Rift in Imran Khan's party over march to PM House, 4 leaders expelled

Written by PTI | Islamabad | Updated: Sep 1 2014, 03:04am hrs
PakistanRiot police clash with supporters of Tahir ul-Qadri, Sufi cleric and leader of political party PAT, during the Revolution March in Islamabad. Reuters
Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party today suffered a major setback after party president and senior politician Javed Hashmi was expelled after he criticised the cricketer-turned-politician's decision to march to the official residence of Premier Nawaz Sharif.

Khan also expelled three lawmakers who refused to resign from parliament.

Hashmi last night refused to join the march towards Prime Minister's House, saying it was against the collective party decision and would result in bloodshed.

"The decision to march to parliament was taken by Khan himself in violation of party decision," he said.

"This kind of behaviour is not seen in any country in the world, where people pick up sticks and protest outside the PM House," Hashmi said, adding Khan's decisions would lead to imposition of martial law in the country.

Khan hit back by expelling Hashmi from the party.

The expelled PTI lawmakers include Gulzar Khan from Peshawar, Nasir Khan Khattak from Karak, Mussarat Ahmedzed from Swat.

The internal problems have surfaced at a critical time when PTI is going through its biggest challenge.

The party wants to remove Sharif and its workers are engaged in running battles with police in the heart of capital Islamabad.

Hashmi said that Khan decided to storm the Premier House after a "message" was brought to him.

The contents of the mysterious message and its sender were not known.

Hashmi said until receiving the "message" nobody knew that Khan will give call for marching towards Sharif's residence.

The debate over the message dominated Pakistan TV channels but analysts tried to trace its origin through dotted career of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, who was cabinet minister of Pervez Musharraf.