ISLAMABAD – In a damaging way, PTI MNA Ayesha Gulalai Tuesday levelled serious allegations of harassment of women as well as corruption against Imran Khan and some of his close aides.
Gulalai who was elected to the National Assembly on a reserved seat of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) also announced to quit his party over the ill-treatment being meted out to the women leaders within the party some hours before the election of the new prime minister of the country. She also did not come to the National Assembly session to cast vote for the candidate nominated by his party for the slot of the prime minister.
Later, Gulalai, in a hurriedly-called press conference at the National Press Club, alleged Khan and some of his close aides were in the habit of sending ‘objectionable’ text messages to the party’s women leaders, adding she was also a victim of these messages. Women have no respect in PTI, she said. “I had first received such a text message in October 2013 and after some time left attending the party meetings at Bani Gala — the palatial residence of Khan,” she said. She said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had the record of all such messages and anyone who wanted to see these messages could contact it.
Responding to a host of questions of reporters, she said BlackBerry phone set of mran Khan should be examined and everything would become clear what kind of messages Khan had been sending to the party women. “He always advised the party women to use BlackBerry phone set as messages could not be traced from it,” she alleged.
Gulalai also rebutted the allegations levelled against him by some of the PTI female leaders during an earlier press conference, saying she had not sought a ticket from for NA-1, Peshawar. “The allegations of the party women are also false that I became angry because I was not given a chance to address the thanksgiving rally at Parade Ground. How can I demand ticket when the party’s parliamentary board to award tickets has not been formed and the elections are 10 months away? This is all illogical,” she said, responding to the press conference of PTI’s women leaders, including Dr Shireen Mazari.
“I belong to the tribal Wazir family. I am a Pakhtun, We don’t compromise on integrity,” she said, adding integrity was the biggest thing for tribal people. She said a number of PTI women were victims to the harassment of the PTI leader and some of his close aides, but she had the courage to speak. “Prior to joining PTI, I was in PPP where women were respected. Respectable women are vulnerable in PTI and are not safe,” she said.
“I was shocked over the culture I saw in PTI,” she said and asked Khan now it was his turn to face accountability as he was earlier in the habit of asking others to face accountability. She said Khan wanted to introduce a Western or UK-style culture in Pakistan.
Refuting the allegations from his party leaders that she was going to join PML-N, she said anyone could blame former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for any wrongdoing, but one thing was clear that women were safe in his party under his leadership. “At least the allegation of women harassment could not be levelled against him,” he said.
Gulalai also appealed to the Supreme Court to to disqualify Khan under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution for being dishonest and liar. “See the behaviour of the man towards women, who is going to become the next prime minister of the country,” she said.
About the questions being raised over her performance in PTI, she said her performance was up to the mark as she raised the loadshedding issue and led a cleanliness drive in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She said Khan used derogatory remarks through messages against the slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto. “I was shocked to see that this man does not spare the dead,” she said.
She alleged Khan, in the internal party meetings, used to teach other party leaders methods of mudslinging against his opponents. She said two classes have emerged within PTI – the leaders who stay at Bani Gala and the workers who face baton charging and teargas shelling.
She also refuted a party claim that she had asked for a separate meeting with Khan. She said she last time met Khan along with a delegation comprising some union council leaders belonging to KP.
She alleged Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak was involved in corruption and getting kickbacks from mega contracts, but Khan was not ready to hear anything against him. The CM’s son was also involved in getting kickbacks, she alleged. Tarreen also gets contracts in KP and runs Khan’s kitchen.
Meanwhile, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry denied all the allegations levelled against his party chief and said someone had used Gulalai to level baseless charges against him. PTI Secretary Information Shafqat Mahmood also denied the allegations and questioned why the PTI MNA did not disclose the messages earlier if the party chairman sent her.
PTI MNA Shireen Mazari, responding to the press conference of Gulalai, said such allegations had been levelled against Imran Khan because he had challenged the godfathers of media and politics. She said certain people had used Gulalai to level baseless allegations against Khan.