ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has expelled a “rapist” within 24-hour of joining the party.
Naeemul Haque, the spokesperson to party chairman Imran Khan regretted that “Farooq Bandial entry into PTI was unfortunate. “He has been expelled from the party with immediate effect. We have no place for people with such record in our party. He should not even be in any political party,” he said.
Following severe backlash on social media, Imran Khan constituted one-man fact finding committee headed by Haque to look into the matter and submit report within three days.
Surprisingly, it only took Haque an hour to reach the conclusion that led to expulsion of Bandiyal with immediate effect.
An influential businessman from Khushab district, Bandiyal had joined PTI on May 28 after being given warm welcome by the party chairman. Bandiyal’s photos with Khan appeared on social media, a strong public reaction criticizing the acceptance of a “rapist” in the party was witnessed with a demand from party followers and independent observers of his immediate removal from the party.
Social media users highlighted Bandiyal’s criminal record wherein he was allegedly accused of robbery and raping a former famous film star in late 1970s. A military court had sentenced Bandiyal and other co-accused to death. However, the influential landlords later managed the case and the victim forgave them and later shifted to Bangladesh.
Social media was abuzz with cutting of a newspaper dated September 1979 where Bandiyal and co-accused can be seen handcuffed. The extract refers to the military court’s decision of death sentence to them.
One twitter user expressed that unfortunately a woman’s name was again being dragged into something she may never have ever gotten over. The user commented that Bandiyal was not accused but convicted and sentenced to death but later given a life sentence after the actress was “forced to forgive”.
“Shabnam (victim) will live the horror over again today after Farooq Bandiyal’s despicable act is talked about again,” Asma Ali Zain tweeted.
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Qadri’s lawyer joins PTI
Amid criticism over Bandiyal’s inclusion in party, the PTI chairman Imran Khan Thursday evening welcomed Ashraf Gujjar who is yet another controversial political figure from Islamabad to the party.
Gujjar was among dozens of lawyers who volunteered to represent a self-confessed killer of Punjab former governor Salman Taseer in courts. Gujjar was a vocal supporter of Mumtaz Qadri. Immediately after his joining, the PTI chief announced his appointment as convener of the party’s judicial reforms committee.
Gujjar, who contested last general election as a PML-N candidate from NA-48, was a runner up candidate and he was defeated by PTI’s Asad Umar with a margin of 7000 votes.
A senior party leader said Umar persuaded Gujjar to join PTI. Umar was also present on the occasion of Gujjar’s joining and a press statement quoted Umar as saying “influx of people in PTI is a proof that it is a sole political party that truly represents wishes of public”.