Former President of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Javed Hashmi and Chairman Imran Khan have re-engaged in the verbal war between one another. Mr Hashmi reiterated his allegations of the party playing out a part in a ‘script’ and waiting for non-political forces to help overthrow the government before its time. Imran Khan responded by questioning the sanity of his one-time ally, which prompted the other to counter with allegations of drug abuse.

Calling for drug or sanity tests is not the best sort of discourse between two politicians, especially those that were on the same team for so long, but this war of words does, once more, reignite the questions about PTI and Imran Khan that many opposing the party have been asking for years. The exchange was distasteful to say the least. PTI Chief Imran Khan would be better served by answering the questions posed by the former PTI president, or at least develop some communicative strategies to deflect the charges without resorting to insults.

The claims of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi stand unsubstantiated, but have raised eyebrows due to PTI’s ability to pick up issues to vociferously charge against and then forget about them at the drop of a hat. The allegations of rigging, with the ‘proofs’ ended up falling well short of expectations, but the conviction with which party leaders – Imran Khan in particular – were parroting them seemed odd. PTI has often skirted around such speculations, which makes one wonder if there is something to hide.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that neither side should be trusted at face value. Mr Hashmi has a history of launching fiery tirades against former partners while Imran Khan has a ‘with-me-or-against-me’ attitude. Anyone who is not on his side is either corrupt, guilty of looking the other way, or in this case, just plain insane. His India policy is evidence of this. When the Prime Minister attempts to extend a friendly hand towards the rival nation, Imran Khan and PTI are all but frothing at the mouth, but then the PTI Chief goes and paints himself as a tolerant leader in international media, by stating that his party is all for peace with India.

Given the fact that Mr Khan is all about proofs and demanding that his allegations be answered by the government, the PTI has to get itself out from under the cloud of the “high power”, whatever that is, else the jibes will continue from political parties and people the PTI has gone up against. Just because these allegations are not about financial corruption, or terrorism, it does not mean that they do not require an honest explanation.