Pak: Drunk Balochistan minister is sacked

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Islamabad:  A minister from Pakistan's Balochistan province has been sacked after he was arrested for brawling in an inebriated condition inside a theatre in Lahore.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani on Sunday sacked Jaffar George, who was a minister without portfolio in the provincial cabinet, after getting a report on the incident from the Punjab government.

TV news channels aired footage from a CCTV camera in the theatre that showed George hitting a performer on stage and behaving in a rowdy manner on Saturday night.

The channels also beamed footage of George quarrelling with police officers at a Lahore police station after his arrest on Sunday morning.

A spokesman for the Balochistan Chief Minister said George was dismissed after being found guilty of brawling while drunk in the theatre.

George, his driver and an accomplice were taken into custody by police at around 1 am following a complaint by the theatre's administration. He was later released by a special duty magistrate who granted him post-arrest bail for 14 days.

Police alleged that George had also misbehaved with a female artist and obstructed the staging of the play at Alfalah Theatre. Once the play started, George and his companions went towards the stage and started making noises, police said.

George, who belongs to the ruling Pakistan People's Party, was the third minister sacked from the cabinet in Balochistan.

He denied the allegations levelled against him and described them as a conspiracy hatched by the Punjab government.

"It is a conspiracy against me," he said, denying that he was involved in any brawl.

George was elected to the Balochistan assembly on a seat reserved for minorities.

A group of Christians staged a protest against George's removal from the cabinet outside the Quetta press club. They alleged George had been framed by the Punjab government and called for his reinstatement.


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