Scores of unhappy leaders who left Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan’s party have joined forces to create a military-backed party for the October general elections.
Sugar baron and Khan’s longtime buddy Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT) leads the group of leaders that abandoned Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party after last month’s military installations assaults.
On Wednesday, over 100 PTI stalwarts and legislators joined their new boss Tareen, who is expected to launch the “Istehkaam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP)” with 120 former PTI officials and MPs. Khan and political experts call this new party the “king’s party” since the military supports it.
The king’s party will likely win the next election. On Thursday, former PTI leader Firdous Ashiq Awan informed the Press Trust of India that the IPP (king’s party) will be the ‘new PTI sans Imran Khan’ in the next general elections, anticipated in October 2023. She blamed Khan for his party’s problems.
His anti-military rhetoric prompted May 9 disturbances. She claimed he targeted the establishment instead of his political opponents and paid the price. She added most PTI leaders and former parliamentarians had joined JKT and would not stay with Khan.
Khan’s old buddy and sugar baron Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT) leads the leader group.
As PTI has faded, Awan added, “We under the new platform will do politics against mainstream parties – PMLN and PPP.” Khan stated ”under military pressure” to keep him out of politics, over 130 leaders and former MPs left PTI. After the May 9 riots, some of them resigned the PTI and proclaimed a “temporary break” from politics. They rejoined the new political party after two weeks.
Since the attacks on over 20 military institutions and state buildings, including the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, PTI officials have left Khan daily. Only a few PTI officials may back Khan’s efforts to split the party. JKT group has attracted most PTI defectors.
“This group is launching a new party, ‘Istehkaam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP), and all those leaving Mr Khan will be part of this party,” claimed PM’s personal assistant Awn Chaudhry, a JKT leader. He stated Tareen will launch the party shortly. He stated 35 former PTI MPs had joined the JKT group as Democrats.
Chaudhry stated, “We’ll do politics on the new platform.” Fawad Chaudhry, Amir Kiyani, Imran Ismael, Ali Zaidi, Firdous Ashiq Awan, and Fayyazul Hasan Chohan are notable JKT members. Aleem Khan, a property and media billionaire, wants the IPP presidency, although Tareen may be named “chief” of the new party until the court lifts his lifetime ban from public office.
After paramilitary soldiers arrested Khan from the Islamabad High Court on May 9, PTI demonstrators damaged dozens of military and governmental institutions and killed numerous people. The former premier faces pressure to keep his party together after scores of key officials left it following the crackdown on May 9 military installations assaults.
Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, was driven from office in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, which he said was part of a US-led plot targeting him for his independent foreign policy on Russia, China, and Afghanistan.