Pakistan Minister Tried Burning Clothes Inside Airport To Protest Flight Cancellation

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Annoyed at the fact that his flight was cancelled after being delayed for several hours, Pakistan’s Minister of Tourism Fida Khan threw a tantrum at the Islamabad International Airport last week, and began burning clothes he removed from his luggage inside the terminal.

Videos of his strange behavior were posted on Facebook on Thursday, which showed Khan visibly upset, after his Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight to Gilgit (a city in Pakistan), was initially delayed and then cancelled. It was supposed to take off at 7 a.m. local time (9 p.m. EST Wednesday), but was delayed due to technical problems and later cancelled because of weather conditions.

In the video, Khan was seen arguing with an airport official, demanding to know why other flights were allowed to fly in bad weather while his plane was grounded. When the official attempted to offer an explanation, the minister asked him what his duties were in the airport. “I am the arrival-in-charge of this place,” the official told Khan in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan.

Khan then physically pushed the official twice, telling him to fetch someone who oversaw the operations of the airport without wasting time.

In another clip, a frustrated Khan was seen setting his clothes on fire on the floor, inside the airport terminal building. As he attempted to burn his jacket and smoke started coming out of his luggage, an airport staff approached him with a fire extinguisher. Khan kicked the fire extinguisher, causing it to go off and cover the area in the smoke.

Before Khan could cause any more disruptions, the airport security guards rushed to the spot and tried to calm the minister down. Khan immediately balled up his fists and brought them together as to imply that he was ready to get arrested. “Have you brought handcuffs?” he kept asking the security personnel as the latter shook their heads.

According to Mail Online, Civil Aviation Authority fire fighters extinguished the flames started by Khan before the fire could pose any danger to other passengers inside the airport.

In a statement regarding the incident, a PIA spokesperson said the airline had decided not to press any charges. “No airline can risk flying a passenger plane in bad weather,” the spokesperson said. “PIA has opted to forgive and forget the incident that happened at Islamabad International Airport on November 15.”

The spokesperson added that a replacement flight was arranged the next day for passengers who could not fly out on Wednesday and till then, they were put up in hotels near the airport.

Pakistan Minister of Tourism Fida Khan threw a tantrum and began burning his luggage inside the Islamabad International Airport on Thursday. In this photo, people wait in queue to get boarding pass at an international counter during a rehearsal by the airport officials at the newly built Islamabad International Airport ahead of its official opening on the outskirts of Islamabad, April 26, 2018. Photo: Getty Images/ Aamir Qureshi





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