PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi on Wednesday said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan must respond to the “shameful” allegations of harassment levelled against him by former PTI lawmaker Ayesha Gulalai.
A day earlier, as she announced to part ways with the PTI, Gulalai accused Khan and his “gang” of having an “immoral character”.
She alleged that Khan “would forward inappropriate and explicit text messages to party women”, claiming that she received the first such message in 2013.
Addressing the media outside the Supreme Court, Abbasi invited Imran Khan to hold a press conference in the evening to apologise to the nation and present himself for accountability.
“Whenever an allegation has been made against me, I held a press conference within five minutes to reveal the reality,” Abbasi said.
“A grave allegation has been levelled against you (Khan) and you should have been ashamed, but you are not — because in the society that you come from, these matters are not considered shameful,” added Abbasi. “If these allegations are not investigated, we will believe that justice has died.”
“There should be an investigation, there should be a suo motu, so that the truth can be revealed.”
It is important that the BlackBerry, from which the messages were sent, should be investigated and the messages should be presented to the public, he added.
Abbasi said that in 2013, he had asked the country not to let their “mothers, daughters and sisters” attend the rallies of the PTI to “protect them from this person.”
He said Khan should be ashamed for asking Gulalai to show the messages as proof and for telling her that she is not a Pakhtun. “The daughters of the country are asking you to seek forgiveness,” he maintained.
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah also backed PML-N’s demand for an investigation, saying, “The matter concerning Gulalai is regrettable. Women never make allegations against themselves. It should be investigated.”
‘I’m not greedy for a seat’
Earlier on Tuesday, Ayesha Gulalai had announced her exit from the party amid a flurry of scathing allegations against party chairman Imran Khan and other top party members.
Gulalai made the announcement moments before the election of a new prime minister, citing ‘ill-treatment’ of women in the party as the reason behind her decision, saying she had communicated her grievances to the party leadership but no action had been taken.
“Women workers are not respected in the PTI and a respectable woman worker cannot remain in the party,” she told DawnNews.