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PTI ‘disgusted’ as rivals find fodder for talking points | The Express Tribune



LAHORE:

The explosive interview of Khawar Maneka, the ex-husband of PTI chief Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi, set off a new round of political ripples on Tuesday with PTI leaders questioning the contentious ethical nature of the claims while its rivals — mainly PML-N — salivated over the latest fodder for sharpening talking point on moral grounds.

The interview, aired on Monday on a private news channel, saw Maneka attributing the breakdown of his marital relationship to Imran Khan before the latter eventually married Bushra Bibi.The interview, arriving just a week after Maneka’s release on bail in a land-grabbing case, evoked comparisons to earlier made-for-TV interviews given by key aides of the PTI chief upon their release from different legal cases.

PTI’s rivals have since seized upon the interview as a tool to shame the party, further intensifying the ongoing political tussle between the two parties.

 

‘Against Pakistani culture’

Taimur Jhagra, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister, said the interview left him feeling “disgusted,” pointing out that probing former husbands about their wives went against Pakistan’s cultural norms.

He said any “sane and decent individuals across the country” would agree to this.“Will it make any difference to the bulk of the country that supports Imran Khan? Zilch. Is it actually ruining the credibility of the media and how the state operates? I leave that to you,” he remarked.

Similarly, Sher Afzal Khan Marwat, a member of Imran’s legal team, said the PTI chairman had “expressed great sadness over Maneka’s statement”.Marwat quoted Imran as saying: “Through such methods, instead of taking the nation towards political stability and rule of law, we are doing that which only an enemy can do.

”Meanwhile, PTI leader Hammad Azhar lashed out at the interviewer: “An anchor who for four years pretended to be a LNG (liquefied natural gas) expert without knowing its basic supply and pricing structure is now doing a staged hostage show on matrimonial issues of former spouses. The desperation to target Imran Khan can take some individuals to great depths.

”PTI leader Babar Awan dismissed the interview as “scripted” and “lacking credibility,” suggesting it indicated a lack of substantial allegations against the former premier from his adversaries.PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari denounced the interview as “disgraceful”.

‘Imran should drop ‘Riyasat-e-Madine’ narrative’

On the other hand, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif advised Imran Khan to refrain from invoking the ‘Riasat-e-Madina’ narrative in his political pursuits following shocking claims made by Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband.When asked if he believed that Maneka’s revelations exposed Khan’s real face, Nawaz clarified that his assertion was directed at Imran’s use of the ‘Riasate-e Madina’ narrative after the allegations made against him.

Separately, during a press conference in Lahore, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah responded to queries if he believed the interview was orchestrated by stating, “We have started a strange logic that whatever happens, someone is behind it.”Sanaullah proposed a shift in focus from the source of the allegations to evaluating their content.

He emphasised, “Whether the claims are accurate or not should be the focus. If incorrect, they should be refuted. If proven true, they hold weight… Based on my verification and information, the claims presented are all accurate.”PML-N leader Javed Latif said: “Was there a single thing wrong in what Khawar Maneka said? Were they not all facts? He should have said all this way before.”PML-N Punjab Spokesperson Uzma Bukhari remarked that the claims presented in the were nothing new. She also criticised the media and PTI’s response to the interview.





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