Fawad Chaudhry denies quitting PTI

We are going through a difficult time and want the bitterness to fade away, says the politician

Former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry is talking to media in the premises of an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi on April 30, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Aaj TV Official

  • Fawad Chaudhry says PTI should hold talks with everyone.
  • "When our turn comes, we will tell our story," he says.
  • Sheikh Rashid demands release of innocents in May 9 cases.

RAWALPINDI: Former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday denied parting ways with Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI), clarifying that those who leave something return to it.

The politician's comments came while responding to a query during a media talk within the premises of an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.

Former PTI chief whip Shireen Mazari was also present at the premises, as a number of former and incumbent party leaders face charges over the incidents of May 9, 2023, during which military installations were attacked by the Imran Khan-led PTI's workers and supporters.

Fawad also told journalists he appeared before the court in the case pertaining to May 9’s violent incidents, highlighting about going through a "difficult time" and the need for the "bitterness" to fade away.

Pointing towards the perils of his statement on the trying experience that he went through following the riots, the politician said he is yet to tell his side of the story with regards to what happened in the wake of the May 9 violence. He added that the stories of only those who appeared on television have surfaced following last year's event.

"When our turn comes, we will tell our story," Fawad said.

He opined that the PTI should hold negotiations with all the stakeholders including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman.

Talking to a private TV channel lately, PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan said he believed his party would not accept Fawad back into its fold again.

In response to a query, Hasan said: "I did not receive any green light from PTI founder Imran Khan about taking Fawad back in the party’s camp."

The party spokesperson added he did not foresee the return of any former party leader, who jumped ship in difficult times, back to the party. He said there were many of them trying to rejoin PTI after facing political demise, but the party's founder did not approve it.

Hasan said a younger and ideological lot had emerged in the party after the May 9 episode.

He expressed suspicion about media hype regarding those people who earlier dissociated with the party when they were needed the most.

"I call them rats," he said adding that he believed that certain powers wanted to create disloyalty through them in the party ranks after they failed in their attempts against the PTI, while the party was getting stronger every day.

Separately, in a statement while talking to a TV news channel, PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat admitted that “some friends” were trying to re-induct Fawad in the party, however, the party leadership and workers had reservations over his return.

“Those who levelled allegations on the party founder and the party itself, there is no chance of their return to the fold,” he said.

Fawad parts ways with Imran

On May 10, 2023, after the arrest of Imran from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the reaction of then-PTI senior vice-president, Fawad, caused a stir.

According to a BBC report, Fawad had grabbed his brother by the hand and was heard saying: “Imran phharya gaya ay, chal aaja [Imran Khan has been arrested. Let’s go.]”

Fawad had, on May 24, 2023, announced “taking a break from politics” and parting ways with Imran over May 9 mayhem when party workers and supporters attacked public and military installations almost across the country immediately after the arrest of the PTI founder.

“I am parting ways with (sic) Imran Khan and stepping down from party position,” the politician wrote in a tweet following the mass exit of leaders from the party over the May 9 vandalism.

Mazari zips her lip on returning to PTI

Meanwhile, while replying to a query about her return to PTI, Mazari said at the moment she could not say anything about it as she had quit politics for now. She said they were facing court trial regularly and it seemed there was no terrorist left but PTI members.

On the other hand, Awami Muslim League chief and former ally of the PTI, Sheikh Rashid, also arrived at the ATC.

When questioned by journalists about his association with the party, he said he was not in contact with any PTI leader including its founder.

Rashid also demanded the release of all the innocents arrested in May 9 cases.