Celebrities have voiced their support for legendary former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar after his altercation on a PTV show with anchor Dr Nauman Niaz Tuesday night. Akhar walked off the show set after being "insulted" by Niaz.
The two were part of a panel for PTV Sports programme Game On Hai along with guests West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards, former England captain David Gower, former Pakistan women's captain Sana Mir and former fast bowler Umar Gul. The panel was discussing the Pakistan-New Zealand T20 World Cup match which Pakistan won by five wickets.
During their discussion, Akhtar credited PSL's Lahore Qalandars franchise for discovering Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf. Niaz took an issue with Akhtar's comments and said: "You are being a little rude so I don't want to say this but if you're being over-smart then you can go. I am saying this on air." The cricketer then announced his resignation from PTV and said he could not continue with the programme because of "how I was treated on national television" before walking off.
Many came to Akhtar's defence after the incident, including celebrities such as Mawra Hocane, Ali Zafar and Momina Mustehsan.
Actor Muneeb Butt also weighed in on the matter, questioning why everyone feels it is necessary to behave like they're the "prime minister of Pakistan". "PTV gave Niaz a platform [but] look at his behaviour, attitude and words," he wrote on Instagram Stories. "Shame on him! Respect our living legends, don't wait [to do so until] they die!"
Actor Zarnish Khan also spoke against Niaz's behaviou. "It is the host's responsibility to treat the guests with respect, maintain the decorum of the program, and follow journalistic ethics," she said, adding that Niaz should apologise to Akhtar.
Actors Humayun Saeed and Adnan Siddiqui took to Twitter to speak up as well.
And so did Senator Shibli Faraz.
PTV's administration took notice and formed a committee to investigate the incident, according to a statement posted on its sports channel's official Twitter account.