PTI sends notice to Ayesha Gulalai removing her from the party

August 29, 2017

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The defection has come about under Section 63A(1)(a) of the Constitution, says PTI.— File
The defection has come about under Section 63A(1)(a) of the Constitution, says PTI.— File

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf sent a notice of defection to Ayesha Gulalai, officially removing her from the party. Copies of the notice have also been sent to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan.

In the notice, issued on Monday, the party cited Gulalai's public resignation in her August 1 press conference and her abstinence of voting in the elections for the prime minister in spite of instructions from her party as the reasons for her exclusion from PTI.

According to the notice, PTI chairman Imran Khan sent her a show-cause notice under Section 63A(1)(a) of the Constitution, asking her to justify her actions, otherwise "it shall be presumed that you (Gulalai) do not contest the show-cause notice, otherwise have no defence and acquiesce to the issuance of a notice of defection against you."

The notice then mentions that Imran Khan, as party chairman, declared Gulalai defected from the party under Section 63A(1)(a) of the Constitution.

Copies of the notice have also been sent to the Chairman of the National Assembly and the Election Commission of Pakistan as required by the 63A(1)(b)(i) of the Constitution, to alert the two offices about the notice of defection and for "further action in accordance to the Constitution".

On August 1, Ayesha Gulalai had announced her exit from the party amid a flurry of scathing allegations against Imran Khan and other top party members.

Gulalai made the announcement moments before the election of a new prime minister, citing "ill-treatment" of women in the party as the reason behind her decision. She claimed that she had communicated her grievances to the party leadership but no action had been taken.

Prior to her resignation Gulalai, who is a former PPP member, had been a staunch and vocal supporter of the PTI and Imran Khan, often featuring in prime time talkshows to defend party policies.

Following her resignation, the PTI sent a legal notice to Gulalai, presenting her with two options ─ to either tender an "unconditional apology" to Khan and the PTI for her "baseless and indecent allegations" in a press conference, or to pay "Rs30m as compensation on account of damage to repute, causing mental torture, agony and endangering the party's future and policies".

The "legal notice" was followed by show-cause notice issued by the PTI, who suspended her party membership over alleged violation of party rules and discipline.

The notice, issued by PTI General Secretary Jahangir Tareen, had demanded that Gulalai respond within seven days to alleged misconduct and breach of party discipline.

On August 4, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had called for the formation of a special committee to investigate the allegations of harassment levelled against Khan by Gulalai.

The PTI, however, categorically rejected an ethics committee approved by Sadiq to look into allegations of harassment, fearing that it could be used to victimise political opponents in the future.

Shireen Mazari, PTI's chief whip in the NA, had submitted a letter to the speaker, saying that the party rejected the formation of a committee that would comprise parliamentarians — a majority of whom belong to the government benches — as a body involving its political opponents has "no credibility".

"Political opponents cannot be accusers, judge and jury," the letter read.