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Citing the ill-treatment of women in the party, PTI MNA Ayesha Gulalai has announced that she will quit the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI). The announcement has come moments ahead of the prime ministerial election in National Assembly on Tuesday.

Gulalai iterated that she had conveyed her grievances to the party leadership but no action was taken, forcing her to take the decision.

Gulalai, who was elected to the National Assembly on a reserved seat for women, was at the forefront of the struggle against corruption and was considered a close aide to the top leadership of her party.

“Women workers are not valued in the PTI”, Gulalai stated.  She will not be voting for Sheikh Rashid in the prime minister election in National Assembly today.

Gulalai, who was elected to the National Assembly on a reserved seat for women, was at the forefront of the struggle against corruption and was considered a close aide to the top leadership of her party.

Gulalai is not the first female PTI member to quit the party. Previously, Naz Baloch had quit the party to join PPP claiming that only male members were given importance and women party workers were kept at a distance while the youth was restricted only to social media.

Read more: My way, nor no way

Reasons of female members quitting PTI

Naz Baloch, after joining PPP, stated that Mr. Khan did not focus on Sindh and had abandoned his workers in the province. She said, “the PTI was defeated in the Karachi by-election because the offices of the PTI in Karachi remained musical chairs among four members becoming PTI Karachi president one after the other, ignoring the party, and the mandate given by the people to the party was wasted.”

She also said that “PTI bagged over 800,000 votes in Sindh, Imran Khan did not pay any attention to organizing and activating the party in Karachi and other parts of Sindh.”

Ms. Gulalai has yet to explain the underlying reasons for her decision to quit PTI. However, she is expected to cite causes similar to those made by Ms. Naz Baloch.

Read more: The Sadiqs and Ameens

Will other PTI members follow suit?

Pakistani politics is oblivious to morals, principles, and ethics. Party politics is centered on personalities who exercise extraordinary powers that remain unchallenged by workers and lower tier members. Political parties in Pakistan have traditionally flouted the norms of democracy in their operations. The two biggest parties in PML-N and PPP are run by families and cults; the likely replacement of Nawaz Sharif with Shahbaz Sharif is just a case in point, not to forget how Bilawal is gearing up to resuscitate the PPP.

Ms. Gulalai since her quitting PTI has appeared on various channels and has accused Khan of being ‘strict’ to women and having great ‘defects’ in his personality. Last night, Ms. Gulalai was in Banni Gala and did not find Khan strict or have defects. The sudden change of mind will raise many questions.

PTI is dominated by the flamboyant Imran Khan but with no kith and kins in the party, there is room for the party to become democratic. Intra-party elections were organized, which despite reservations was a step towards democratization. This has allowed a great deal of liberty for party workers; they feel that they can rise up the ladder. This leads and will lead many in PTI to demand more power in the party, which is a step in the positive direction. While some will be left disappointed and may go on to leave the party, the democratic credentials of the party will be brought to the force.

Read more: Husain Haqqani: An opportunist turncoat!

Ms. Gulalai since her quitting PTI has appeared on various channels and has accused Khan of being ‘strict’ to women and having great ‘defects’ in his personality. Last night, Ms. Gulalai was in Banni Gala and did not find Khan strict or having defects. The sudden change of mind will raise many questions.

Like Naz Baloch, Ayesha Gulalai’s decision of leaving PTI will not affect it and the party will remain united.

PTI’s perspective on this latest development

GVS News Desk contacted PTI Central Secretariat Islamabad for their views on this development. According to sources inside the Secretariat, Ms. Gulalai demanded a ticket for NA-1 Peshawar for 2018 elections. It was the same seat from which Imran Khan won elections in 2013. However, Khan later vacated the seat and PTI subsequently lost it to Ghulam Ahmad Bilour of ANP.

Owing to the importance of the NA-1 seat and Ms. Gulali’s inexperience, her request was refused. Moreover, sources also revealed that Ms. Gulalai wanted to deliver a speech at PTI Jalsa in Islamabad on Sunday, but due to the shortage of time and importance of the event, her demand could not be entertained.

Sources close to Ms. Gulalai also revealed that Ms. Gulalai was in contact with PML-N leader Ameer Muqam and her decision to quit the party has been influenced by Mr. Ameer.                                                                                                                                   Gulalai met Imran Khan yesterday along with a delegation. She wanted assurances that she will be given a ticket for the NA-1 ticket for 2018 elections.

(Pictures from yesterday’s meeting with IK)

Moroever, Ms. Gulalai also belongs to anti-Pervaiz Khattak group and pressurized Khan to intervene in the internal affairs of KPK government. Khan refused all these demands and asked Gulalai to focus on the betterment of people of her constituency rather than indulging in party politics.

Disappointed by the refusal of NA-1 ticket for 2018 elections by PTI leader and assurances from PML-N, she left PTI and is soon expected to join PML-N.

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