Eliya Khurshid |
Here you have it, three words…though in a different context than expected. Ever since Imran Khan has opposed Nawaz Sharif, every political action and saying of his has been scrutinized under a jaundiced microscope and exaggerated in the public eye. One won’t even mention his personal life because it seems he has been gifted with Sidam’s touch.
It is Piers Anthony who said “When one person makes an accusation, check to be sure he himself is not the guilty one. Sometimes it is those whose case is weak who make the most clamor”…
In sheltered societies where female victims of sexual assault are sometimes eyed with suspicion, she has given them a reason to further doubt any future casualty of the sexual misdemeanor
Would Imran Khan’s calling Ayesha Gulalai a liar, really have made any difference to his detractors in the media? Is it not naive to think that had Imran Khan straight away said those “three magic words” then the PML-N proxies (I hesitate to call them journalists) in the media would have stopped their vilification campaign?
Reaction to every spurious allegation gives the accuser, especially a liar, importance and highlights his/her twisted fish story. The PTI representative’s protestations fell on deaf ears, their refutation of her claims ignored and eye witness accounts of the interaction between the two brushed under the carpet! Lost in the dust created by the media clamor, is her admission on TV that she had asked Imran Khan about standing for the NA1 parliamentary seat ticket.
“Mainay koi ghair munasib text nahi kiye usko” (I did not send her any inappropriate texts) are the exact words of the Kaptaan in his interview with Hamza Abbasi on Bol TV. Can he be more categorical and explicit than this? Those words are enough to destroy whatever premise your (Talat Hussain) article was built upon.
Where you (Talat Hussain) state that Ayesha Gulalai is being “threatened with murder and demolition of her house” let’s not forget that many from her own community of FATA perceive her to be a liar. Watch any of her interviews or the ever famous press conference and she is seen unraveling within minutes.
Making mountains of molehills
One sees Gulalai taking dictation from her father as if he was the victim of sexual harassment. She still manages to make a mockery of herself on national television every darn time! The icing on the cake was when her ‘Gherat Mand’ father challenged Imran Khan to a loaded pistol duel, reminiscent of the 18th century.
That is the only way to make sure that anyone guilty is punished, and will serve as both a lesson to perpetrators and inspiration for victims of abuse to come forward
No one seems to have noticed this duel is 4 years late in the coming, during which her father had many smiling and pleasant engagements with Imran Khan. If Gulalai were my daughter, I don’t think I would have waited a minute before going to the police, the community or at least taking my daughter out of this ‘abusive’ environment. I must have a different concept of parenting to Mr. Talat Hussain then.
Social media activists of Imran Khan’s party are in a robust debate on whether acid should be thrown on her face (excerpt from Talat Hussain’s article). Social media “threats” are under no one’s control. Everyone at any given time has been threatened online. You can hardly blame Imran Khan for what someone says on social media unless the person saying it has some authority in the party.
The Internet is faceless, anyone could pretend to be just about anyone there. A PTI supporter could claim to be a PML-N supporter or vice versa, an Indian could pose to be a Pakistani, Trump supporter as an Obamaite…even you could pretend to be a unicorn and someone out there would believe you!
The fact that a random activist can say anything he/she wants to without reprimand, shows that the government social internet monitoring system isn’t robust enough.
Everyone has read that tweet, before the account of one user (namely Calibri King) threatening an “acid attack” was deleted. We would like to know if this person is a PTI/ PML-N supporter who needs some hospitality of the police or a deranged person who needs to be sent to a mental asylum.
Is such a Parliamentary committee not a total waste of time and resources, when other priorities are being sidelined?
But using such social media posts to paint a political narrative is both dishonest and disingenuous, and one wonders why such nuances would escape the intellect of an “eminent journalist”. It is a childish argument coming from someone who maybe doesn’t understand the dynamics of social media or doesn’t want to – which is worse!
The party’s chief representative seemed to take great delight in mentioning Ayesha’s squash-playing sister’s sports attire as proof of ‘their lifestyle’ (excerpt from Talat Hussain’s article).
Fawad Chaudry, when told that Gulalai had accused Imran Khan of violating “Pashtun Principles” (as if non-Pashtuns don’t have any principles), simply pointed out her hypocrisy in bringing up the term while her own sister was playing squash, dressed in shorts. He subsequently said that he had ‘no issues with her attire’ which was conveniently ignored by his opponents.
Like wolves jumping in for the kill, certain proxies leaped unto this comment of Fawad Chaudhry, ripping it out of context, and set about painting the PTI as a party that is against Gulalai and her sister’s ‘liberal’ lifestyle.
The fact that a random activist can say anything he/she wants to without reprimand, shows that the government social internet monitoring system isn’t robust enough
The only good thing to have happened so far is a parliamentary committee constituted to probe the matter (excerpt from Talat Hussain’s article).
Read more: PTI vs PML-N : Round two to kick-off soon.
Is such a Parliamentary committee not a total waste of time and resources, when other priorities are being sidelined? Parliament should be passing bills, paying attention to eradicating poverty, unemployment, striving for a fair election process…..even finding ways to curb cyber bullying and apprehend trolls threatening “acid attacks”.
Based on the above I would agree with you…..
“Our country’s present system has become a cross between Dystopia and Comedia” (excerpt from Talat Hussain’s article) where our newly appointed Prime Minister has decided to set up a committee to examine frivolous accusations.
When the Parliament is investigating sexual harassment accusations I wonder what our police is doing?
Oh yes, of course providing our politicians (including those disqualified) with scores of manned vehicles and twenty-four hours unnecessary security protocol.
Read more: Is PTI disintegrating?
Gulalai should approach the police today, just as she should have done four years ago. That is the only way to make sure that anyone guilty is punished, and will serve as both a lesson to perpetrators and inspiration for victims of abuse to come forward.
Lost in the dust created by the media clamor, is her admission on TV that she had asked Imran Khan about standing for the NA1 parliamentary seat ticket
When she refuses to go to the police, makes a spectacle of herself for political point scoring and painting herself a victim when she so clearly does not seem like one, she makes it so much more difficult for victims of sexual harassment and abuse.
Her actions will make it harder for genuine sufferers of abuse to come forward and demand justice. In sheltered societies where female victims of sexual assault are sometimes eyed with suspicion, she has given them a reason to further doubt any future casualty of the sexual misdemeanor.
As if it isn’t challenging enough, women facing such dire situations will come across doubt and disbelief. It’s a pity that a woman of her intellect does not realize the damage this particular fashion of allegation will do to future victims.
Is she lying? I wished to God she wasn’t.
Eliya Khurshid studied Graphic and Media Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Her main interests are the Middle-east conflict, current affairs, Pakistani Political and socioeconomic policies. She is also social media campaigner and active participant against corporations such as Monsanto and Bayer. The views expressed in this article are author’s own. It does not reflect Global Village Space Editorial policy.