Federal Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda stunned the public Tuesday night when he brought an army combat boot on a live talk show to taunt the top PML-N leadership.
A photo of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif sitting at a London café has been circulating on social media and has drawn strong criticism from the federal government. He is in London for medical treatment.
Speaking on Off the Record, Vawda claimed that Nawaz is not ill.
He said PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz thinks she can strike a deal with the PTI government and everything will be brushed under the carpet, which he believes has been a pattern for the last 35 years.
Vawda, recalling the PML-N’s slogan of the general elections 2018 ‘Vote ko Izzat Do’, pulled the boot from beneath the table and put it before the panel.
“The PML-N gave respect to the boot by lying down. From now on, I’ll bring it on every programme,” he said.
"When you handed me a letter before the show, I thought you were going to bring a gun. But this [boot] seems much more dangerous," laughed anchorperson Kashif Abbasi. PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, another guest on the show, then told the anchorperson that he shouldn't have invited him if this was how he planned the discussion.
The PML-N should have honoured the boot like we did, said Vawda. “[The army] is sacrificing their lives for us, yet the PML-N talks ill of them,” he added.
The other guests, PPP's Kaira and PML-N’s Muhammad Javed Abbasi were not pleased with Vawda’s theatrics.
Kaira interrupted the PTI minister and said his stunt was giving an impression that everything had been done by the army. “He’s telling the public that the PPP, PML-N and other opposition parties voted in favour [of the Army Amendment Bill] because of the army’s pressure,” Kaira said.
He added that the PPP has always spoken about strengthening the country’s defences, but the army should never interfere in political affairs.
The discussion turned into a heated argument and both opposition leaders walked out of the show in protest.
This not the first time Vawda has made headlines with such theatrics. In November 2018, he arrived at the scene of an attack on the Chinese Consulate wearing a bulletproof gun with a gun in his hand.
In February 2019, the Pakistan Air Force shot down an Indian fighter jet in Azad Kashmir and Vawda appeared at the site of crash too. He took pictures while standing on the plane's wing.