LONDON, Dec 30 (INP): PTI Central Secretariat has ended basic membership of PTI UK activist and elected board member Shahnaz Siddiqui after she made allegations of sexual abuse by PTI activists.
PTI’s office of international chapters said that it had received a complaint from elected President PTI UK Riaz Hassan about breach of party discipline and violation of rules by Shahnaz Siddiqui and Mohammad Imran – who both are now dismissed from PTI.
The action was taken after Shahnaz Siddiqui made allegations at a press conference on Friday night in Manchester – two hours after the brawl at Manchester Airport where two groups of PTI fought each other. The notification, available with this correspondent, confirmed that basic membership of Shahnaz Siddiqui and Mohammad Imran has been ended and both removed from the party with immediate effect. There was a fight at the Manchester Airport on Friday night after speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar arrived from Pakistan on a private visit. The fight broke out between PTI activists and the group called ‘Imran Khan Lovers’. The ‘Lovers’ wanted Asad Qaisar to attend dinner with them but the speaker refused owing to his private commitments. A brawl started as two groups swore at each other while the speaker was seen being pushed around during the brawl. Shahnaz Siddiqui was seen talking to the NA Speaker at the airport and inviting him for dinner. Shahnaz Siddiqui addressed a press conference with a group of women and made allegations of sexual harassment she allegedly faced during PTI events and by PTI members. She alleged that she has been a victim of sexual abuse and respect of women is not protected in PTI. She called on PTI Chairmran Imran Khan to look into the matter and investigate. “I have three grown up daughters and I don’t bring them to events. Whats the point of doing it all when respect and honour of women is not protected. We must speculate to as to why women who were active and at the forefront 5 years ago have disappeared today from the PTI scene,” she alleged. On Saturday evening, PTI UK’s elected President Riaz Hassan issued a statement and announced that Shahnaz Siddiqui has been dismissed from the PTI with immediate effect. Mr Hassan rejected allegations made by Shahnaz Siddiqui and called it “cheap publicity stunt”. Riaz Hassan regretted the scene that unfolded at Manchester airport and said it was “embarrassing” and “damaging to PTI”. He explained: “The speaker had declined to attend the event arranged by Imran Khan Lovers. I had advised him to postpone that plan and we would make a plan at another time. Shahnaz Siddiqui and Muhammad Imran have been suspended for a number of weeks. Imran Khan Lovers has nothing to do with the PTI and there will be action against these people as per party rules.” Responding to allegations made by Shahnaz Siddiqui, Riaz Hassan said that Shahnaz Siddiqui was a member of PTI elected board but the allegation she made were “cheap publicity stunt”. “We have zero tolerance for all kinds of harassment, especially harassment of sexual nature. I am surprised that she has not gone to the police over the time to report the so-called sexual harassment incidents. if she was ever harassed why didn’t she go to the police and report, why didn’t she report it within the party,” he asked. “My wife, my children and my family are PTI and there are many women colleagues and all of them are playing their positive role. Ayesha Gulalai had made similar allegations and nothing came out of that,” he added. INP/AJ