The premier was addressing the National Assembly shortly after his cabinet took oath at a ceremony at the Presidency. Following the ceremony, Abbasi presided over a meeting of the newly formed cabinet.
Abbasi, in his address to lawmakers, called for the formation of a special committee to probe the allegations against Khan on-camera and suggested the committee present a report before the House after its investigation so that the “matter can be closed”. The assembly passed the motion and directed the committee to submit its report within a month.
He assured both the accused and the accuser they would be respected, adding that the PTI chief had the “right to defend himself”.
Abbasi also assured MNA Gulalai of round-the-clock protection after she claimed on television that she was scared for her life.
Gulalai’s allegations against Khan caused a furore among party members and deepened a rift with the ruling PML-N, who the PTI accuses of allegedly masterminding a ploy to malign the PTI chief.
Additionally, when Gulalai first announced she was parting ways with the PTI, speculation was rife that she would be joining the PML-N following rumours she had held a recent meeting with PML-N leader Amir Muqam.
As she announced she was quitting the PTI earlier this week, Gulalai accused Khan and his “gang” of having an “immoral character”.
The MNA from Waziristan alleged that Khan “would forward inappropriate and explicit text messages to party women”, claiming that she received the first such message in 2013.
The ruling PML-N, as well as PPP, have backed Gulalai’s allegations against Khan, and have called for an investigation into the matter.
Earlier in the day, Railways Minister Saad Rafique announced that the ruling PML-N had decided to file a review petition against the Supreme Court judgement in the Panama Papers case.
The minister was speaking to the media shortly after the new cabinet was sworn in.
Rafique said that Nawaz Sharif reserves the right to file a review petition after a five-judge SC bench ordered him to step down after concluding that he had been ‘dishonest’.
He added that since the verdict, Sharif has become an even more “dynamic” political personality.
“Keeping politics aside, we believe that severe allegations have been levelled against Khan,” Rafique said.
He chided the PTI chairman, saying that although Khan calls for politicians to resign over the smallest of issues, “where are his dialogues now?”
“He has no shame,” Rafique added.
The minister called on Khan to present himself before an investigative committee, should it be formed, “instead of levelling allegations against a woman to create [his] own counter-narrative.”
“Come and face the matter and prove [that allegations against you are not true],” Rafique challenged the PTI chief.