MULTAN - Former PTI president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi resigned on Wednesday from his party office and membership, saying that he took the decision because of “non-democratic” behaviour of the party’s leaders Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Addressing a news conference here at his residence where the local PML-N leadership was also present and chanting slogans against the PTI, Hashmi declared that he would not appear before the Core Committee of PTI as its president on October 29. He said that he had asked Imran Khan to invite him to the party’s public meeting in Multan on October 10 and he would give answer to all the allegations levelled against him but Imran Khan refused to invite him.

He said that Imran Khan was surrounded by some non-democratic individuals and now there was no justification for himself to stay in a party where democratic norms were on the decline and a monarch was being established. He claimed that the graph of PTI and Imran Khan was going down and its recent Lahore moot was smaller than its two earlier shows in the same city. He asked Imran Khan to ponder over as to why his popularity was on decline. “In fact, it is going down because of those hypocrites who are sitting around him,” he claimed.

He said that although the PTI had formed a policy not to field candidates for by elections, Shah Mahmood not only announced support for an independent candidate but also promised MPA tickets to 14 persons as a reward for supporting the candidate. He said that 23,000 PTI workers tweeted to Imran Khan, lamenting that Shah Mahmood committed violation of party policy by announcing his candidate in Multan while the party had decided not to field candidate in by election.

He said that he was an independent candidate and he would uphold his independent status, adding that very soon JI and JUI-F would also announce support to him. He thanked PML-N leadership and its prospective candidate Sheikh Tariq Rasheed for supporting him. He reiterated that he had no contact with PML-N leadership.

He claimed that Shah Mahmood Qureshi kept talks with government suspended for three days to pressure the government to register an FIR against Bilal Butt under Terrorism Act. “I had opposed this act at that time and I condemn it today too. There should not have been any case against peaceful protesters,” he said.

CENTRES SET UP: The district administration has set up seven centres to start payment of first instalment of compensation to the flood affectees. Two centres have been established in Tehsil Saddar, two City, two Shujabad and one Jalalpur Pirwala. Provincial Minister for Prisons Abdul Waheed Arrain visited these centres set up in Multan city and told journalists that initially Rs250 was allocated to pay Rs25 thousand to each flood affectee, whose homes were either fully or partially destroyed by the flood.  He added that the payment to those affectees, whose crops were destroyed by the flood, would also start after Eid as teams were working to assess their losses.

He said that the flood affectees from rural areas would not only be given compensation for the reconstruction of their homes but also seed, pesticides and fertilisers for free.