PTI dissident Abdul Aleem Khan criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, saying he was “disloyal to the country”.
Aleem, who was once an aide to the PTI president, has become disillusioned over the years and has recently taken a stand against the party by deciding to support a joint opposition party in the Punjab parliament.
In an interview with the press in Lahore today, he said he regrets dedicating 10 years of his life to the party. “I supported PTI with great loyalty and hard work and my pride was put on hold for a while. We thought Imran Khan would have Naya Pakistan on his face,” he said.
“It’s a pity that the person I’ve been with for 10 years can’t be with the people,” he said.
Aleem has criticized the prime minister for a number of issues, from the National Accountability Bureau “chasing” him to keeping Usman Buzdar prime and appointing PML-Q leader Pervez Elahi as the new Punjab CM.
Calling out his critics, Aleem said he regretted being branded a “traitor of the PTI” and that no one in the party had sacrificed more than he did.
In a similar vein, he urged the prime minister to present evidence of corruption against him, saying he was imprisoned for six months.
“Why was there no mention of me? What evidence do you have? Bring it before the state and tell them that this is Aleem Khan’s fault and corruption… I promise. If I turn out to be a lie, I will shoot myself.” he said
PTI dissidents have also raised several allegations against Buzdar, saying he was involved in transfers and bribery of public offices in Punjab. He also accused Farah Khan, a close associate of the first lady, of being involved in the move.
He answered questions about whether the First Lady was also involved in supporting Pharah, saying that all investigations would reveal who she (Para) delivered money to on allegations of corruption.
Aleem criticized the prime minister for the dissolution of parliament on Sunday, questioning why he had previously prevented him from doing so. He said the Prime Minister could not dissolve Parliament if a resolution of no confidence in him was submitted.
Aleem’s business contradicts the PTI Manifesto, says Gill.
PTI spokeswoman Shahbaz Gill responded to Aleem’s press conference and refuted his allegations against the prime minister.
He said Aleem was a close member of PTI and should have expressed his concerns while he was still at the party. Gill said he had “no doubt” that Aleem supported the party but supported it of his own will and that no conditions had been set between him and the prime minister.
Gill said that after Aleem took over more than 300 acres of riverbed land, he pressured then vice president of the Lahore Development Authority to legalize the land, but the prime minister refused.
“There were also other issues where PTI’s manifesto and Aleem Khan’s work contradicted each other,” he said.
In response to Aleem’s allegation that he had been notified by the NAB, Gill also sent a notice to PTI member Sibtain Khan, but said it was “irrational” because he was still on the prime minister’s side.
Gill also asked Aleem to provide evidence to support his claims against Farah Khan and CM Buzdar.
Meanwhile, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry described Aleem’s press conference as “deeply distressed”.
He said Aleem’s complaint was in the second year of the PTI government, and while it had weight at the time, it is “inappropriate” to raise it now.