Why did PTI suspend Hamid Khan’s party membership?

Hamid Khan, a renowned lawyer and one of the founding members of PTI, may part ways with Imran Khan if the former is asked to apologize for what he has recently revealed on electronic media, sources claim.

Hamid Khan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has suspended basic party membership of Hamid Khan, one of the founding members of PTI, for allegedly tarnishing the image of the ruling party in the print and electronic media. Hamid Khan has said that the establishment now controls the party since non-ideological members are holding key positions. Mr. Khan, last year revealed that a federal minister used to take money when his uncle was the chief justice of Lahore High court.

The senior Supreme Court lawyer has also been given seven days to explain his position over allegedly speaking against and defaming the party, according to a notification issued on Sunday. Ms. Fauzia Kasuri tweeted and shared some more information, saying “I was disqualified for contesting a party election in 2013 by Hamid Khan as a conspiracy to keep me out. I was devastated”.

The decision was taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the chairman of the ruling party. “It is noted that you have repeatedly, in the print and electronic media, spoken against and maligned/defamed the party without any justification, and on the basis of fake and false allegations which amount to malafide,” read the notification.

In an interview a few months ago, Hamid Khan told a private TV channel that the establishment has got his party under control. “I own this party as Imran Khan does,” he had said. “It was considered a party of change.” He believes that the establishment “controls” political parties through feudal lords.

In a TV interview, Pervaiz Elahi, leader of PML-Q, alleged that a former head of a security agency had forced some prominent Q-Leaguers, including Jahangir Khan Tareen and Aleem Khan, to quit the party and join the Imran Khan-led PTI back in 2010. Hamid Khan said that Mr. Chaudhary has rightly pointed out the fact.

Hamid Khan was charged with “having committed misconduct, violated party discipline and party constitution by making fake, false, frivolous, wrong allegations, bringing party matters in the media for ulterior motives and thereby acting against party interests and also hurting the feelings of party members and workers”.

Read more: The founding of PTI: From an idea to a social revolution

The senior PTI leader was also barred from speaking against the party on electric and print, as well as, on social media during the inquiry proceedings. However, Hamid Khan clarified that he has no Twitter account.

Notably, in December 2018, Hamid Khan seconded Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanullah’s claim that Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry used to take bribes from people in exchange for favorable verdicts by a former Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice, who is also his uncle.

Moreover, Hamid had authored a book in which he had said that a nephew of the judge, Justice (r) Iftikhar Hussain, used to accept money from people who wanted a favorable decision.

Read more: How accountable would be PTI’s Government?

Analysts believe that Hamid Khan must not be forced to leave the party like retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad who quitted PTI after developing serious disagreements with the chairman. The departure of Hamid Khan shall have heavy cost since he is considered to be one the most respectful and committed party members. “it shall be the end of a long journey if Hamid Khan says goodbye to PTI” analysts believe.

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