Three Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders – Maleeka Bokhari, Jamshed Cheema, and Musarrat Jamshed Cheema – Thursday announced quitting the Imran Khan-led party, joining a long list of leaders to desert the party following the May 9 riots. Former MNA Maleeka Bokhari resigned from the PTI and announced that she is “disassociating” herself from the party. She added that she was not pressured to quit the party. “It is very difficult to be behind bars in the heat of May.” After announcing her resignation from the PTI, Maleeka Bokhari says she now wants to give time to her profession and family. Addressing a press conference, she said, “As a lawyer, I want to play an important role in Pakistan. And as a mother and daughter – because my mother is a cancer survivor – I now want to give time to my profession and family.” Bokhari quit the party hours after her release from Adiala Jail, where she was sent after being arrested under Section 4 of the Maintenance of Public Order. In her presser, Bokhari backed the authorities’ decision to investigate the May 9 events and said the people behind the violent events should be punished. “When a red line has been crossed, then action should be taken in line with the law,” she added. In a separate press conference, Cheema said he and his wife could not continue with the Khan-led party due to the violence that ensued after the PTI chief’s arrest. “I was there at the Corps Commander House myself. It saddened me to see what was happening there. The people who were involved in it should be punished,” he said. He said it is a party’s failure if its workers are violent. “This career [..] is in our blood … it was not an easy decision to leave politics. You serve the nation in politics, but not at the cost of armed forces … not at the cost of people who protect the country,” Cheema added. Meanwhile, former Punjab Assembly members from Bahawalnagar – Mumtaz Ahmad Maharvi and Asif Manzoor Mohal – also joined the list of those quitting the former ruling party. Mohal termed May 9 the “darkest day in Pakistan’s history”. “The failure of a system or a party can’t be allowed. In this entire situation, I and my wife are idealists we are people who talk about democracy, freedom of speech and writing the element of violence that has emerged here because which the ugliness that has come forth “It is clear that we can’t continue politics or our affiliation with the party,” he added. Separately, PTI Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir also announced his exit from the party as he condemned the May 9 riots and the attack on the Jinnah House. “I will sit as an independent member instead of sitting in the PTI’s benches in the Senate from now on,” he announced.