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Minister defends his presence at Chinese consulate following attack

Updated November 24, 2018

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Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda showed up at the site in a bulletproof vest and armed with a gun.—Twitter
Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda showed up at the site in a bulletproof vest and armed with a gun.—Twitter

KARACHI: A terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi was foiled by the Sindh police and Rangers on Friday.

Shortly after the attack was thwarted, federal Min­is­ter for Water Resources Faisal Vawda showed up at the site in a bulletproof vest and armed with a gun.

When asked by a reporter if he was ready to take part in the operation, Mr Vawda answered in the affirmative. “I have a Glock and a lot of other things. Insha Allah this is our country and we will fight for it,” he said when asked about the weapon he was carrying.

However, the minister’s attempt came under heavy criticism on social media.

Journalist Abbas Nasir wrote: “I will support any move for the first non-posthumous Nishan-e-Haider for Faisal Vawda. Loved the body armour, Glock in hand and then tucked into the waistband at the back. Most of all that swagger. Living legend. Pls RT if you support such a move.”

The Pakistan Press Watch account on Twitter also commented. “For the sake of being on television [screens], Faisal Vawda styles himself as James Bond with full body armour, Glock in hand and then tucked into the waistband at the back for cameraman to film. The minister breached laws and interrupted counter-terror operation. Was the pistol licensed?” it said.

“What in the blazes is Faisal Vawda doing at the #KarachiAttack site with a gun and using a bullet proof vest that could be given to a cop? Is he a trained commando?” wrote journalist Mahim Maher.

The federal minister was quick to respond to his critics and tweeted: “I was informed as I was in the vicinity & I further informed the concerned agencies. As a Pakistani I didn’t shy away, it’s my right to use my licensed weapon for self defence. At least I’m not a coward like many hiding behind keyboards and bullshitting.”

He added that “as Federal Minister it is my domain to assist Federal agencies”.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2018

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