In an unusual turn of events, a TV debate in Pakistan turned into a fistfight after a leader from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Dr Masroor Ali Sial, attacked a fellow panellist during a live show. Footage of the fight from the show “News Line with Aftab Mugheri” quickly went viral online, leading to a huge debate online with questions about whether this would be the norm in Khan’s promised “Naya Pakistan (New Pakistan)”.
In the video, the PTI leader was seen warning the senior journalist and Karachi Press Club president, Imtiaz Khan Farhan, that he wouldn’t tolerate any insults. Khan retorted angrily and before anyone could guess what would happen next, the debate turned into a wrestling match. Sial stood up, and pushed Farhan off his chair to the floor, before punching him.
Farhan defended himself and the duo continued fighting on live television even as the host and another panellist were seen backing away in horror. The two were finally separated by other guests and production crew.
The video was widely shared on social media. The Karachi Press Club condemned the attack in a statement. However, on social media, the reactions were largely about the hilarity of the video and the fact that the cameraman did not stay focused on the fight.
Attack on President KPC by @PTIofficial leader
— Naimat Khan (@NKMalazai) June 24, 2019
its not a naya pakistan, its an old one
bad trend https://t.co/xmC7dm9Yrz
— ✨ ωαjєєhα صدف (@wajSadaf) June 25, 2019
Fascists government and its member, now openly assaulting journalists…..
Highly condemnable, swift action should be taken. https://t.co/BbZtYzt7K2
— Jibran (@jibranNjibran) June 25, 2019
— noman riaz khan (@noman_aka_nomi) June 25, 2019
Ashamed on this PTI leader. Very shameful. Hope Pakistani counterpart Imran khan will take action against the PTI leader Masroor Ali siyal.
— sourav maharana (@maharana_sourav) June 25, 2019
Difference of opinion isn’t a crime. Say what you want to say and how you want to say it but physical attack shouldn’t be an option. PTI should take serious action. https://t.co/kLqJ6w8BdT
— Imran Khan (@ImranRiazKhan) June 24, 2019
— Anjum Kiani (@AnjumKiani) June 24, 2019
Power corrupts. Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI must be angry after watching this. If he is not, people like Masroor Ali Siyal will keep attacking journalists with impunity. How disgusting…😥 https://t.co/n2efkIFUxd
— Pramod Kumar Singh (@SinghPramod2784) June 24, 2019
I Strongly Condemn The Attack By PTI Leader Masroor Siyal On The President Karachi Press Club Imtiaz Faran.This Is Not Acceptable At Any Cost.The Culture And Behaviour They Are Promoting Is Disastrous.I Hope They Will Understand That They Are Not In Power For These Foolish Acts. pic.twitter.com/iCt8J1psQu
— Mirza Yasar Baig (@MirzaYasarBaig1) June 24, 2019
We stand with our Journalist community no such acts should be repaeated by anyone.
— Adeel Ahmed PS-98 (@AdeelAhmedSays) June 24, 2019
So it starts with a slap and then we have a clinch. But can’t see what happens in the clinch. Was there any dirty boxing? I can’t say because the cameraman did not follow the action. https://t.co/bK4sRZBwoT
— कुशल मेहरा (@kushal_mehra) June 25, 2019
Camera man sahi nahi tha. Sara maja kharab kar diya 😂😂
— Narendra Ved (@NarendraVed) June 25, 2019
I love this type of intellectual discussions which involve physical and verbal prowess.
And lays bare the barbarian within the thin veneer of politeness-of-deception. https://t.co/sM1oW1W42x
— #NewIndia Inclusive India (@kcs2010gmailcom) June 25, 2019
The guy in white dress is goals lol https://t.co/cl9Vy5olBn
— janan khan (@Hamza_khan) June 25, 2019
Yez this is Naya Pakistan with zero tolerance
— Sahira Yousafzai (@Sahira_Zaman) June 24, 2019