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President Zardari of Pakistan is pelted with shoes at the UK rally

By       Message Abdus Sattar Ghazali       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Draft 5/26

Taking cue from the Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who threw both of his shoes at the then President George Bush to protest against the US invasion and occupation of his country, Shamim Khan from Azad Kashmir hurled both of his shoes at Pakistan's unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari who was addressing a community gathering in Brimingham, UK on Saturday. President Zardari was pelted with shoes to protest his current visit to the United Kingdom.

Reporting the shoe throwing incident Daily Telegraph of London said: "Mr. Zardari, who is under criticism for visiting Britain while Pakistan is suffering from devastating floods, was in the middle of a speech when an elderly man in the 1,000 strong crowd hurled both shoes at him. The gesture is considered a traditional insult in Islam. An unidentified man was later ejected by police and security officials from the meeting, which was marked by noisy protests outside."

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"Zardari was in the middle of a long campaign speech when a man towards the back of the crowd hurled the shoes at him," said one eyewitness. "They landed short of him, and it wasn't clear what exactly the man was protesting about."

There has been a bitter criticism of his visit to London on two grounds. It is argued that the president should not visit the United Kingdom leaving the hapless people of Pakistan at the mercy of raging floods where at least 1600 people have been killed and millions have become homeless. The president should share the miseries of Pakistani nation in such worst condition.

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However, the prime reason for a bitter opposition to Zardari's visit to UK is British Prime Minister David Cameron's comments in India last month in which he supported the Indian point of view that Pakistan is exporting terrorism to India. Speaking at the Infosys Technologies' campus in Banglore, Cameron said: "We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able to promote the export of terror, whether to India or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world."

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Shamim Khan, who belongs to Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party, told the Geo TV network that he threw shoes at President Zardari to protest his meeting with the British Prime Minister. He added said that this is also a protest against all his anti-people policies.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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