Islamabad : Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founding member and former Sindh governor Imran Ismail on Saturday resigned from all party positions in a major blow which landed the party in trouble following the May 9 riots , The Express Tribune reported.
"This is my final political press conference. I am one of the founding members of PTI. Today, those who used to advise Imran Khan, they should think about it. Those who used to sit around Imran Khan and give him advice should reflect on their actions," Ismail said during a press conference in Karachi after being granted bail by an anti-terrorism court. Former Sindh governor, who was among the members who sang the party's famous song "Tabdeeli Aaye Ray", was arrested for inciting violence during the protests on May 9. He was released on a surety bond of PKR 50,000, The Express Tribune reported.
The Express Tribune is Pakistan's internationally affiliated daily newspaper.
Ismail said that those involved in the events of May 9 should be punished, but it has not yet been proven in the investigation of who was involved.
"I resigned from all positions in the PTI and step down from the basic membership of the party. However, whether my political career has ended or not, I have not made a final decision on that. Khan Sahib, I bid you and PTI farewell "," he added.
Ismail joins the long list of PTI members who were quitting the former ruling party. Earlier in the day, Ali Zaidi and Makhdoom Khushro Bakhtiar also made announcements of parting ways with the former ruling party, The Express Tribune reported.
As the crackdown on PTI intensified in the aftermath of the May 9 violence, numerous PTI leaders, including close confidants of former prime minister Imran Khan, have been defecting from the party, leading to what the former prime minister referred to as "forced divorces." "
Despite some leaders being temporarily released on court orders, many were re-arrested, indicating that the crackdown showed no signs of easing, The Express Tribune reported.
Prominent PTI figures such as Shireen Mazari, Aamir Kiani, Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Aftab Siddiqui, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Musarrat Cheema, Abrarul Haq and others have announced their departure from the former ruling party.
Asad Umar, a close aide of the PTI chief, resigned from his posts as the secretary-general and core committee member, citing the ongoing situation. His decision came shortly after Fawad Chaudhry, another trusted confidant of Imran, also quit the PTI, The Express Tribune reported.
However, senior PTI leaders Dr Yasmin Rashid and Mehmoodur Rasheed have expressed their continued support for the party chief, reaffirming their commitment to remain with the PTI.