“I condemn the violence on May 9 and 10. I also gave an undertaking to the Islamabad High Court in this regard,” Mazari said. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Islamabad: In a major setback for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shireen Mazari Tuesday announced quitting the Imran Khan-led party which has lost several top leaders in the recent days in the aftermath of the May 9 violence.

The former human rights minister condemned the violence that ensued following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

“I condemn the violence on May 9 and 10. I also gave an undertaking to the Islamabad High Court in this regard.”

“Not just May 9 and 10, but I have always condemned the violence on state symbols like GHQ, Parliament and Supreme Court,” she said.

Mazari cited health issues and and the ordeal that her daughter, Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, had to go through while she continued to be “abducted and released” multiple times as reasons for her quitting active politics.

Addressing a press conference, she announced that she would not be part of the PTI or any other party from now onwards.

She further said her husband had passed away five months ago. “When Dr Tabish was alive, I could have many things, as he was there for the children as well.”

My children, mother and health are now my priority.”

The development came as Mazari had been arrested several times during the past few days following the May 9 riots triggered by the arrest of the former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case, The News reported.

Earlier, she was re-arrested once again after a court in Gujarat city in Pakistan’s Punjab province approved her bail in a case related to the vandalism and attacks on defence and public installations including Lahore Corps Commander House and General Headquarters (GHQ) during the violent protests, The News reported.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Khan on Tuesday claimed that members of his party were being forced to leave the party at “gunpoint”, The Express Tribune reported.

Speaking informally to journalists at an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad, Khan said, “People are not leaving the party on their own, they are being forced to do so, and that too at gunpoint”, The Express Tribune reported.

However, he maintained he was not bothered by several PTI leaders who have in recent days called it quits, saying that “parties never die down like that; they are weeded out like the (ruling coalition) PDM is eroding, the way their vote bank is depleting.”

“I am only worried about the workers and especially the women,” he added, The Express Tribune reported.

The PTI chief made these remarks ahead of his hearing at the ATC where judge Raja Jawad Abbas was hearing his petition for bail in eight different cases.