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KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been engulfed by multiple intra-party controversies, the latest being Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Revenue Minister Ali Amin Gandapur’s alleged involvement in parading a girl naked in Dera Ismail Khan.
The allegations have been made by PTI MNA Dawar Khan Kundi, who in an open letter to chairman of the party Imran Khan, has claimed the involvement of the K-P minister.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Kundi said, “This falls under my constituency, and so of course, I was involved. What happened to the girl is horrendous, and this is an established fact.”
Fawad Chaudhry, the official spokesperson for the PTI, has denied these claims. Speaking to The Express Tribune, he said, “This is a criminal offense. The PTI is not involved with this in any manner. Imran Khan was informed within eight hours of the incident, and he has directed the K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to take whatever measures to have the perpetrators behind bars.”
He further said there was no evidence of Ali Amin Gandapur’s involvement in the matter. “The K-P IG and police have been continuously investigating, and arrested multiple suspects as well. The prime suspect shall also be arrested soon, this is the party’s official stance,” he added.
Fawad believes the matter is more about political competition than anything else.
“The matter at hand is a criminal offense. Ali Amin and Dawar Kundi have political differences and are competitors for the MNA seat. That is why tensions are escalating,” he said.
“An MNA cannot personally investigate a criminal offence and claim results, the chief minister and relevant authorities are handling the matter,” the spokesperson added. “The allegations are not substantial, it is quite nonsensical”.
Kundi, however, rejected claims of political disagreement.
“I have privately investigated the matter, and the facts that I obtained, I communicated them to Imran Khan,” he said.
Kundi further added that the family’s claims of Gandapur facilitating the perpetrators is “based on concrete evidence”. He also stated that his claims are based on Gandapur’s previous records: “There are multiple cases registered against Gandapur.”
When asked about Imran Khan’s video message released on Friday rejecting Dawar Kundi’s claims, and announcing a probable removal of the MNA, Kundi replied saying: “Imran Khan has no authority to expel an MNA from the party through a video message. He may be the chairman of the party, but the laws of the party do not dictate a removal on the basis of a video message.”
“He can’t remove me from the party. I say this because I have not violated any rules,” Kundi defended his stance. “I am an MNA of this party and was elected. There are certain rules and regulations of a political party that need to be followed.”
Imran, in his video message, said the members of the party needed to go through proper channels to report misconduct, and that Kundi had only spoken to the media. In reaction to this, the MNA said, “I did submit an application, I even wrote an open letter to Imran Khan, I went through the proper channels.”
Kundi also alleged that the chief minister had still not released his constituency’s development funds for the past two years.
“I have requested for the reinstatement of funds, but there has been no response,” he said adding that the party’s disciplinary cell has multiple requests pending, but none has been investigated.
“Actually, my problem is I can’t keep quiet on matters that are of concern, and they [PTI] do not have the patience to listen to me. I can prove my claim are correct and they have no evidence for theirs”.
Kundi said that his next step would be to file a case against the Imran and also submit an application in the party.
“Who gave him the right to speak against me and call me a liar,” Kundi said.
Clearing his stance on the matter, Kundi reiterated, “I have claimed that Ali Amin’s involvement is limited to the facilitation of the suspects, I have not claimed that he, himself was involved. I don’t think Imran has even read the letter, I think he heard the news and reacted on it.”
Commenting on the issues within the party, Kundi said that the PTI does not call spade a spade.
“We [PTI] just like to paint a picture that everything is going well.”
Kundi claimed that Imran had violated the conduct of the party, and that he cannot expel someone from the party without a warning or a show-cause. “Imran Khan does not speak to me, because he can’t listen to the truth. I am open for conversation, and have always been.”
Ali Amin Gandapur has been contacted several times for a statement, but he is unavailable for a comment.