Faisal Vawda restricted by PM Imran from appearing on TV for two weeks, says Awan

Updated 16 Jan 2020

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Faisal Vawda used a boot to ridicule opposition parties PPP and PML-N on current affairs show Off the Record. — DawnNewsTV/File
Faisal Vawda used a boot to ridicule opposition parties PPP and PML-N on current affairs show Off the Record. — DawnNewsTV/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan has demanded an explanation from Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda following his outlandish stunt on a live TV show, where he used a boot to ridicule opposition parties PPP and PML-N, premier's aide Firdous Ashiq Awan tweeted on Thursday.

The prime minister has also restricted the federal minister from appearing on any talk show for the next two weeks, she added.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan has demanded an explanation from federal minister Faisal Vawda for his behaviour in a private channel's talk show," Awan tweeted. "The prime minister has restricted Faisal Vawda from appearing on any talk show for the next two weeks."

The tweet comes two days after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader appeared in anchorperson Kashif Abbasi's programme 'Off the Record' on ARY News alongside senior PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira and PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi and used a boot to heap scorn on the PPP and PML-N for voting in favour of the recently passed Army Act in parliament. The move was criticised and condemned by opposition parties and also drew the attention of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, which banned Abbasi from appearing on TV for 60 days.

Despite the backlash from opposition and social media users, Vawda remained unapologetic but he admitted on Geo News show Capital Talk that the prime minister was "not happy" with his stunt. When asked if he apologised to the prime minister for what had happened, Vawda said: "I told him (Prime Minister Imran) he was right."

Vawda's stunt

On Tuesday's show, while responding to a question regarding PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif's health, Vawda said that "shameless" people stoop to any level.

He said that no deals were being made.

"In order to save your theft and to escape the country [...] you laid down and gave respect to the boot. You have announced this," he said as he pulled out an actual boot. "In every programme, I will keep this with me, this is today's democratic N-League."

“You (the PML-N) should have given it respect earlier like we have been doing,” he said, referring to the boot he was holding.

The host, Abbasi, joked that he thought Vawda was pulling out a gun, a reference to an earlier stunt by Vawda, but in fact, he had "pulled out something even more dangerous".

"You are talking against them (armed forces’ personnel) even when they embraced martyrdom. Today, when it comes to their loot and plunder Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif should hold this (the boot) and tell the people that we will respect the boot and do everything (to save us)," Vawda said.

The PTI minister did not spare PPP and asked why it took back the amendments it had proposed earlier in services chiefs’ legislation.

A visibly offended Kaira said that Vawda meant that the PPP and the PML-N had voted for the Army Act not on the request of the PTI government but under the pressure of the army. Vawda clarified that this was not what he was saying.

"He came with a lot of fervour and put the boot here and created a mockery of the army," Kaira said.

At one point, Abbasi asked Vawda who the boot belonged to, to which he said: "Ask them (PPP and PML-N)". He eventually removed the boot, in response to which Kaira wryly remarked that he should leave it on the table.

Both the PML-N and PPP leaders eventually walked out of the show.