Yet another setback for PTI, Important Leader joins rival party
In a significant political development in Lahore, Ali Nawaz Awan, a former member of the National Assembly, officially severed ties with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and aligned himself with the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP). The official transition was marked by a meeting between Awan and IPP leaders, including Patron-in-Chief Jahangir Tareen and President Abdul Aleem Khan in Lahore.
This move comes in the wake of a series of events, including PTI's initial claim, posted on X, that Awan was abducted from the Battal area of Mansehra district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It was further reported that Awan had been apprehended in Battal and subsequently handed over to Islamabad police.
In response to Awan's decision to join the IPP, the PTI shared an older video of him taking an oath, insinuating that any subsequent statements or actions were made under pressure. Adding to the political tension, the PTI called off its workers' convention, citing denial of permission for the event.
This decision was made despite a clear order from the Lahore High Court (LHC). Senior PTI Vice President for Central Punjab, Akbar Khan Bari, shared that the party had initially sought permission from the district administration on October 31. However, the Lahore deputy commissioner did not entertain the request, leading the party to approach the LHC.
Despite an initial agreement in court, Bari claimed that the deputy commissioner later reneged on granting permission again. Allegations were made that the deputy commissioner directed the party to approach the DIG Police for permission, and when approached, the DIG reportedly refused to permit the convention, warning of arrests if it proceeded.
This denial was seen by PTI as a violation of their constitutional rights, despite court orders. This political standoff follows a recent incident where law enforcement detained 55 PTI workers for holding a convention in the Kahna area of Lahore. The authorities allegedly used force, entered the site, raided the office of the PTI leader responsible for organizing the event, and damaged office property. The PTI strongly criticized the use of force against a political assembly and the arrests of its workers.
Meanwhile, amidst the political turmoil, a local PTI leader, Malik Shahzeb Khokhar, led a small motorcycle rally on College Road. The rally, mainly attended by youth carrying party flags and chanting slogans in favor of the party chairman, served as a local expression of support amidst the broader political developments.