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‘Shoe shiner’ removed from office


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Deputy attorney general Muhammad Khurshid Khan, left, collects shoes of Sikh pilgrims gathered at Panja Sahab for three-day religious congregation in Hasan Abdal. Over the past two years, Pakistan's deputy attorney general Khan has traveled to Sikh shrines in Pakistan and India, volunteering to polish shoes, clean bathrooms, cook meals and do other chores to atone for the beheading of a Sikh by Islamic militants. — File photo by AP
Deputy attorney general Muhammad Khurshid Khan, left, collects shoes of Sikh pilgrims gathered at Panja Sahab for three-day religious congregation in Hasan Abdal. Over the past two years, Pakistan's deputy attorney general Khan has traveled to Sikh shrines in Pakistan and India, volunteering to polish shoes, clean bathrooms, cook meals and do other chores to atone for the beheading of a Sikh by Islamic militants. — File photo by AP

PESHAWAR, Aug 1: A deputy attorney general (DAG), Mohammad Khursheed Khan, known for creating inter-faith harmony by polishing shoes of worshippers at different temples in India and Pakistan, was removed from his office by the federal government on Wednesday.

Official sources said that the federal law division issued a notification regarding his removal and communicated the same to the deputy attorney general office at Peshawar.

The government appointed another lawyer Farooq Shah in his place. Mr Shah assumed charge on Wednesday soon after the order was communicated to him.

Khursheed, presently on a visit to Nepal, was at Katmandu when he received the news of his removal. He told reporters from Katmandu by telephone that some elements were trying to dislodge him from his post owing to certain reasons.

He said that he would spill the beans after returning to Pakistan. He said that he would return to the country through the first available flight.

Apart from Mr Khursheed, there were two deputy attorneys general in Peshawar, who represent the federal government before the high court.

Official sources said that federal government also appointed advocates Ijaz Khan and Jabbar Khan Khattak as deputy attorneys general for Peshawar and Bannu.

Similarly, advocates Jamil Qammar and Zeeshan Johar were appointed as standing counsel at the DAG office for Peshawar.

Mr Khursheed is known for his unusual acts. Before the 2002 general elections, he had fired at his hand as a protest. He was a candidate of Pakistan People’s Party and was under pressure from his party to withdraw in favour of a candidate of ANP.

Later in 2007, he again hit the headlines after he sprayed black paint on the face of Advocate Ahmad Raza Kasuri at the entrance of Supreme Court.

In 2010, he started community service (seva) at Sikh temples in Peshawar and other cities as a mark of solidarity with the Sikh community as one of its members was killed by militants.

He also visited India along with a delegation of Supreme Court Bar Association and offered community service at Golden Temple and other worship places. He was given wide coverage by Indian media.

Recently he stirred another controversy after filing a writ petition before the Peshawar High Court against allotment of the expensive piece of land of University Town Club to private persons. He alleged that the land was in fact allotted to an influential political family of Peshawar that had set up a restaurant over it.

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Comments (32) Closed

Devapratim Aug 02, 2012 02:46pm
Humility is the asset of the brave and courageous. So I am sure he will continue his mission.
Aziz Aug 02, 2012 02:44pm
With or without office he has proved himself to be a noble and sincere human being. He has lead by example and it will not go in vain.
sajjad Aug 02, 2012 03:00pm
Keeping in view extreme shortage of good people in this country, I hereby award him the 'Great Man of Pakistan' title.
Imran Aug 02, 2012 11:15am
Deepak Anand Aug 02, 2012 04:09pm
Very sad case. It will send a wrong message all over the world. Community service is no sin, God made this world which included everyone. So serving humanity is serving God, he may be of any religion or race. Islam teaches equality.So wake up pak government, donot bow down to fundamentalists.
Luqman Aug 02, 2012 03:03pm
His idea of polishing shoes at temple is a very noble act. I think it will create more sympathies in India for Pakistan and any other political leader who stays in 5 star hotels and gives speeches. I respect his idea of showing solidarity with our sikh brothers in Pakistan and abroad.
Muhammad Arif Saleem Aug 02, 2012 10:56am
System as it is trying - can no longer stop such courageous people
Iftikhar Husain Aug 02, 2012 10:57am
He seems a man of peace and must be respected there are not many generous people please respect him.
syed faiz Aug 02, 2012 03:50pm
In these time of religious extremism and violence poeple like Khursheed Khan should be encouraged and not punished. It is shame that a government claiming to promote tolerance and harmony should remove him from his services in this manner. We all should me proud that we have at least one such man.
Najamuddin Aug 02, 2012 03:59pm
The humanitarian spirit of Khurshid Sahib and his services to the members of interfaith community is highly appreciable. But his removal from office was long due. If the Govt servants or staff member/s of any private Organization may leave his or their office for "kar seva" or "khidmate khalq" without proper approval of their Management then who will discharge the services for which the abstaining "kar sevak" or "khadime khalq" was appointed for?
amol Aug 02, 2012 11:41am
khurshid ji ki isi actse indians ko pata chala ki pakistan me bhi kuch hatke sochne wale log hai jo ki shanti chahte hai, to isme pakistan ki insult kaha hui?...........
Kamaljit Singh Aug 02, 2012 03:13pm
I do agree , sir.
Akhlesh Aug 02, 2012 09:46am
Mohammad Khursheed Khan is a conscientious and a brave man. He is a hero for our times.
SVP Aug 02, 2012 10:08am
Great man with a noble thoughts, unfortunately lost his place
dr vimal raina Aug 02, 2012 12:57pm
Time will have a plaque in gold for him
saythetruth Aug 02, 2012 01:16pm
In my eyes what he is doing is his personal act and is very symbolic and useless effort. May be he is a genuine person or simply or a publicity stunt. I would have preferred if he would have done something similar in Pakistan by cleaning a orphanage or doing some volunteer work with no limelight attached. He is using all his money by going to different temples to shine shoes. Maybe his intention are good but misdirected effort he could benefit his own country that need him more than polishing shoes in Temple. Somebody with his skill can help poor people with legal problem in Pakistan and could change life of 100's of families. Tto me he is wasting his talent and his whole effort is very wasteful. I know my comments will create a lot of anger but I must say no Indian will do something like this and I will not blame them because this a useless effort and benefit nobody.
umesh Aug 02, 2012 01:20pm
He is a brave man and has clearly a good conscience......he should be applauded & respected.............. Serving humanity is supreme irrespective of the country/people..................Pl dont disown him like the your nobel laureate......................No politics or ego should be mixed with his service ........which has come from his nobel heart..................It takes guts to do do such a service especially if someone is from a backgound like his............Deputy Attorney General...................history will judge him to be a great man............
Nishan Antaal Aug 02, 2012 01:03pm
Keep promoting communal harmony Mr. Khan, we are with you. we need lots of more brave men and women like you on both sides of the border.
Jayakumar Aug 02, 2012 05:19pm
I am an Indian. It is so very painful to hear that such a noble man was treated like this. My heart is with you.
@kakhangandapur Aug 02, 2012 05:52pm
May Allah grant this great man the courage to withstand pressure and carry on with the great work of inter religious harmony.
Shaukat USA Aug 02, 2012 06:22pm
What a great guy. Unfortunately born in the wrong country.
syed faiz Aug 02, 2012 06:44pm
We Should we proud that we have such a man amoung us .The government should take its decision back immediately
Aimal Aug 02, 2012 08:26pm
If an employer removes any employee, it is a norm that a show cause notice has to be served first which obviously was not the case here. Is it not necessary in Pakistan to explain why a guy is losing his job? What was his fault that he was disqualified as a Deputy Attorney General? Somebody must explain.
BNS Aug 02, 2012 10:25pm
Great work Mr. Khursheed. I am sure, you won millions of hearts thru your seva.
Aam Adami Aug 03, 2012 03:47am
A real candidate for Nobel peace prize
omaima malik Aug 03, 2012 04:43am
sir according to me u r a muslim and this work cannot suit on u can do someother act to prove cumunal harmony between the both sides......
@RameshManghirma Aug 03, 2012 05:50am
God bless him
zaheer Aug 03, 2012 06:30am
Born among wrong people, country has nothing to do leave it out.
Raj Aug 03, 2012 08:32am
Great Person...but born in wrong country,,,
S. Roy Aug 03, 2012 07:32pm
It is so very refreshing to notice not only that Mr. Khurshid Khan is a man of honor of course, but also that just about all readers from Pakistan in this forum do support him. There may be light at the end of the tunnel after all.
aadmi Aug 06, 2012 06:28am
there were many other things that you could do to bring a good name for the country..
Hu Man Aug 08, 2012 02:58am
"I must say no Indian will do something like this" You have made a very sweeping comment about a country of 1 billion. I would polish his shoes, just to prove you wrong.