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March 7, 2012

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PTI contradicts The News story;Umar Cheema issues rejoinder to clarification

PTI contradicts The News story;Umar Cheema issues rejoinder to clarification
ISLAMABAD: The information secretary of Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf has contradicted a story printed in The News on March 6. The PTI secretary in a statement said; this is with reference to the Omer Cheema story ‘Political parties being run as family limited companies’ published in The News on 6th March 2012. While the facts given about other parties are uncontestable, the information provided about Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf is plainly wrong and needs correction. Senior Vice President PTI Hamid Khan, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, is not a relative of Imran Khan. To imply that he holds this position because of any family connection is ridiculous.
Hafizullah Niazi, Mr. Khan’s brother-in-law, is not an office bearer of the party at any level. The suggestion that he runs the Punjab party is not only incorrect and without foundation but an act of complete disinformation. PTI’s Additional General Secretary Saifullah Niazi, while belonging to the Niazi tribe is only a distant relative of Imran Khan. Hassam Niazi, Khan’s nephew, used to head the Insaf Student Federation in the past but is no longer in the country as he has gone abroad to pursue higher studies.
Chairman Imran khan’s sister Ms Aleema Khan does not hold any designation in the party and it is grossly unfair of Cheema to drag those family members of Mr. Khan into politics who have no connection with it. Unlike other parties where fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, nieces and nephews hold major party positions, there is no senior office bearer of the PTI directly related to Imran Khan. This includes the Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Secretary General Dr Arif Alvi, Secretary Information, all provincial presidents and General Secretaries or indeed any other national or provincial office bearer.
Pakistan Tehrik Insaf strongly decries the trend of dynastic leadership of political parties and its stand on it is well known. For Mr. Cheema to lump PTI with other political parties that are nothing more than family enterprises is unfair and frankly an attempt to deliberate undermine Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf.
Umar Cheema adds: The contradiction in fact has confirmed all details listed in my report other than Hamid Khan. Before explaining Hamid Khan’s ties with Imran Khan, I’d like to explain the rest of details that brought to light some vague facts. Starting from Hassam Niazi, for instance, the spokesman has confirmed that this maternal nephew of Imran Khan was head of Insaf Students Federation and not just looking after the students’ wing affairs as noted in the report. He has only been replaced since he was to proceed abroad for study meaning thereby Hassam would continue to keep the position had he not flown abroad. The spokesman further explained that Hafeezullah Niazi, Imran’s brother-in-law doesn’t hold any party office. Our report didn’t claim this either. However, can the spokesman bother to explain that in what capacity Niazi appears in different talk shows as “PTI spokesman”. His being a man-behind-the-face role has frequently been featured by different columnists.
As for as Aleema Khan’s role, we never said she holds any political office either. But she is not only politically active; Aleema is prominent director of Shaukat Khanum Hospital placed at 3rd position in the list after Imran Khan and Nosherwan Barki (presumably a relative).
As for Hamid Khan’s relation, a family member claims that Hamid is cousin of Imran’s mother, late Shaukat Khanum. Hamid also lives in the famous Zaman Park, housing Imran Khan. Hamid Khan didn’t completely disassociate himself from Imran’s family when asked by The News Tuesday. Though he denied any close relationship, he acknowledged ties with Imran family through inter-marriages.
The PTI’s contradiction isn’t without comic explanations also. It said while the facts highlighted in the story about other political dynasties are ‘uncontestable’ except what has been written about the PTI.
The spokesman said Imran Khan has always opposed family oriented parties.
One has to look into the record. Only Imran Khan’s sons aren’t in politics and probably for the reason they’re not grown up to that stage. Also the fact remains that being the only brother, Imran can’t be compared with Sharif brothers. Who knows Imran’s other brothers would have been in politics should he have any as his other relatives are into this business as explained earlier. Arguing that his brother-in-law and sister don’t keep any party office, is not a plausible idea as same explanation can be offered by PML-N and PML-Q leadership about their second generation leadership namely Hamza Shehbaz, Maryam Nawaz and Moonis Elahi respectively as they don’t have any political office either.
Nevertheless, these parties and others are attacked for encouraging this trend. The dynasty politics is not an enviable practice and Imran has rightly criticized this but he will have to come clean himself first. Last but not the least, the author of this clarification, Shafqat Mehmood, has his family’s footprints into different parties. While he is in PTI after serving with PPP and Musharraf, his one close relative is in the PPP government given important position. His sister and brother-in-law are in PML-N. This is called politics.
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