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Pakistan: Legislator quits Imran Khan’s party saying its female members face constant harassment

Ayesha Gulalai dismissed rumours that she was joining the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) after her resignation.

A Member of National Assembly in Pakistan on Tuesday resigned from the country’s main Opposition party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, saying its female members were constantly ill-treated and disrespected. Ayesha Gulalai accused the party chief Imran Khan of being part of the problem, along with its other top leaders.

Gulalai said women in the party were sent obscene texts messages and that her complaints about the harassment had gone unheard. “I cannot compromise when it comes to my honour and dignity,” she said, while resigning. She also claimed Khan “gets jealous of who are better than him.”

Soon after her departure, there was speculation that she was going to join the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). However, she later denied this.

Pakistan has been in the midst of political turmoil since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from office by the country’s Supreme Court after his family was embroiled in corruption allegations as part of the Panama Papers disclosures. Khan, the Opposition leader, has said he will contest the 2018 elections as the PTI’s candidate. On Tuesday, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected the country’s new prime minister.

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