In a surprising turn of events, an internal row arose within the legal team of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday after party leader Sher Afzal Khan Marwat accused Shoaib Shaheen, a fellow member of the legal team, of being a “traitor and leaking confidential information” from their meetings.
The controversy began when Marwat took to social media to denounce the PTI legal team member as the “sole traitor” within the party.
“I had tweeted about PTI legal team traitors which I deleted after advice from seniors of the core committee. I am clearly announcing that the only traitor in PTI’s legal team is Shoaib Shaheen Advocate,” Marwat wrote on X.
Marwat claimed that his suspicion of Shaheen arose from his mysterious appearance within the party ranks in late April, saying he was surprised upon seeing Shaheen present at a legal committee meeting held at PTI’s headquarters in Bani Gala.
According to Marwat, Shaheen had no previous affiliation with the Insaf Lawyers Forum (ILF) or the PTI, raising questions about his sudden involvement within the legal team.
“I was surprised to see him at the legal committee meeting in Bani Gala. He [Shaheen] had never been part of the ILF or PTI before. His access to Bani Gala reflected that he had the support of some in our ranks,” Marwat added.
What raised more concerns for Marwat was Shaheen’s involvement in the case pertaining to former prime minister and party chief Imran Khan, adding that Shaheen deals with service tribunal cases and despite not being a lawyer in a single criminal case filed against Imran, he started posing as his lawyer.
He insinuated that Shaheen was being supported by powerful factions within the PTI, as he remained unaffected by the media blacklisting faced by other party leaders.
“He was supported by the powerful secret forces of our party. When the entire PTI leadership was blacklisted on the electronic media, he was the only person who was neither stopped nor blacklisted,” the PTI leader said.
Without revealing their identities, Marwat asserted that two influential members within the PTI must have backed Shaheen, leading to his access to legal team meetings.
Marwat alleged that Shaheen’s presence compromised the confidentiality of their legal strategies. “Soon I realised that our legal strategy was already known to the state attorneys. At times, he leaked our information to the agriculture department, and at one point he even threatened my life,” Marwat stated.
He said he would discuss the matter with PTI chief Imran Khan during their meeting scheduled for today and will provide the latter with full details regarding his tweet and the alleged actions of Shaheen.
However, in response, the PTI stated that Marwat’s statement should be considered his personal opinion and impressions, having no affiliation with the party’s official stance.
The party emphasised that Shoaib Shaheen Advocate was a vital member of the approved legal team, a part of the core committee, and authorised to represent the PTI’s position on legal and political matters.