By Saeed Qureshi
Imran Khan the Chairman of the political party “Pakistan Tehrik Insaf” (PTI) needs to urgently refurbish his image that seems to have been tarnished as a result of the allegations of sexual misconduct or exploitation by one of his erstwhile party member Aisha Gulalai from South Waziristan.
Irrespective of the aspect as to who is right and who is not, it is important that the competent authorities should find the fact and probe these allegations leveled by Aisha Gulalai an MNA and formerly a prominent member of PTI. Gulalai became disgruntled for not allowed to speak in a public gathering as well being denied the party ticket to contest for NA 1 seat of the National Assembly.
She alleged that Imran Khan, the founder and president of the Pakistan Tehrik-e- Insaf had been making indecent advances towards her by way of sending lewd and unethical text messages. Besides he was urging here to meet him privately and alone, not even in the company of his family members.
When asked as to why she failed to report the alleged sexual harassment by Imran Khan earlier as per her claim, she started receiving "inappropriate messages" since 2013; Ayesha Gulalai conceded that “she only managed to summon the courage to spill the beans now”.
Gulalai showed some of the text messages to Hamid Meer, a famous journalist and the Geo News Anchor who tacitly confirmed that the nature and tenor of the message seem to be unethical and therefore merits an inquiry.
Gulalai claimed that these foul messages were sent to him over a period of four years and she kept these under the curtain for their being highly sleazy and for not picking up courage to make these public. She is now ready to show these messages to the appropriate authorities which can be a court of law.
Imran and his party colleagues claim that Gulalai has launched this defamation onslaught at the behest of his arch political rival Nawaz Sharif and his other party members. Notwithstanding Imran’s claim of his defamation by his political rivals, the case itself is of such a nature that this must be taken into consideration by the relevant courts as Suo moto or else if could be filed by Aisha Gulalai herself. Gulalai seems to be determined to go to any forum to prove herself right and also show the text messages whose number runs into several scores and were sent over a period of four years.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah said that the nature of the allegations of MNA Ayesha Gulalai were very serious and need thorough investigation. Jamaat-i-Islami has also demanded a judicial inquiry and praised the courage of Madam Gulalai. JI leaders even invited her to join their party.
Senior politicians of mainstream political parties of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa demanded a high-level investigation into the allegations leveled by MNA Ayesha Gulalai against her party Chief Imran Khan. PTI, in the meantime, has approached the relevant authority to abolish her membership of the National Assembly.
We have been reading in the past about Imran Khan and his free life style like a Casanova in England as well in Pakistan. There are quite a few stories about the kind of his life spent in England. But that was not objectionable as it was commensurate with the culture of that country. Also, we have been hearing about his life pattern in Pakistan which seems to be full of sound and fury that a single or a divorced young man would prefer. He has divorced her two wives: one from England and the other from Pakistan.
There are stories about his association with Salahuddin the founder and host of Havely, a venue for literary, poetic, musical and occasional fun filled parties. This is the age of Facebook and U-tube. As such everyone is sitting in a glasshouse and therefore the private and social life cannot remain hidden.
As long as having a normal friendship and a possible offer of marriage with Aisha Gulalai who was also a bachelor was in order. But the aspect of sending or trading filthy, sexy or sex-tinged messages all the more to a female party member is certainly below the dignity of even a common person; all the more by a politician of high caliber.
Inviting Gulalai to meet him alone and not with her family members is a dimension that makes one to raise eyebrows and impel pondering as to what could be its purpose. However, if the case is referred to a court of law, to an arbitrator, or any other competent authority then the people might be able to know about the nature of the messages and the real intentions behind those.
It is hoped that in the meantime, Imran Khan may not delete the sent messages from his blackberry cell phone. Even if he does then his challenger Madam Gulalai claims to have the messages in her iPhone(blackberry) to prove her claim of moral indecency by her former party chief Imran Khan.
In the meantime, the female members of the PTI have rallied around their leader. They have condemned Aisha Gulalai for hurling very serious and highly indecent charges and heaping a plethora of immoral offences on a popular political figure of Pakistan.
Concurrently, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has served a legal notice on Ayesha Gulalai. The notice sent by PTI central media coordinator Javed Badar demanded Ayesha Gulalai to provide evidence to support her allegations against the PTI chief within 10 days or seek apology.
In the meantime, Imran Khan has directed his party leaders and supporters not to target Gulalai’s sister. Gulalai however, has claimed that she is being threatened by PTI supporters. She added that if any harm comes to her or to her family, she will hold Imran Khan responsible for it. In an interview Imran Khan alleged that Ayesha Gulalai was used by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz to trap and defame him.
Gulalai also denied allegations of corruption leveled against her by her former assistants Noor Zaman and Mujahid Khattak who accused her of corruption in road construction and other projects. Gulalai said that these individuals were never her political assistants. Gulalai’s father has characterized Noor Khan as a person of criminal intent and nature.
Ayesha Gulalai is highly educated and belonged to a famous and respected Wazir Tribe.
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