Pakistan flood victim torches self

2010-09-20 14:08

Multan - An unemployed father-of-four who lost his home in Pakistan's devastating floods died on Monday after setting fire to himself outside the prime minister's home, officials said.

Muhammad Akram, 30, doused his body in petrol and lit himself with a match after being denied entry to Yousuf Raza Gilani's private residence in the central city of Multan at the weekend, police said.

"We tried to save his life but he could not survive because his condition was serious," Multan's main Nishtar Hospital doctor Zafar Niazi told AFP.

"He tried to commit suicide yesterday (Sunday). Police took him to hospital and registered a case against him for attempted suicide, but he expired today," senior police official Mehmoodul Hasan told AFP.

Police and relative Abdul Sami said Akram lost his house in the massive flooding last month and that his family is living in the open without a tent.

Relatives said Akram had to care for four children, a wife and two ageing parents at Jeewan Wala village, some 150km west of Multan, and lost his job as a factory watchman last May.

Akram searched fruitlessly for a job and decided to visit Gilani's home to ask for a job recommendation.

The prime minister's security detail pushed him back and he set himself on fire, Sami said.

The prime minister was not in Multan at the time and neither was his office reachable for comment on Monday.

Pakistan's worst floods in history have affected up to 21 million people and left 10 million without shelter. More than eight million people are reliant on aid handouts just to survive.