Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal flies without protocol

Published: August 10, 2017
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. PHOTO: APP

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: A tall man wearing a jacket and sporting a smart beard walks off a plane and collects his luggage – a fairly common sight. But not when that man happens to be the interior minister of Pakistan.

On Thursday, scores of passengers were surprised to find that Ahsan Iqbal was on their Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Islamabad to Lahore, sans any protocol.

Iqbal disembarked from the plane and sat in the passenger van along with other passengers, entered the arrival without any staff from the FIA, ASF, Customs, Police and of course hangers-on receiving him. He walked into the lounge like any other passenger and hopped in a car and headed home.

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Sources that have previously worked under the minister said that travelling without protocol is nothing new for Iqbal, giving examples of many occasions on which he shunned it, even when he was entitled to it. “He always gets in line, even in long passport queues,” said one source, adding, “just like the common man.”

An interior ministry source narrated an anecdote from immediately after Iqbal was appointed interior minister. He was making a surprise inspection of the airport and went without any protocol. “No one knew he is coming and he even got stopped at the gate by security. He had to show his ID card and prove that he was the interior minister,”

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The interior ministry source also said that Iqbal’s academic background in economics is strongly evident in his decision-making and the way he conducts meetings. “He doesn’t just look at the security aspects. He also carefully considers the economic aspects of every decision,” the source said.

In a country where government officials strut with elaborate security protocols to show off their positions, Iqbal set welcome example for others, especially his cabinet colleagues, to emulate.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • mad mamluk
    Aug 10, 2017 - 10:26PM

    as much as i disagree with some of his positions, he would have been a better choice for PM as he is well versed on CPEC issues and would have given N league a great shot at finishing those projects on time without hiccup. bad decision making the hallmark of the N. Recommend

  • Shah S
    Aug 11, 2017 - 2:36AM

    @mad mamluk: Out of all the crooks in PMLN, including the maga crook MK – NS; Only 2 persons have my respects and trust; Ahsan Iqbal and Ch Nisar Ali Khan; Thats it… no more deserve this respect and honor; Recommend

  • Ranjha
    Aug 11, 2017 - 4:46AM

    Nice stunt!Recommend

  • Sean
    Aug 11, 2017 - 6:40AM

    What do you mean, without protocol flying, are the Pakistani ministers allowed guards in the Plane?Recommend

  • cautious
    Aug 11, 2017 - 7:35AM

    Has to be a step up from Nisar and Malik. Recommend

  • Xsawei
    Aug 11, 2017 - 8:04AM

    This guy murdered an Ahmedi student in UET lahore while he was Nazim of IJT. Cold blooded killer he is. Recommend

  • Zubair
    Aug 11, 2017 - 9:36AM

    @mad mamluk:
    A gentleman gesture..Though I believe he under the influence of Nawaz, compromised national unity over favorable bias towards Punjab in CPEC, his this common man gesture needs appreciations. Recommend

  • omer
    Aug 11, 2017 - 10:05AM


  • Proud Pakistani
    Aug 11, 2017 - 11:09AM

    Ahsan Iqbal is one of the many gems in PMLNRecommend

  • bashir gul
    Aug 11, 2017 - 6:32PM

    Hats off to this gentleman. He deserves to be the prime minister.Recommend

  • ZAK
    Aug 11, 2017 - 10:50PM

    Doesn’t he have a Saudi work permit? Stop portraying a distorted image of a pathetic minister with loyalties to the NS family and not to the people of Pakistan who elected him. Recommend

  • FN
    Aug 12, 2017 - 4:27AM

    I was once (during PPP’s gov’t) standing in line to report lost luggage at Islamabad Airport. Mr. Ahsan Iqbal was also there to receive someone (presumably his sister and nephew) who happened to have lost their luggage also. Mr. Iqbal casually jumped the queue and went right to the front to report his relatives’ lost baggage. A couple of people raised their voice but he simply ignored them. He wasn’t even a minister or part of the government back then! I remember he told them to write down “care of prime minister house” as his address. But maybe he has changed his ways now. Recommend

  • Chengez K
    Aug 12, 2017 - 4:53PM

    What is normal in most countries requires a praise worthy story in our country !!!!Recommend

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