LONDON: Maheen Faisal, an activist of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in London, has accepted that the attitude of her party’s workers was unacceptable during an incident that took place with Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in the British capital at a coffee shop last year in September.
The information minister was in a café near the Marble Arch station to buy coffee when she was heckled by a group of PTI supporters, who surrounded the minister and began yelling at her. The crowd also continued to videotape Aurangzeb.
Faisal, a prominent PTI activist, told Geo News that what happened with the minister was “very wrong” and noted that the “difference between men and women was eliminated”.
“There was a ruckus there […] and when I looked inside the coffee shop, I saw that Marriyum Aurangzeb was standing inside,” the PTI activist said.
The women supporters of PTI had targeted the minister with inappropriate allegations, while also accusing her of being a thief.
Shouting in the coffee shop, a woman claimed: “Marriyum Aurangzeb is spending Pakistan’s looted money in London.”
The PTI protestors swarmed around Aurangzeb and did not let her be during what appeared to be her time off from her official duties as a minister.
She noted that she felt “weird” as despite all the political differences with Aurangzeb, and keeping in mind that all Pakistanis are ambassadors of their nation, they were sloganeering at a posh cafe in London.
“It just didn’t make any sense,” she said.
The PTI activist added that Aurangzeb was “harassed” and verbally abused. “I stepped in and asked people to keep a distance as there are different manners in which we speak to people.”
“Even I had to ask questions to her as I have my differences. But obviously, there is a way to ask things and I believe that whatever happened with her was very wrong.”
At the same time, she noted that the reaction of the PTI workers was inevitable as the party was already holding a protest in that area.
After the video of the incident went viral on social media, netizens — including former finance minister Miftah Ismail and Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari — the daughter of PPP co-chairperson Asif Zardari — came to Aurangzeb’s defence and criticised PTI for instigating hatred and propagating misbehaviour among its supporters.
This was not the first time that the information minister was harassed by PTI supporters.
In April last year, Aurangzeb was surrounded by a mob that hurled abuses and insulted her and Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti at the Masjid-e-Nabawi (PBUH) in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.