Condemnable heckling

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FINANCE Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday was heckled by unidentified people at the Dulles International Airport in Washington DC after he landed in the US capital ahead of important meetings with global lending institutions.

Videos, widely shared on social media, showed the Minister accompanied by Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Masood Khan and other officials jeered near the airport’s arrivals.

Differences of opinion and freedom of expression are recognized rights of the citizens across the democratic world but these are exercised in a civilized and dignified manner.

However, what one witnessed in Washington was a bizarre attempt to malign public figures and that too during a visit to a foreign country, which amounted to inflicting harm on the overall image, reputation and prestige of the country.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is visiting Washington for a national cause – to hold talks with IMF and the World Bank officials with a view to seeking relief for people of Pakistan, who are facing enormous economic and financial difficulties mainly because of flawed policies of those who are suspected to be behind the heckling incidents.

All this is done under a well thought-out plan to scandalize national leaders and unfortunately no lessons have been learnt even after the award of sentences and imposition of fine on those who indulged in similar behaviour during visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Madinah Munawara.

The recent incident of heckling of Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in a London street and coffee shop is also fresh in the memories of the people, who widely condemned it.

Different political parties have their overseas chapters and it would be difficult for the leadership of any party to visit abroad with a peace of mind if a tit-for-tat approach was adopted by them.

Those behind such dirty tactics are neither serving themselves nor the cause of the country and, therefore, shun this tendency.

 

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