IT was too outrageous an outburst for anyone to defend. So it is not surprising that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif distanced himself from his son-in-law’s hate speech on the floor of the National Assembly. The august house had perhaps never witnessed such bigotry targeting one of the most vulnerable religious communities in the country.
Equally troubling was the silence on both sides of the aisle, as no one found the courage to rebut Capt Safdar disrespecting national heroes because of their religious belief. If that were not enough, he led some of his supporters to raise slogans outside the hall hailing Mumtaz Qadri, a convicted assassin. But no action was taken against them for violating the sanctity of parliament.
It took days for the ruling party leadership to disown the rant though apologetically. The opposition leaders, who otherwise would not miss out on any opportunity to blast the government, remained largely quiet. Some even tacitly condoned the call for the expulsion of members of the community from the armed forces and other government departments.