Aseefa wounded by camera drone in Khanewal

Published March 5, 2022
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari injured after getting hit by a drone camera. — Photo courtesy Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari Twitter
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari injured after getting hit by a drone camera. — Photo courtesy Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari Twitter

LAHORE: Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari, the younger daughter of Benazir Bhutto, suffered minor injuries on her face after a camera drone of a private news channel hit her when she was standing on the container truck during the PPP’s procession in Khanewal.

Video footage aired by different news channels shows a camera drone moving directly towards Aseefa who tries to get away from the drone with her hand and ducks down. The camera hit her near her right eye.

After the incident, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari took his sister, Aseefa, inside the container where she was given first aid. Later, she was shifted to Mukhtar A. Sheikh Hospital in Multan where the doctors proposed stitches for her wound.

Bilawal is leading a long march from Karachi to Islamabad and it has reached Khanewal. The march is aimed at ousting the PTI government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Bilawal says TV channel targets PPP’s march and policies

In his address to the participants of the march, Bilawal confirmed that Aseefa had suffered wounds after being hit by the camera drone of a private news channel that was also targeting the PPP march and the party policies. He termed Aseefa a brave daughter of a brave mother and added that she would continue to participate in the long march.

Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari also tweeted about the incident.

“It was Samaa who have shockingly released this footage without any shame despite what obviously looks like an intended assault.” She tweeted a picture of her sister also with a bandage on her forehead.

The TV channel is owned by Aleem Khan, a former minister of the PTI government and the party leader. He resigned from the ministry in November last year for ‘neutrality’ after taking charge of the TV channel.

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif also wished Aseefa early recovery and tweeted: “Hope you are not hurt @AseefaBZ. May you and all the participants stay safe. Prayers”.

The TV channel van is reportedly parked at a police station in Khanewal while two members of the channel staff, including camera drone operator, are in custody of the Sindh police who are providing security to the march. The party is not reportedly letting the Punjab Police get involved in the matter. No police case has been registered yet.

Samaa TV Director News Farhan Mallick termed the incident unfortunate and tweeted: “An unfortunate accident happened during the PPP long March coverage when our drone operator lost control of the drone camera and it hit @AseefaBZ. We hope and pray that she is safe and apologise for the mishap but we also request the PPP leadership to release our staff members”.

He also tweeted: “The cameraman in question is our finest but sometimes drones do lose control due to jammers or signals loss. We have not had any contact with our coverage team since the incident and are extremely worried about their safety”.

After treatment, Aseefa rejoined the march at Mian Channu.

Punjab government spokesperson Hasaan Khawar tweeted: “During the PPP long march, at Lahore Mor Khanewal, a drone camera (reportedly belonging to media house) covering the long march, hit Ms. Aseefa Zardari at 17:30 hrs, when she accompanied Mr. Bilawal Zardari on the container.”

He said the government responded immediately and the Rescue 1122 team and duty doctor Dr Babar (general surgeon at the DHQ Hospital) who were stationed next to the container, immediately went into the container. He said Aseefa suffered a minor cut on the eyebrow and bruises on her hand.

He further tweeted: “The doctor advised for a single stitch but the patient wanted to consult further. Her wound was then dressed up. Ms. Aseefa Zardari left for Multan in a separate vehicle after the initial treatment”.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2022

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