By Syeda Arifa Batool.
The Weekly Pakistan: A parliamentary committee was formed on your allegations. What happened with that?
Ayesha Gulalai: Firstly, those weren’t allegations but the truth. Imran Niazi used his team to spread disinformation to cover up those facts. Then the Prime Minister formed a committee on the matter using the harassment clause which implies a departmental probe. Since both of us belong to the parliament the committee was formed there. Jamaat e Islami did not nominate members for this committee in favor of PTI.
The Weekly Pakistan: There were speculations that you took a bribe for this. Is this true?
Ayesha Gulalai: There’s this new debate going on whether if I’ve taken money or not. The parliamentary committee needs to act urgently so there can be an end to this debate. I’ve clarified that if there is the matter of dignity then there a lot of other ways to take money. One’s political career can be promoted through several ways. I don’t need to take money for that, I’m already popular nationwide. The media misinterpreted my statements I never said anything like that. I just said that the ladies of Pakistan need to be careful. When the media picked it up they showered me with allegations. That’s when I exposed them. There were also a lot of other women in the party that must’ve stayed quiet upon harassment of this nature. Ameer Maqaam has been dragged into this matter out of context.
The Weekly Pakistan: The step you took was commendable but the media and the public need evidence. Lack of producing that implies that your allegations are baseless and you’re doing this to benefit your political status.
Ayesha Gulalai: I was already very popular MashAllah as a politician countrywide. I’ve been leading campaigns and doing sit-ins. And this is not a smart political move at all, why would I do that? I know Niazi’s tricks very well. He built up a case on Ihtisab commission on my family and got nothing out of it. Then he attacked my sister and criticized her uniform; she’s a national player, she needs to wear an internationally approve attire. They also attacked her hospital. That was hypocritical of them to attack a charity hospital; she had built it up for women and children out of her winnings. If the same thing is done by N-league to Shaukat Khanam, they’re criticized.
Syeda Arifa Batool with Ayesha Gulalai.
The Weekly Pakistan: Does Imran Khan take money out of Shaukat Khanam’s charity?
Ayesha Gulalai: There are Senator’s that have become Senator’s after donating huge sums to Shaukat Khanam, that’s all I’ve ehard.
The Weekly Pakistan: Can you name any of these people?
Ayesha Gulalai: PTI is under a foreign funding case scrutiny. I do not need to nominate anyone; the way Imran Niazi has surrounded himself with corrupt people and the way he’s stuck in multiple cases, speaks volumes for itself.
The Weekly Pakistan: What is the merit criterion in PTI?
Ayesha Gulalai: Merit criterion all over the world is that the candidate should be committed and a nationalist. Imran Khan stressed upon merit in his initial pitch. But see how KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has filled the KP assembly with his relatives and family members. That goes against the very foundation of the party.
The Weekly Pakistan: Will PTI come back to power after 2018?
Ayesha Gulalai: I don’t think the way things are progressing in KPK, that can ever happen. The KP CM’s nepotism as well as the linkages to Bani Gala in every single administrative action; its outrageous. The provincial Hydral Energy is headed by a man who’s only credential is that he is Asad Umar’s former colleague. Hamid Khan, who sits in every meeting of bank of Khyber and reports it back to Bani Gala, why does he sit there? In what capacity? Peshawar Disaster Management has Pervez Khattak’s man heading it. All these people take millions in salaries from the provincial exchequer and deliver nothing.
The Weekly Pakistan: Are you going to contest against Khan in 2018?
Ayesha Gulalai: He was never that important to me. People worship him, but I never paid him that much heed. I didn’t even know that PTI was Niazi’s party. He was a cricketer before I was even born. When he took Waziristan to strike against Drone attacks, he caught my attention because I agreed with his stance. My mission is to cater to the needs of the public. I’ll be there to resolve the matters of the women, children and men. It’s not my motive to stand against Niazi. But his politics has been exposed.
The Weekly Pakistan: Are you going to contest 2018 independently or on a Party’s ticket?
Ayesha Gulalai: PTI is my own party, it isn’t Imran Khan’s personal property. I’ve given sweat and blood to the party. So have a lot of other people. He didn’t make PTI on his own. There were a lot of founding members. Niazi was a popular face already that’s why he was chosen to lead. The party vision and manifesto was built up by various people. I’ve contributed my share too. When I was about to leave the party, workers and youth stopped me from leaving.
The Weekly Pakistan: You speak of morals and ethics; why are you not leaving the PTI-granted National Assembly seat?
Ayesha Gulalai: It isn’t Imran Khan’s party, like I said. I came on merit. I was chosen. If they want to send a reference, send it against the relatives of Pervez khattak. They were bestowed with seats on nepotism. This is my seat; I will not leave it. I will use it for the welfare of the public.
The Weekly Pakistan: If you do, in fact, have text messages, why don’t you show them to the media?
Ayesha Gulalai: The media is not the appropriate forum to reveal evidence. I’ll show it to any legal forum. Why isn’t he appearing before the parliamentary committee?
The Weekly Pakistan: What if Imran Khan doesn’t appear before the committee? What’s your plan B?
Ayesha Gulalai: That is a problem only he can resolve. He doesn’t move around out of my fear. He doesn’t go into the assembly because he’s scared of me. I’m willing to face investigation. He’s scared.