Monday, 1 January 2007

BPYC 10 Downing Street Protest

LONDON: A large group of British Pakistani youth protested outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday to protest against the anti-Pakistan remarks of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Organized by British Pakistani Youth Council, nearly 100 youth called on the British Prime Minister to retract his comments in which he had accused Pakistan of looking “both ways†in dealing with the Taliban militants and “exporting terror†to the world. They also questioned President Zardari’s decision to come to the UK leaving behind over 1,500 dead and more than 2.5 million displaced persons as a result of ongoing floods in Pakistan.

Originally, the British Pakistani Youth Council and Pakistani student societies were planning a joint demonstration outside the British prime minister’s office but the Government of Pakistan officials tried to stop the student group and dissuade them from assembling outside 10 Downing Street only a few hours before President Zardari’s arrival on a controversial visit to the UK.
Comprised of young British Pakistanis, the protestors, who had traveled in coaches from the city of Birmingham, where President Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Zardari will address a public meeting on Saturday, called on President Asif Ali Zardari to cancel his meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron as it was a matter of self-respect for the Pakistanis all over the world.
Raja Kamran Ishtiaq, the protest organizer and leader of the British Pakistani Youth Council, led the chants: ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, ‘Long live the people of Pakistan’, ‘David Cameron - Shame on you’, ‘No to double standards’ and ‘Free Kashmir.

He told the media that David Cameron had deeply hurt the feelings of Pakistanis and Muslims around the world. He said British Pakistani youth considered Britain their country and were ready to defend it at all levels but they retained love for Pakistan, their country of origin. He said that since David Cameron made these remarks, the unrest had spread all across the communities where Pakistanis were living.

Protestors were planning to gather outside the Churchill Hotel in Central London where President Zardari was due to arrive in the evening.Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Kashmiri groups have planned protests outside the venue where the presidential entourage will be camped.

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