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Maleeka Bokhari joins long list of PTI deserters

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  • “Events of May 9 painful for every Pakistani,” Maleeka Bokhari says.
  • “There’s no pressure on me to leave the party,” Bokhari says.
  • “I also want to spend time with my family,” ex-lawmaker says.

ISLAMABAD: Maleeka Bokhari, a former parliamentarian, Thursday announced quitting the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), joining a long list of leaders to desert the party following the May 9 riots.

“I condemn the events that transpired on May 9. For every Pakistani, the events that took place on May 9 are very painful,” the former member of the National Assembly said in a press conference in Islamabad.

Announcing her “dissociation” from the party, Bokhari said she wasn’t under duress and “no one forced me into making this decision”.

“As a lawyer, I want to play a positive role in Pakistan. I also want to spend time with my family,” she said.

Bokhari quit the party hours after her release from Adiala Jail, where she was sent after being arrested under Section 4 of the Maintenance of Public Order.

Khan’s party has been feeling the heat of the state’s might after his party workers burnt and smashed military installations, including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, after his arrest on May 9 — a day the army dubbed as “Black Day”.

Several party leaders and thousands of workers have been rounded up in connection with the violent protests and the army has insisted that the people involved in attacks on military installations be tried under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.

A close aide of Khan, Asad Umar, has relinquished his posts of secretary general and core committee member, citing the ongoing situation.

Several party leaders and lawmakers — including Shireen Mazari, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Aftab Siddiqui, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan among others — have publicly denounced the attacks on the state installations and announced leaving the former ruling party since the May 9 vandalism.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the federal government was considering imposing a ban on the PTI after receiving evidence that the party’s supporters carried out “pre-planned” and “coordinated” attacks on public properties and military installations.

In her presser, Bokhari backed the authorities’ decision to investigate the May 9 events and said the people behind the violent events should be punished.

“When a red line has been crossed, then action should be taken in line with the law,” she added.

Pakistan

As PM Shehbaz creates committees to address the PPP’s issues, a thaw is evident.

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In response to the issues brought up by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during their meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established committees.

The PPP heavyweights and PML-N leaders met after Bilawal did not attend the June 12 National Assembly session when the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024–25 was unveiled.

The PPP chief’s concerns were mostly addressed by the prime minister at the meeting, when he also ordered committees to look into his grievances.

Sources claim that on Friday, the committees would undertake discussions to settle the differences between the ruling parties.

Bilawal once voiced concern over the PPP’s lack of faith in the budget. He emphasised that the PML-N is not carrying out the arrangement that the PPP had made to support the government.

Additionally, he charged that the Punjabi government was erecting obstacles in the way of the PPP’s advancement in the region.

For the welfare of the people as well as the growth and prosperity of the nation, Prime Minister Shehbaz urged all political parties to cooperate.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Senate Chairman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, and Sherry Rehman were among the PPP delegation members.

Speaking at the event, the premier stated that additional talks over the budget for 2024–2025 were held with the Pakistan Peoples Party. He claimed that although the stock market had seen an unprecedented boom, the economy was exhibiting encouraging signs.

He claimed that the new fiscal year’s budget included measures to help the average person. He promised that committees will continue to be used for further consultation.

Afterwards, the prime minister hosted a dinner reception in honour of the PPP delegation.

In attendance were Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Ministers for Planning and Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Ali Pervez Malik, and former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique.

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The court hinted at a June 27 ruling in the Imran-Bushra iddat nikah case.

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Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi filed petitions in the iddat nikah issue, and a municipal court in Islamabad has intimated that it may rule on their cases by June 27.

Beyond this period, the court made it clear that no more time will be granted for arguments. “Even if no party appears, the court will take a decision based on the record of the case,” it said.

Supporters of PTI stood outside the courtroom during today’s hearing to show their support for Bushra Bibi.

Further Meetings Both Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan begged for their sentences to be suspended during the session, which was chaired by Judge Afzal Majoka.

The PTI founder was defended by attorney Salman Akram Raja, and Bushra Bibi was represented by Usman Riaz Gill. Khawar Maneka’s representative, Zahid Asif Chaudhry, wrote a letter.

Attorney Salman Akram Raja fervently pleaded in favour of the sentence suspension. “This case is, in fact, an abhorrent assault on a Pakistani woman’s chastity. Today, the court was presented with this entire discussion. The Supreme Court has issued multiple rulings. Each and every witness has admitted to lying to this court. “It has been made clear in front of the court,” Raja declared outside the building, wishing for the administration of justice.

The court made the observation that a judgement on the applications for sentence suspension needed to be made by June 27 at the latest.

The court stated that Salman Akram Raja’s arguments were only partially heard today in its written ruling for the day. Zahid Asif also sought for more time to prepare, and Usman Riaz Gill, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, asked for more time to make his case.

The next hearing is set for June 25 by the court. Using the available records, the decision about the applications for sentence suspension will be made before June 27, regardless of the attendance of all parties.

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“Awaam Pakistan”: These influential politicians are joining the new party led by Abbasi

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The former finance minister revealed in a statement that Abbasi will be the first convener of Awaam Pakistan, which will begin next month.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a former prime minister, will lead the Awaam Pakistan Party.

Awaam Pakistan will include former PML-N leaders Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi, Javed Abbasi, Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Zahid Binnouri, Rana Zahid Tauseef, and Sardar Anwar Soomro, according to Miftah’s announcement.

The former MQM MNA Sheikh Salahuddin and former health minister Dr. Zafar Mirza will also join the Abbasi-led party.

On July 6, the AP launch ceremony will take place in Islamabad.

From August 2017 to May 2018, Abbasi, the former prime minister, held the position.

Given his disagreements with the PML-N’s upper echelons, it is important to note that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had made multiple allusions to the possibility of starting a new party.

The former prime minister filed the necessary paperwork to the poll election commission in April of this year in order to register a new political party. He and the PML-N broke apart after a year of disagreements.

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