By Ovais Jafar
From the moment the allegations came out, everything escalated really fast. First it was ignorance about Gulalai's issues, then flanked by PTI's women leaders, Shireen Mazari defended Imran Khan and labelled her former party-colleague and legislator Ayesha Gulalai an opportunist for levelling allegations of corruption and sexism in the party.
Using her tribal background against her, PTI has now warned Gulalai that a tribal jirga will be used against her if she fails to retract her allegations.
Addressing the media on Tuesday, Mazari said Gulalai wanted a party ticket for NA-1, even though the decision regarding tickets had not been finalised. "Imran gave respect to us... Gulalai doesn't realise how much respect she was given," she said.
It was most interesting to see Mazari, vehemently deny claims of any mistreatment of female workers in PTI; in stark contrast to her own words from 2012.
On September 26, 2012, Mazari's daughter Iman Mazari uploaded her mother's resignation letter to her blog. The 1400-word resignation letter from 2012 points out the reasons her own daughter left PTI, she wrote: "filthy abuses against my daughter which compelled her to leave the party," and added that she refrained from reducing herself to personal attacks but made it clear that she hoped "abuse and name calling" would not happen again because, "there are limits to everyone's patience."
Mazari, in her letter to Imran Khan also identified many issues that Gulalai echoed in her 'allegations' against PTI.
Mazari wrote, "PTI has been effectively taken over by traditional politicians reflecting big money and/or feudal sardars".
Gulalai said pretty much the same thing. Mazari said the competent workers in PTI are being ignored, Gulalai said the same thing.
To avoid sounding like a broken record, I will stop with the list here; readers may click the link above to read Mazari's own words and find similarities themselves. Mazari may have changed her stance about the party, her chairman and whatever else that needed a new lens to see past her own observations, but it seems Gulalai has not.
Sadly, the commitment to change that PTI promised, the multiple incidents of harassment of PTI's women at their rallies - stopped only after the women's enclosure started resembling a cage to keep the wolves out - gives credence to Gulalai's words.. that all PTI ever stood for "is withering away fast in all but name."
Forgive me, that last quote was Mazari's not Gulalai's.