By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Former human rights minister and PTI stalwart Shireen Mazari on Tuesday quit the party and announced her retirement from “active politics” citing personal reasons.
Immediately after the development, speculation was rife that PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi would fol-low suit in quitting the party. However, in a brief media talk upon his rearrest outside Adiala Jail by the Punjab Police, Qureshi asserted that he was a member of the PTI and would not part ways with it.
The Islamabad High Court had earlier ordered his release after he submitted an affidavit condemning the May 9 pro-tests.
On May 9, PTI Chairman Imran Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau with the help of the paramili-tary Rangers at the Islama-bad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case — a development that sparked countrywide pro-tests amid incidents of vandalism and violence.
Following the protests, at least 13 PTI leaders, including Mazari, were arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance. She was granted bails by courts on multiple occasions but was re-arrested immediately every time.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Mazari started off by condemning the violence that took place in the May 9 and 10 protests, adding that she had given an undertaking to the same in the Islamabad High Court.
“Not only the May 9 and 10 violence, but I’ve always condemned every kind of violence especially against state institu-tions and symbols like the General Headquarters, Supreme Court and Parliament,” she said, reiterating that violence against such symbols should be condemned and she had done so too.
Mazari said she had taken the decision to leave the PTI and active politics after the ordeal of her 12 days under arrest and the effect it had on her health as well as her daughter, lawyer Imaan Hazir Mazari.
“From today, I’m not part of PTI or any active party because first [for me are] my family, my mother and kids.”
She said her children and her health were her main priority and “nothing else is important for me”. –Agencies