South Asia

Pakistan minister sacked for 'drunken brawl' at theatre

Jaffer George
Image caption Mr George denies unruly behaviour

A minister in the Pakistani province of Balochistan has been sacked over a "drunken brawl" at a Lahore theatre.

Police say they detained Jaffer George for unruly behaviour and disrupting a play on Saturday night.

Mr George denies the charges and is free on bail. Video footage appeared to show him climbing on the stage.

As a member of the tiny Christian minority he is free to drink alcohol, which is banned for Muslims. Drinking in public is illegal in Pakistan.

'Obstruction'

Mr Jaffar served as minister without portfolio in the Balochistan government after being elected to a reserved seat for religious minorities.

He was arrested on Saturday night, a police official in the Qilla Gujjar Singh distict of Lahore, Majir Bashir, told the BBC.

Officers detained him "for drinking alcohol and repeatedly obstructing a stage play at a theatre", according to a complaint lodged with the police by the theatre management.

Local news channel Express TV broadcast footage of the incident in which two men - apparently Mr George and a friend - are seen approaching the stage during the performance.

The men then climb onto the stage and engage a female performer in conversation.

The management complained that Mr George and his friend did this repeatedly, frustrating attempts to confine them to their seats and let the show continue, according to police.

Mr George was sacked by Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani on Sunday after he received a report from the Punjab government.

The former minister says he is being victimised by the Punjab government.

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