The Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sharmila Farooqui has registered a case against a Pakistani American citizen identified as Ali Mirza on charges of threatening to kill her while they were on an Islamabad-Karachi flight.
A shouting match erupted between the two passengers and the PK301 staff had to intervene to calm them down. After they arrived in Karachi, however, they started fighting again and the airport security had to escort them to the airport lounge.
Farooqui complained that Mirza had suddenly started harassing her and threatening her.
Mirza, who is said to be a member of an influential family, maintained that he neither harassed nor threatened the former adviser. All he wanted to do was inquire about her health. Farooqui shouted at him when he did this. For her part, Farooqui has insisted that security officials arrest him as he wanted to kill her.
The Airport Security Force informed the airport police about the case and they took Mirza into custody. Sources said that he repeatedly told them that Farooqi had slapped him, therefore a case should be lodged against her. In the meantime, his friends and relatives reached the airport and took him away.
Farooqui, who is the secretary of information for the PPP women’s wing in Sindh, went to the police station and lodged a case (No. 165) under section 506 B (threatening to kill someone) and 504 (to bodily insult someone). There were reports that the police had taken Mirza into custody but later released him. Airport SHO Ghaffar Korai told The Express Tribune that as they rushed to arrest the man, he escaped with his people.
Quoting the statements of other passengers, Korai said that, “Mirza badly behaved with Miss Farooqui, harassed her and shouted/insulted the character of politicians, which led to scuffle between them in the plane”. They are tracing him with the help of civil aviation staff.
Attempts to contact Farooqui went in vain. However, her personal assistant said that she could not comment. He said that the fighting started when Mirza [allegedly] spoke against politicians, especially Asif Ali Zardari, in the first class cabin. “I went to receive her at the airport. The man came out and was shouting saying, ‘I am an American citizen and me tumhe dekh loonga’ [I’ll make you pay].”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2011.