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Prominent Hindu leader of Imran Khan's party quits; condemns attack on Pakistan Army installations
Parkash was elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of the PTI party on a reserved seat for minorities in the 2018 general election
Jai Parkash, a prominent Hindu leader and a minority member of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, resigned on Friday, making him the latest politician to quit the former prime minister's party following the May 9 attack on the country's military installations and government buildings.
Following the arrest of Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party on May 9, violent protests broke out in several cities across the country during which several government properties were damaged.
Supporters of Khan stormed the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and the Corps Commander House in Lahore was torched.
Parkash was elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of the PTI party on a reserved seat for minorities in the 2018 general election.
Addressing the media on Friday, the PTI minority wing president condemned the protests on May 9 in the strongest terms, saying “Pakistan exists because of the army, and we exist because of Pakistan”.
“I had no intention to leave the party till May 8," he was quoted as saying by Samaa TV, adding that he was quitting without any pressure.
On Monday, PTI’s former Sindh governor Imran Ismail alleged that Parkash was picked up from his residence by over “40 masked men”.
Parkash's resignation comes amid a spate of resignations of senior politicians from PTI.
Earlier on Friday, Mubeen Khilji, who held the post of a provincial minister in the PTI government also quit the former prime minister's party.
At a press conference, Khilji said he was parting ways with the PTI on account of the May 9 violence.
“We wanted peaceful protests,” he said, condemning the vandalism that took place in the aftermath of Khan's arrest.
Police have put the death toll in violent clashes to 10, while Khan's party claims 40 of its workers lost their lives in the firing by security personnel.
On Monday, the top military brass vowed to bring the arsonists, who attacked the civil and military installations, to justice through trial under relevant laws of the country, including the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.
Law enforcement agencies have arrested over 7,000 PTI workers across Pakistan, 4,000 of them from Punjab province.
Khan, the 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician, was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.