On Monday former member of the ANP Senator Azam Khan Hoti fired a bazooka and the target sadly were not the Taliban  -- but right at the party’s chief Asfandyar Wali and Senator Afrasiab Khattak. He accused them of having struck a secret 35 million dollar deal with the US to work against what he called ‘Pushtoon Homeland’. He said both of them had gone missing for a weeks’ time in the US just to strike the deal.

The charges have been denied by Mr Hoti’s own son, former CM Amir Haider Khan Hoti who said Asfandyar does not even own a kiosk in Dubai.

The fact that ANP has seen so many of its leaders and activists hacked to pieces by the Taliban, it does not seem an acceptable idea to believe it could stoop so low as to do the kind of things Senator Hoti is alleging. But as we have already seen, anyone with a distinct voice is thought of as a heretic. And worse hitting out at the Taliban or militancy, is fraught with the risk of ending up being seen as a CIA’s mole. ANP being a party at war with the Taliban on different fronts, it has been quite vulnerable to charges that it keeps dancing to Pentagon’s tune.

The owl-critics will hardly regard the harm done to the country as a result of the attacks by the militants. The masses too seem to have developed a mind given to believing in weird stories. Because this is how they make sense out of theatre of the absurd that they have been watching all along.

Now as with all other charges, it is unclear whether the charge Mr Hoti has levelled is valid or just a lie. We should always be wary of barbs and jibes thrown at those who are vulnerable. What is worrying is that he said he did not have evidence saying when such secret deals are made, no record is kept. That might be quite right but the courts need evidence. And if Mr Hoti successfully backs up his allegation with facts, say in a court of law, we might see the party’s sacrifices going nowhere. More and more rumours arguing that the war on terror is not our own will crop up. Labelling of the reformists and intellectuals as spooks and saboteurs will gain fillip.

Whatever the cost, truth must be found. Since Mr Hoti has kicked this conspiracy into motion he has to realise what he has to do now is to back up his story with facts otherwise obviously it might even boomerang on his reputation.