Islamabad: Pakistan`s Deputy Attorney General Khurshid Khan has been given a notice by the apex court`s bar association to explain why action should not be taken against him for "defaming" the nation by polishing shoes while performing voluntary service at gurdwaras in India.
The show cause notice was issued to Khan yesterday by Supreme Court Bar Association at the Peshawar High Court. Khan lives and works in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
He has said that he performed voluntary service at gurdwaras, including cleaning shoes, during a recent visit to India as "penance for crimes committed by the Taliban".
SCBA president Yasin Azad was quoted by The Express Tribune as saying that Khan had "defamed" Pakistan by polishing shoes outside places of worship in India.
"Although it was the government`s duty to issue him the show cause notice, as he is a serving Deputy Attorney General, we have issued it instead," Azad said.
"Khurshid told us that he did this to be pardoned for all the sins he has committed in his life," Azad said.
He contended Khan could have acted in a "more respectable way".
Khan said he was yet to receive the notice and that he was prepared to reply to it. Since he is a Deputy Attorney General, the Attorney General should have issued such a notice, he said. He questioned the basis on which the notice was issued.
"Have I been charged for violating an Indian law? There was no code of conduct we were told to follow."
Khan noted that he was declared a state guest by the Chief Minister of India`s Punjab state and that his mission was to convey a better image of Pakistanis in general and Pashtuns in particular.
"What is constituted as defaming the country? Ajmal Kasab`s alleged killing of Indians or a Pakistani polishing the shoes of Hindus, Sikhs and Christians outside their places of worship?," he said.
Khan had gone to India with 200 members of the SCBA in March to interact with the legal fraternity in the neighbouring country.
His voluntary service at the Jamia Masjid in Chandigarh, Golden Temple in Amritsar and Birla temple in Delhi - including polishing shoes, sweeping floors and washing dishes - had received extensive coverage in the Indian and Pakistani media.
Earlier, Khan had performed voluntary service at a gurdwara in Peshawar.
He began going to the gurdwara after Taliban fighters kidnapped and killed some Sikhs in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt.