Faisal threatens opposition with military boot live on TV

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ISLAMABAD: While appearing on a local news channel, Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda pulled out a military boot and placed it on the table to insult the opposition parties who ostensibly went against their narrative of civilian supremacy by supporting the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 2020 in parliament.

The legislation was introduced to provide legal cover to the extension of the army chief’s tenure in office, a move that was hotly debated across the country and had a polarizing impact of its political landscape.

Vawda kicked up drama on Tuesday while appearing on a television talk show with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Qamar Zaman Kaira, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart, Senator Javed Abbasi.

The federal minister slammed the boot onto the table while discussing Nawaz Sharif, saying: “In order to save your plunder and escape the country, you stooped and gave respect to the boot.”

Kaira demanded to know if Vawda was implying that the army had forced the opposition parties to vote in favor of the legislation before saying that the whole stunt was highly disrespectful to the armed forces of the country and calling it “a mockery of the army.”

At one point, the talk show host tried to lighten up the situation, asking Vawda where he had acquired the boot from. The minister used the question to slam the opposition again, gesturing to his co-guests and saying, “Ask them.”

Kaira and Abbasi left the show in protest, and it was not long before opposition members began condemning Vawda’s move.

Kashif ’s show banned

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned the broadcast of anchorperson Kashif Abbasi’s talkshow for 60 days, two days after Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda’s outlandish boot stunt on the show.

The ban on the broadcast and rebroadcast of Abbasi’s show is effective from today.

On Tuesday night, Vawda appeared on Abbasi’s show alongside PPP Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira and PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi, during which he used a boot to heap scorn on the opposition parties for voting in favour of the recently passed Army Act in parliament.

The next day, as criticism poured in from opposition leaders as well as people on social media, Vawda said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was “not happy” over his action. While appearing in another talk show in the evening, he took the responsibility of the incident but made it clear to anchor that he would not apologise for bringing the boot to a live TV show.

Opposition leaders

Leaders of opposition parties on Wednesday slammed Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda for his outlandish stunt on a TV show last night, during which he used a boot to to heap scorn on the PPP and PML-N for voting in favour of the recently passed Army Act in parliament.

The PTI minister appeared on ARY News’ ‘Off the Record’, hosted by anchorperson Kashif Abbasi, alongside senior PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira and PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi on Tuesday night. Mid-programme, while discussing PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Vawda pulled out a boot and plonked it on the desk in front of the guests. Both Abbasi and Kaira eventually left the show in protest.