Thursday June 20, 2024

Spokesperson for PTI attacked in capital

Group of alleged transgender persons thrashes PTI leader outside local TV channel’s office

By Mumtaz Alvi & Sher Ali Khalti & ­shakeel Anjum
May 22, 2024
Raoof Hasan, PTIs spokesperson, walks after being injured during an attack in Islamabad, on May 21, 2024. — Screengrab/X/@PTIofficial
Raoof Hasan, PTI's spokesperson, walks after being injured during an attack in Islamabad, on May 21, 2024. — Screengrab/X/@PTIofficial

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Raoof Hasan Tuesday received multiple facial cuts during an attack by a few transgender persons in front of a private TV channel here.

According to the police spokesperson, Rauf was attacked with blades.

“Eyewitnesses told the police that the attackers were transgender persons who surrounded Raoof Hasan and attacked his face with blades,” he added.

“As soon as Raoof Hasan exited a private TV channel in F-8 Markaz after recording a programme, he was surrounded by eight individuals, including five transgender persons and three men, who were hiding in different directions. After a heated exchange of words, one of the transgender persons grabbed Hassan by the collar, and the others began to beat him. During Hassan’s cries for help, one of the attackers slashed his face with a blade, causing severe bleeding,” the police and witnesses said.

Meanwhile, some people from the channel came out and quickly transported Rauf to a nearby hospital. Dr. Shahid Masood was also seen assisting Hassan.

The police spokesman said they were collecting evidences.

“Strict action will be taken against the transgender persons involved in the attack,” he further said.

Following the attack, the perpetrators managed to flee the scene.

The PTI top leadership said it was a clear attempt to kill Hassan and demanded a strict action against the people involved in the attack.

The PTI leadership has not lodged any complaint till 10pm, the police said, adding that they were yet to get medico legal report (MLR).

Senator Shibli Faraz raised the incident in the upper house terming it “unacceptable.”

“The spokesperson for a political party of Pakistan has been attacked. This is shameful and unacceptable,” he added.

Responding, Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar said, “The opposition leader has just shared this matter. Who attacked, where the attack occurred – these issues will be examined as per law. Raoof Hasan should file a report, and action will be taken according to the law.”

He also assured that he would inform the house after obtaining a report from IG Islamabad or the relevant officials.

Meanwhile, PTI founder chairman Imran Khan has strongly condemned the cowardly attack on Raoof Hassan.

In a message on his X handle, Imran said, “The entire nation knows who is orchestrating these attacks on our leadership. It’s the same powers that lurk in the shadows & use proxies to harass & threaten judges & make a mockery of elections by brazenly tampering results”.

“Let us make it very clear that the PTI will not be deterred by such dirty tactics & violence which only serve to expose the perpetrators before the nation,” he wrote.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan also vehemently condemned the attack and demanded an immediate and thorough investigation to bring the culprits to book. The PTI chairman said he had visited hospital to meet Raoof Hasan, who sustained three deep cuts on his cheek, which were being stitched.

Gohar said it could be easily established from the wounds that it was an attack on his life, and added, “Thanks to Allah for giving him a new life”.

He made it clear that Raoof was the spokesperson and secretary information of the largest and most popular political party of Pakistan, who has never had any enmity with anyone, which could have led to the attack on him.

He strongly condemned the attack on Raoof’s life and wanted a complete and immediate investigation into the tragic incident to punish the culprits.

Meanwhile, PTI Secretary General and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub condemned the attack in the strongest possible words and alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was behind the assault.

“The attack on Raoof Hasan is a proof that he is being silenced for speaking the truth. We ask the Islamabad police chief to apprehend the culprits immediately or resign from his position,” he said.

Earlier, Raoof Hasan came down hard on the ‘mandate thieves’ for their organized assaults, onslaught and malicious campaign against the upright judges, especially in the aftermath of the letter penned by six judges of IHC and the inputs received from high courts, which testified to a silent revolution brewing in the judiciary.

He made it clear that the PTI would stand by the judiciary and law and would continue its struggle for supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law come what may.

Speaking at a press conference here, he said the judiciary was under all-out assault at the hands of those fraudulently imposed on the country through forged form 47 after the high court judges took a bold stand for the independence of the judiciary by exerting their own authority.

Raoof said that the awakening in the judiciary faced a strong resistance from the mandate thieves because an independent judiciary and neutral judges did not suit them.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Tuesday strongly condemned the violent assault saying ‘it was a new low in our polity and society’. The commission demanded an immediate inquiry into the incident.