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PTI Secretary General Asad Umar steps down

IANS | May 25, 2023 11:49 AM

ISLAMABAD: Amidst the resignations of a series of high-profile leaders, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Asad Umar announced he was no longer part of the core committee, while senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry also parted ways, dealing a major blow to former Prime Minister Imran Khan's beleaguered party.

Their announcements came a day after Shireen Mazari and Fayyazul Hassan Chohan resigned from the party, The News reported.

Umar announced the decision hours after he was released from the Adiala Jail on the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) order.

"Given the current situation after May 9, it is not personally possible for me to continue as the party's secretary general. I am not quitting the party but would no longer remain a part of the core committee. I am resigning as the secretary general of PTI and as the core committee member, " he said in a statement.

"Another reason is that I want to talk openly about what needs to be done... But when you are in a leadership position, it is not (apt) that you give your individual opinion. So I am resigning from these party positions."

On Wednesday, the court had directed Umar to submit an undertaking that he would not become a part of violent protests following his release. He was arrested under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), The News reported.

Umar, along with other PTI leaders, was arrested hours after violent riots erupted across the country following Khan's arrest on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

Declaring Umar's arrest null and void, IHC judge Justice Gul Hassan Aurangzeb told the PTI leader to "forget" his political career in case he deviated from the undertaking.

The court also directed him to delete two tweets.

Umar said the scenes witnessed on May 9 were not just condemnable but also a moment of reflection that why such a situation arose, The News reported.

"And the message sent outside the country was also concerning, " he maintained.

However, prior to announcing his resignation from party positions, the PTI leader highlighted the importance of the army for the country and said the armed forces' strength was signified by not just its weapons but the nation's support for it.

He said that we would have seen a similar fate to Syria's if it was not for a strong army like ours, The News reported.

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