ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar has announced his resignation from politics and the party, claiming that PTI Chairman Imran Khan supported anti-state narratives and that the May 9 attacks were aimed at the army chief, General Asim Munir, who was supposed to be ‘removed’.
Speaking on a private TV channel program, Usman Dar said, “12 years ago, I felt that the platform of Tehreek-e-Insaf was one where clean politics could thrive, and millions of young people were inspired by Imran Khan and became part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.”
He emphasized that the May 9 tragedy was a shameful event, a black spot that would take time to erase. He added, “It must be highlighted that there were factions within the party resisting this mindset, and subsequently, there were attacks on installations and institutions.”
According to him, the May 9 incident did not happen overnight. After the regime change operation, the government divided, and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf split into two mindsets.
One faction, including Murad Saeed, Azam Swati, and Hamad, supported confrontational politics. The other, with Asad Umar, Umar Ayub, Ali Muhammad Khan, and Shafqat Mehmood, advocated reconciliation. Imran Khan favored the confrontational mindset of Murad Saeed and others.
Regarding discussions within the party about attacking state institutions, he said, “There were even discussions about attacking state institutions to exert pressure, with Imran Khan present during these conversations.”
He mentioned that during this period, there was also a long march and other events that embedded this divisive narrative within the party, with Imran Khan supporting this policy.
Usman Dar shared, “Workers had prepared themselves for the possibility of Imran Khan’s arrest. We received calls from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regarding his arrest for May 9, and the plan was to use human shields, following Imran Khan’s instructions.”
He clarified that workers gathered and set up tents, believing that Imran Khan might be arrested, and arrest had become a prevalent topic with assigned duties and schedules.
He pointed out that the faction within the party that supported the anti-state narrative was gaining ground, and Imran Khan was complicit in creating this narrative, starting with General Bajwa and continuing with General Asim Munir.
Usman Dar suggested that the aim of targeting the army chief was to force a change within the army and put pressure on General Asim Munir, potentially leading to his resignation.
He declared, “If the party has reached this point, it’s due to Imran Khan’s decisions.”
He added, “After May 9, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s foundation as a party has been shaken, and state institutions have been damaged, but PTI has also suffered divisions.”
Regarding his political future, Usman Dar stated, “I have thought deeply over the past month and a half, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot align with this anti-state, anti-army narrative. This isn’t why I entered politics.”
He concluded, “I’ve decided to bid farewell to both Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and politics. I started my political journey with Tehreek-e-Insaf, and I’m ending it here.”
Usman Dar expressed concern for the PTI workers who faced hardships, including imprisonment, after the May 9 incident, and urged that those responsible be identified and justice served. He also acknowledged that not everyone in jail was guilty.
He explained that he had considered leaving PTI earlier but waited for the situation to improve, which didn’t happen. He also mentioned that Imran Khan, despite being incarcerated, still had a strong voter base.
It’s worth noting that last month, PTI claimed that Usman Dar had been ‘abducted by unknown persons’ in Karachi, which was later denied by local police.
His disappearance led to a legal case, and after 20 days, he reappeared on a private TV channel program to discuss his political future and the Chairman PTI in the interview.
He reiterated his respect for the Pakistan Army and expressed regret over the May 9 incident, emphasizing that it should not have occurred.