Fawad Chaudhry, who recently took a break from politics after parting ways with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), came under scrutiny after he was spotted at a launching ceremony of the Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party.
The IPP was launched by Jahangir Tareen on Thursday, the former close aide of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, with an aim to give “new direction” to the country’s politics.
Several PTI deserts, who quit the Khan-led party over May 9 riots that saw attacks on defence and public installations, have reportedly joined the Tareen’s ranks.
Fawad was among the senior PTI leaders who jumped the ship only a few days ago with a pledge that they would be taking a “break from politics”.
However, his presence earlier today at the launching of Tareen’s party, which is seen as a shelter for those PTI leaders parting ways with Khan, raised eyebrows and triggered a reaction from social media users.
Although a seat was reserved for Chaudhry on the main stage alongside the main leadership, the videos of the lunching event showed the politician chose to sit in the back row of the hall trying to conceal his face in a bid to avoid public attention and looked visibly disturbed.
Fawad was seen as an outspoken spokesperson of Khan who always remained at the forefront to defend the PTI against the criticism of his political rival.
He served as chief spokesperson of the former ruling party and information minister during the PTI-led government. His statement claiming then prime minister Imran Khan’s helicopter commute cost the national kitty only Rs50 per kilometre stirred controversy in the country’s politics.
Before joining the PTI in 2016, Fawad remained part of late dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and later joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 2012.
Journalists, politicians and other neitizens took a jibe at the PTI deserters after they joined the rival Istihkam-e-Pakistan Party.
“Fawad Chaudhary acting at the launch of IPP to keep his feet in two boats, trying to say as if he was forced by the establishment to be at the IPP launch. That’s not true: Fawad has been in it full time and all along,” said journalist Murtaza Ali Shah on his Twitter handle.
“History is brutal. Doesn’t forget. Doesn’t forgive,” said journalist Syed Talat Hussain as he shared a video of PTI deserter Ali Zaidi wherein he was calling his political opponents “thief”.