Boot him out! Man throws shoe at Musharraf in Karachi

A footwear-thrower in Karachi has shown that the people of India and Pakistan are closer knit than their politicians want to believe.

Pervez MusharrafThe unidentified man yesterday hurled a shoe at former military president Pervez Musharraf, back in Pakistan from four years of self-imposed exile in time for fresh elections in his country.

The person hurled his shoe at Musharraf while he was leaving the Sindh High Court this morning after obtaining a 15-day extension of his pre-arrest bail in a series of cases.

The shoe fell a few feet short of the 69-year-old Musharraf, who was surrounded by security personnel and TV cameramen.

Footage on TV showed the shoe flying through the air and landing amid a group of people in front of Musharraf.

Despite his political optimism, it does not seem that Musharraf is Pakistan's best-loved leader. There were scenes in the court complex as a group of lawyers shouted slogans against the former chief of Pakistan's armed forces as well as of the president of the country. Heated exchanges occurred between lawyers and Musharraf supporters.

Musharraf's security guards rushed him out of the court complex, but it could not be immediately ascertained whether shoe-thrower was detained.

This was not the first time that a shoe was hurled at Musharraf. In 2011, a man tried to hurl his shoe at him when he was addressing a gathering in Britain.

Al-Zaidi's gift
Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi gifted a form of protest unique to southern Asia when he flung his shoe at former US president George W Bush, who made it his mission to subdue Iraq with military might.

In April 2009 a journalist flung a chappal at Indian finance minister P Chidambaram in protest against the non-prosecution of offenders in the 1984 pogrom against Sikhs in the wake of the murder of former prime minister Indira Gandhi. He was protesting that the orchestrators of the riots still held important positions in the Congress-led union government.

Chidambaram displayed unusual calm after the incident; but it led the Indian authorities to actually put up nets before the dais at meetings addressed by political leaders in order to prevent the recurrence of such incidents!

In a world ruled widely by corrupt politicians, footwear-throwing may be the future path for average citizens to register their protest against their leaders.