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‘Shoe shiner’ removed from office

Published Aug 02, 2012 02:46am

Deputy attorney general Muhammad Khurshid Khan, left, collects shoes of Sikh pilgrims gathered at Panja Sahab for three-day religious congregation in Hasan Abdal. Over the past two years, Pakistan's deputy attorney general Khan has traveled to Sikh shrines in Pakistan and India, volunteering to polish shoes, clean bathrooms, cook meals and do other chores to atone for the beheading of a Sikh by Islamic militants. — File photo by AP
Deputy attorney general Muhammad Khurshid Khan, left, collects shoes of Sikh pilgrims gathered at Panja Sahab for three-day religious congregation in Hasan Abdal. Over the past two years, Pakistan's deputy attorney general Khan has traveled to Sikh shrines in Pakistan and India, volunteering to polish shoes, clean bathrooms, cook meals and do other chores to atone for the beheading of a Sikh by Islamic militants. — File photo by AP

PESHAWAR, Aug 1: A deputy attorney general (DAG), Mohammad Khursheed Khan, known for creating inter-faith harmony by polishing shoes of worshippers at different temples in India and Pakistan, was removed from his office by the federal government on Wednesday.

Official sources said that the federal law division issued a notification regarding his removal and communicated the same to the deputy attorney general office at Peshawar.

The government appointed another lawyer Farooq Shah in his place. Mr Shah assumed charge on Wednesday soon after the order was communicated to him.

Khursheed, presently on a visit to Nepal, was at Katmandu when he received the news of his removal. He told reporters from Katmandu by telephone that some elements were trying to dislodge him from his post owing to certain reasons.

He said that he would spill the beans after returning to Pakistan. He said that he would return to the country through the first available flight.

Apart from Mr Khursheed, there were two deputy attorneys general in Peshawar, who represent the federal government before the high court.

Official sources said that federal government also appointed advocates Ijaz Khan and Jabbar Khan Khattak as deputy attorneys general for Peshawar and Bannu.

Similarly, advocates Jamil Qammar and Zeeshan Johar were appointed as standing counsel at the DAG office for Peshawar.

Mr Khursheed is known for his unusual acts. Before the 2002 general elections, he had fired at his hand as a protest. He was a candidate of Pakistan People’s Party and was under pressure from his party to withdraw in favour of a candidate of ANP.

Later in 2007, he again hit the headlines after he sprayed black paint on the face of Advocate Ahmad Raza Kasuri at the entrance of Supreme Court.

In 2010, he started community service (seva) at Sikh temples in Peshawar and other cities as a mark of solidarity with the Sikh community as one of its members was killed by militants.

He also visited India along with a delegation of Supreme Court Bar Association and offered community service at Golden Temple and other worship places. He was given wide coverage by Indian media.

Recently he stirred another controversy after filing a writ petition before the Peshawar High Court against allotment of the expensive piece of land of University Town Club to private persons. He alleged that the land was in fact allotted to an influential political family of Peshawar that had set up a restaurant over it.