ISLAMABAD - Talk show guests Qamar Zaman Kaira and Javed Abbasi were left stunned after Federal Minister for Water and Power Faisal Vawda unexpectedly extracted a boot from a bag and plunked it on the desk of a talk show host last night.

Mr. Vawda was trying to score a political point through such a theatrical act but many viewers found the spectacle in bad taste. The minister was sharply critical of the politics of PML-N for supporting the Army Act Bill after its earlier critical stance towards the Establishment.

“The limit to which they have stooped, it looks like the boot has been shined by their tongues,” the minister said, referring to PML-N. “When it comes to your corruption or your accountability, you are ready to lie down and kiss the boot. You will stoop as low as needed,” he said.

Mr. Abbasi and Mr. Kaira protested the federal minister’s statements and walked off the set. Several leading journalists and talk show hosts criticised Mr. Vawda for unnecessarily dragging the army into a controversy. “Faisal has disgraced the Institution by bringing the shoe into controversy in otherwise popular talk show. He has not only exposed himself but the party as well. Let see how the PM will react and above all how the Institution will take it,” Mazhar Abbas, a veteran journalist, and analyst, said in a post on Twitter.

Mr. Vawda, however, remained defiant and defended his action in a post on Twitter late night. “The boot is a slap on the faces of the political parties who had played politics by taunting the PTI of licking the boot,” he said.