Pakistan lawmakers scuffle in Parliament over Imran Khan's remark on Pakistan Super League
Imran Khan later appeared to soften his position, using Twitter to congratulate the public on their participation and enthusiasm in a match widely hailed by observers for unifying the country. Photograph: (AFP)
Pakistan's cricketer-turned- politician Imran Khan's stand on the recently concluded PSL final in Lahore reached Parliament with PML-N lawmaker Mian Javed Latif calling the Pakistani cricket legend a "traitor".
Mian Javed Latif's defiant stand led to a heated argument with Murad Saeed who belongs to Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. Their argument soon disintegrated into a scuffle which was stopped in time by other lawmakers present in the National Assembly.
The matter did not end there, Saeed kept the issue burning saying PML-N lawmaker had no reason to call Imran Khan a "traitor" and asked the Speaker to take notice.
Not to be undone, PML-N's Talal Chaudhry accused the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmaker of deliberately creating unpleasant scenes in Parliament.
The controversy was ignited yesterday by Imran Khan in a leaked video in which he opposed staging of Sunday's final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore.
The PTI chief wanted the tournament to be played in the UAE citing security reasons. The former World Cup-winning captain went a step further and used derogatory terms against some foreign players in the league namely Darren Sammy of the West Indies calling him "phateechar" meaning "third class".
Imran Khan's leaked video went viral as several Pakistan fans attacked the former cricket captain on social media even though he seemed to take a soft stand publicly on Twitter congratulating Peshawar for winning the final
Congratulations to Peshawar Zalmi on winning the PSL final.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 5, 2017
but he soon appeared on a Pakistani news channel and declared, "Sammy was captain but he is not a big player, had Chris Gayle come, had Kevin Pietersen come, I would have said they were big international stars."
Several players had in fact backed down from playing in Pakistan. England cricketer Pietersen withdrew from the final over security fears along with other Quetta players Rilee Rossouw from South Africa and England's Luke Wright and Tymal Mills who also refused to play in Pakistan.
(WION with agency inputs)