Friday, July 20, 2018
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Ayesha Gulalai v Imran Khan: Pakistan weighs probe

Newly elected PM backs calls for parliamentary investigation into sexual-harassment accusations against Imran Khan.

Opposition leader Khan

Pakistan's new Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has called for an investigation into allegations that opposition leader Imran Khan harassed a former female member of his political party.

The newly elected Abbasi on Friday backed moves to form a parliamentary committee to investigate the matter after a group of legislators raised the allegations in the house.

The scandal erupted on Tuesday after Ayesha Gulalai, a National Assembly member from the conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, announced she was quitting Khan's opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, alleging that he had no respect for women and had sent her obscene text messages.

READ MORE: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi elected as interim prime minister

Khan, a former captain of Pakistan's national cricket team, has denied the allegations and accused ousted leader Nawaz Sharif's ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of organising a smear campaign in the run-up to elections next year.

Gulalai announced in Islamabad that "Imran Khan's list of sins is very long" and that she decided to speak out because she does not want to compromise her integrity.

Gulalai has not released any of the alleged text messages.

Social media storm

Abbasi told the National Assembly on Friday that he wanted a special panel to investigate the allegations.

"We respect the person who has made the accusation, but we also respect the accused, and it is their right to be able to contest these allegations," he said.

The accusations come days after Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified Khan's long-time political rival Sharif for lying on a wealth declaration.

Khan held a rally of his supporters last weekend in the capital Islamabad to celebrate Sharif's removal.

The scandal has evoked a social-media storm and provoked a debate on sexual harassment in Pakistan. 

The backlash targeting Gulalai in particular provoked criticism from women's rights activists, who said the claims should be investigated rather than met with threats of violence.

Meanwhile, supporters of Khan have accused the ruling PML-N party of using Gulalai to malign the opposition politician.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

India: Two buildings collapse in No...

Read More

India's top court demands new law t...

Read More

US ready for direct talks with Afgh...

Read More

Pakistan: Death toll rises to 149 i...

Read More

Afghanistan: Civilian deaths hit re...

Read More

Suicide bomb blast near Afghan mini...

Read More


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:


Evacuation comes as UN calls for safe passage for estimated 140,000 civilians displaced by fighting in southwest Syria.

Read More



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

Thailand cave boys

2018 World Cup