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Wednesday Jul 21 2021
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Abid Sher Ali's viral video: what happened at the Turkish restaurant?

LONDON: A Turkish restaurant has clarified that PML-N's Abid Sher Ali didn’t jump the queue and had pre-booked tables for his family after videos of him getting into a verbal spat with a Pakistani man went viral on social media.

On Tuesday night, three sets of videos started circulating: one showing Abid Sher Ali abusing a man identified as Shahid Khan, another showing Shahid Khan abusing Abid Sher Ali, and the third video carrying a statement by Shahid Khan’s son Shayan Ali. On Wednesday, Abid Sher Ali also released a video explaining his version of the events and alleged that Shahid Khan had first "used" his wife as a political tool to attack him and then used his son for the same purpose.

The first set of videos was sent to the media by Umar Saeed Butt who communicated on behalf of the Pakistani man in the restaurant and gave his name as “businessman Shahid Khan from East London”. In the video carrying the statement of Shahid Khan’s son Shayan Ali, who was present at the scene and was seen filming the incident, it was claimed that Abid Sher Ali jumped the queue with his family, bypassing other customers.

But the Turkish “Gokyuzu Restaurant” said that Abid Sher Ali didn’t jump the queue and had a confirmed reservation for 20:30 on July 20 for 13 people. Abid Sher Ali also shared the restaurant's reservation details with the media, showing a confirmation for his booking.

Umar Saeed Butt, who is a paid member of PTI UK, told the media that Shahid Khan was attacked by Abid Sher Ali while he was passing by his table. He then released a video to the media on behalf of Shayan Ali and his father stating that said that his parents approached Abid Sher Ali and questioned him over allegedly breaking the queue to get the table.

Shayan Ali said: “My mother told Abid Sher Ali this is the UK, not Pakistan, where you can jump queues like the royals. In the UK, everyone is equal. My mother brought up the fact that you are having the meal, courtesy of the money of Pakistani people. Abid Sher Ali and a woman started abusing my mother and father.”

Abid Sher Alis viral video: what happened at the Turkish restaurant?

In his statement, Abid Sher Ali showed the reservation booking and said: “There was a person in the restaurant who used his wife to attack us. The son also used his mother to create a scene by pushing her forward and filming the scene by giving her a placard and then confronting us. She started abusing me and her husband joined her too," Ali said. 

He continued: "They were from PTI and it’s their tradition to do such things. They wanted the video to go viral but I responded with the same coin. The restaurant management threw them out. I warn PTI people that this was just a trailer. We reserve the right to respond forcefully.”

Umar Saeed Butt confirmed that Shahid Khan and his son Shayan Ali were members of PTI. However, Shayan Ali said in two video statements that he has no relation with PTI. Pakistani reporters circulated pictures of Shayan Ali drapped in PTI flag and his father sitting at a stage with PML-N Punjab leaders. 

Shahid Khan (center) in an old picture taken while he attended a PML-N event in Lahore. Family sources say he later left the PML-N and joined the PTI. Photo: author
Shahid Khan (center) in an old picture taken while he attended a PML-N event in Lahore. Family sources say he later left the PML-N and joined the PTI. Photo: author

One of Shahid Khan’s family contacts said that Shahid Khan was a PML-N activist till about four years ago and then he joined PTI. Pictures showed him running a campaign for PML-N in Lahore for a by election. The family source said that the family later on joined PTI and campaigned for it.

PTI UK President Waheed-ur-Rehman Miah said in a statement that PTI completely condemned every kind of hooliganism. He said that anyone can be a sympathizer and worker of PTI but that does not mean that their actions are approved by PTI policy. 

He said that PTI was against the use of harassment and foul methods by everyone.