Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s estranged leader and MNA Aysha Gulalai reiterated claims that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had been sending her “indecent, inappropriate messages” during an interview for DawnNews programme ‘Doosra Rukh’, which aired on Saturday night.
She claimed that after receiving indecent messages from Imran Khan, she took her father and brother into confidence and they jointly went to confront Khan.
“As my father was a professor, he started the discussion in a decent way; but Khan refused to accept his mistake and tried to divert the discussion,” she said, adding that “the messages continued to come in after the meeting. As a result, I was turned off from politics and went off screen.”
When asked to elaborate on the contents of the messages, she refused to provide details, saying only that Khan initially used to send her “inappropriate and indecent” messages, but later talked about a marriage proposal before her father intervened in the matter.
When asked about her response to the messages she received, Gulalai said that she always responded in a decent manner. However, “I also expressed my anger and at times adopted a harsh tone. What the bottom line is that me and my family suffered mental torture due to the entire episode. It was the main reason behind my decision to quit the party,” she reiterated.
To another question, she said that Khan did not propose to her directly, but “talked about it in a veiled manner in his text messages.”
“He proposed to me before his wedding with Reham Khan,” she claimed, adding that “after he parted ways with Reham, in July he again tried indirectly to contact me”.
“[Naeemul] Haque [also] messaged me four to five months ago. In his text messages, he also talked about marriage. Apart from the proposal of marriage, he also made attempts,” she said, without dwelling on the nature of Haque’s “attempts”.
“I spoke out for the sake of Pakistani women. I did not do any thing wrong,” she said, defending her decision to go public with the matter.
What happened after she received the ‘indecent’ messages
“I used to avoid party meetings and interactions with Imran Khan,” Gulalai said, explaining her withdrawal from party activities due to the episode.
She also shared her other grievances with the party, saying that all MNAs except her were a part of a core committee; similarly, she was overlooked while the leadership assigned party leaders to represent PTI on news channels. She also complained that she was not allowed to speak at public gatherings despite requesting that she be given the chance.
The timing of the press conference
“Before I held the press conference, I did not expect such hype would be given to the matter,” Gulalai said.
“I described my ordeal and tried to send a message to women regarding to the working environment in the party.”
“Subsequently, they accused me of taking a bribe worth Rs50 million. Fawad [Chaudhry, PTI’s spokesperson] himself was unaware [of the accusations against me] and was quoting someone else. Later he quoted senior journalist Arif Nizami, who then denied he had said anything against me. They also talked about Amir Muqam and Zafar Iqbal Jhagra [regarding the PML-N’s role in the affair]. I could not make any sense of these allegations,” she said.
She made it clear that her contact with Amir Muqam had been made after her presser. “My telephone record with PTA would be evident on it,” she said.
“After my press conference, a delegation of Jamaat-i-Islami visited me with an invitation of meeting their leadership. Similarly, people from the Sherpao group contacted me. Amir Muqam also telephoned me, and PPP people also made contact over the telephone,” she added.
“They [PTI] tried to spin their faults as a propaganda attempt by the PML-N. Do they think that people are fools,” she asked.
“Imran Khan himself says that social media is his weapon, and this weapon has been activated against me. Some people on social media talked about throwing acid on me; they even targeted my sister, Maria,” she said.
She went on to express her disappointment with the fact that despite Khan himself is a sportsperson, a vicious campaign was launched against her sister “as per his [Khan’s] training”.
“My family and I have thus developed security concerns,” she said.
“Some representatives of the provincial government in plain clothes, either from the special branch or some other departments, have also been stalking our family,” she claimed. “They visited our place and asked people around if PML-N representatives had visited there. They also stalked our car,” she said.
Gulalai said, “They call themselves unbiased but have launched a [vindictive] inquiry against me in the provincial accountability commission. Till today, the PTI circles considered me a fair person who was struggling against corruption: now, all of a sudden, I am this bad person to them.”
“They have launched a campaign against me, they have activated a private channel and some individuals against me while promising them party tickets or money. They have asked them to issue statements against me,” she claimed.
“They do not have any proofs against me, so they are changing statements. At times, they said that it [the press conference] was done after my meeting with Amir Muqam. Then they said that the issue was based on the NA-1 party ticket and then they said that the dispute was in connection with fundraising. At least they should stick to one allegation,” she said.
“Fawad Chaudhary said that I have received Rs50 million and a minister of the PTI said that they would demolish the hospital built by my sister. I reject this threatening culture of PTI.”
“As far as the jirga of the Wazir tribe is concerned, a legislator of PTI, for whom I and some other leaders had lobbied so as he could have the position, has summoned the meeting. It would be a PTI sponsored jirga and not of the Wazir tribe,” she said, refusing to be held accountable by it.
Talking about the proposed jirga, she said that she know the culture of jirgas very well as she herself had led a few. “A handful of people will assemble there under their own agenda. Why would I appear before any meeting of such a group of people”.
She claimed that a larger tribal jirga had recently approached her and expressed their desire to summon the members of the jirga called by the PTI leader, but she had asked the tribal leaders to be patient as she was not willing to take things so far.
Talking about the National Assembly committee proposed to look into her allegations, she said that she will cooperate with the proposed committee and submit the proofs in support of her allegations before it.
‘Will forgive Imran if he accepts his mistake’
Reiterating a statement she made earlier, Gulalai said that she will forgive Imran Khan “if he accepts his mistake” and apologises for sending her unsolicited text messages.
“If Imran Khan accepts that he has done it and seeks forgiveness from God, the nation and its women, I will forgive him,” Gulalai said, adding that it would not matter even if he apologised in private.
Talking about her future course of action, she said that she has yet to decide her plans but she said that she will continue serving people through politics.
“For now, I want to focus on my studies,” she said.