Karachi: Arbab attacked by party activists
KARACHI: Despite strong police protection provided to him by the caretaker administration, the former chief minister of Sindh, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, was on Monday physically attacked by some enraged political activists as he left the Assembly after taking the oath as a newly-elected MPA.
The incident was vociferously condemned although it was not unprecedented in the past, MPA Yunus Khan suffered worse.
The violent episode occurred despite the fact that security was beefed up after Saturday, when Dr Rahim was unable to take the oath because of political activists’ attempts to manhandle him. Subsequently, the Assembly authorities cancelled all passes except those issued to the press.
Slogan-chanting political activists also harassed television reporters and anchorpersons who, despite displaying cards issued by the Assembly authorities, were obstructed from performing their duties.
The MQM played an important role in Dr Rahim’s oath-taking, due to which the session started late. The first attempted assault occurred as the former chief minister sat on the opposition benches next to the Speaker’s gallery, waiting to be administered the oath by the outgoing Speaker, Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah. An unidentified man, who was later overpowered by some PPP workers and security personnel in plainclothes, hurled a shoe at Dr Rahim as the naat was being recited.
Meanwhile, political activists shouted slogans against the former chief minister and used rude and abusive language, despite warnings issued by the Speaker.
Police and other security official escorted Dr Rahim to the Assembly hall via its back door. He took the oath amid all the chaos and then left the House.
Although a strong security cover had been provided by the caretaker Home adviser and the Assembly authorities to the former chief minister upon his arrival, it appeared to have melted away by the time he left the House after taking the oath. As a result, a handful of PPP MNAs had to intervene in the corridor outside the Members’ Gallery to protect Dr Rahim from the wrath of charged workers who allegedly belonged to the PPP.
As he attempted to leave the Assembly, Dr Rahim was struck by a shoe hurled by a political activist. Meanwhile, some women who were displaying similar intentions were pushed back by MPAs and plainclothes security personnel. Even as Dr Rahim was being driven away, his car was chased by charged activists who then vented their anger by targeting the waiting police vehicles.
It remains unclear how such disruptive element managed to obtain passes to gain entry into the Sindh Assembly premises.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.