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Pakistan: Woman lawmaker accuses Imran Khan of sending ‘obscene’ text messages

Ayesha Gulalai alleged that the “honour” of women affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is not safe and accused Imran Khan of harassing women leaders.

world Updated: Aug 02, 2017 22:05 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan,Imran Khan,Ayesha Gulalai
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan seen with Ayesha Gulalai (left), a lawmaker from Pakistan’s tribal areas who has quit the party after accusing Khan of harassing its women leaders.(Twitter)

A woman parliamentarian of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has stirred up a major row by accusing the cricketer-turned-politician of sending her “obscene” text messages and harassing women leaders of the party.

Ayesha Gulalai, elected to the National Assembly in 2013 from a reserved seat for women in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, also announced her decision to quit the PTI because she could not compromise on her honour and dignity.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, Gulalai said the “honour” of women in the PTI is not safe because of 64-year-old Khan, whom she called a “fake Pathan”.

Gulalai, who hails from the conservative South Waziristan tribal region and is the sister of leading squash player Maria Toorpakai, said Khan is a “characterless person” who considers himself an angel but his conduct is “highly indecent”.

There was no response to the allegations from Khan though PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry dismissed Gulalai’s allegations and claimed she had “sold her soul” for money.

The lawmaker said she had received numerous text messages from Khan, and the first one was sent from his Blackberry in October 2013. She declined to read out the messages but asked journalists to contact the telecom authority in this context.

She urged the Supreme Court to take notice of the matter for the sake of the honour of women members of the PTI as there is speculation that Khan might one day become the prime minister.

Gulalai said her decision to quit the PTI had nothing to do with a case regarding Khan’s assets that is being heard by the Supreme Court. “The criterion for awarding party tickets is entirely different in the PTI,” she said.

She said she had the courage to come out against Khan and his clan as she is a brave Pathan and honour was more important to her. The lawmaker went on to say that Khan was more impressed by Western culture and wanted to replicate it in Pakistan.

“Their change is confined to social media while workers like me work on the ground, whom they call inferior workers. When I used to attend meetings, Imran Khan gave tips on how to ridicule rivals and target them,” she said.

Gulalai also accused the PTI government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of corruption and said chief minister Pervez Khattak was acting like a “mafia boss”.

She rejected reports that she was joining the PML-N party of former premier Nawaz Sharif but praised him for respecting women.

First Published: Aug 02, 2017 10:33 IST