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Alex Wright

Kuwaiti MP slammed for visit to Hizballah commander's family

Dashti once brought a Kalashnikov along with him to parliament [Twitter]

Date of publication: 22 July, 2015

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Controversial Kuwaiti lawmaker Abd al-Hamid Dashti has caused a stir after he posted a picture on Twitter of himself kissing the head of the father of a slain Hizballah commander.
A Kuwaiti member of parliament has stirred up controversy after he visited the family of Imad Mughniyah, an assassinated senior member of the Lebanese Shia militant group Hizballah.

Abd al-Hamid Dashti posted a picture of himself kissing the head of Mughniyah’s father during a visit in Beirut to the family of the military commander accused of being involved in the hijacking of a Kuwaiti airliner and an assassination attempt against Kuwait’s late Emir.

Pictures of the Shia MP’s visit went viral, including another recent picture during a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the majority of Kuwaiti social media users condemning his actions.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim tweeted, “MP Dashti’s behaviour is unacceptable, irresponsible and provocative. It certainly does not work towards national unity, he must be held responsible for his actions.”


    

I have exercised my human and constitutional right to have an opinion

- Abd al-Hamid Dashti

"We can do nothing but condemn our colleague MP Dashti’s visit to Mughniyah’s family even if his opinion is different from that of Kuwaitis, who believe Mughniyah hijacked our plane and shed the blood of our people,” MP Nabeel al-Fadhel tweeted.

Dashti responded to his critics saying his visit to the family of the “martyr” was to support the Lebanese resistance.

“I have exercised my human and constitutional right to have an opinion and I am not asking anyone to adopt the same opinion,”

“However if you think I am merely a member of the Shia ‘community’ and not a full Kuwaiti citizen that is unacceptable and I step on that with my shoes because I am your compatriot,” he said.

Mughniyah was accused being involved in the hijacking of a Kuwaiti airliner by Lebanese guerillas and taking Kuwaitis as hostages in 1988, leading to the death of two Kuwaitis.

The hijackers demanded the release of 17 Shia prisoners held by Kuwait for their role in the 1983 bombings in Kuwait, which targeted six key foreign and government installations.

In 2008, the senior Hezbollah military commander was assassinated in Damascus in a joint operation between the CIA and Israel's Mossad.

Dashti is no stranger to controversy, he once brought a Kalashnikov along with him to parliament to encourage the public to hand in their unlicensed firearms.

In May, he got into a fracas with a rival MP over Kuwait’s role in the Saudi-led war in Yemen against the Iran-backed Houthi militants.

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