By Muhammad Luqman
Tensions in Pakistan’s politics touched news heights after two men lobbed shoes at former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during his visit to a seminary in eastern city of Lahore on Sunday while he was about to address a gathering.
Soon after the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) reached the podium to deliver a speech at an event organised by the Jamia Naeemia, a man hurled his shoe at Nawaz, hitting him between the neck and shoulder while the shoe thrown by another man hit the person standing behind Nawaz Sharif.
The shoe-thrower then jumped on the stage and raised slogans in favour of Mumtaz Qadri , the killer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, before being thrashed by the crowd, according to media reports.
However, former Prime Minister went ahead with his address, although reportedly shortening his speech, only to thank the organisers and saying words of prayer for the deceased cleric, Mufti Muhammad Hussain Naeemi, the founder of the seminary.
The Police have arrested three suspects into custody.
On Saturday, a man was taken into police custody after he threw ink at Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif during his speech at the ruling PML-N workers convention in north-eastern city of Sialkot.
Asif, however, directed the concerned authorities to release the suspect, saying he did not have any personal enmity with him, adding that the man must have carried out the act on behest of someone in return for some money.
Last week, Pakistan,s interior minister, Ahsan Iqbal, had a shoe thrown at him, making it the third incident of similar nature against the ruling party’s top leadership in recent days.
Pakistan,s ruling party has termed the incidents as acts of frustration over what it called increase in the popularity of the deposed Prime Minister over the last few months. Nawaz Sharif stepped down on July 28 last after country’s apex court declared him disqualified to hold any public office in a corruption case.
“The incident shows that the opponents are afraid of their defeat in the upcoming general elections,” Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the daughter of former Prime Minister told a social media workers conference in Rawalpindi, the twin city of capital, Islamabad.
Opposition parties have also condemned the incident. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan has condemned the incident. In its message on Twitter, PTI said that it was regrettable that PML-N’s policies have turned the people against the party to the extent that they [the nation] have resorted to such antics.