FATA parliamentarians, journalists seek apology from Amir Liaquat


Unethical, scathing remarks



Parliamentarians, journalists and civil society activities – belonging to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – have lashed out at anchor-person Amir Liaquat for what they dubbed as a ‘racial profiling and character assassination of Wazir tribe’ in his TV programme and sought an immediate apology.

During a press conference, they said that Amir Liaquat should tender an apology for his unethical and scathing remarks about the Wazir tribe in the aftermath of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ayesha Gulalai’s scathing attacks on her own party chairman Imran Khan, as he not only hurt the sentiments of the Wazir tribe but of the whole Pakhtun community.

Pakistan Muslim League-N’s (PML-N) Shahabud Din and Nazir Wazir, Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) senior leader Ajmal Wazir, Pakhtun Journalist Association (PJA) President Iftikhar Mashwani, PJA Secretary General Rehmat Mehsud and Asmat Wazir were present on the occasion. MNA Shahabud Din, who dubbed Amir Liaquat ‘Aristotle of Karachi,’ said that since the anchor knows nothing about Wazir tribe, he should not have passed such remarks as there is no ‘Gulalai tribe’ in FATA at all.

“The anchor knows who Mirza Ali Khan – known as Faqir of Ipi – was, on whose name there is a road in Islamabad and his bravery is even acknowledged by his arch rivals and foreigners,” he added. He said that it is not just an issue of Amir Liaquat, but it is actually the mind-set which always mocked the Pakhtuns, added that they have little understanding about the Pakhtun, as they (Pakhtun) are no more the illiterate people, but are well-educated and know how to respond to ‘attacks on their culture.’

He said that the issue is very serious and could not be ignored because the anchor disgraced an entire community. The issue would be taken up on the floor of the house. “If Liaquat does not tender an apology and withdraw his malicious comments, we will move to the courts,” he said. Speaking on the occasion, Ajmal Wazir said that targeting the Wazir tribe in the guise of Gulalai is not acceptable, as there is no Gulalai sub tribe of Wazir at all.

He said that the Wazir tribe is one of the largest tribe and the FATA people, in general, has given matchless sacrifices for the country and the graveyards of tribal people in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) are enough to prove the fact. Ajmal said that they had no connection with Ayesha Gulalai issue but dragging and maligning Wazir tribe and the Pakhun community in the issue is not acceptable. “FATA people were made Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) for the sake of the country; hence they shouldn’t be disgraced for a politically-motivated issue and an act of an individual,” he maintained.

Another MNA Nazir Wazir, belonging to North Waziristan, said that the role played by Faqir of Ipi in the independence movement was written in golden in the history. He said that the FATA people and Wazir tribes played a vital role in the disintegration of the former USSR, so how an anchor – having no knowledge about the history of Wazir – could target the tribe with impunity. He said that the people of FATA are peace-loving people; however, they could not tolerate being disrespected and disgraced and would go to any extend if the anchor did not tender an apology.

Mashwani said that the anchor should tender apology for his remarks or else the journalists, along with FATA parliamentarians and tribal people, would protest and raise the issue at all levels. Asmat Wazir said that they would file a defamation case against Liaquat if he did not tender apology within a few days.