LAHORE - Intra-party dissensions in the PTI became visible on Sunday when the warring party groups clashed with each other during a seminar held to mark the birthday of country’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The seminar was titled “Unity, Faith and Discipline”, but the PTI workers displayed the highest degree of disunity and indiscipline on the occasion. This happened in the presence of party’s top leadership, which seemed helpless to avert the clash between the two factions.

In the province of Punjab, the PTI is visibly divided into two groups. One is led by Jahangir Khan Tareen and Aleem Khan and the other one takes inspiration from Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Shafqat Mahmmood, Chaudhry Sarwar, Ejaz Chaudhry and Waleed Iqbal.

PTI’s city chapter led by Waleed Iqbal had organised the seminar but party’s central Punjab president Aleem Khan had not been invited.

The event was marred by sloganeering as the supporters of Aleem Khan protested against the organizers for not inviting their leader to the seminar. They came close to the podium and tried to disrupt the speeches.

It happened twice, first during the speech of Shafqat Mahmood, and later when Shah Mehmood Qureshi took the podium to address the workers. The last two speakers had to wind up their speeches in hurry amid the mess created by the party activists.

Within no time, the sloganeering turned into a brawl involving free use of punches, kicks and verbal abuses. Scores of workers received minor injuries in the process. The group led by Shah Mahmood Qureshi and others emerged victorious in the end due to its numerical strength as it managed to push back its rivals, forcing them to leave the venue.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi later clarified that all PTI leaders had been invited to address the seminar but some of them did not turn up. The Waleed Iqbal-led faction also issued a press release after the event stating that Aleem Khan had been invited to the function through email message but he opted not to come. Aleem Khan group, however, insisted that no invitation was extended to their leader.