After dozens of leaders left former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Maryam Nawaz Sharif has said the "game is over" for Khan.
Speaking at a convention in Pakistan's Punjab province, Maryam of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said there were queues of those quitting PTI. She is the niece of current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and daughter of former PM Nawaz Sharif.
Over 70 lawyers and leaders from Khan's PTI have left PTI so for following the May 9 mayhem. These include top PTI leaders like Secretary General Asad Umar and former ministers Fawad Chaudhry and Shireen Mazari.
Khan was arrested on May 9 which lead to widespread violence in several parts of Pakistan. Government establishments, including the headquarters and houses of the all-powerful army, were also attacked. The resignations began when the security services mounted a crackdown on PTI after these attacks.
Taking a jibe at the PTI over leaders’ mass departure, Maryam said that there were queues of those quitting the party.
"How will the people stand when the leader himself is a jackal?" Maryam criticised the former prime minister, who was removed from office via a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly in April last year "Your people are revealing that Imran Khan, 70, is the mastermind of May 9 (incidents)."
Maryam, the PML-N's Senior Vice President, said that Khan was the mastermind of the May 9 "terrorism" but his workers are facing anti-terrorism court.
Maryam said that Khan took his wife, Bushra Bibi, to court covered with sheets but he used other women as vanguards. Khan and his wife were covered with white sheets as they arrived at the Lahore High Court on May 15 in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Maryam said that the May 9 incident was an "attack on Pakistan Army", adding that the former premier was being assisted by his "facilitators".
On May 9, violent protests erupted after paramilitary Rangers arrested Khan from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises. Khan's party workers vandalised a dozen military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander's House, the Mianwali airbase and the ISI building in Faisalabad in response to Khan's arrest. The mob also stormed the Army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi for the first time.
Police 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.
Thousands of Khan’s supporters were arrested following the violence that the powerful Army described as a “dark day” in the history of the country.
(With PTI inputs)