There was an outcry on social media by politicians and journalists on Monday after videos surfaced of PML-N’s Hina Pervaiz Butt being heckled at public places in London while she was with her son.
Sharing the video of the incident in the street, Butt claimed the hecklers were PTI supporters and that she was attacked, and verbally abused and bottles were thrown at her.
“Are these uncivilised people bringing glory to the country’s name or tarnishing its image?” she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In another video clip of the incident, a man could be heard hurling expletives at Butt.
In a separate video, where Butt and her son were seen at a currency exchange outlet, multiple people could be heard calling Butt and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif “thief” and accusing them of looting the country’s money.
They were seen following the duo outside, with at least one among them carrying a flag of the PTI.
The videos, particularly the one from the street, were widely shared on social media, drawing condemnations from politicians and journalists.
Former PTI leader and human rights minister Shireen Mazari “strongly condemned the filthy abuse and attack” against Butt.
Referring to previous incidents of PML-N leader Khawaja Asif using derogatory terms for women, she said no one should stoop to his level and those who remained silent over his behaviour.
“Criticism is acceptable but abuse of women is always unacceptable,” she wrote on X.
PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal also condemned the incident, alleging that the hecklers were PTI supporters.
“This behaviour by PTI followers is becoming a source of mockery of the country abroad,” he said, accusing party chief Imran Khan of filling the minds of his supporters with “hatred”.
Meanwhile, Shaza Fatima Khawaja from the PML-N said: “There’s a difference between freedom of expression/ peaceful political protest and harassing/ attacking/ stalking people you don’t agree with.
She hoped that action would be taken against those heckling Butt to make “London a safe place for everyone to visit and live”.
Journalist Meher Bokhari said the denial of basic etiquette, respect and honour by one for others would result in the same for them.
“It is a loss for all of us,” she added.
The journalist questioned why Butt should have to face such behaviour when she had the right to be associated with any party of her choice.
“Will it be right to treat a PTI MPA in this manner? Absolutely not. And if that’s not right, why is this?” she added.
DawnNews anchor Absa Komal said the hecklers’ behaviour showed their “political training” and brought disrepute for the country.
“Hina’s son was harrassed alongside her, which shows that there is politics of hatred and discrimination here.
Journalist Raza Rumi said he was “sorry to see” the incident of heckling and asked Butt to report it to police.
“These rowdy, misled individuals do not represent the majority of Pakistanis abroad,” he added.
Later, Butt thanked the people for condemning the incidents, saying that the matter was not about her but the country’s reputation.
In a similar incident last week, Judge Humayun Dilawar — who sentenced PTI Chairman Imran Khan to a three-year jail term in the Toshakhana case on August 5 — was given a chase — purportedly by PTI supporters — as he undertook a judicial training course with other judges at the University of Hull.
Likewise, former information minister and PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb was harassed and heckled by people wearing PTI colours in a London shop last September.
In April 2022, a group of Pakistani pilgrims accosted, heckled and chanted slogans at former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and his entourage at the Masjid-i-Nabwi in Madina during their three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.