Pakistan: Former interior minister Talal Chaudhry faces harassment allegations

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Talal Chaudhry is facing allegations of harassing Ayesha Rajab Ali.
Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan’s former interior minister and a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) from District Faisalabad, Talal Chaudhry is facing allegations of harassing a female Member of the National Assembly (MNA) of his own party.

The incident took place on the night of September 23 when according to Chaudhry he went to the house of MNA Ayesha Rajab Ali

in Faisalabad to discuss party matters, particularly for reorganization of the party in the district Faisalabad.

However, her family members minding his late night visit gave him a good beating and called police on the spot.

A video clip is viral on social media that shows the ex-minister standing outside a house complaining that his shoulder was fractured and asking the people present on the spot to call some senior police officer.

“They have snatched my mobile phone. They have recorded my movies . Take phone numbers of their women. My shoulder bone is fractured. When my phone set is recovered everything will be clear and I will see all of them,” Chaudhry can be seen pointing to the brother of Ali.

Misunderstanding

However, it was later reported by the police that neither of the two parties showed interest in lodging complaints and told them that it was the result of misunderstanding.

According to sources, the PML-N high command has forbidden both the ex-minister and Alito refrain from reporting the incident to police.

Chaudhry told police that he had gone to meet some PML-N workers in connection with PML-N’s “re-organization in the district” when he was attacked by unidentified men who fractured his arm. He said the attackers also took away his mobile. Chaudhry claimed the media was running fake news about the involvement of a woman MNA.

Ali’s brother too also issued a statement saying their family had nothing to do with this matter. “Talal Chaudhry is like a brother to us,” he said.

PML-N constitutes ‘fact-finding’ committee

Meanwhile, after the video clip went viral on social media, the PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah has announced to constitute a committee to investigate the scuffle.

Former Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar and Akram Ansar have been nominated to conduct a thorough probe, record statements of Chaudhry and MNA Ayesha Rajab and submit a report within three days.

PM’s aide demands action against Talal

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Shahbaz Gill while taking advantage of the tussle between two PML-N leaders urged the party leadership to suspend Talal from the party’s membership.

Harassing an honorable Member of the Parliament by Talal Chaudhry is regrettable and the government would take action on it, said Gill in a tweet demanding Faisalabad police to ensure security of the woman MNA’s house.

In another tweet, Gill alleged Maryam Nawaz daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was putting pressure on MNA Ayesha Rajab to settle the matter with Chaudhry.

Ali requests media shows restraint

Meanwhile, MNA Ayesha Rajab Ali in a tweet requested

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House Democrats’ resolution condemns harassment of Asian Americans

House Democrats passed a resolution Thursday condemning the harassment of Asian Americans and directly blamed President Trump amid reports of an uptick in such incidents nationwide.

The resolution, which passed 243-164 with 14 Republicans joining Democrats, is tangled in the larger debate around how the U.S. should address China’s role in the global pandemic.

Rep. Grace Meng, the resolution’s sponsor, said in a tweet that Mr. Trump’s use of the terms “China virus” and “Kung Flu” were making scapegoats of Asian Americans.

“This is wrong & dangerous,” she wrote. “Passing [the resolution] sends a unified message that such bigotry, hatred and xenophobia will not be tolerated.”

Ms. Meng, New York Democrat, voted for her bill via proxy.

The resolution doesn’t carry the weight of law but does express consensus of the House.

“Sadly this bigotry is being fueled by some in Washington, and you would think, I thought this would be almost unanimous consent to condemn violence against Asian Americans. Even from the White House itself, which uses dangerous, false and offensive terms to describe the coronavirus,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said on the floor.

Republican leaders denounced the resolution, accusing Democrats of pushing it through to score political points and shying away from penalizing China.

“Did the virus start in China? Yes. Did it start in Wuhan, China? Yes. Did China lie to the United States about the severity and origins of this virus? Yes,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise deflected criticism of Mr. Trump by highlighting the fact that the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing in February titled “The Wuhan Coronavirus.”

They said the vote wasted time that could’ve been spent working on stalled coronavirus relief to get aid out to the American public.

Mr. Trump has doubled down on blaming China while insisting that the blame is not directed at Asian Americans.

While Democrats made it clear the resolution was aimed at Mr. Trump, the text didn’t name the president and called on all officials to condemn “any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form.”

It also requests federal law enforcement to aid state and local efforts to collect data on harassment and hate crimes against Asian Americans.

The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Chinese for Affirmative Action launched a website in March where people can report such incidents.

Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of groups tracking these reports, found that more than 2,500 incidents — ranging from physical attacks to verbal accosts to discrimination — have been submitted as of August. The vast majority of these anecdotal reports show Asian Americans being blamed for spreading the virus.

Data from Pew Research gathered in July found that Asian Americans were the most likely — compared to White, Black and Hispanic Americans — to report negative reactions from others because of their ethnicity since the outbreak began. Nearly 40% of Americans said it was more common to direct racist views at Asian

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