During the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif address to the Hindu community on the Holi occasion on Tuesday. The PM told the community that forced conversion would not be tolerated and the government will not let extremists decide who deserves hell and heaven.
However, the event was turned into a light hearted jest by the prime minister commenting on the PML-N leader Khialdas Kohistani’s weight and breathlessness.
“Tell Khialdas to lose some weight,” said the PM,“I’m saying it in his interest. I have a lot of love and sympathy for him and I want him to be healthy,” said Nawaz. “Kohistani during his address was experiencing shortness of breath, and that’s when I decided I will tell him to lose weight. You may be called Kohistani, but don’t look it,” he further added.
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Kohistani responding to PM’s remarks said, “People tell me PM Nawaz won’t notice me if I lose weight. They say you notice me because I’m fat.”
The PM laughed it off only to later target the party leader in his address: “I’ll visit Kohistan. You go mountain climbing a little, and I’ll go mountain climbing a little. When you become less breathless, I’ll [start development] in Kohistan.”
The exchange left those present and later after TV coverage millions of viewers in laughing fits. But one could question the appropriateness of such comments in the public arena. Especially if the PM was as concerned as he expressed. Joking and making fun of someone’s inadequacy or weakness is not particularly funny to the person concerned even if it maybe for others watching the spectacle.
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Kohistani had been courteous enough to let the matter go and smile in respect to his leader. Such events and personal comments in the National assembly have on many occasions already, provoked outrage. Khawaja Asif called Shireen Mazari as “Tractor Trolley” in the National Assembly. The issue was put to table not only because she is a woman but also because she was insulted because of her physical characteristics.
Various leaders had tweeted their opinions regarding the matter. However, no one has highlighted the “chatty” conversation between the PM and Kohistani as yet.
Khawaja Asif’s remarks about @ShireenMazari1 are deplorable & entirely condemn-able. He must apologize in writing and on floor of N A.
— Munaza Hassan (@MunazaHassan) June 8, 2016
However, in light of what happened earlier this week with Javed Latif and Murad Saeed it would have been wise for the PM to refrain from making such remarks.