Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif caused outrage after he called portly female opposition lawmaker Shireen Mazari a “tractor trolly” in the National Assembly on Wednesday, evoking strong criticism on social media.
Targeting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf leader, who was interrupting him loudly throughout his explanation on load-shedding on Ramadan, an exasperated Asif pointed towards her and said: “Someone make this tractor trolley keep quiet.”
The minister did not stop there, but also commented on her “manly voice”.
“It will be better if you first transform your masculine voice into a more feminine one,” Asif told Mazari.
When Mazari, who comes from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, stood up in protest and demanded an apology, an unrepentant Asif said: “I am not going to apologise, they can do whatever they want.”
Mazari later tweeted, “Told Asif if he had any “sharm or haya” he would know how to deal with women but he was besharam and behaya! Luckily my voice louder than his.”
The PTI leader also said the party will not keep quiet.
“An ill-mannered person is government’s minister. Khawaja Asif lacks morals and ethics,” she added.
Condemning Asif’s remarks, PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq said: “Khawaja Asif should be hung upside down for his vulgarity and misbehaviour, and should be beaten with a shoe 25 times in the morning and 25 times in the evening.”
Not only did Asif’s comments create chaos in the Assembly, but people from across the country took to Twitter to disapprove of his behaviour.
“Khawaja Asif such a disgusting person taking out frustration of rigging? He doesn’t deserve to be in NA should apologize on floor,” tweeted Sania Khan.
Another tweeter account handled by some Fahim Maqsoon called Asif a “joker” and said “Asif has no manners at all. We don’t know what sort of things he says to his wife & mother!