a day the army dubbed as “Black Day”.
Several party leaders and thousands of workers have been rounded up in connection with the violent protests and the army has insisted that the people involved in attacks on military installations be tried under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.
A close aide of Khan, Asad Umar, has relinquished his posts of secretary general and core committee member, citing the ongoing situation.
Several party leaders and lawmakers — including Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Aftab Siddiqui, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan among others — have publicly denounced the attacks on the state installations and announced leaving the former ruling party since the May 9 vandalism.