LAHORE – Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif came under a shoe attack during his visit to Jamia Naeemia in Lahore’s Garhi Shahu area on Sunday.
Soon as Nawaz reached the rostrum to address the participants of the event at the seminary, a man from the audience hurled a shoe at him which hit the former PM on his shoulder.
Following the incident, in which Nawaz remained unhurt, three men were detained by the seminary’s administration.
Video footage of the incident showed Sharif visibly shocked after the incident.
However, the PML-N leader went ahead with his address, although reportedly shortening his speech, only to thank the organisers and saying words of prayer for a deceased cleric.
The organisers said they were trying to ascertain the identity of the attacker and how he was able to enter the hall.
The incident comes days after another PML-N leader, Ahsan Iqbal, had a shoe thrown at him in Narowal, making it the third incident of similar nature against the ruling party’s top leadership in recent days.
On Saturday, a person threw ink at Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif while he was addressing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz convention.
The person was taken into custody by the police; however, Asif said he should be released saying he has no enmity with him.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and his party condemned the incident.
“This is against our moral values and I am glad that a PTI worker is not involved in this incident,” Imran told the media in Faisalabad.
“I want to tell both PTI workers and the public that throwing shoes or ink on people is not the right way [to protest],” said the PTI chief.
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.
یہ ایک انتہائی غلط روش ہے جسکی تحریک انصاف سخت مذمت کرتی ہے۔ افسوس کہ مسلم لیگ کی پالیسیوں نے عوام کو اس قدر اسکے خلاف کردیا ہے کہ اب عوام ہماری روایات اور طور طریقوں سے ہٹ کر سیاستدانوں کا منہ کالا اور جوتا مار رہے ہیں۔ یہ ہمارے لئے بحیثیت قوم ایک لمحہ فکریہ ہے۔ pic.twitter.com/FRu98B5wnI
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 11, 2018
PTI’s former general secretary Jahangir Tareen, in a tweet, said hurling shoes and throwing ink at rulers is “condemnable”. “Why resort to such acts, when you have the option of sending them out through the power of vote? Do take your revenge but take it gracefully,” he added.
Hurling shoes and throwing ink at rulers is condemnable.. Why resort to such acts, when you have the option of sending them out through the power of vote? Do take your revenge but take it gracefully.
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) March 11, 2018
Opposition MNA Sheikh Rashid also condemned the incident, terming it a complete collapse of intelligence and a result of “overconfidence” shown by the former premier.
Reacting to the incident, PPP co-chairman Bilawal Zardari said that the culture of lack of tolerance should not be promulgated. “It was a very unethical act,” remarked the PPP chief.
Other PPP leaders also took to social media to condemn the incident.
Political difference aside shoe throwing on Ex PM Nawaz sharif and Black Ink on Kh Asif is highly condemnable &it can not be accepted at all.
I demand from PM &CM Punjab for legal action and exemplary punishment.Our Islam does not allow any such public humiliation for any one. https://t.co/mgHWmzkVpu
— Senator Rehman Malik (@SenRehmanMalik) March 11, 2018
Absolutely condemnable! Ink and shoe-throwing debase the political environment and degrade public values https://t.co/qYGEp3oFzR
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) March 11, 2018
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also condemned the incident, calling the action ‘extremely wrong.’
“I wasn’t aware of this incident before you told me,” Shah said to the journalists, “but it is unethical to do this to anyone, be it a politician or a person who belongs to any other profession.”
Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement – Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Bahadurabad faction Faisal Subzwari tweeted that such “regrettable acts’ are likely to promote conflict and then, violence.
جوتا تو کوئی بھی کسی پر بھی پھینک سکتا ہے،ہر سیاسی جماعت/رہنما کے مخالف ملک بھر میں پائے جاتے ہیں۔یہ افسوسناک حرکتیں تصادم اور پھر تشدد کو بھی فروغ دے سکتی ہیں۔ تمام اہم سیاسی رہنما (شیشے کے گھر کے مکین) آگے بڑھیں،اس شرمناک فعل کی زبانی مذمت کے بجائے روک تھام کی سنجیدہ کوشش کریں
— Faisal Subzwari (@faisalsubzwari) March 11, 2018