New Pakistan PM wants probe of harassment charges against Imran Khan

PTI chief Imran Khan and MAN Ayesha Gulalai.

ISLAMABAD, (Reuters) – Pakistan’s new prime minister called on Friday for an investigation into allegations that opposition leader Imran Khan harassed a woman lawmaker, charges Khan dismisses as revenge for his role in the ouster of then-premier Nawaz Sharif.

A furious social media backlash threatening violence against Khan’s accuser, lawmaker Ayesha Gulalai, has also exposed raw nerves about the treatment of women in Pakistan.

The case has been splashed across domestic media, at times eclipsing the installation of a new cabinet led by Sharif’s ally, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, as prime minister.

Abbasi told the National Assembly he wanted a special panel to investigate the allegations.

“We respect the person who has made the accusation, but we also respect the accused, and it is their right to be able to contest these allegations,” he said.

On Tuesday, at a news conference at the National Assembly, Gulalai had announced she was quitting Khan’s opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, saying he had no respect for women and had sent her obscene text messages.

Khan, a former captain of Pakistan’s national cricket team, denied the allegations.

He said he had a long record of professional work with women and accused Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of organising a smear campaign ahead of elections next year.

The announcement, four days after the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif over undeclared income he denies having received, in a case Khan brought before the court, prompted PTI supporters to accuse her of working for the ruling party.

On Friday, Khan said any parliamentary probe should look into any financial connections between his accuser and the ruling party.

He said “PML-N want to simply settle their political scores” after several court cases against him “flopped” but added, “Nonetheless, I welcome the committee being formed by the prime minister” as long as it was based on evidence.

Gulalai, however, told Reuters she stood by her allegations, adding that she was not surprised at being the target of online threats, including calls to douse her in acid and raze her home.

“In our society, it is common that a victim is targeted, always, and if you’re a woman you hardly find anyone to stand by you,” she said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

Comments  

U.S. charges Russians with 2016 U.S. election tampering to boost Trump

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – A Russian propaganda arm oversaw a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 U.S.

FBI admits failure to act on Florida school gunman, drawing anger

PARKLAND, Fla., (Reuters) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Friday it had failed to act on a tip warning that the man now accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school possessed a gun, the desire to kill and the potential to commit a school shooting.

Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM’s resignation

ADDIS ABABA,  (Reuters) – Ethiopia announced a state of emergency yesterday, the day after the prime minister’s resignation, as pressure mounted on the country’s ruling coalition.

Venezuela’s hardline opposition party to boycott ‘fraudulent’ election

CARACAS,  (Reuters) – Venezuela’s hardline opposition party Popular Will, whose leader Leopoldo Lopez would be a leading presidential contender if he were not under house arrest, announced on Friday it would boycott April’s presidential vote, calling it a “fraud.” Venezuela’s opposition coalition has been debating whether to participate in the April 22 election.

South Africa’s Ramaphosa hails “new dawn”, warns of tough decisions

CAPE TOWN,  (Reuters) – South Africa will face “tough decisions” as it works to repair its economy after years of stagnation, new President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a sober address on Friday that sought to draw a line under the turbulent rule of his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×