News Pakistan

Imran Khan asks for termination of membership of lawmaker who accused him of sexual harrassment

Imran Khan asks for termination of membership of lawmaker who accused him of sexual harrassment
Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan speaks with party leaders at his home in Bani Gala, outside Islamabad, Pakistan October 30, 2016. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Islamabad: Pakistan’s beleaguered Opposition leader Imran Khan has asked the speaker of the National Assembly to terminate the membership of dissident lawmaker Ayesha Gulalai, who had accused him of sexual harassment.

Gulalai, a lawmaker from South Waziristan, had parted ways with Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) this month after levelling allegations of sexual harassment against its flamboyant chairman.

Khan, a former Pakistan cricket team captain, has rejected the allegations and said that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has used her to level charges against him.

Following the allegation, the National Assembly earlier this month decided to form a special committee to probe sexual harassment charges against the 64-year-old Opposition leader.

The PTI has sent a notice of defection to Gulalai, officially removing her from the party. Copies of the notice have also been sent to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Dawn newspaper reported today.

In the notice, issued yesterday, the party cited Gulalai’s resignation during her August 1 press conference and her abstinence of voting in the elections for the prime minister in spite of instructions from her party as the reasons for her exclusion from PTI.

According to the notice, PTI chairman Khan sent her a show-cause notice. It also declared that Gulalai has defected from the party under the party’s Constitution.

On August 1, Gulalai had announced her exit from the party amid a flurry of scathing allegations against Khan and other top party members. She said that she had communicated her grievances to the party leadership but no action had been taken.

She claimed that women affiliated with the party faced constant harassment from within the party ranks. “It is my integrity that matters to me the most,” she had told reporters, adding that, “I cannot compromise when it comes to my honour and dignity.”