Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday sent a notice to PTI Member of the National Assembly Ayesha Gulalai informing her of her “defection” from the party.
The notice states: “In furtherance thereof and in compliance with the requirements of Article 63 A (2) of the Constitution, this declaration is being forwarded to you as well as the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Election Commissioner for further action in accordance with the Constitution.”
The notice, dated August 28, sent to Gulalai’s home addresses in Peshawar and Islamabad, states that Gulalai had on August 1, publically resigned from the party and had also not voted for the party’s designated candidate in the prime minister’s elections on August 1.
“Each of your two aforementioned act(s) and omission(s) fall squarely within and constitute valid and actionable grounds under Articles 63 A (1) (a) and 63 (1) (b) (i) of the Constitution for declaring that you have defected from the PTI in terms of the said provisions of the Constitution.”
It also says that Gulalai failed to reply to a show-cause notice issued to her by the party on August 10.
On August 1, Gulalai had announced her exit from the party amid a flurry of scathing allegations against 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. She claimed that she had communicated her grievances to the party leadership but no action had been taken.
Prior to her resignation Gulalai, who is a former PPP member, had been a staunch and vocal supporter of the PTI and Imran Khan, often featuring in prime time talkshows to defend party policies.
Following her resignation, the PTI sent a legal notice to Gulalai, presenting her with two options ─ to either tender an “unconditional apology” to Khan and the PTI for her “baseless and indecent allegations” in a press conference, or to pay “Rs30m as compensation on account of damage to repute, causing mental torture, agony and endangering the party’s future and policies”.
The “legal notice” was followed by show-cause notice issued by the PTI, who suspended her party membership over alleged violation of party rules and discipline.
The notice, issued by PTI General Secretary Jahangir Tareen, had demanded that Gulalai respond within seven days to alleged misconduct and breach of party discipline.
On August 4, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had called for the formation of a special committee to investigate the allegations of harassment levelled against Khan by Gulalai.
The PTI, however, categorically rejected an ethics committee approved by Sadiq to look into allegations of harassment, fearing that it could be used to victimise political opponents in the future.
Shireen Mazari, PTI’s chief whip in the NA, had submitted a letter to the speaker, saying that the party rejected the formation of a committee that would comprise parliamentarians — a majority of whom belong to the government benches — as a body involving its political opponents has “no credibility”.
“Political opponents cannot be accusers, judge and jury,” the letter read.