After a period of silence, Habib has now broken his silence, explaining that he had intentionally severed contact with his family for approximately three weeks. This disconnect came in the wake of the events following the unfortunate incident of May 9.
Speaking at a press conference hosted at the IPP headquarters in Lahore, Habib was accompanied by leaders of the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party.
In the aftermath of the May 9 riots that followed the arrest of Imran Khan in Islamabad, over a hundred prominent leaders were detained, many of whom subsequently held press conferences to announce their departure from the PTI.
Habib, who is known to be a close confidant of the PTI chief and was one of the party’s most vocal leaders following the May 9 riots, was arrested in Gwadar last month by plainclothes security personnel. Curiously, he was never presented in any court.
According to the PTI’s media wing, an application had been submitted to the Lahore High Court seeking Habib’s recovery, but no action had been taken in response.
Notably, Habib’s wife had written a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, expressing concerns about her husband’s well-being and seeking his early recovery. She had expressed fears that he might be subjected to torture to change his political allegiance.
During the press conference, Habib reflected on his longstanding association with the media, recounting his involvement in student politics in Lahore and his active role in the PTI.
In the wake of the May 9 riots, he engaged in introspection about his political journey, aiming to align it with the vision of making Pakistan the country of Quaid-e-Azam. He emphasized the importance of self-accountability and acknowledged a shift toward violence in the pursuit of their political objectives.
He expressed the view that Pakistan had veered away from the vision laid out by Quaid-e-Azam and highlighted the violent resistance that followed the constitutional ousting of the PTI government via a vote of no-confidence. Habib argued that a more democratic struggle and patience for elections would have been a more responsible approach.
Habib suggested that a “message of hatred” was perpetuated on television, and a confrontational approach was adopted, with “bullet” replacing “ballet.”
He criticized the PTI leadership for not demonstrating responsibility and alleged that Imran Khan incited people to fight without understanding the extent of injuries suffered by individuals.
Addressing the issue of the cipher, a document that the PTI claims contained a threat from the United States to remove Imran from office, Habib asserted that Imran constructed a “political narrative” around it for political advantage.
Habib claimed he had no knowledge of Imran’s acceptance of watches from the Toshakhana depository and felt “kept in the dark.”
In conclusion, Habib directed his message to the youth, encouraging them to contemplate certain facts without advocating support for any specific political party. He stressed that the PTI was his “political birth,” but Imran Khan had deviated from his original vision.
Habib cited concerns about innocent individuals with no criminal records languishing in jails and noted that the decision to part ways with the PTI was challenging but necessitated by the country’s best interests.
Before concluding, Habib revealed his decision to join the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party led by Jahangir Khan Tarin. He described Tarin as a reformist and expressed his sense of alignment with Tarin’s leadership. Habib emphasized the commitment to work for Pakistan’s betterment, echoing his dedication to the IPP.