PML-N Senator Nisar Muhammad, who continues to face criticism for what has been widely perceived as the inappropriate touching of a minor girl, has said his actions during a speech he delivered in Karachi were misconstrued and that he regards the girl in question “as his own daughter.”
A video of the speech in question had sparked widespread anger on social media. It was filmed while the senator was speaking to protesters gathered in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area to protest the alleged extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud.
In a video message posted on a Facebook page, the senator stated that a young girl was speaking at the sit-in when he arrived at the venue as a part of a Senate delegation comprising Senators Nasreen Jalil, Farhatullah Babar, Shahi Syed and others.
He claimed that the “girl’s speech about how she and her four sisters had lost their only brother had greatly moved the gathering, prompting many to cry.”
“As I stood up to speak, I invited her to stand with me, seeing her as my own daughter, while her tears were still flowing,” Nisar said. “I couldn’t stop my own tears and found it difficult to continue speaking so I said that this is such a situation that I could not make a speech and that I would rather sit down and continue.”
“What kind of humans are these? They are not humans but beasts,” he said, referring to those using the incident to criticise him.
Complaining that the incident was misconstrued by people on Facebook and the media, he also criticised the “mentality” of social media users and the media who, he said, were “using the incident for ratings.”
Awami National Party’s (ANP) Senator Shahi Syed also released a video message in support of the senator, saying people had presented the incident with a “wrong angle”.
Saying that Nisar had treated the girl in the same manner as an affectionate parent would, Syed criticised people who he said had “concocted” theories about the scene for their political objectives.