ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the federal government has revoked the diplomatic passports of 10 prominent political leaders associated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Among those affected are Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Parvez Khattak, Sheikh Rasheed, and six others.
This move comes amidst a series of troubling events for the PTI and its top leadership, including incarcerations, legal harassment, and defamatory public campaigns. Over the past week, a number of PTI leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry, Dr. Shireen Mazari, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Amir Kayani, Jai Prakash, Aftab Siddiqui, and Sanjay Gangwani, have announced their departure from the party. Some, like Dr. Mazari and Chaudhry, have even expressed their decision to step away from politics entirely.
Speculation is rife regarding the potential departure of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who has been in custody since May 11. Local authorities in Islamabad have claimed ignorance about his whereabouts, prompting concerns about his well-being. The Attorney General of Pakistan informed the Islamabad High Court that Qureshi is being held at Adiala Jail.
Meanwhile, former federal minister Asad Umar, who was released from Adiala Jail on May 24, has tendered his resignation as the PTI’s secretary-general. Umar clarified, however, that he is not severing ties with the PTI.
The Directorate of Passport and Immigration has also revoked the diplomatic passports of several other PTI leaders. Aun Abbasi, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Muhammad Khan, Farrukh Habib, Zartaj Gul, and Azam Khan Swati are among those affected by this decision.
These developments within the PTI have created significant uncertainty and upheaval within the party’s ranks. The revocation of diplomatic passports adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing political situation, raising questions about the future trajectory of the PTI and its remaining leadership.