Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Dawar Khan Kundi — who recently accused Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Minister Ali Amin Gandapur of patronising men accused of stripping and parading a teenage girl naked in Dera Ismail Khan earlier this month — faces an uncertain future in PTI after the party's chief and information secretary made differing statements regarding the action to be taken against him.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Friday announced that he would expel Kundi for falsely accusing Gandapur, but the party's central information secretary, Shafqat Mahmood, hastily issued a clarification soon after stating that a different path would be taken in dealing with the matter.
Kundi had earlier written to Khan requesting him to ensure Gandapur's removal from his ministerial position, pressure him into withdrawing his support for the suspects and ask the girl's family for forgiveness.
In the letter, Kundi described Gandapur as "a source of embarrassment for the party", and alleged that Gandapur provided "support for the criminals in the case in which an orphan girl was paraded naked by eight armed men" in DI Khan.
"I visited the family a week before and they asked — in fact, requested — me to make sure that Ali Amin Gandapur, revenue minister KP, is forced to withdraw his support for the criminals," Kundi said in his letter.
Responding to the allegations leveled against him by Kundi, Gandapur had said the attempts to link him with the incident were "shameful".
"Those accusing me of patronising the accused are unaware of the police system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Police in KP is completely free from political influence and it is impossible for any minister or political leader, including me, to intervene in their work," Gandapur maintained.
On Friday, Imran Khan, while talking to media over a video link, termed Kundi a "dissident" and "a liar."
"He has had differences with the party for long, but we are now expelling him from the party," Khan said.
"This is not the first time. He has been issuing statements against the party and the KP chief minister over the last one year. He does not even attend our meetings," the PTI chief claimed, adding that the party was going to take action against him.
Handing a clean chit to Gandapur, Khan said he had personally contacted the KP Inspector General of Police, who had rejected the impression that he was under an any political pressure in connection with the investigation of the case.
"Ali Ameen himself says 'hang the responsible by the neck'," Khan said as he ruled out the possibility of Gandapur's involvement in the incident.
However, PTI Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood in a subsequent statement said that Kundi had not been expelled from the party as yet.
"Kundi is being served with a show-cause notice as complaints of grave violations of party discipline were received against him," he said.
"The PTI has a mechanism for inclusion and exclusion from the party," he added.
"Action will be taken as per the rules and regulation of the party if allegations against Kundi are proved," he said.
"A grave violation of party discipline could also result in expulsion," he added.