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14 December 2017 Last updated 43 minutes ago

PMLN draws public ire for terming minor boy's death 'sacrifice'

  • Published in Punjab
  • Last modified onSaturday, 12 August 2017 00:10

Members of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Friday drew public condemnation over terming the death of a minor boy, who was killed after being hit by an SUV accompanying the former PM’s motorcade, a “sacrifice” for the country.

Addressing party’s supporters moments after Hamid was run over by an Elite Force vehicle, Captain (retd) Safdar said, “Millions of people rendered sacrifices during Pakistan’s creation [too]”. He added: “He was our child; if he joined [the rally] for Pakistan, [then] God bless him.”

The boy’s father reportedly suffered a heart attack after finding his son lying on the road. The nine-year-old was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique went a step ahead, saying “the deceased boy was the first martyr of our movement.” He, however, expressed grief on the death, saying party leaders will arrive at his house to condole on the loss.

Similarly, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanullah refused to accept that the boy was killed by any vehicle part of Nawaz’s convoy, saying he may have died “after being hit by another car”.

‘Support for entire life’

Meanwhile, Nawaz told supporters in Gujranwala that he will visit house of the victim to offer condolences. “I am deeply saddened by this accident, which has deprived us of one of our best workers who had come to see us,” the former premier said. “Sadly, he is no more with us.”

“I will personally visit his house and assist his family for their entire life and offer them whatever I can,” the former premier maintained.

The former PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz also reacted, saying, “Heart bleeds for the little PML-N supporter who lost his life today. May Allah grant sabar to the family.”

Other reactions

Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the incident, saying it was regrettable that vehicles in the ousted PM’s convoy had hit and killed the boy.

Lamenting the child’s death, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said “Nawaz is organising rallies without thinking enough about the people”.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari tweeted: “Sick! First PMLN rally car kills 5 yr boy – then Saad Rafiq & Capt Safdar call the poor child a shaheed for their “cause”! No repentance.”

Social media reactions

People also denounced the incident, and the subsequent reaction of the ruling party’s leaders.