By Zulfiqar Ali
PESHAWAR: It was disturbing to see an elderly woman MPA resort to using a sacred scripture to establish her claim.
Accompanied by two colleagues and facing over a dozen TV cameras at the Peshawar Press Club, she drew out a copy of the Holy Quran, unsheathed it from its brocade cover and put her hands on it to swear, “I did not receive money for my vote in the recent Senate polls and have never betrayed the party.”
Later, two other MPAs followed her and held the holy book to convince Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan that they did not sell votes in the Senate elections.
They all were in tears. One of the aggrieved MPAs was PTI women’s wing president Nasim Hayat, who was called ‘Nani’ (grandmother) by workers for her 22 years long association with the party.
“I gave 22 years of my life to the party and had never expected such treatment from Imran Niazi. Really, I regret my decision of leaving the Pakistan Peoples Party. I wish I had never joined the PTI,” she said.
Nasim Hayat accused Chief Minister Pervez Khattak of misguiding the party chairman in order to protect his interests and accommodate new faces in the party.
“Pervez Khattak is a man of grudges and he made us a scapegoat to bring his people to the party,” she said.
Analyst says PTI chief acting like dictator, has treated MPAs unfairly on horse-trading issue
“This is painful to humiliate a human being at this age,” lamented MPA Nargis Ali and said that Imran should first hold probe against Chaudhry Sarwar, who won the Senate seat from Punjab.
A day ago, a woman MPA of the PTI, who was charge-sheeted by the party in the vote selling scandal, swore on the Holy Quran to assure the party chairman that she is clean and did not nothing wrong in the elections.
This is very unusual when women politicians swore publicly on the Holy Quran to prove their innocence in a male-dominated and conservative society. Normally, men including politicians are seen resort to such practices to resolve disputes or prove their innocence.
Imran Khan received widespread appreciations for his ‘bold action’ against 20 MPAs, who have been alleged for receiving money from candidates of rival parties to vote for them in the Senate polls.
The list carries name of five MPAs, who were expelled from the party two or three years ago on disciplinary ground. They include Ziaullah Afridi, Amjad Afridi, Qurban Ali Khan, Babar Saleem and Naseem Javed. Ziaullah’s basic membership was terminated when he spoke against the party’s policies and joined the PPP.
Qurban Ali Khan, a strong critic of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, had filed a writ petition with the Peshawar High Court against the unequal distribution of development funds.
Nasim Javed was expelled from the party in 2015 when he launched the ‘go Khattak go’ movement, while Amjad Afridi was shown the door on the charge of violating the party’s discipline in the 2015 local body elections.
The two other MPAs, whose names were included in the list, are Wajih Zaman and Meraj Hamayun, who had abandoned their parties ahead of the elections and joined the PTI. Imran’s reckless action caused irreparable loss to the party in KP and some diehard workers were kicked out without conducting fair investigations or without following principle of natural justice that nobody should be condoned unheard.
Imran Khan has been doing this on purpose. He fired many senior leaders including co-founders from the party. He had expelled ministers from the cabinet on hearsay or without proving them guilty. He expelled the Qaumi Watan Party from the coalition government twice without proving the charges of corruption against its ministers.
Political analyst Mohammad Riaz said Imran Khan was following ‘pseudo moral democracy’ and was acting like a dictator.
“The problem with Imran is that he considers himself to be very clean. He is bringing tainted people from other parties and humiliate those, who flee the PTI for different reasons,” he said, adding that it was unfair to treat lawmakers in such a disgraceful manner.
Interestingly, the PTI formed a six-member disciplinary committee headed by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to probe the matter and asked the ‘tainted’ MPAs to submit their replies in 15 days and so, Pervez Khattak, who had charge-sheeted MPAs, will decide their fate.
Quoting Abraham Lincoln, Mohammad Riaz said: “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”
He said the PTI couldn’t make the people fool all the time.
KP CM’s spokesman Shaukat Yousafzai and KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser were not available for comment.
Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2018