Pakistan’s ‘sevadar’: DAG issued notice for polishing shoes in India

Published: July 15, 2012
Khan performed a deed which only a handful of politicians would contemplate doing. PHOTO: FILE

Khan performed a deed which only a handful of politicians would contemplate doing. PHOTO: FILE


The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Saturday issued a show cause notice to Deputy Attorney General (DAG) of Pakistan Khurshid Khan at the Peshawar High Court, for  ‘defaming’ the country during a recent visit to India.

The notice can only be labeled bizarre, for DAG Khurshid Khan performed a deed which only a handful of politicians would contemplate doing: Polishing shoes, sweeping floors and washing dishes to promote interfaith harmony at the Jamia Masjid in Chandigarh, the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Birla Temple in New Delhi.

A delegation of 200 members of the SCBA, including President Yasin Azad, Muneer A Malik, Tariq Mahmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Asma Jahangir, along with present and former office bearers of bar associations and DAG Khan visited India in March to interact with lawyers from across the border. The visit was meant to enable interaction with the legal fraternity of India and to establish contacts amongst the legal communities of the neighbouring countries.

SCBA President Azad made it clear that Khurshid ‘defamed’ Pakistan by polishing shoes outside the places of worship. “Although it was the government’s duty to issue him the show cause notice, as he is a serving deputy attorney general, we have issued it instead,” he told The Express Tribune.

“Khurshid told us that he did this to be pardoned for all the sins he has committed in his life,” Azad claimed, adding that he should have done it in a more respectable way.

When contacted, Khurshid told The Express Tribune that he was waiting to receive the show cause notice and was prepared to reply to it, adding that since he is the DAG, the attorney general was supposed to issue the notice. He questioned the basis on which the show cause notice was issued. “Have I been charged for violating an Indian law? There was no code of conduct we were told to follow.”

Khurshid stated that he was bestowed the status of a State Guest by Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Parkash Singh Badal and that his mission was to convey a better image of Pakistanis in general and Pakhtuns in particular.

“What is constituted as defaming the country, Ajmal Kasab’s alleged killing of Indians or a Pakistani polishing the shoes of Hindus, Sikhs and Christians outside their places of worship,” he questioned.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (52)

  • BlackJack
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:20AM

    No good deed goes unpunished.


  • Falcon
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:22AM

    This is simply stupid. Let one humble guy do what he is doing. We already have too many people ‘de-faming’ the country left and right. He can only make it better.


  • Arindom
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Don’t know if you have any agenda – but you certainly presented a very good image in India – cleaning shoes at temples is taken as a devout sign of penance and service. What’s wrong there?


  • Noble Tufail
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Khurshid Khan another brave pakhtun. This man is a free and responsible citizen of Pakistan and he knows exactly what he is doing. Let no one judge him. He can be a hope for many disaapointed Pakistanis in Indian jails as well Indians in pakistani jails. Our people should learn the essence of honor through being the servant of mankind too.


  • Khalid Aziz
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:45AM

    Khurshid Khan- gem of a guy, a role meodel for those who strongly believe in and love humanity. Opposers of interfaith harmony are the forces of doom n gloom. Love n respect n more strength to Khurshid Khan.


  • Jul 15, 2012 - 11:54AM

    I like his personality, his deed, and his explanation.


  • gp65
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:55AM

    The message his actions give is of humility, service and respect for other faiths. So the Pakistan SCBA thinks that is a bad thing?


  • Tony Singh
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:56AM

    It happens only in Pakistan. You kill a fellow Ahemedi or destroy their place of worship you are hailed as a hero. If you consider everyone equal in house of God you are a traitor. Way to go! Recommend

  • Reza
    Jul 15, 2012 - 12:04PM

    The deputy attorney general should clearly state what he was doing. India will only jump on actions like these to further accuse Pakistan of terrorism, like how they are using the chance of arresting Kasab to accuse Pakistan of terrorism.Recommend

  • Jul 15, 2012 - 12:17PM

    wow – no comments – the emotion is laudable – but I think in india – we just want action – return Dawood Ibrahim and proceed on the 26/11 trial.


  • Jul 15, 2012 - 12:52PM

    No sarcastic comment on this one.
    Khan Sahib… Yiu did a commendable job. Dont be afraid of such fools. You are the true face of interfaith harmony.


  • Aamir
    Jul 15, 2012 - 1:07PM

    Hats off to this gentleman! I wish I could do the same!!


  • Sabih Zafar Ullah
    Jul 15, 2012 - 1:13PM

    A good man hurts the Ego of defenders of the Great Islamic Republic of Pakistan.


  • Pasha-Nirasha
    Jul 15, 2012 - 1:27PM

    India has a very good rapport with the Pashtuns and we appreciate Mr.Khan’s penitence which is his personal choice.


  • Enlightened
    Jul 15, 2012 - 1:33PM

    I salute the brave and secular son of Pakistan who has propogated to the world that Islam is a religion of peace, love and tolerance. Those who are prosecuting him are doing a great dis-service to Pakistan since it would achieve nothing but only tarnish the country’s sagging image in the eyes of the whole world.


  • sidewinder
    Jul 15, 2012 - 1:53PM

    Pakistan never ceases to surprise me.its nth time now…


  • Riaz Khan
    Jul 15, 2012 - 2:12PM

    Sir, We are proud of you! It shows that we still have outstanding human beings like you in Pakistan. We love & adore you.Recommend

  • sadia
    Jul 15, 2012 - 3:34PM

    Punishing such an act of humility is strange.


  • Mohit Chinoy
    Jul 15, 2012 - 4:13PM

    Very commendable indeed ,But Khan sahib please take care of yourself because now defenders of true faith will be after you.May God bless you


  • Jpy
    Jul 15, 2012 - 5:07PM

    A really wonderful man who respects all faiths. Hats off to you sir


  • Mawali
    Jul 15, 2012 - 5:11PM

    What a man; this is truly inspirational!


  • observer
    Jul 15, 2012 - 5:11PM

    Well any Association of Lawyers that,

    A. Showers a killer with rose petals.

    B. And resolves to ban Shezan on account of its ownership,

    had to do this.


  • Raw is War
    Jul 15, 2012 - 5:32PM

    what bigotry….


  • not-an-indian
    Jul 15, 2012 - 5:42PM

    Nice gesture – waiting for an indian to do the same on PK soil and indian trolls shower praise on him.


  • Babbarsher khan
    Jul 15, 2012 - 5:50PM

    “….“Although it was the government’s duty to issue him the show cause notice, as he is a serving deputy attorney general, we have issued it instead,” he told The Express Tribune….”This speaks in volume, a very talented guy indeed! SCBA President Azad deserved to be nominated to the Supreme Court Chieftain’s position upon retirement of the present occupant. Pakistani judiciary could not in more safer hands!


  • Khurram
    Jul 15, 2012 - 5:57PM

    Khurshid Khan, Sir I salute your Moral Strength with all my sincerity and respect. These convoluted minds of shallow backgrounds who are trying to indict you have no clue about the concept of True Honour.


  • DevilHunterX
    Jul 15, 2012 - 6:10PM

    “200 members of the SCBA”

    All I want to know is that who footed the bill!?


  • Khurram
    Jul 15, 2012 - 6:11PM

    @Sadia: Sister, Very sad as it is, but nothing is strange in our country any more. What can be more stranger than that after sixty-five years of existence as a nation we still do not know who we really are.


  • S.H
    Jul 15, 2012 - 6:27PM

    I solute this man. He did a wonderful job. He is the real hero who knows the worth of humanity. We need more like him.


  • VJ
    Jul 15, 2012 - 6:28PM

    Hats off to Khan JI…… A true Pathan… Powerful yet humble

    It is not only about setting an Example of communal harmony but this shoecases broadminded attitute.


  • Awais
    Jul 15, 2012 - 6:48PM

    Khurshaid made us feel shame as he is serving a big post in Pakistan. If he wanted to remove his sins he could better do this by hiding himself. Or if he wanted to show good image of Pakistan he could do some other job rather than polishing shoes. This is not the level of Muslim to bow against any one. Pakthuns never do this to their Enemies. I didn’t get the real reason behind this either it was for individual’s publicity or disgracing Pakistan. If tomorrow our PM go the India and start doing the same what you people will say. “It a bold step”?


  • MTL
    Jul 15, 2012 - 6:54PM

    I don’t know why ET is not willing to publish my comment. Come on ET! Have some guts to publish the unbiased comments !


  • Jai
    Jul 15, 2012 - 7:21PM

    Sick of this nautanki of interfaith harmony. One guy polishing shoes does not erase the bad deeds of others. His visa should be revoked and he should be sent back to Pakistan. If pakistanis are truly sorry they need to change their own country. I can polish my own shoes, thanks, but no thanks. I don’t buy this nautanki.


  • Feroz
    Jul 15, 2012 - 7:52PM

    It is sad to read and see the bigotry in your statement. Who told you that Pashtuns and Indians are enemies. The only Pakistan citizen to get India’s highest civilian honour the Bharat Ratna was a Pashtun – Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan. In India he is considered an intellectual, moral and spiritual giant at par with Gandhi and Maulana Azad. That we Indians lost him at Partition is a tragedy beyond compensation. Please also remember that Gandhi and Mother Theresa lived with lepers and also washed their wounds – they were performing service to God, not asking for peoples caste or religion.
    Why should Khurshid feel shame for serving humanity, it is you who should feel ashamed of your comment.
    Please come out of your pigeon hole.


  • Zafar
    Jul 15, 2012 - 8:05PM

    Must be some Indians must have force him… he must be under so much pressure while in india to do some things .. this might be one of those.. why would any Muslim clean shoes in india and that too in religious place… something fishy in india by indians


  • Irfan Shah
    Jul 15, 2012 - 8:08PM

    Hats off to Khurshid Khan. Well done. And don’t worry about these utra-nationalist lawyers. Let them whine!


  • sidewinder
    Jul 15, 2012 - 8:11PM

    as an Indian ,I am feeling envious towards this guy,who being a Pakistani is standing on a higher moral ground.


  • Syeda Rehana
    Jul 15, 2012 - 8:30PM


    emphasized text“India will quickly jump at actions such as these…”

    Have they?


  • Khurram
    Jul 15, 2012 - 8:32PM

    @ Awais:
    “This is not the level of Muslim to bow against any one. Pakthuns never do this to their Enemies.”

    I am a Muslim of the Pashtun and Rajput lineage and know what Honour means only the flawed people would have your convoluted sense of Honour. Khurshid Khan has brought grace to my Nation and indeed is worthy of our respect and honour.


  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:27PM

    Kurshid Khan’s gesture showed a sense of humility , forgiveness and humanity. Highest qualities in a human being . He has touched the hearts of millions of Indians . I hope there are going to be more people like him on both sides of border. False sense of pride is what destroys human beings and nations


  • Lala Gee
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:28PM

    @Raw is War:
    @All Indian Commentators:

    Why don’t you guys do the same noble act of inter-faith harmony as well. Or only Pakistanis are required to do that? You can do this in India right in your neighborhood if you cannot visit Pakistan for the sake. At least Muslims there will feel safer from Hindutva followers.


  • G. Din
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:30PM

    This is not so uncommon in the “Indian” tradition! Prithvi Raj Kapoor, a great theatre and movie personality of a bygone era, father of another great Raj Kapoor and his brothers Shammi and Shashi, used to don a hood to cover his face (everyone knew who the hooded man was!) after every performance of Prithvi Theatres and stand at the gate with his palms outstretched, seeking alms from theater-goers. Humility was then a great virtue!
    In Hindu tradition, the highest caste, Brahmins were enjoined to subsist on alms and it was considered a great honour for a layman who was accosted for alms by a Brahmin.


  • gp65
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:15AM

    @Lala Gee: “Why don’t you guys do the same noble act of inter-faith harmony as well. Or only Pakistanis are required to do that? You can do this in India right in your neighborhood if you cannot visit Pakistan for the sake. At least Muslims there will feel safer from Hindutva followers.”

    if I or any other Indian commentators demanded that Pakistanis should come to India and polish shoes in various places of worship it would be absolutely wrong. This sevadar however did this act from his own free will.

    If some Indian were do do a similar act in Pakistan, I can assure you , we would also salute and support that and not have a notice sent to him from Supreme court of India.

    By the way Indian Muslims are also Indians and it is the duty of Indian state to ensure their safety. You will be happy to know that they are quite safe in India – thank you very much. Certainly safer in India than they are in Pakistan. Undoubtedly there are individual acts of bigotry on both sides but the predominantly Hindu media does raise these issues without taking into account the faith of the person treated unjustly. Also perhaps you have not noticed but in last 10 years there have been o communal riots in India. Situation is better than in Karachi or situation of Shias in Balochistan – that is for sure.


  • s shah
    Jul 16, 2012 - 7:02AM

    @Khurrum: Well said. Bravo!


  • Sridhar
    Jul 16, 2012 - 9:05AM

    I pay my tributes to this gentleman for such a symbolic act. Definitely, the feeling and emotions that I get after seeing the photograph proves the theory i.e. the sins get washed off.

    I get a very mixed feeling of little puzzle and then on understanding his sincerity and the message he sends across to the people of this world, gets me to shower all the blessings and goodwill on this man for this service and initiative.

    Not that people whose shoes he is polishing cannot afford a polish. It benefits him, two nations and applies a balm of relief on several severe wounds that are there on the Indian body due to the several pains of terrorist attacks Pak has mounted for the last several decades killing innocents. So, hats off, Khurshid Khan sahib.

    Now I am ready to bury all the misgivings of India against Pak and we should try and open a new chapter of mutual understanding, friendship and shared goal of peace and prosperity of the entire sub-continent.


  • Aditya Randhawa
    Jul 16, 2012 - 9:20AM

    Not your fault, all converts suffer from delusion


  • Khalq e Khuda
    Jul 16, 2012 - 11:08AM

    The judiciary of Pakistan sinks to a new low with every new Dawn: this is equally applicable for both the bar and the bench!


  • Sridhar
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:19PM

    @Lala Gee:
    You are right. It is highly difficult and unlikely. That’s why this is SO’OOOO GREAT.

    Not everyone is born for greatness. We wallow in our sins.


  • Jul 16, 2012 - 1:46PM

    @Khalq e Khuda:

    It looks you found here an unappropriate forum to snub judiciary….


  • Khalq e Khuda
    Jul 16, 2012 - 3:32PM

    @ Zahid Hussain

    The forum is not at all ‘inappropriate’. The bar is an integral part of the judiciary and what else can one expect when bars keep on banning lawyers from representing any one judges consider hostile?


  • Khurram
    Jul 17, 2012 - 5:54AM

    @Aditiya Randhawa: If I may know What is it the Non-Converts do suffer from?


  • Tony Singh
    Jul 18, 2012 - 11:12AM

    If I may know What is it the Non-Converts do suffer from?”
    More dillusion! or perhaps rationality


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