Friday, 23 April 2021 07:15 GMT

Pakistan passengers throw politician off plane

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Fed up with constant delays and flight cancellations, disgruntled Pakistani passengers prevented a senior politician from boarding an airplane after he turned up at least two hours late for the flight.

A video posted online on Tuesday shows a group of passengers shouting 'Shame on you' as they blocked Rehman Malik, an influential former interior minister, from entering the plane and then chasing him back to the terminal building.

The plane, operated by state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), eventually took off from the port city of Karachi for Islamabad without Malik on board. An airline spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Another politician, Ramesh Kumar Wakwani, was also barred from boarding the aircraft after turning up late.

Malik defended himself, saying he was not responsible for the delay.

"Who should be blamed for this delay? PIA or me? Obviously PIA," he wrote on his Twitter page.

The state airline, plagued by financial losses and often criticised for its inefficiency, is known for delaying flights to accommodate the schedules of important politicians, sometimes making ordinary passengers wait for hours to take off.

Prior to his entry in national politics, Malik had pursued a successful career in the FIA as special agent, and eventually becoming FIA Director in 1993 until 1996.

During his stint as FIA Director, he coordinated successful counter-terrorist operations in the country as well as abroad, including the arrest and extradition of Yousaf Ramzi to the United States in 1995.

After being removed from the Directorship of FIA, Malik moved to United Kingdom and began the political activity through the PPP platform.

From 2004 until 2007, he served as the chief of security of Benazir Bhutto and became senior official of the central committee of PPP.

After successfully contesting in general elections held in 2008, Malik was appointed adviser and eventually appointed as Interior minister by Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani.

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