LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) may not be able to get MPA Uzma Kardar de-seated as recommended by the party’s Standing Committee on Accountability and Discipline (SCAD).

Sources say the PTI can approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-seat an MPA only if they did not give vote to party’s chief minister and president candidates or for the passing of a budget.

Earlier in 2017, the PTI filed a reference in the ECP to get then MNA Ayesha Gulalai de-seated after terminating her party basic membership for leveling allegations against party chairman Imran Khan and other leaders. However, the party was not able to get Ms Gulalai de-seated.

Now Ms Karadr is also in the face of a similar situation after an audio clip went viral online where she is heard speaking about the first lady, the establishment’s increased role in government affairs and media management and that Prime Minister Imran Khan is going hand-in-hand with the establishment.

Later, she in her video message she said she respected the armed forces that always protected the nation on borders, war against terrorism and even served masses during calamities in the country. She condemned the manipulated content used to malign the armed forces adding that her husband had also belonged to the armed forces.

The SCAD has decided to expel her from the basic membership of the party and that “you are also not eligible to hold any post or position at the parliamentary level”.

PTI chief organizer Saifullah Khan Niazi told Dawn the party would only approach the ECP to de-seat the party discipline violator as per its rules and regulations. When asked whether the party was not able to tolerate dissent in the party ranks, Mr Niazi said that he would not comment on the party’s internal matters.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Kardar, however, said, “Crime has been committed against me by illegally recording my various conversations and manipulating them into the alleged audio clip.” She has lodged a complaint with the cybercrime wing of the FIA.

She said the clip released through an anonymous account was a conspiracy hatched against her by those who were not able to match her performance in the Punjab Assembly and on media. “I have been defending the party in the media for eight years and never issued any irresponsible statement,” she said.

When asked who was on the other side of the call, Ms Kardar said the conversation had been collected from five to six calls and later fixed in a single clip.

“I also want to know who made these calls, who recorded and manipulated them into a single call and who are behind this conspiracy,” she said, calling the whole episode as stabbing from the back.

“I had requested the party’s disciplinary committee to hold its decision until state institutions find the culprits but it took the decision in haste,” she said.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2020

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