ISLAMABAD: A hoax news item The Express Tribune ran on its website as an April Fool’s Day prank elicited a serious reaction from none other than former interior minister Rehman Malik on Saturday.
The Pakistan Peoples Party leader expressed ‘serious reservations’ after falling for the joke report titled ‘New Islamabad airport to be named Xi Jinping airport’, warning the government that his party would take the issue to an ‘extreme level’ if it tried to the rename the airport currently named after late PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto.
“The government should avoid taking any steps which may hurt the feelings of the public,” Malik said in a statement issued to the media with the label ‘very important’. “There is no precedent in the past to rename organizations [or facilities] which are named after national heroes,” he said.
The former minister added that no one should forget the services Benazir Bhutto rendered for the sake of democracy and the general public. He asked the government for a clarification on the hoax report.
Despite repeated attempts, The Express Tribune was unable to directly contact Malik for his version on the story.