Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ayesha Gulalai announced her departure from the party yesterday. She also came out with a flurry of harassment allegations against the top party members including Imran Khan. Gulalai claimed that women are not treated well in PTI and cited harassment and ‘ill treatment’ as her reasons behind quitting the party. The announcement of her exit was made minutes before the new Prime Minister’s election.
The timing of her allegations and exit announcement were met with suspicion from the public
Based on the nature of her allegations, directed specifically toward Imran Khan, it was speculated that she might be joining PML-N soon.
Ayesha Gulalai hails from Waziristan and was elected on a reserved seat for women from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, to the Lower House. As part of her exit press conference, she claimed that a respectable woman cannot stay in PTI since the conduct of its party leaders is not in line with Pakistan’s cultural values.
Shireen Mazari from PTI refuted Gulalai’s claims by saying that she is disgruntled because she was denied a party ticket in the upcoming general elections
Ms. Gulali held a press conference and refuted all of Shireen Mazari’s claims by saying that her sole reason behind leaving the party is the ill-treatment of the women and that she still has inappropriate texts from Imran Khan.
Soon after the news spread on social media, people at large began to make fun of Gulalai’s claims
— Waqas Amjad (@Waqas_amjad) August 2, 2017
Quotes were thrown around to make fun of the situation
— Muhammad Usman (@usmanz92) August 2, 2017
People blamed PML-N for using a woman to hit back at PTI after the ouster of Nawaz Sharif was attributed to Imran Khan
Ayesha Gulalai's press conference, at this stage, clearly exhibits PMLN's abuse of women in their Machiavellian politics; Unfortunate
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) August 1, 2017
W0men who have personally worked with Imran Khan also came out to with their testimonials
I've workd closely w @ImranKhanPTI 4 a decade. Argued, debated & had diff of opinion w him mny times bt he's man of character & a gentleman
— Rabia Zia (@rabiaziauk) August 2, 2017
The allegations have led to some serious debate about what, and who, to believe
While speculation that there might be some politics involved as far as the situation is concerned can’t be ruled out, the fact that a woman coming out with harassment allegations against a man in a very influential position over her is being made fun of and accused of using her gender is absolutely horrible. It sets an unfortunate precedent and discourages women, at large, to speak up against any kind of injustices inflicted upon them.
At the same time, one can’t also just believe a woman just because she’s a woman because that is equally damaging to the situation. Believing any kinds of false accusations allows for abuse of such situations against innocent men.
Ayesha Gulalai claimed she got first text message of @ImranKhanPTI in 2013 why she spoke about this message in 2017?Investigation required
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) August 1, 2017
Maaan if I hear "why now?" from another woman regarding Ayesha Gulalai's allegations, I'm going to throw a fit. Y'all giving us a bad name!
— Anum R. Chagani (@Anumero_1) August 2, 2017
Showing concern regarding the authenticity of the situation is one thing but shaming and making fun of Gulalai in the process is uncalled for.
The worst, in this whole situation, are people who have stooped to such lows as calling for physical violence against Ayesha Gulali
Here is what people are saying about Ayesha Gululai. pic.twitter.com/S2uiPO10YY
— Bina Shah (@BinaShah) August 2, 2017
One careless word or phrase or one careless act can discourage women from coming out against harassment that they actually face because we’re basically telling them that they won’t be believed if they dare to speak up against the powerful.
This situation needs to be investigated, if only for the sake of thousands of women who do get abused and should be provided a safe space to get justice against their abusers.