I am a female PTI member and I refute Ayesha Gulalai’s alleged claims against Imran Khan

Published: August 3, 2017

There’s nothing wrong with parting ways with a political party and no one should have problems with that, but it’s important that you do not fall from grace while leaving.

There’s a popular saying which states that people don’t change, only their masks falls off.

Whoever said that, hit the nail right on the head.

Upon witnessing the ruthless slaughter of ethics and morality by Ayesha Gulalai, I could not resist the urge to write at length on this issue in order to make sure that the naysayers are exposed.

Naz Baloch and Gulalai used to be two household names in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) circles and both women were given great respect by Chairman Imran Khan and the rest of the PTI leadership. They were allowed to voice their opinions during party meetings, without any restriction whatsoever. But even after all the respect given to them, they deserted PTI.

Baloch joined PTI after its historic Minar-e-Pakistan rally on October 30, 2011. She was a complete newbie in the field of politics then, yet Imran still backed her to be the party’s media correspondent.

As a result of that trust, Baloch is now a well-known name across Pakistan. She is in fact living off the very fame that was earned by her during her work with PTI. Ironically though, in the presser where she announced her decision to leave the party, she accused PTI of being a party full of male chauvinists.

I have some questions for Baloch.

How on earth could PTI make a rookie like you one of its main spokespersons if it is ‘so misogynistic’? How did you make it to the party’s core and central executive committees if PTI only has male chauvinists? How were you able to get the PTI ticket for NA-240 if the party despises women?

The fact is that you were given way more by the party than anyone deserves, yet you abandoned it for the sake of a meaningless reserved MNA or MPA seat from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)?

Gulalai, another self-proclaimed political stalwart, is the latest casualty in the business of sold consciences. Gulalai remained affiliated with PPP during the first four years of their previous tenure, enjoying all their perks and privileges, until she jumped off the sinking ship in 2012.

Now, she is repeating history by her probable move from PTI to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The reason she cited for leaving was the “ill-treatment of women” in PTI.

For someone like me, who has been following Gulalai’s activities since she joined PTI, this allegation comes across as a massive surprise. Just the other day, she was in Bani Gala sitting alongside Imran, singing his praises, in addition to pleading for the NA-1 ticket.

Imran denied her the ticket and what happened next?

Suddenly, it dawned upon Gulalai that Imran doesn’t have respect for women. That has to be the worst plot twist ever. After enjoying four years in the NA on PTI’s reserved seat, you suddenly realise that Imran treats women with disrespect? You can’t fool people with such a poor script.

As far as her allegations of the ill-treatment of women or the alleged lewd messages that Imran sends to his female workers are concerned, I’d like to share my personal experience with the readers here.

I’ve been working with PTI as a research analyst for about three years, and during my stint, I have never encountered a rude response from the leadership, let alone harassment or ill-treatment. Gulalai claims that women are not allowed to talk during party meetings and are not appreciated for their services, but that is a blatant lie.

I have personally voiced my opinion on countless occasions, at times even disrupting Imran and the rest of the leadership, yet I’ve never been told to keep quiet. In fact, I’ve always been encouraged to put my thoughts and views forward. Therefore, I not only refute Gulalai’s claim, but also challenge her for a live debate, so that people have the chance to find out who is being dishonest and who isn’t.

As far as Imran’s character is concerned, there are countless instances where he has proven his high morals and strong character. I can even cite some examples for those who think I’m praising Imran just because I’m affiliated with the party. Shaukat Khanum hospital was named after his mother, a woman. Lady Diana realised how women are valued in Islam through the treatment she received from Imran. Kristiane Baker, a former MTV host, was positively influenced by Imran and later even converted to Islam.

And last but not least, it is the same ‘morally corrupt’ Imran who stood up for Gulalai’s sister when she was being targeted by party workers for promoting western culture.

The world would have stood by Gulalai, had she been able to prove her allegations. She has already been served a legal notice by the party and in today’s day and age, all she had to do was send screenshots of the alleged messages to prove herself right. Recently, a freelance writer, Amira Hashim, took down the well-known journalist, Wajahat Kazmi, for harassing her through lewd messages. All she did was post screenshots in her blog to support her allegations and that was it.

If you’re wondering who I am to make such claims, let me explain.

I am the one who stood shoulder to shoulder with Imran while he was busy fighting the battle against corruption in the Panama case, the judicial commission on electoral rigging, and various other instances where these two women were nowhere to be seen. They restricted themselves to TV appearances only. In short, they never belonged to PTI and I don’t have any qualms about stating the fact that as a female PTI worker, I feel their exit from the party is nothing but good riddance, especially how currently, Imran is busy working towards taking the country forward and eliminating corruption.

There’s nothing wrong with parting ways with a political party and no one should have problems with that, but it’s important that you leave with grace and on good terms. Instead of distorting the facts to defame your previous party and glorify the next one, one should have the courage to call a spade a spade.

An exit from one party to hop to another and serving one’s personal agenda should not be projected as a decision taken in the nation’s interest. And your opinion should be respected as long as it does not disrespect someone else’s character.

So Ayesha Gulalai, please know that you do not speak on behalf of all PTI women workers and supporters, as none of them will support your unethical and unprofessional claims. Please rise above such petty mud-slinging.

Mashal Hassan Sahibzada

Mashal Hassan Sahibzada

The writer is research analyst and member of the Central Women's Committee for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. She tweets @mash_hassan. (twitter.com/mash_hassan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Memona

    The cheap PTI workers are targeting Ayesha Gulalai’s sister squash player (Maria Toorpakai Wazir) for wearing shorts? This is very low of them. They can’t even distinguish between a real sport and a playboy. On a separate note just two weeks after massacre of APS childern Mr. Imran Khan married Reham Khan in a private ceremony. I have nothing against Imran Khan but he is very selfish.Recommend

  • KaKa

    Thank you so much Ma’am for speaking all out. No doubt about it that a coordinated attack by PML N is underway. I hope your contribution will strengthen the case.Recommend

  • Talha

    Mishal Hasan
    Good to see such an article in favor of your party and against a women but i like to comprehend that before giving your opinion have you tried to get in touch with Ayesha Gulalia for her point of view.

    This is common in male dominating society that a female remain silent for lots of reasons before she fed up of the situations .

    i wish if you take some time and listen the whole story for making an argument to snub such acts of barbarianism in future. Think about all the negative acts done in the society for which parents are to protect their kids at all stages.

    wish you success in life.Recommend

  • Saqib Ali Rana

    a few months ago, Ms Gulalai defended the same person’s ‘character’ when javed latif accused Imran Khan, not just party stance, but Imran Khan’s character.Recommend

  • SamSal

    Being a woman (and politically associated) does not give you the right to ‘refute’ other women’s claims, genuine or otherwise. Period.
    You can point out the flaws in Gulalai’s claims and you have the right to defend the accused. However, you cannot just refute!Recommend

  • Parvez

    There was really non need to refute this….Gulali’s timing was highly suspect, her so called news conference was suspect as she was bein prompted from the sidelines and her multiple TV interviews were a disaster…..in which she herself destroyed her own credibility.Recommend

  • layla hai

    Such allegations must be refuted publicly. Wrong should be considered wrong and its wrongness must be highlighted!
    I believe you haven’t seen her interviews. She couldn’t answer a single question raised! It could be seen on her face how she was lying. No proof, No answering to questions, only allegations?
    Hallmarks of a paid scandal.Recommend

  • Simla

    Los Angeles court ruled that Imran Khan is the father of Tyran Jade White on August 13 1997. Imran khan refused to cooperate with paternity test. Jemina Khan calls Tyran White her step daughter.
    Now if Mr Khan was not the father, he should have agreed to take a blood test and clear his name once and for all.Recommend

  • Patwari

    You are writing in general terms. With nothing laser specific.
    Are you an expert at reading people faces on TV? Specially a
    woman’s face who has accused a national leader of sexual
    harassment? In a patriarchal society, where women are stoned
    to death, even on the steps of the Lahore High Court! In a country
    where honor killings occur every other week with regularity. In a
    country where women’s rights exist on paper only.
    You can determine a lying person from his/her face on TV?
    There are brilliant charlatans, salesmen, on TV who will sell you
    anything. Including beach front property two miles under the ocean.
    So, can you imagine the tremendous/enormous pressure Gulalai
    was under when on TV. Nervous, probably has death threats by
    the bushels. Mullahs in an uproar. Your pitchfork ready and handy.
    By the way, Kuptaan’s phone needs to be examined, not Gulalai’s..Recommend

  • Patwari

    Plastic surgery was discovered by Hindustanis
    5,000 years ago. Their PM, Modi Sarkar said this.
    So new hands can be grafted,…well,…see…
    Second option Dr. Frankenstein iii, great grandson
    of the original Dr Frankenstein. Currently has his
    practice in Czech Republic. He is always looking for new
    patients,…and experimenting in putting together body parts…
    so,…that might help just a tad,…?

    ET auditors, this is a joke. If you edit, don’t print at all.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Why are you in PTI? Usually PTI members’ response is full of hatred!Recommend