LANDI KOTAL: The aggressive sloganeering by disgruntled workers of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers marred the public meeting of Federal Defence Minister Pervez Khattak in Bara on Sunday.

Hundreds of annoyed workers of PTI surrounded the stage of the public meeting in Bar Qambarkhel area and started raising full throated slogans when the defence minister was called for speech.

The workers demanded that they should be given respect and their suggestions should be heard in the party meetings. They were also holding placards inscribed with slogans against local leaders of PTI and MNA Iqbal Afridi.

Federal Minister for Haj and Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, Provincial Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai and MNA Iqbal Afridi along with other PTI leaders were also present on the stage.

The personnel of Khasadar and Levies forces resorted to use of force when the enraged PTI workers tried to forcibly ‘take over’ the stage. Mr Khattak on his part made futile efforts to pacify the agitated workers but in vain.

In his brief speech repeatedly marred by sloganeering, the defence minister said that a cadet college would be established in Bara after consultations with security officials.

He said that all damaged houses in Bara and Tirah would be reconstructed while he would try to convince the federal government for enhancing the compensation amount for the damaged houses.

Noorul Haq Qadri and Shaukat Yousafzai had to leave in haste without addressing the public meeting owing to the rowdy behaviour of the party workers.

Mr Khattak has to cut down his speech due to persistent sloganeering.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2019