Pakistan’s information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has blamed the “hate and divisive politics” of previous prime minister Imran Khan for her heckling in London.
In a widely shared video, a group of people, believed to be supporters of Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), can be seen harassing the minister at a cafe in the British capital. Another video shows some of the people chanting “chorni chorni” (thief) as they follow Aurangzeb. A woman who was filming the chaos is heard saying the minister “makes grand claims on television there and she does not have a dupatta on her head”.
Aurangzeb took to Twitter to condemn the incident. “Sad to see the toxic impact IK’s politics of hate & divisiveness has had on our brothers & sisters,” she wrote, referring to Khan.
She said she stayed and answered “every question” the crowd had.
“Sadly, they are victims of IK’s propaganda. We will continue our work to counter IK’s toxic politics & bring people together,” the minister said in the tweet on Sunday.
Aurangzeb won praise for her composure during the heckling which took place when she was on her way back from New York after attending the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
Her ministerial colleague Ahsan Iqbal said the harassment was a “shameful act by PTI hooligans”.
“Most deplorable, condemnable and shameful act by PTI hooligans. These were Hitler’s tactics. Imran is a fascist and turning his followers into street gangs. Well done @Marriyum_A you showed grace & faced them boldly…” he tweeted.
The south Asian country’s defence minister Khawaja Asif said: “The times of some of our classes have not changed even after going to Britain. These people are representing the lowest level of our society. Giving this colour to political differences is a sign of bad training and a trend that is the height of intolerance. The violent trend in politics after Madhhab will destroy our society.”