Gulalai demanded NA ticket in my presence: PTI leader

PESHAWAR: A former PTI election candidate from PK-8, Peshawar, Shehzad Khan, has claimed that MNA Ayesha Gulalai had asked party chairman Imran Khan in his presence for the party’s ticket to contest the next NA-1 Peshawar election.

He told a news conference here on Wednesday that he led a delegation of transporters and pushcart owners from KP to Imran Khan’s residence in Banigala area of Islamabad on July 31.

“Ms Ayesha Gulalai came there (Bani Gala) and requested us to accompany her to talks with Imran Khan. I accepted her request and saw Imran Khan with her but was shocked when she demanded the party’s ticket for the NA-1 Peshawar election. Imran Khan asked her to contact the party’s parliamentary board for the ticket but she was not interested in following the ticket issuance procedure,” he claimed.

The former PTI election candidate said the woman lawmaker had also complained to the party chief about the denial of the chance to speak during the ‘Yom-i-Tashakur’ public meeting in Islamabad as well as corruption of some party people.

Party’s women wing seeks public apology from MNA

“Imran Khan asked Ayesha Gulalai to produce ‘solid, documentary’ proof of corruption for action against the relevant people,” he said.

Mr Shehzad said his delegation had nothing to do with Ms Gulalai as its members, including poor transporters and pushcart owners, met the PTI chief to seek his intervention for the resolution of their problems.

He criticised Ms Gulalai for the character assassination of Imran Khan and asked her to publicly apologise for it to prevent defamation case.

Meanwhile, PTI’s women MPAs and members in Peshawar district and towns criticised Ms Gulalai for levelling ‘baseless’ allegations against Imran Khan and insisted the woman lawmaker did all that at the behest of the PML-N leaders.

Led by Zareen Zia and Ayesha Naeem, they told a news conference here that Ms Gulalai had disgraced all women political workers by trying to assassinate the character of the PTI chief.

Ms Zareen claimed that the PML-N had used Ms Gulalai against Imran Khan as part of a well-hatched conspiracy.

She said the women participated in the party’s public meetings on their own and that they felt ‘fully protected’ there.

Earlier, PTI central executive committee member and MPA Naeema Naaz warned that the party’s women wing would file a defamation case against Ms Gulalai if she didn’t publicly apologise for diatribe against the party chief within a week.

She told a news conference here that the government should put Ms Gulalai’s name on the Exit Control List to keep her from fleeing the country to avoid defamation case.

PTI Peshawar district council member Kalsoom Kundi told a separate news conference here that Ms Gulalai had never complained about the PTI chief’s character in the party’s meetings and therefore, her surprise allegations against Imran Khan were baseless.

She said Gulalai belonged to the tribal regions and therefore, she didn’t deserve to contest elections from Peshawar on the PTI ticket.

Our Mansehra correspondent adds: The PTI Hazara chapter women wing also criticised Ms Gulalai for leveling ‘baseless allegations’ against Imran Khan and warned the party’s women wing would take to the streets against her.

Divisional general secretary of PTI women wing Ambreen Swati told reporters here that the women activists were proud of party chief Imran Khan and had always found him to be a man of noble charter.

Also in the day, PTI women wing president in Torghar district Maria Fatima said Ms Gulalai had attempted to dishonour Imran Khan through baseless allegations but the bid won’t succeed as the nation knew its reality.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2017