Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar Friday announced parting ways with the party, saying continuing further is tantamount to compromising his self-respect.
Khokhar made the decision over a month after resigning as a senator as differences developed between him and the party leadership on the coalition government’s policies.
“I wish the best for Peoples Party. I feel honoured to serve as a member of the party, but I am no longer its part anymore,” Khokhar — who has served as PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s spokesperson — said during Geo News’ programme “Naya Pakistan”.
“I am as much part of PPP as Miftah Ismail is of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Let’s see where I head next from here,” the former senator said.
In response to a question, Khokhar — who stepped down as a senator last month — said that the party’s leadership would be able to elaborate on why did they ask him to resign from the upper house.
“The position I took is not appreciated much. But with time, the establishment’s influence has increased. However, I am satisfied with my stance and position.”
Stressing that people should be free to speak their minds, Khokhar said if the party’s members do not talk about ongoing issues, then it would look like it’s more of a “monarchy than a political party”.
The former senator said that the establishment’s interference in politics did not end at the time of the no-confidence motion — and it still hasn’t ended.
“We managed what happened at Sindh House. [Some of it was out of free will] and some was forced. But whatever happened in [Khan’s] tenure is still happening today,” he lamented.
Taking a jibe at the incumbent government, Khokhar called it “Hybrid 2.0” and noted that it was “restoring to the wrong moves” in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Azam Swati’s case — who is being transferred from one jail to another over his controversial tweets.
“And why is Ali Wazir in jail? Why is he not being released? If he gets bail in one case, he is sent back to [prison] in another case,” Khokhar said about the independent member of the National Assembly who has been behind bars since December 2020.
Khokhar formally resigned as a senator on November 10 and at that time stressed that he would try hard to maintain his “independence”.
He resigned after it emerged that the party was unhappy with his political position. Khokhar was critical of the government since its inception. He also refrained from becoming a state minister in April.
In a series of tweets last month, Khokhar said he met a senior leader from the party today, who told him that the party leadership “wasn’t happy with my political positions and wanted my resignation from the Senate”.
“I gladly agreed to resign […] will be submitting my resignation in person to Chairman Senate tomorrow, Insha[A]llah,” Bilawal’s former spokesman said.