A cameraman belonging to Samaa TV was violently assaulted by security guards from former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's protocol on Monday.
The incident took place as Sharif was departing after chairing a meeting of senior PML-N leaders at Parliament House.
TV footage shows the cameraman, Syed Wajid Ali of Samaa TV, lying on the ground outside the parliament building after a security guard allegedly shoved him for coming in the way of the PML-N supreme leader while recording him.
In a shocking turn of events, another guard is then seen rushing towards the cameraman and kicking him squarely in the face. The guard then escapes the scene in one of the vehicles of the protocol.
The cameraman, who lost consciousness due to the kick, was shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims). According to doctors, Ali sustained injuries on his lip, where he was administered three stitches, and on his head.
Doctors said the cameraman is out of danger but he will be kept under observation for at least a day.
Journalists started a protest at the parliament to condemn the attack on Ali, with PML-N promising strict action against the security guards.
While one of the security personnel involved in the attack has been arrested, the guard who kicked the cameraman is currently on the run.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser immediately ordered that a first information report (FIR) be registered against the attacker. He banned politicians from bringing their security guards inside the parliament's premises in the future.
"No matter how big a leader somebody is, they should leave their security [protocol] outside the parliament," the speaker said.
Nawaz Sharif condemned the assault in a statement, saying he was "deeply saddened" by it.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the guards involved in the violence will be punished as severely as possible. Apologising on behalf of her party, she said the PML-N greatly respects journalists and the media community.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry too condemned the incident and criticised Sharif for not stopping to check the cameraman after he was injured.
"The government [of PML-N] has ended, but their Moguls-like mentality has not," Chaudhry taunted.
"The [PTI] government fully believes in freedom of expression and stands with the media workers," he added, promising legal action against the guards.
Condemning the "thuggery" of Sharif's security guards, the Parliamentary Reporters Association in a statement said it had been assured by the police and government that the suspects would be apprehended within 24 hours.