KARACHI: A day after he used an army boot to ridicule two major opposition parties at a live TV show, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Imran Khan was not happy over his action.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader appeared in a Geo TV programme and took complete responsibility of the incident, but made it clear to the anchor that he would not apologise for bringing the army boot to a live TV show. He said he had spoken to the prime minister and assured him that he would not repeat such a thing and act responsibly.

Mr Vawda continued targeting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz and alleged that it was they who always spoke against “institutions” to weaken them. He said he would never indulge in maligning any institution and the army boot he brought to the TV programme on Tuesday night was just meant to point out the double standards of the opposition.

“I am ready to have a debate whether the action to bring a boot was right or not. I brought the boot in a bag and I am solely responsible for bringing it to the show,” the PTI leader said, adding that he was ready to apologise if Nawaz Sharif and Maryam offered an apology for their past narrative against an institution.

Faisal Vawda, PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira and PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi were participating in a talk show when the minister put an army boot on the table in front of him and started lashing out at both the opposition parties for voting in favour of the Army Act in parliament.

Also on Wednesday, Kashif Abbasi, the host of the ARY News programme in which Mr Vawda brought the boot, opened his show with an explanation to the criticism he had been facing on social media since last night. He said that the boot displayed on the screen for “8-9 minutes and maybe I should have stopped it immediately”.

“I was not shocked...these kinds of incident don’t shock you, but it was surprising for me,” he said, adding that the PTI leader brought the shoe in a bag and there was no way to know beforehand what he was going to do in the programme.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020