A small group of angry men assaulted pop-star-turned-televangelist Junaid Jamshed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Rawalpindi late on Saturday night.
Jamshed, who had flown to the federal capital from Karachi via PIA flight PK-372, was stepping out of the arrival lounge when around seven men assaulted him.
A video uploaded on social media shows the men pushing Jamshed, 51, and slapping him before the televangelist was rescued by officials.
Jamshed is then seen confronting the men, calmly asking them why he is being attacked. The men are seen accusing him of committing blasphemy. Jamshed is then seen fleeing back into the lounge.
Airport police, which confirmed the incident, said Jamshed had lodged a complaint with them wherein he accused seven to eight unknown men for attacking him at the airport.
The televangelist later said on his official Twitter account: “It is about time we as a nation decide that we will not let these religious fanatics prevail amongst us. They will be exposed and brought to task.”
Jamshed was embroiled in a blasphemy case in late 2014 after a video emerged in which he allegedly made inappropriate comments. However, Jamshed publicly apologised for his remarks and sought forgiveness, and the case did not proceed further.
The police, however, have been unable to get in touch with Jamshed. An official said that no legal action could be taken against the assailants unless Jamshed records an initial statement. Efforts by The Express Tribune to contact Jamshed were also futile.
Jamshed asked to file FIR
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has asked the televangelist to file an FIR against his suspected attackers.
“No one will be allowed to take law in their own hands,” stated a press release issued by the ministry on Sunday.
The security czar further said that intolerance and violence should be discouraged in society.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2016.
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