In a country where the ruling elite are accustomed to a life of privilege -- everything from special lounges at airports to evading taxes -- call it a case of the 99 percent getting a bit of revenge.
A series of videos posted online show two high-profile Pakistani politicians being forced off a plane by a mob of angry passengers after the plane’s takeoff was delayed for more than two hours while the flight crew waited for the two VIPs to arrive.
“We’ve taken this for too long,” one passenger yelled at the flight crew, standing at the tunnel door that connected the plane to the Karachi airport terminal.
The first to arrive was Ramesh Vankwani, a member of the country’s national assembly. As he arrived, the angry mob surrounded him, yelling at him and telling him to get off the plane.
“I was just sitting outside,” he said. “They’re waiting for someone else.”
Standing inside the plane, the crowd pushed Vankwani to reveal his name, but he refused, referring to himself only as Dr. Ramesh. After he managed to push through the crowd to get to his seat, he eventually admitted that he was a government official. At that point, the angry crowd -- many of whom were recording the episode on their mobile phones -- started yelling, “Shame, shame.”
“Get out. Out, out out!”
The angry crowd didn’t stop until Vankwani was forced to leave the plane in disgrace.
The next to arrive was the country’s former interior minister, Rehman Malik, who gained a reputation for his flamboyance while in office.
He arrived to the door of the aircraft, but didn’t get much further.
“You should apologize to these passengers,” one of the angry men demanded. As Malik noticed the crowd with mobile phones blocking the entrance to the aircraft, he quickly retreated back down the tunnel.
But the crowd followed him.
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” one yelled.
“You’re not a minister anymore. You’re not a minister anymore. And even if you are, we don’t care anymore. You people have to become humans.”
“Shame on you you, stupid dog.”
The plane was scheduled to take off from Karachi, Pakistan, and land in Islamabad, the country’s capital and home to its ruling elite. On his Twitter account, Malik denied being behind the flight’s delay.
“The flt was announced to be delayed at 6pm till 830” he tweeted.
“i suffered equally.i reached at 835.it is wrongly thought that delay was b/c of me.”
Malik said he’s demanding an inquiry.
An official with Pakistan International Airlines told local Pakistani media the plane was delayed because of a technical fault and not because the crew was waiting for the arrival of the VIPs. The airline has suspended two of its Karachi-based managers as a result of the delay.