We all get irritated at our workplaces but we don’t flip off our colleagues. Unless, of course, you’re Punjab government spokesperson Attaullah Tarar who displayed some very uncouth behaviour in the Punjab Assembly on Monday. Tarar, who is from the PML-N, was told to leave the Punjab Assembly during Monday’s session chaired by speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. As he was leaving to chants of “go Tarar go”, he turned and put up his middle finger, gesturing towards the opposition benches, while holding a copy of the Constitution in the other hand. Now we all know what the middle finger signifies and so does Tarar, so there’s no question of it being an accident. He also ‘apologised’ for the incident on Twitter but as an offhand afterthought. “[The] speaker sent this force toward me to oust me from the house unconstitutionally. This attempt failed. I decided to leave the House in the interest of the public but as I was leaving expletives were used against me. In response, I turned to the opposition benches. If anyone was hurt by this, I am sorry. I was wrong,” he wrote. There’s a lot to take issue with in his apology, starting with his justification and then moving on to “if anyone was hurt by this”. An apology should be rendered without any qualifications. The issue isn’t people feeling hurt by his flipping off the opposition, it’s that the sanctity of the assembly was violated and uncouth behaviour was witnessed inside the hall. A true apology would start and end with “I am sorry, I was wrong”. People also took major issue with the fact that Tarar was holding a copy of the Constitution as he made the inappropriate gesture, considering it a double insult. And with good reason. What could possibly have possessed a lawyer — a man who knows the gravity of the document he held in his hand while he carried out the lewd gesture — show his fellow assembly members the finger? Some users didn’t understand the justification of an eye for an eye. Others rightfully believed that there is no justification for expletives. “A curse word is a curse word,” wrote one user. The people are right. There is no justification for using expletives of this nature, especially in the assembly. To have such little respect for the sanctity of the assembly and then to top it off by holding a copy of the Constitution of Pakistan while showing the middle finger is unconscionable. Whatever his personal feelings are about being ejected from the assembly, he should not have done what he did. We’re all too familiar with feeling angry or displeased but maturity and professionalism demands that you don’t give in to those sentiments and resort to blatantly disrespecting other individuals and institutions. We have seen many incidents of the legislature not being respected in the past by politicians on both sides of the benches and it needs to stop. If nothing else, they should respect the fact that the public elected them as representatives, not hooligans. We have enough uncouthness in the streets, we don’t need it in our assemblies too.

Doda Ellahi and Ghamshad Baloch — students of Karachi University’s Philosophy Department allegedly taken away from their house in the city on June 7 — have returned home, Nasarullah Baloch, chairman of non-profit organisation Voice of Balochistan Missing Persons said on Tuesday.

In a brief confirmation, the activist told that the students returned to their home near Maskan Chowrangi in Gulshan-i-Iqbal after 3am. “They both belong to the Kech district of Balochistan,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Shayhaq Ellahi and HudaHair Ellahi, siblings of Doda, had tweeted that their brother and his friend had been “safely released”. Shayhaq also posted photographs of the pair. was able to confirm that the accounts belonged to Doda’s family members.



Both of them went on to thank God and all the people who stood with the family during the difficult time.

Protest outside Sindh Assembly

The development comes a day after relatives, activists and friends of the two students were forcefully dispersed by police, and 28 of them were briefly arrested from outside the main gate of the Sindh Assembly in Karachi.

They were there to protest against the pair’s “arrests”. The demonstrators had camped out outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) for the last four days.

The police action was widely condemned, as footage emerged of police personnel dragging peaceful protesters and stuffing them in police vans.

Later on Tuesday, senior PPP leader and Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman announced that an inquiry has been ordered into the “disproportionate and unseemly use of force against women protesters in Karachi outside the press club”.

She also posted a scan of a document which showed that the Sindh IGP had formed a committee comprising police officers Imran Yaqoob Minhas, Ahmed Nawaz and Dr Farrukh Raza to conduct the enquiry.


Yesterday, South-SSP Asad Raza told Dawn that the police detained 19 men and nine women as they tried to enter the assembly building. The officer denied that protesters were treated roughly. He added that woman police officers had detained female protesters.

The demonstrators were later released.

The protest organisers had accused the police of manhandling women and children. They said the Sindh police had broke their promise of arranging a meeting of the missing students’ relatives with Counter Terrorism Department officials on Monday. Therefore, they said, they again staged a sit-in near the Sindh Assembly building where the police manhandled and arrested protesters.

Earlier, around 120-130 relatives and members of different organisations, including activists Seemi Din Baloch, Abdul Wahab Baloch, Aamna Baloch, Naghma Sheikh and others, had marched from the KPC towards the assembly building where the budget session was ongoing. Passing through Sarwar Shaheed Road, they had staged a sit-in at the assembly’s gate.

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