ISLAMABAD:Members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary party on Friday unanimously approved a resolution against accepting the party’s Secretary General Omar Ayub’s resignation.

In a surprising development, top PTI leader Omar on Thursday stepped down as the secretary-general of the Imran Khan-founded party “to focus” on his role as the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan.

The politician said that the PTI founder had accepted his resignation that he had tendered on June 22, 2024, via a letter addressed to jailed former prime minister and party Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan.

However, a meeting of the PTI lawmakers earlier today okayed a resolution calling for not accepting the opposition leader’s resignation and expressing complete trust in his leadership as the secretary general of the party.

The resolution proposed Omar’s continuation of services as the PTI secretary general.

As the rifts in the former ruling party widened, the resolution also condemned the reports of the potential formation of a forward bloc by some disgruntled PTI leaders.

“There is no truth in the reports regarding any forward bloc in PTI. All members are united under the leadership of the party founder and lifetime chairman,” it stated.

Earlier today, senior leader Sher Afzal Marwat demanded resignation from PTI stalwart Shibli Faraz, saying that the party will only then be freed from the “qabza mafia”.

“I demand the resignation of Shibli Faraz from party positions and as leader of the Opposition in Senate,” said Marwat, who has been at loggerheads with Faraz and other party leaders.

In May, the outspoken jurist-turned-politician also refused to work with Senator Faraz and Omar, saying they didn’t allow him to meet incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan.

While announcing his resignation, Omar on Wednesday revealed that more changes would be made in the organisational structure of the PTI in the coming days on the directions of the party founder.

“I want to thank all members of the PTI family, Parliamentarians, and Tanzeem Office Holders who have worked tirelessly and braved tremendous hardships for [ex] PM Imran Khan sahib and PTI,” he had written in a post on X.

The development came amid the deepening conflicts within the ranks of the PTI with Geo News reporting citing sources on Wednesday that PTI-backed 27 Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) lawmakers deliberated on the option of resignation from the National Assembly in protest against the party’s top leadership.

Of the 27, the insiders had said 21 of its lawmakers hinted at forming a forward bloc over top leadership’s inability to secure the release of party founder Imran Khan from jail.

They also “conveyed a message” to PTI chief Barrister Gohar and Secretary-General Omar Ayub to make serious efforts for incarcerated leaders’ release.

The disgruntled MNAs complained that some leaders were eyeing higher posts instead of focusing on the PTI founder and party leaders’ release.

Ayub was appointed as the PTI secretary-general last year after his predecessor Asad Umar quit the party and active politics, joining the ranks of dozens of party members who parted ways with former PM Khan in the aftermath of violent May 9 protests that saw attacks on public and military installations.

His resignation came on the same day when a district and sessions court in Islamabad shattered the PTI’s hopes for the release of the party founder as Khan and his wife’s pleas seeking suspension of their sentences were rejected.

Khan, the deposed prime minister who was ousted from power via the opposition’s no-confidence motion in April 2022, has been facing a slew of charges ranging from corruption to terrorism since his removal as the premier.

He has been behind bars since August last year after he was sentenced in the Toshakhana case and subsequently sentenced in other cases ahead of the February 8 elections.

Despite securing relief in other cases including £190 million reference and Toshakhana, and acquittal in the cipher case earlier this month, the former premier remains behind bars due to his conviction in the iddat case.


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