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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Hammad Azhar steps down as Punjab’s party president, general secretary

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Hammad Azhar has stepped down as the general secretary and acting party president of Punjab, citing his legal troubles and his performance of his duties, according to Dawn.
In a letter to party leaders Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and Omar Ayub, Azhar said that he was entrusted with the dual responsibilities by PTI founder Imran Khan last year and had since “bravely endured the onslaught of a fascist regime that remained bent upon dismantling the party machinery.”
Azhar further informed them that he was charged in 42 cases and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has banned him from all electronic media, reported Dawn.
“My home has been raided repeatedly, ransacked and sealed, my family has been harassed,” he said, adding that he had to send his family abroad to protect them from the “weekly trauma” of raids “or worse” while he continued to work for the party “from an undisclosed location since May 2023.”
Moreover, Azhar said that it was an honour to serve the party but it would be selfish of him to continue in the roles while “I am still in hiding and unable to represent the party even on television.”
He further gave his opinion that the party would be best served at the current juncture by leadership in Punjab, as reported by Dawn.
“In addition, it should be able to appear on television and, most importantly, have access to the founding chairman directly to receive instructions and communicate with him directly,” he added.
Azhar stated that after much thought and deliberation, he had decided to step down from his roles, adding that he felt it to be the correct choice despite having “agonised” over the decision.
He said his decision came from a “place of concern for the wellbeing of my party to which I have dedicated 13 years of my life and a desire to serve its best interests, not mine,” adding that he would continue to render his services to the PTI as a “loyal and ideological worker.”
Azhar has been declared a proclaimed offender in several cases related to the May 9 riots, Dawn reported.
Moreover, he also has a pending inquiry on corruption charges with the Anti-Corruption Establishment against him.

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