Former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) member Ayesha Gulalai, while speaking on Monday in the National Assembly, announced that she will not resign from her seat in the lower house.
Amidst all-out efforts by some PTI lawmakers to drown out her speech with shouting and jeering, Gulalai accused the PTI of trying to intimidate her family.
"As soon as I left the party, I was threatened with acid attacks," she recalled, adding that her sister Maria Toorpakai — a national squash player — was also targeted by the PTI members. "My family and I are not afraid of threats," Gulalai said amidst the uproar.
"If character is lost, everything is lost," Gulalai said, adding that she was being victimised for telling the truth.
In her address, she also repeated allegations that corruption was rampant in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"Imran Khan says accountability should begin from the big fish, but why does he not begin it from the big fish within his party?" she asked, reiterating allegations that PTI leaders distributed reserved seats for women among their relatives.
Thanking PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, the Jamaat-i-Islami and others for their support, Gulalai said that she wanted to see a Pakistan free of abuse and exploitation of the women and the weak.
PTI had protested the presence of Gulalai in the NA, with the party's chief whip, Shireen Mazari, requesting that "the stranger in the house" to be sent out of the Assembly since she had quit her party.
"I will move a privilege motion against PTI for calling me a stranger in the house," Gulalai later responded.
Gulalai had quit the PTI last week, alleging the party chief Imran Khan of sending her unsolicited text messages and citing ill-treatment of women in the party.