ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Federal Minister for Defense Khawaja Asif on Thursday tendered an “unconditional apology to the house” for his derogatory remarks against Shireen Mazari, without referring to her directly.
“It was not my intention to ruin the decorum but I was not being allowed to complete my speech, which compelled me to say those things,” the minister said while addressing to National Assembly here on today.
Right after Asif’s address, PTI’s Shireen Mazari replied and stated that since she had been singled out and attacked, the federal minister should tender an apology to her by taking her name.
At this Asif stood up and said, “I will not name Ms. Mazari in my apology because I had named no one when I made the [insulting] remarks. If I had named anyone, then I would like to apologize to them.”
Earlier in the day, Asif had submitted an apology letter to National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, which the latter read out in the house.
But Mazari, not accepting the gesture as an apology, said Asif should come to the house himself and apologize personally.
PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that such behavior was making Pakistan a joke in the world.
“Men should reconsider their behavior towards women. This has become a national habit,” he said.
Other women parliamentarians also supported Shireen Mazari, calling Khawaja Asif’s outburst an insult to women and the sanctity of the parliament.
While a ruckus was ongoing in the assembly session , NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq tried to pacify members. “I have tried my best to do justice to my duties. I am human not an angel. I can make mistakes. Yesterday I had specifically asked Shireen Mazari to remain seated,” the speaker said.