[VIDEO] Angry Passengers Throw Politicians Out Of Plane For Delaying Their Flight

The disgruntled passengers used the power of passenger democracy to stop the two VIPs from boarding the plane after both of them caused a lengthy delay.

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In Pakistan, "VIP culture" routinely delays commercial flights to accommodate the schedule of politicians. On Monday, fury boiled over when a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Karachi to Islamabad was delayed for almost two and half hours.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik

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A Karachi-to-Islamabad PIA flight had been waiting for two and a half hours on the tarmac at Jinnah International Airport. The reason was that it was waiting for some ‘VIPs’ to arrive, and when they did arrive they turned out to be Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani.

When the two members of Parliament arrived at the door of the plane, angry passengers barred their way accusing them of delaying their flight and making 250 passengers wait. Both the VIPs were then forced to retreat amidst humiliating slogans.

Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a member of parliament from prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s party, and Rehman Malik, a former interior minister

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Fuming travellers had been waiting in their seats when Rehman Malik, one of the country's most recognisable politicians, sauntered down the air bridge to the Pakistan International Airlines jet more than 90 minutes after its scheduled departure from Karachi to Islamabad on Monday. Malik promptly turned tail when a furious group of travellers waiting by the door to the aircraft began heckling, with some chasing him back to the terminal building shouting and calling him a "stupid dog".

"Rehman Malik sahib, 250 passengers had to suffer because of you!" One man could be heard shouting. "You are not a minister any more and even if you were a minister we don't care, we don't care any more!"

Watch as Mr. Rehman Malik is being berated and offloaded by passengers accusing the politician of keeping the plane waiting

While authorities said the flight was delayed because of "technical issues," two airport managers have been suspended following the incident for holding the PIA Flight 370 for the politicians

A 2008 photograph showing a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft at Karachi airport.

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PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar speaking to Dawn said that the delay in the flight was due to a technical issue and not the fault of Rehman Malik. “PIA does not promote VIP culture… but this flight was delayed an hour and 30 minutes due to a technical reason,” Tajwar said. “The delay had been conveyed to passengers via SMS. Some passengers who had given the contact details of their travel agent may not have been conveyed the message by their agents.”

The airline added that it had suspended two employees for causing a further "unnecessary delay". It insisted that it does not promote "VIP culture". An aide to Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that on top of the technical delay of 90 minutes, the aircraft had been held up for a further 25 minutes because Mr Malik was late, AFP reports.

The videos, filmed on mobile phones and uploaded to video-sharing websites, went viral in Pakistan, prompting anger and ridicule against the parliamentarians on social media. The terms "VIP" and "VVIP" were quickly trending on Twitter in Pakistan.

Malik Rehman

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In one video, Mr. Vankwani is seen standing in the aisle of the aircraft, next to the door. Passengers are heard asking him to identify himself. Mr. Vankwani responded: “I have nothing to do with this, I was just sitting outside.” When he told passengers he was a member of parliament, they chanted “shame, shame,” forcing him to leave the aircraft. Some passengers applauded as he left.

When Mr. Malik walked towards the aircraft door, passengers yelled at him. One told him to apologize. Mr. Malik walked back to the gate, as passengers continued to shout at him. VIP privileges are widely reviled in Pakistan. Opposition parties, activists and citizens regularly complain about flights being delayed to accommodate politicians, road closures because of motorcades, and unfair advantages given to elected officials, bureaucrats and military leaders.

According to the WSJ, opposition politician Imran Khan and Muslim cleric Tahir ul Qadri, who have been protesting in front of Parliament in Islamabad for over a month, have promised a more just and equal society and an end to unfair privileges

“#EndVIPCulture is the call of PTI and we are glad that the people of Pakistan have stood up for their rights,” Mr. Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, tweeted on Tuesday.

Mr. Malik took to Twitter to defend himself, saying that the flight wasn't delayed because of him. He also accused others of defaming him saying that the incident is a conspiracy against him.

According to The Guardian, Rehman Malik is one of the Pakistan's most colourful politicians, widely regarded as a buffoon

Rehman Malik for many in Pakistan is the face of the government

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The stalwart of the opposition Pakistan People's party is one of the country's most colourful politicians, famous for his purple rinse hairstyle, odd pronouncements and for dashing to the scenes of the regular terrorist attacks that blighted his time as interior minister. Widely regarded as a buffoon, he compared himself to Winston Churchill, Peter Mandelson and David Miliband in an interview last year.

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