Junaid Jamshed ‘forgives’ his attackers

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Singer-turned-televangelist Junaid Jamshed has “forgiven” the group of men who attacked him at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport last month.

Jamshed took to Twitter on Saturday to announce his decision to forgive the attackers, who assaulted him after claiming he had committed blasphemy.

Police had identified three men in connection with the attack, and one of them was arrested on Wednesday.

In a separate tweet, Jamshed called for treating each other with mutual respect “irrespective of our ideologies” and “make Pakistan a safe haven for everyone”.

Jamshed was attacked at Islamabad airport when he arrived there on a flight from Karachi on March 26.

A video of the attack that was widely shared on social media showed the men attacking and verbally abusing him.

Police said the attackers were also on board the same flight as Jamshed and began shouting abuses at him as they came out of the lounge.

The angry mob resorted to punching and kicking him even as he tried to escape. His wife, who had come to the airport to receive him, panicked and called for the police.

He was finally rescued when he took shelter in the nearby office of the deputy terminal manager.

However, the attackers managed to flee the scene before a police party reached the scene. The victim was then brought to the airport police post, where he filed a complaint against the unidentified attackers.

In his complaint, Jamshed said “he had been attacked by a group of six to seven men when he arrived from Karachi on PIA flight PK372 around 11:30pm”.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had reacted sharply to the treatment meted out to the former pop star.

Jamshed faced blasphemy accusations in December 2014 when the Sunni Tehreek complained about one of his televised sermons, where he had reportedly used derogatory language for one of the wives of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). He then had to publicly apologise and released a video in which he asked for forgiveness.

It is likely that the attack on Jamshed at Islamabad airport was also connected to the same incident, as his attackers appeared to taunt him about those remarks in the video.

Over the years, Jamshed has gathered a massive following as a preacher, also earning a spot in popular prime time shows during the month of Ramzan.

He has also launched a line of clothing by the name ‘J.’, a brand that takes pride in selling what it calls modest women’s clothing and without using models for advertisement.