ISLAMABAD: A charged crowd at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport assaulted singer-turned-evangelist Junaid Jamshed, it emerged late Saturday night. A disturbing video of the attack made the rounds on social media.
A handful of people chanted slogans against the preacher, claiming he had committed blasphemy, and lunged at him. They struck several blows and then momentarily released Jamshed, only to attack him again.
"We have been looking for you," one male voice is heard saying in the footage.
"Hit him, him him," they shouted.
Visibly shaken, Jamshed maintained silence for the most part and offered the crowd to "talk" as the men confronted him. Jamshed then retreated into the airport's arrival lounge.
Many took to social media to condemn the attack on Jamshed.
The episode comes over a year after a controversy that pushed Jamshed into hiding, as he became the target of the wrath of right-wing groups over blasphemy allegations. He later offered a public apology in which he said he was "accepting his mistake" and asked for forgiveness.
The blasphemy case against him was registered in December 2014 on the directives of a district and sessions court. Jamshed was booked over one of his televised sermons that was thought to contain blasphemous remarks about a wife of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
The case had been registered on a complaint of Mobin Qadri, a leader of the Sunni Tehreek, at the Risala police station under Sections 295-C (use of derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet) and 298-A (use of derogatory remarks etc in respect of Holy Personage) of the Pakistan Penal Code, police said at the time.
Qadri had moved an application in the court seeking registration of a blasphemy case against Jamshed for allegedly making blasphemous remarks about the Holy Prophet and his wife Hazrat Ayesha (RA).
Jamshed later released a video message in which he apologised for his remarks and asked for forgiveness.
Over the years, Jamshed has gathered a massive following as a preacher, also earning a spot in popular prime time shows during the month of Ramazan.
He has also launched a line of clothing by the name 'J.', a brand that takes pride in selling what it calls modest women's clothing and without using models for advertisement.