Almost all of us remember the shoe-throwing incident on former US President George Bush in the aftermath of the Iraq War. Yesterday, on 11th March, the ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif was also targeted by a shoe in a similar manner.
It’s not a new trend by any means since, this form of protest has been used to offend and disrespect people in the front of the public.
Shoe throwing, or shoeing, has become a preferred method of humiliating political leaders, especially during the past few years in Pakistan.
If we look at incidents from the past decade, we can name several occasions where Pakistani politicians had shoes hurled at them. Here’s a list of some of the most notable incidents:
Arbab Ghulam Rahim (2008)
The former Chief Minister of Sindh was hit by a shoe from PTI workers while leaving the Sindh Assembly building.
This incident occurred on the 7th of April, 2008 when he was leaving the assembly after taking his oath as a newly elected member of the Sindh Assembly.ARVE Error: src mismatch
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Asif Ali Zardari (2010)
A 50-year-old man, Sardar Shamim Khan, hurled a pair of shoes at the former President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari.
This incident happened on the 7th of August, 2010 in Birmingham, England during a political rally. Shamim Khan missed the target (Asif Zardari) on both attempts.
He was quickly subdued by the guards as he termed Zardari as a “killer”. No charges were pressed against him.
In an interview afterward, he told that he did it because Pakistan was facing the worst floods in 80 years while Zardari, instead of fulfilling his duty, was enjoying a trip to Europe.
Pervez Musharraf (2011, 2013)
Ex-President and retired army general, Pervez Musharraf had shoes tossed at him on at least two separate occasions.
The first time he had a shoe thrown at him was during his public address held at Walthamstow, London on the 6th of February, 2011.
The gathering mainly consisted of Pakistani nationals. The shoe thrower’s idea was to protest against USA’s detention of Pakistani citizens during the time.
The second incident occurred on the 29th of March 2013 when Pervez Musharraf was making his way out of the Sindh High Court after having his pre-arrest bail extended. He was hit on the nose by a lawyer in Karachi, who was later identified as Tajammul Lodhi.
According to him, he hated Pervez Musharraf for ruining the democratic status of Pakistan.ARVE Error: src mismatch
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Pervaiz Rashid (2016)
The former Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Pervez Rashid was insulted and hit with shoes at the Karachi Airport.
A mob surrounded the minister, chanted slogans against him and protested the execution of Mumtaz Qadri.ARVE Error: src mismatch
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Ahsan Iqbal (2018)
During 2018, as many as four shoe-throwing incidents have occurred in the past few weeks.
The first one occurred on 24th of February. During his address at a worker’s convention in Narrowal, a man named Bilal Haris hit Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal with his shoe as he arrived on the stage to deliver his speech.
The shoe touched the minister and Bilal Haris was beaten by the attendees before being taken into custody by the police. However, Ahsan Iqbal did not take any legal action against the culprit.
Khawaja Asif (2018)
A relatively unique case – Khawaja Asif, instead of the traditional shoe toss, had ink thrown at him during a Workers Convention Address.
The incident took place in Sialkot on 10th March, Saturday. A man threw black ink at Kh. Asif’s face and coat. Party workers caught the culprit and beat him before he was apprehended by the police. The ink-thrower was eventually pardoned by the minister.
Mian Nawaz Sharif (2018)
The most recent incident of all (on 11th March), involved the former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.
He was hit on his chest by a shoe thrown by a student belonging to an Islamic seminary. This occurred in Lahore during Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Jamia Naeemia.
The attacker, Talha Munawwar, was beaten up by the ex-PM’s supporters and is currently in Services Hospital. Presumably, Talha hit Nawaz Sharif to protest against the change to Khatam-e-Nabuwat oath for lawmakers in Elections Bill 2017.
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Imran Khan (2018)
Following the shoe-throwing incident with Nawaz Sharif, his political rival Imran Khan almost became a victim to one as well. During a political rally yesterday, a man attempted to hurl a shoe on Imran Khan as he was exiting his vehicle. However, he failed to achieve his target.
The accused, Mirza Ramzan was grabbed and beaten up by PTI supporters before he could aim at Imran Khan. Later on, Mirza revealed that he was sent by PMLN’s Rana Sanaullah’s son-in-law.