Monday Nov 25, 2019
Federal Minister Ali Haider Zaidi on Monday shared evidence of the payment made by a government institution after he had a Twitter feud a day earlier with boxer Amir Khan for taking credit for Riffat Khan's surgery.
Tagging Amir Khan on Twitter, Zaidi shared an official receipt by the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC), with the caption "Really?"
Former Pakistan number one squash player Riffat Khan underwent knee surgery last week at Shifa International Hospital to revive her career.
She had earlier requested the Prime Minister to help her after the Squash Federation, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and relevant authorities had refused to help her.
After her story broke on media, former boxing champion Aamir Khan responded to her call and announced to help her. At the same time, Dr. Shireen Mazarin reportedly said that Ali Haider Zaidi, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, will bear all the expenses of Riffat’s operation.
Riffat was then admitted on November 11 at Shifa International Hospital where she got operated on the 13th and was released from the hospital on 14th.
Following that, Aamir Khan tweeted the news of Riffat’s improved health, announcing that Aamir Khan Foundation supported her and paid for the athlete.
Ali Zaidi responded quickly to that tweet saying that it was his ministry, not Aamir Khan who paid for the operation.
“To set the record straight, PNSC paid for her operation! I heard @amirkingkhan offered to pay and many thanks for that, but @MaritimeGovPK had already stepped in. Therefore, please take credit where it’s due,” tweeted the minister.
Replying to Ali Zaidi’s tweet, Aamir posted the bank transaction details on his Twitter account, saying he paid Rs334,569 for the operation, the government did not.
When this correspondent contacted Squash player Riffat Khan, she confirmed that both Ali Zaidi and Aamir Khan had supported her and she’s thankful to both.
In another interview post her surgery, Riffat had highlighted the government’s treatment towards her before the issue came to media.
“I was broken, disheartened and shattered by the insulting behavior and I was very upset with acting PSB Director General Amna Imran, who should have realized my pain and agony, rather than keeping me waiting outside her office for an hour,” she said.
—Additional reporting by Faizan Lakhani