Pakistan politics PTI defectors join new leader to form new party 2023

A large number of disgruntled leaders who left the party of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan have joined forces and are preparing to launch a new military-backed party to compete in the upcoming October general elections.

Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT), a sugar magnate and an old friend of Khan’s, is leading the group of leaders who quit Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in the aftermath of last month’s assaults on military installations.

On Wednesday, more than 100 PTI leaders and legislators joined their new leader Tareen, who is expected to inaugurate the ‘Istehkaam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP), which will include more than 120 former PTI leaders and legislators.

This new party is being referred to as the ‘king’s party’ by Khan and political analysts because it has the support of the military establishment. It is predicted that the king’s party will emerge victorious and hold a portion of power in the upcoming elections.

“It is not out of place to say that the IPP (king’s party) will be the ‘new PTI minus Imran Khan’ in the next general elections, which are likely to be held in October 2023,” said former PTI leader Firdous Ashiq Awan on Thursday.

Khan is culpable for the current situation he and his party are in.

“His anti-military rhetoric caused incidents on May 9.” “Instead of going after his political opponents, he went after the establishment, and now he’s paying the price,” she said. She stated that the majority of PTI leaders and former legislators have joined the JKT group and that no one will remain with Khan.

Awan stated, “Under the new platform, we will engage in politics against the major parties PMLN and PPP, as PTI is now a thing of the past.”

More than 130 leaders and former legislators have left PTI because, according to Khan, the organization is “under military pressure” to keep him out of politics.

Intriguingly, some of them proclaimed a ‘temporary break’ from politics as they left the PTI in the aftermath of the May 9 unrest. However, their hiatus lasted only a few weeks before they joined the new political camp officially.

PTI leaders have left Khan daily since the assaults on over 20 military installations and state structures, including the army headquarters in Rawalpindi.

It is believed that only a small number of PTI leaders remain loyal to Khan in the ongoing effort to fracture the PTI.

“Nearly all PTI defectors have converged on a single platform: the JKT group.” Now this group is launching a new party – ‘Istehkaam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) – and all those departing Mr. Khan will be part of this party,” said PM’s special assistant Awn Chaudhry, a key representative of the JKT group.

Tareen will shortly make an official announcement about the celebration.

He stated that the Democrats group, consisting of approximately 35 former PTI lawmakers, has also joined the JKT group. “We will now conduct politics on the new platform,” Chaudhry stated.

Former PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry, JKT founding member Amir Kiyani, former Sindh governor Imran Ismael, former federal ministers Ali Zaidi and Firdous Ashiq Awan, and outspoken Fayyazul Hasan Chohan are prominent members of the JKT.

Aleem Khan, a property and media magnate, is lobbying for the president’s position in the IPP, while Tareen may be dubbed ‘chief’ of the new party until the court lifts his lifetime ban from holding public office.

The detention of Khan by paramilitary personnel on the premises of the Islamabad High Court on May 9 sparked unrest in Pakistan, resulting in several deaths and the destruction of dozens of military and state installations by furious PTI protesters.

The ousted prime minister is under pressure to maintain the unity of his party as dozens of its senior leaders have defected since the May 9 arrests of those responsible for attacks on military installations.

Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, was expelled from power in April of last year after losing a vote of no-confidence in his leadership, which he claimed was part of a US-led plot to eliminate him due to his independent foreign policy decisions regarding Russia, China, and Afghanistan.

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