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Zardari shoe-thrower a hit on YouTube

world Updated: Aug 11, 2010 23:52 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar

There's no video footage of the incident, and details are scarce but the man who allegedly chucked his shoes at Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in Birmingham is being hailed as a hero on Youtube.

"Meet the hero of millions," invites one of several videos put up on the website that reveals Zardari's tormenter to be an elderly bearded man from Coventry. He has been named as Shameem Khan — apparently, an incensed supporter of Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party.

There's even a loving nickname for the 57-year-old father of four, who was led out by police after throwing his shoes — no one knows whether it was the pair or just the one — as Zardari addressed a rally of 2,000 Pakistanis on August 7.

Messages posted on Youtube and elsewhere on the internet simply address him as Babaji.

In an interview with Pakistan's Geo News, Khan invites Pakistanis to follow his example, saying his protest at the Birmingham International Conference Centre was fuelled by anger at the president's decision to travel to Europe in defiance of calls to cancel his trip.

According to some reports, the incident was captured by the state-run Pakistan TV and shown live but the footage was subsequently erased.