Islamabad: The dust of political confrontation between the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has not yet settled as the former has kicked off back-door efforts to force Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to resign for being involved in ‘corruption’.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Grand Democratic Alliance leader Ali Gohar Khan Mahar called on Prime Minister Imran Khan separately at the PM Office on Tuesday and discussed the issue with him.
Sources in the government confirmed that the PTI had started efforts to forge consensus among its allies and other parties in Sindh that the chief minister should step down immediately.
“We have only one demand that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah leave office after the JIT [joint investigation team] formalised serious charges against him,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn.
Asked why the PTI had not removed Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, who is also facing corruption charges, the minister said: “The KP chief minsiter, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Punjab Minister Aleem Khan are still holding public office as charges against them have not been formalised so far.”
He said PTI leaders Babar Awan and Azam Khan Swati, who were also members of the cabinet, had recently resigned and decided to face charges against them. “Such examples have never been seen in the country in the past,” he added.
The sources said that after recent observations of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on the issue, the PTI had stopped formal meetings with leaders from Sindh, but it had started backchannel efforts to force Mr Shah to resign.
Earlier, Fawad Chaudhry had planned to meet Awami Tehreek chief Ayaz Latif Palijo, GDA leaders Pir Saddaruddin Shah (Pir Pagara), Arbab Rahim, Zulfiqar Mirza, Ameer Bukhsh Bhutto and others.
Now local PTI leaders would contact various factions of the Jiye Sindh Tehreek and other groups which were not represented in the Sindh Assembly.
These groups would hold press conferences and mount street protests to highlight their demand, without involving the federal government or the PTI.
Meanwhile, the PPP has categorically announced that the chief minister will not resign.