A political bombshell hit the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday, with lawmaker and Member of the National Assembly Ayesha Gulalai quitting the party amid allegations of harassment against PTI chief Imran Khan and other top leaders.
The PTI, which has strongly denied Gulalai’s allegations, hit back at Gulalai today asking her to quit as MNA, a post similar to that of a Member of Parliament in India. Imran Khan’s PTI served Gulalai with a legal notice demanding that she prove her allegations of Imran Khan’s immoral character.
The notice further threatens that Gulalai will have to pay 30 million Pakistani rupees (around Rs 1.8 crore) as a penalty for defaming Khan if she fails to prove her allegations of the PTI chief’s immoral character.
Meanwhile, a lawyer in Pakistan approached the country’s election commission seeking Imran Khan’s disqualification as a lawmaker on basis of Gulalai’s disqualification, Pakistani media reported today. This is in addition to another petition with the Pakistan election commission that seeks the former cricketer’s disqualification on the grounds that he accepted funding for his party from prohibited sources.
Allegations and counter-allegations flew on Tuesday after Gulalai quit the PTI and later accused party chief Imran Khan and “the men around him” of inappropriate beahviour with women. “Women workers are not respected in the PTI and a respectable woman worker cannot remain in the party,” Gulalai was quoted as saying by DawnNews.
In a press conference, she detailed her allegations, accusing PTI leaders of sending “inppropriate text messages.” “They dishonour respectable women. The respect of women is not intact at the hands of Imran Khan and the men around him,” she was quoted as saying by Dawn.
Directly accusing Kham, Gulalai went on to claim that the PTI chief used a BlackBerry phone for the sole purpose of ensuring that his messages are not traced. She refused, however, to reveal the contents of the messages, saying, “No one with any honour will be able to stomach the sort of language used.”
The PTI denied all accusations, calling Gulalai a disgruntled worker and fielding senior party leader Shireen Mazari to defend Khan.
Gulalai’s false allegations, Mazari said, were a response to Imran Khan not heeding her demand to unilaterally approve a party ticket for her in the forthcoming general election in a certain constituency.