ISLAMABAD - While the brutal attack on Peshawar school united both civil and military leadership to set aside differences and stand firm against terrorism, the only politician who feels to be left alone by all and sundry is nobody but MNA Sheikh Rashid , also nicknamed as son of Rawalpindi.
The vicious terror attack on army-run school inPeshawar on December 16 last year was carried out at a time when firebrand opposition leader Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehrik-Insaf (PTI) had entered its 126th day of protest against the government.
But the cold blooded massacre of school children triggered Imran Khan to call off his agitation, joining hands with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other opponent political parties to beat terrorism by demonstrating a united political and military font. Sheikh Rashid during his regular addresses to participants of the PTI's sit-in at D Chowk used to instigate protesters and even Imran Khan to resort to violence in order to pressurize the government to pay heed to his demands. His closeness with Imran Khan and regular participation in anti-government rallies also attract anchorpersons to invite Sheikh Rashid to talk shows.
During his interviews, the chief of his own faction Awami Muslim League (AML), Sheikh Rashid , used to predict novel revelations, including toppling of government.
But now when the PTI is no more a protesting party in the wake of Peshawar tragedy and has rather participated in several meetings convened by the government, Sheikh Rashid seems to be the only politician who has neither been requested by the government to take part in the All Parties Conference (APC) nor PTI owns him anymore.
As media shifted its focus to the development in National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism, Sheikh Rashid who had made tall claims and prophecies about resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which proved wrong, the Farzand-e-Rawalpindi is no more darling of television cameras. "Sheikh Rashid has been missing from container and camera too," a PTI leader observed referring to the shipping container that was used by PTI as a stage during the 126-day long sit-in outside Parliament House.
On Thursday when National Assembly met for the first time since the brutal attack on school in Peshawar, Sheikh Rashid who represents NA-55 in Rawalpindi looked anxious to vent his anger and express his emotions over the terrorists attack waving hand for Speaker Ayaz Sadiq to allow him time. But Speaker did not oblige him.
With PTI lawmakers are not attending any session of National Assembly, Sheikh Rashid is a unique MNA in the Lower House who is neither needed by the opposition nor treasury benches. "Being head of a political party (AML), the government has not invited me to attend any APC. I don't agree that all political forces are on same page against terrorism. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has shattered the unity against terrorism," Shiekh told The Nation on Saturday.
When asked as to why he has been missing from talk shows on television, he replied that he was not in country for a week, adding he would again play his proactive role both inside and outside the house.
However, he admitted that the only politician who was abandoned or not taken on board in wake of the prevailing situation in country was Sheikh Rashid and complained about the indifference of government.