PTI top leader Raoof Hasan injured in Islamabad attack

“If a government exists, then we need an explanation within 24 hours,” says Shibli Faraz

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
May 21, 2024
PTI top leader Raoof Hasan injured in Islamabad attack
Raoof Hasan,PTI's spokesperson, walks after being injured during an attack in Islamabad, on May 21, 2024. — Screengrab/X/PTIofficial

ISLAMABAD: A group of around four people, apparently transgender persons, attacked and injured Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) spokesperson Raoof Hasan in Islamabad on Tuesday, drawing strong condemnation from his party.

“Extremely shameful and deplorable,” PTI said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, adding: “Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan attacked by unknown persons outside the office of a private channel.”

It is, however, unclear why did the persons attack the politician.

In the video shared along with the statement, Hasan could be heard asking people to call the doctor, with injuries and blood seen on his face as he walked into a building.

PTI, in another statement, said if the spokesperson of the “largest party” can be attacked in the federal capital in broad daylight, then “what can we make of the safety of others”.

According to the CCTV footage of the incident obtained by Geo News, Hasan can be seen being attacked by a group of apparent transgender persons, who used a sharp object as well.

The footage shows Hasan was interrupted by an apparent transgender person while he was walking on the side of a road, subsequently, the attacker engaged in conversation with the PTI leader for a few seconds.

After a brief conversation, the PTI chief spokesperson tried to take a few steps back, seemingly sensing danger.

However, the attacker grabbed the PTI leader from his collar and along with three other apparently transgender persons began thrashing him. The attackers were only dispersed after the intervention of a passerby.

The footage also shows a person filming the entire incident. It is not clear whether the attackers were really transgender persons or they were guised as transgender persons.

Later, while talking on Geo News' programme Capital Talk, Information Minister Attaullah Tarar condemned the attack and called for a detailed investigation into the incident.

PTI’s protest in Senate

Prior to the party’s walkout, Opposition Leader in the Senate Shibli Faraz, during the session, condemned the attack with PTI lawmakers resorting to sloganeering against the government.

In response, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said the incident will be treated in line with the law. “It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that citizens are treated in line with the law.”

He asked the PTI leaders to register a case and assured that action would be taken in line with the law. Senator Sherry Rehman, who was presiding over the session, asked the law minister to present a report before the house.

Senator Faisal Vawda, while speaking on the floor of the Upper House of the Parliament, condemned the attack.

When the party’s lawmakers rejoined the session, Faraz said the attack on Hasan was not a “common incident” and called on his colleagues of the treasury benches to raise their voice as if they did not, “then this house would lose its stature”.

At this, Rehman informed Faraz that a senator had condemned the attack. The PTI leader then apologised to his colleagues and welcomed their condemnation.

“If a government exists, whether it be a Form-47 government, then we need an explanation within 24 hours and a report should be presented in the Senate,” Shibli added.

In a statement, the Islamabad police said according to eyewitnesses, transgender persons attacked Hassan in his face using a blade. They said the police were present on the site of the incident and are collecting evidence.

“Strict action will be taken against transgender persons involved in attacking [the PTI leader],” the police statement added.