A recent incident unfolded in London where the Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister was harassed. A video of the same has been doing the rounds on social media and garnering support for the minister who handled the situation in a mature manner. She has also posted online about the incident and lashed out against her hecklers.
Harassed In A Cafe
Marriyum Aurangzeb, Pakistan Minister for Information and Broadcasting, visited a coffee shop in London when she was greeted with verbal heckling from a group of alleged Pakistanis.
These people were supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Aurangzeb was in London as part of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s delegation which was returning from the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
The video clip of the incident records people chanting “chorni, chorni” (thief, thief), while a woman shouts that “she makes grand claims on television there and she does not have a dupatta on her head”.
The minister is seen getting cornered by a group of PTI supporters who are yelling and jeering at her while a man shouts at her using a megaphone. Aurangzeb could be seen sipping her drink calmly and later answering a woman’s questions in a composed manner.
The video clip had been shared by journalist Syed Talat Hussain, who later tweeted the same.
Aurangzeb replied to Hussain, saying that she was “sad to see the toxic impact [PTI Chairman] Imran Khan’s politics of hate and divisiveness have had on our brothers and sisters.” She claimed that she stayed and answered each and every question that the frenzied crowd had to ask her.
Several Pakistanis have voiced their opinions about the incident. Pakistan Planning Minister tweeted that the incident was the “most deplorable, condemnable and shameful act by PTI hooligans”, and also that Aurangzeb stood up to the dilemma like a “sherni”, or lioness. Journalist Syed Talat Hussain also tweeted positively about the way Aurangzeb handled the tense situation.
Defense minister Khawaja Asif emphasized the fact that the Pakistani people have not reformed their ways even when they have gone abroad. “Giving this color to political differences is a sign of bad training and a trend that is the height of intolerance. The violent trend in politics after Madhhab will destroy our society”, he said.
Veterans of the journalist community have also supported Aurangzeb’s actions. For instance journalist Mubashir Zaidi tweeted that after the incident his respect for the Pakistani information minister has been amplified.
Beenish Saleem tweeted, “This harassment is highly condemnable .. These people are victims of Khan’s embedded propaganda. Feel so sorry at the state of political polarization at its peak.”
This incident is not the first time that Aurangzeb has been heckled by PTI supporters. In April, a troupe of Pakistani pilgrims harassed and chanted abusive slogans at Pakistan PM Shahbaz and his entourage when they visited Masjid-i-Nabvi at Medina, Morocco. Aurangzeb later said that a select group were the culprits behind the incident.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
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