MULTAN: An unemployed father of four who lost his home in the floods died on Monday after setting fire to himself outside the prime minister's home, officials said.
Muhammad Akram, 30, doused his body in petrol and lit himself with a match after being denied entry to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's private residence in Multan, police said.
‘We tried to save his life but he could not survive because his condition was serious,’ Zafar Niazi, a doctor at Multan's main Nishtar Hospital, told AFP.
‘He tried to commit suicide yesterday. Police took him to hospital and registered a case against him for attempted suicide, but he expired today,’ senior police official Mehmoodul Hasan told AFP.
Police and relative Abdul Sami said that Akram lost his house in the flooding last month and that his family is living in the open without a tent.
Relatives said Akram had to care for four children, a wife and two ageing parents at Jeewan Wala village, some 150 kilometres west of Multan, and lost his job as a factory watchman last May.
Akram searched fruitlessly for a job and decided to visit Gilani's home to ask for a job recommendation. The prime minister's security pushed him back and he set himself on fire, Sami said.
The prime minister, who was not in Multan at the time, on Monday telephoned Akram's father to express ‘deep sorrow and grief over (the) unfortunate incident,’ a statement from his office said.
Gilani also announced a payment of 500,000 rupees (about 5,830 dollars) in financial aid to the bereaved family, it said.
Pakistan's worst floods in history have affected up to 21 million people and left 10 million without shelter. More than eight million people are reliant on aid handouts just to survive.
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