Last week Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan took another principled decision. I am referring to the decision to fire Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan for making rabidly anti-Hindu statements. In taking this principled decision, Imran Khan was truly following in the footsteps of Mr Jinnah, who had refused to autograph the Time Magazine cover with his picture because it carried a caption about how the “Moslem Tiger” wanted to eat the “Hindu Cow”. At another time, Mr Jinnah had vociferously protested against a member of the Muslim League Central Executive who had called Hindus “the sons of Shylock”. Jinnah told his followers that in fighting for the Muslim cause, they should be mindful never to say anything offensive about any other community. Mocking other communities is never a good thing. Humanity and law aside, even our faith warns against abusing other people’s Gods or religions so that they might not be given to abusing our own. Simple and elegant.However, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership generally suffers from the foot in the mouth disease. A day before Women’s Day, Asad Umar, supposedly educated and from the corporate world, delivered one of the most misogynist speech against Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The very next day, on Women’s Day, the PM seems to have endorsed the same nonsense. For some reason, every time one begins to get hopeful about Imran Khan as a leader, he gives us reason to pause and reconsider. Here is the problem with the line of attack that has become a favourite for PTI – Bilawal’s use of the Bhutto name. There is no law against Bilawal using his mother’s surname even to the exclusion of his father’s name, though Bilawal has only adopted Bhutto as his middle name. Not only is it intellectually dishonest to suggest thatBilawal is somehow misappropriating the Bhutto name, it is misogynist and it is against the spirit of Islam. Let me remind you that Nauman BinThabit, the most influential jurist in Islamic history, is known not as Ibn-e-Thabit but Abu Hanifa. Though some have tried to play down the link by arguing that the “kuniya” had to do with “hanifs” in general, an alternative version, more plausible and logical, is that it was after his daughter Hanifa, an exceptionally gifted jurist herself. If that is not enough, let us consider the example of the most revered prophet in Islamic theology after the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Jesus or Isa Ibn-e-Maryam (AS). Now you can argue that this is because of immaculate conception, but the point is that there is no bar on a person using his mother’s name in Islam. If anything, theology tells us that on the day of judgment, we are to be raised in our mothers’ names. In so far as establishing paternity and identity, we have DNA tests, ID Cards and what not. I still believe Imran Khan can be our finest PM, but to do that he needs to rise above it and have a zero tolerance policy for jokers, crooks, cranks and madmen that populate the ranks of his partyOf all people, the PM should have known better than to jump on the bandwagon of people like Asad Umar. After all, Imran Khan’s greatest achievement in this world and the next shall be the hospital he named after his mother. Meanwhile, we know who Asad Umar’s father is. Let us not get into that controversy which has earned our Finance Minister the moniker “Failed Engro Manager Ibn-e- War Criminal” which some have been trending on social media. One only needs to read the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report to learn more about the Finance Minister’s grand family history. The irony then that Asad Umar, whose own brother does not seem to use his father’s last name, got up in the assembly and spoke about Shakoor Shaad being a “narka bacha” – the son of a male — for defeating Bilawal Bhutto from Layari. Is this the language to be used in Pakistan’s highest legislature? Those who use terms like “narka bacha” do not belong in this century. For one thing, they are utterly and completely ignorant of biological facts. This internalised misogyny and bigotry may have been overlooked during the 1971 war but it cannot be overlooked now in this day and age. As it is, Asad Umar is bad at what he does, utterly incompetent and totally out of his depth. Perhaps Imran Khan should reconsider having this embarrassment as the Finance Minister of Pakistan.Pakistan, naya or purana, cannot have any space for misogynists and bigots. Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan got caught because he was committing the most egregious outrages. There are many people in the PTI old boys’ club who need to be shown the door. Perhaps it is time to honestly investigate the countless harassment complaints that have been lodged against many PTI leaders. To start with, it would be useful for PTI to have its own party specific ombudsperson looking at complaints of misogyny, harassment and religious bigotry. I still believe Imran Khan can be our finest PM, but to do that he needs to rise above it and have a zero tolerance policy for jokers, crooks, cranks and madmen that populate the ranks of his party. If he carries out a purge on principles, he will find that many more people will rally around him. For now though, Imran Khan needs to apologise to Bilawal Bhutto who is less than half his age. For God’s sake, please bring decency back to the politics. Decency and people like Asad Umar are mutually exclusive. Finally a word about both the PM and the Finance Minister taking umbrage at Bilawal’s use of the English language in the parliament. English is one of the official languages of this country. Let me remind the PM that the Constitution and rules of business are written in the English language. Furthermore, it would be useful for both gentlemen to visit the first session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan presided over by Mr Jinnah. MrBhim Sen Sachar — elected from West Punjab — rose up to speak on August 11, 1947 and asked Mr Jinnah: “Sir have I your permission to address this house in Hindustani?” Mr Jinnah replied: “I understand, according to the rules, the language of the House is English, unless any Honourable Member is unable to express’ himself adequately in English. In that event he can certainly speak in any language in which he can speak best.” This was Mr. Jinnah’s first ruling. Today, Pakistan’s legislative rules allow the member to address the house in English. How then can the PM and the Finance Minister raise an objection to this? Is this what you are going to make an issue out of at this critical juncture. Have some decency at long last.The writer is a practicing lawyer and was a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School in Cambridge MA, USA Published in Daily Times, March 11th 2019.