PTI MNA from Karachi Aamir Liaquat Husain once again became the centre of a controversy and was severely criticised after he used the image of a Hindu deity to mock PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz.
The TV host, whose no-holds-barred tweets often raise eyebrows, on Tuesday shared the screenshot of a news channel that quoted Maryam as saying: "They (government) will now see a second version of me."
Husain accompanied her quote with the image of a Hindu deity, likening it to Maryam's "second version (dusra roop)".
A large number of politicians and netizens condemned the lawmaker's post, which he deleted on Wednesday evening.
Later on Wednesday night, Husain also tweeted an apology, saying the "sentiments of the Hindu community were hurt". He said he had not intended the tweet as a disrespect and had deleted the same.
"I respect all faiths, this is what my religion has taught me," he added.
Earlier in the day, PTI's MNA from Tharparkar, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is also the chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council criticised Husain's tweet as a "shameful act".
"Strongly condemned this shameful act by someone who claims to be a religious scholar also but doesn't know respect to other religions. Delete this tweet immediately otherwise we reserve right to demand strict action under the Blasphemy Act and protest across the country," he wrote on Twitter.
He said the TV host's post had not only hurt the sentiments of Hindus across the country but also created resentment among supporters of the ruling party who admired party chief and Prime Minister Imran Khan and believed in the party's manifesto regarding protecting the rights of religious minorities.
Another PTI MNA from Umerkot, Lal Malhi, went a step further and tweeted: "Strongly condemn the blasphemous act of @AamirLiaquat and appeal @ImranKhanPTI to take notice of this immoral act. No religion including Islam permits him to do such illogical acts."
He added that the tweet, in fact, exposed Husain's "second version"
MNA Jai Parkash of the ruling PTI also came down hard on his fellow lawmaker and asked him to issue an apology after deleting the tweet.
PPP MPA from Tharparkar Surendar Valasai, in a statement issued to journalists, alleged that PTI lawmakers like Husain had "lost their mental balance" and were using insulting language against their political rivals and the "weaker" communities of the country. He warned of a protest if an unconditional apology was not tendered by the "political clowns".
"We the lawmakers must try to respect the sentiments of people before tweeting or issuing statements as far as religiosity of the people is concerned," he stated.
Rights activist Kapil Dev also lambasted Husain on Twitter and requested Prime Minister Imran to take strong notice of the act by a lawmaker from his party. He said Husain had used a Hindu deity for political point-scoring.
"Hindus are abused and their religious sentiments are hurt even by those sitting in the parliaments," he said.
Pratab Shivani, an activist and educationist from Tharparkar, also requested Prime Minister Imran to take action against those promoting such mentality towards Hindus and other religious minorities for political goals.
A number of other prominent figures, celebrities, journalists and writers also heaped scorn on Husain over his post on Twitter and other social media platforms.