Pak Prez `gifts` rifle to anti-Taliban provincial minister

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has "gifted" an assault rifle to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, whose only son was recently gunned down by the Taliban.

Last Updated: Sep 05, 2010, 16:46 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali
Zardari has "gifted" an assault rifle to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, whose only son was
recently gunned down by the Taliban.

"I am personally obliged and thankful to Zardari sahib
for this gift so that I can protect myself and confront
my enemies effectively," Hussain told reporters in Peshawar
earlier this week.

The President sent him the G-3 rifle after the death
of his son in July, he said.

Hussain said he cannot handle the rifle at the
moment.

"The situation has brought us to the level that one has
to learn how to use firearms," he said, referring to the
threats he is facing from the Taliban.

The Awami National Party leader is a vocal critic of the
Taliban and its tactics, including suicide attacks.

Despite the killing of his only son, Mian Rashid
Hussain, by the militants, Hussain has refused to bow down and
pledged to continue the fight against the Taliban.

Days after his son was shot dead, the Taliban carried out
a suicide attack on Hussain`s home in Nowshera district that
killed nine persons.

Hussain was not present in the house at the time.
Zardari recently named Hussain among the recipients
of a presidential award.

PTI