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From Threatening Sexual Assault To Holding Hands: Opposition Against Khan

The internet was abuzz with tweets questioning Marvi Sirmed, expressing bewilderment over a liberal-conservative alliance to overthrow the PTI government.

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JUI-F’s Hafiz Hamdullah thanked journalist Marvi Sirmed, who he once sexually harassed, for supporting him against the revocation of his Pakistani nationality. Hamdullah expressed gratitude to Sirmed for raising voice for him despite acute differences.

Recently, Marvi Sirmed, protested against Hafiz Hamdullah being stripped off from his Pakistani nationality, though he originally is an Afghan national. Last week, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had cancelled his citizenship, accused him of fraudulently obtaining Pakistani identity card. The JUI-F leader had challenged the drastic step in the Islamabad High Court.

Meanwhile, Marvi Sirmed joined a social media campaign in favour of Hafiz Hamdullah. She posted a series of tweets on her social media account, slamming the authorities for revoking Hafiz Hamdullah’s citizenship in vengeance of his anti-army and anti-COAS speeches at a public rally. In one of her tweets, she shared a video of Hafiz Hamdullah addressing a public rally alleging the Pak Army of rigging the elections. She professed that the decision is purely to punish him for his anti-army assertions.

Read more: Cancellation of the former senator’s CNIC is “plain stupid”: analysts

She even rebuked PEMRA for banning him from appearing on talk shows. Following the NADRA’s notification, PEMRA had banned him from appearing as guest or analysts in political talk shows.

Marvi Sirmed’s support for Hafiz Hamdullah came as a surprise to the several social media using owing to the distasteful exchange of remarks between them back in 2016.

Hafiz Hamdullah’s threatens Marvi Sirmed

Hafiz Hamdullah had publicly threatened Marvi Sirmed of sexually abusing her during an argument in Nadia Mirza’s TV talk show in 2016. Hafiz Hamdullah was a senator at that time and is infamous for his bad temper and has in past threatened many guests in talk shows.

During the discussion, Hamdullah got annoyed at a comment made by Barrister Masroor, another guest taking part in the discussion. When it was her turn to speak, Sirmed started her comment by saying “I agree with Masroor sahib to the extent that…” but was interrupted by the senator.

Sirmed, in her Facebook post and through her tweets, described what happened thereafter. She says, “he started abusing me with worst possible expletives. Called me a whore and said “tumhaari shalwaar utaar doonga aur tumhaari maa ki bhi (sic).” and that translates to “I will strip you off your Salwaar and will do the same to your mother.”

Read more: Women politicians in Pakistan have to deal with severe sexual harassment: Reham Khan

When Sirmed responded with a “try that with women in your own family”, Hamdullah tried to beat her. Another guest on the show, Fayaz ul Hassan Chauhan, held Hamdullah back, and Sirmed was saved from his punches. She says, “He had to be taken away by the News One security.” She ends her Facebook post saying “And this religious merchant was fasting while he did all this.”

Following the row, Marvi Sirmed had filed a petition of threatening her with severe consequences. In her police complaint, she alleged that JUI-F senator used vulgar language against her and threatened her of severe consequences. She requested the police officials to register a case against Hamdullah under the law.

Social Media Questions

Now, a visible turnaround in Marvi Sirmed’s stance for Hafiz Hamdullah, and her support for him in the aftermath of recent incidents bewildered the social media users. As several netizens had pointed out that Marvi Sirmed herself had raised the issue of Hamdullah’s fake citizenship in one of her tweets.

According to latest developments, Islamabad High Court listening to the petition filed by Hafiz Hamdullah against NADRA on the annulment of a Pakistani citizen has ordered the authorities to restore his Pakistani citizenship.

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