LAHORE: The Standing Committee on Accountability and Discipline (SCAD) of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has relieved party MPA Uzma Kardar of the PTI’s basic membership and informed her that she was no more eligible to hold any post or position at the parliamentary level.

The MPA was last month caught talking to someone on phone about the increasing role of the establishment in the Imran Khan-led government. She was also found to be hurling remarks at the first lady for being influential in deciding important matters such as posting of senior officials.

Soon after the audio clip went viral on social media, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan had removed Uzma Kardar from his department’s media strategy committee and Punjab government’s spokespersonship on June 15.

In the audio clip, Ms Kardar is heard saying the establishment had increased its role in the government affairs and managed to change (matters in relation to) the whole media. “The establishment, the government and Prime Minister Imran Khan are going hand-in-hand,” the recording said.

Uzma Kardar says the clip carries a manipulated content

The treasury MPA’s [alleged] voice in the audio clip is also found acknowledging that no government in Pakistan could be run without the support of the establishment. She also spoke about how an individual very close to the prime minister had favoured old friends and prevented others from approaching PM Khan.

Ms Kardar was also chiding the Punjab information department for not allowing her to appear at different news channel shows and added that media coordinators were ensuring that she didn’t participate in talk shows as they were recommending some other spokespersons to the media.

Ms Kardar had later released a video message on social media and termed the audio a manipulated content from her actual conversation to malign her reputation.

She had announced initiating legal action against the content which was made to go viral on social media through an anonymous account.

Following the removal of Ms Kardar, the PTI’s SCAD had also served a show-cause notice and told her that she was expelled from the party for a period of one month and she was required to reply and to appear before the sub-committee of the SCAD on June 17.

The SCAD sub-committee had, however, postponed personal hearing considering illness of her husband. It finally conducted the personal hearing on June 27. The sub-committee reviewed Ms Kardar’s letter received on June 18, a formal letter addressed to the SCAD chairman and audio clips of her conversation and considered her explanation.

The sub-committee said it was convinced that being a member of the Punjab Asse­m­bly on a reserved seat, Ms Kardar had acted in a very irresponsible manner and her conduct was unbecoming of a PTI member.

“Therefore, you have been expelled from the basic membership of the party. As a consequence, you are also not eligible to hold any post or position at the parliamentary level,” the sub-committee stated in its decision. SCAD sub-committee members Zohair Rana and Rukhsana Bhatti stated in the decision that Ms Kardar might appeal before the appellate committee within seven days of this decision.

Dawn tried to reach Ms Kardar for comment, but her mobile phone was switched off and she did not reply to a message sent to her on phone till the filing of this report.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2020