Nusrat accepts minister’s apology for lewd remarks


Staff Reporter


Curtains fell rather hastily on tussle involving a lady MPA of the Sindh Assembly, and provincial minister, whose remarks in the House had created a furor on Saturday so much so that even powerful personalities like Bilawal Bhutto and Bakhtawar felt enraged over the conduct of their party’s minister, describing as insulting.
The PPP chairman and his sister had reacted angrily to the remarks made in the House by Works Minister Imdad Pitafi, and had ordered the Provincial president of the Party and parliamentary leader Nisar Khuhro to serve show cause notice on him, and institute proceedings against him.
The young and exuberant minister, who kept teasing the Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, the MPA of the Functional League, and had even invited her to his chamber for answers to her questions which was her right as a house deputy. Nusrat feeling enraged had rightly insisted on not only unconditional apology, but resignation from assembly seat and ministry as well.
The problem became acute when Nisar Khuhro, in compliance with the party chief, served him show cause notice, and chief minister Murad Ali Shah felt hurt by the unbecoming attitude of his cabinet colleague.
Realising that he was deep in trouble and may have to pay heavily for what he treated as joke in the beginning, Pitafi not only apologised to Nusrat but also covered her head with the traditional covering, known in local parlance as “chadar”, describing Nusrat as his revered sister.
Moved by the humility shown to her, and respect for the head covering Nusrat said that she had forgotten the issue, because she had nothing but sheer respect for being called a sister and her head being covered by “chadar” which in Sindhi tradition was a great mark of respect.
“It’s all over, and I have forgotten the unhappy episode” said she in her remarks after being shown respect and reverence by Imdad Pitafi. His assembly seat and ministry was saved, thanks to wisdom dawning upon him, far too saner than later.
“I accept his apology for the sake of the shawl. It is a tradition in Sindh that when a shawl is used as a sign of forgiveness, then the other person accepts it,” she said.
She however, urged Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that he should ensure that the incident should not happen again in the future. “I am also a woman like your mother Benazir Bhutto,” she said. “I have been insulted and my family has been insulted. Bilawal Bhutto should guarantee that an incident like this should not be repeated in the future,” she said.
She thanked all human rights activists and organisations as well as senior political members for extending their support to her.
Nusrat Sahar Abbasi had also threatened self immolation, giving an ultimatum of two days to the Pakistan Peoples Party to fire Imdad Pitafi as a provincial minister.
Clutching a bottle of petrol in one hand, the PML-F leader and opposition member claimed that she would douse herself in petrol and burn herself if justice was not served in two days. “Everyone witnessed how I was harassed in Sindh Assembly,” she said. “If Imdad Pitafi is not forced to resign or fired in two days, I will burn myself in front of Sindh Assembly,” she said.
The drama had finally had a happy ending.