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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ex Chief Minister 'Manhandled'

Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, ex Chief Minister of Sindh under Musharraf rule, was a very frightened man on Monday, trying to run for his life and escape from the clutches – and shoes – of the mob that was trying to get their hands on him outside the Sindh Assembly in Karachi.

The scene in which somebody succeeds in hitting him hard on his face with a shoe has been shown countless times by all TV channels. This was after he had taken oath as MPA inside the assembly hall where someone else also threw a shoe at him (and missed) from the visitors’ gallery.

Later when someone interviewed a couple of women MPAs, instead of condemning the incident they started lamenting that they had not managed to get their own hands (read shoes) on him!

To give the devil his due, Arbab during his tenure as Chief Minister had been very vocal about his hatred for and criticism of Benazir Bhutto, had accused her of corruption and even went as far as to say that from a religious point of view the “leadership of a woman – and therefore BB – is a curse!” All this obviously seems not to have gone down well with the public.

In any case the incident can in no way be condoned. It is totally and completely deplorable and shameful that such an act was allowed to occur in the place where our representatives take the solemn pledge to protect the constitution and maintain law and order!!

Benazir Bhutto herself had only responded to Arbab’s accusations by taking strong exception in the media to his comments and sending him a legal notice of defamation, which was the correct course of action and response. Those jialas and supporters of BB who are defending the attack on Arbab are simply not helping BB’s cause. They have a much higher responsibility, especially after her death, to ensure that order is maintained at any and all cost and that we move on as a nation on the path of reconciliation and real democracy that BB envisioned.

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