Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister Punjab and Member of Pakistan Muslim League-N, while expressing his views on an incident in which a Pakistani politician tried to grab a gunman and stop him from shooting, stated that Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Zamurd Khan’s attempt to grab Sikander Hayatt in the Blue Area of Islamabad was stupid, rather than heroic.
Rana Sanaullah gave that statement on Friday, August 16, 2013 at a press conference. He voiced his belief at a time when people all around the world were commending Zamurd Khan for bringing the six-hour-long saga to an end with valor and bravery.
An armed man named Malik Sikandar Hayatt, on the evening of August 15, firmly holding two sub-machine guns in his hands and accompanied by a woman and two children (whom he claimed as his wife and children), caused unrest in Islamabad. This lone gunman fired on police and brought the capital city to a halt in a six-hour standoff.
Meanwhile, police and politicians tried to negotiate with him, but in vain. During the long episode, Sikandar was seen talking on the cell phone and drinking energy drinks. When police seemed helpless, Zamurd Khan of the Pakistan People’s Party jumped into the scene and diverted Sikandar’s attention. Zamurad tricked him and shook hands with his children. In the blink of an eye, Zamurad jumped and tried to grab Sikandar, but failed.
While running away from Zamurad, Sikandar fired his guns, but fortunately missed Zamurad. Sikandar was then shot by commandos in his chest and leg.
Truth Tracker contacted PML-N’s leader Tariq Fazal Chaudhry to confirm Sanaullah’s statement. Chaudhry said, “Rana Sanaullah has expressed his own viewpoint and he has the ultimate freedom to criticize things that may have worse implications.”
He continued, “Rana rightly said it was not the job of Zamurd Khan. It was not his duty, but police were responsible for handling the situation tactfully.”
“Zamurd luckily survived; otherwise his act might have created havoc in the country. He should have left this to the officials who were responsible for the operation against the restless man,” Chaudhary added.
While talking to Truth Tracker, Bushra Aiteza, Wife of senator and senior PPP leader Aitezaz Ahsan said, “Zamurd’s act was indeed heroic. He made an effort, when the forces were indecisive, to control the situation. He took a crack at the agitated gunman and rescued innocent children.”
Bushra further said, “The inaction of the government was very much evident. There was apparently no plan to deal with the approximately five-and-a-half-hour-long suspicious incident. Islamabad was held hostage. Therefore, in such circumstances, I believe Zamurd Khan acted heroically,” Bushra said.
Shafqat Mehmood, member of the national assembly from PTI, endorsed Bushra Aitezaz’s opinion and expressed his thoughts saying, “Zamurd Khan acted very bravely. He broke the silence.” While talking to Truth Tracker, Mehmood opined that if such an act had been performed by any member of the PML-N, they would definitely have appreciated and praised that, but since this had been attempted by PPP’s member, they were politicizing the bravery of Zamurd Khan.
Dr. Sheikh Mutahir Ahmed, professor and chairman of the department of International Relations at the University of Karachi told Truth Tracker in a meeting that it was undoubtedly a brave act. PPP’s leadership has made them (members) learn valor and courage. “It is in PPP’s blood, party members have inherited the guts of taking risks and setting precedents,” he opined.
Speaking to Truth Tracker by phone, Shahzad Chaudhary, a defense analyst and a retired air vice-marshal of Pakistan Air Force said, “All heroic things are stupid. Heroic acts are sure of success beyond the wisdom circle.”
The statement of PML-N provincial Minister Rana Sanaullah can be accessed at:
However, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, right after the incident, also praised Zamurd Khan for his bravery. His statement can be accessed at:
Zamurd Khan put his own life at stake to rescue the children and bring that horrifying episode to an end. Although it was not his job, but seeing the dynsfunction of the authorities for so many hours, he took the initiative and intervened. In conclusion, Truth Tracker can deduce that Zamurd Khan risked his life and saved everyone. Therefore, Rana Sanaullah’s statement stands False.