Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) suspended Javed Hashmi from the position of party president and member on Monday. For this purpose, a notice was issued to Javed Hashmi asking him to appear before the disciplinary committee on 29th September and clarify his position. According to PTI’s constitution, there are two ways through which an office-bearer can be removed: “a vote of no-confidence can be passed against other office bearers by a majority of the total membership of the National Council,” or, the Chairman can exercise his “power to suspend any office bearer at the national and provincial levels pending disciplinary action.” In this instance, it was the Chairman who took the decision as mentioned in the notification.

It is interesting to note that this entirely undermines Imran Khan’s oft-repeated claims that even he does not hold the power to remove an elected office-bearer. Apparently, he does. Even a cursory look over the party’s constitution, which is available on its website, makes it abundantly clear that the Chairman wields extraordinary powers, which contradict other clauses added to ensure democracy within the PTI. For example, Chairman Imran Khan “shall have all other powers which have not been specifically stated including the power of interpretation of the party constitution for successful functioning of the organization.” Imran ought to know that this is really not how the Labour party or the Conservative party do it in the UK. It is clear that the PTI and Javed Hashmi have parted ways, and these are just procedural formalities being carried out towards a definitive conclusion.

There is also considerable weight in Javed Hashmi’s claim that the party’s Secretary General, Jahangir Tareen, had been appointed illegally. The party’s constitution states clearly that the Secretary General will have to be elected. There are no clauses which allow Imran to appoint his favourite, and that is exactly what has happened since Jahangir did not even contest the intra-party elections. Shah Mehmood Qureshi was indeed elected but he ran unopposed like the Chairman himself. And the public is expected to skim over the details of the party’s own constitution, picking and choosing the ones they’d like, because surely, both Imran and Jahangir mean well? It’s not about being “good men,”— it’s about legal measures employed to reach legal ends.