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Anti-VIP Movement

by Newsweek Pakistan

PK 370

Karachi, Sept. 15

Islamabad-bound PK 370 was supposed to take off from Karachi at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15. It didn’t. And what ensued made for feel-good headlines globally. Takeoff was delayed 90 minutes for “technical reasons” and another 25 because of the PPP’s tardy Sen. Rehman Malik, according to the federal government. So passengers revolted. Some mobbed up against the PMLN’s similarly tardy Ramesh Vankwani and compelled him to deplane. Reading the revolt, Malik didn’t even enter the plane and about-turned from the air bridge. The jeering and shaming cellphone footage of the mutiny has gone viral, uniting Pakistanis, and even Indians, in their disdain for VIPs. Arjumand Hussain, one of the mutiny leaders, tells Newsweek that the flight crew were “extremely happy” with what was done to the two politicians. Hussain, who turned down the PTI’s request to speak at its protest in Islamabad, hopes the incident will lead others to fight back against undue privilege. “Flights will take off on time because now every aircraft will have a vigilante.”

From our Sept. 20-27, 2014, issue.

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