It is said that politics is a dirty trade and Pakistani politics is clear evidence of this universal truth. In the political arena of Pakistan, something depressing comes to the surface every day. The recent addition to this is the resignation of PTI’s MNA, Ayesha Gulalai. She left the party accusing its top leadership of male chauvinism and levelling allegations of corruption against Pervaiz Khattak, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Jehangir Tareen. In her press conference, she also accused Imran Khan of harassment.
Whether what Ayesha Gulalai said against Imran Khan is right or wrong, the burden of proof lies on her. Under normal circumstances, the onus lies on the accuser to bring up evidence, however, Ms Gulalai was – only days ago – part of a party that has made a habit of demanding otherwise. This series of events warrants a closer look at the political culture of the country and the direction our society is heading into.
It is heart-wrenching to see the way PTI leadership is accusing Ms Gulalai as the archetype of opportunism. The overall mood of the people shows how immature we become politically when our ideals are challenged.
Indeed, the whole fiasco has disclosed the ugly side of our society’s thinking. Soon after Gulalai ended her press conference, a grisly surge of the social media campaign against her and her family erupted. People started passing moral judgments against her and her family.
Gulalai is not alone. Before her, Naz Baloch also left PTI for prevalent male chauvinism in the party. Whether there is male chauvinism in the party or not, one thing is clear, the systemic naming and shaming of Gulalai indicates that the society is engulfed with thick layers of male chauvinism and political parties often condone this.
Imran has yet to clarify his position on the whole issue. The fact that Imran is largely responsible for the way his supporters are dealing with the matter cannot be ignored either. Throughout these last four years, Imran has never ever stopped his supporters from abusing and assaulting his political opponents; instead, he has led them with example. In the present case, too, Imran is silent on the hatred that his supporters are showing to Gulalai on social media. His silence on the issue is tantamount to tacit approval.