- Thousands of people supporting the Kashmir cause came out on the streets of the British capital to express solidarity with the citizens of Indian-held Kashmir in their decades-long struggle for the right of self-determination.
- Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his sister Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also participated in the rally. Some miscreants threw bottles at the stage from where the participants of Kashmir Million March were to be addressed. Former prime minister of Azad Kashmir Barrister Sultan Mehmood said India’s sympathisers tried to sabotage the procession. “We have gathered here to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and to draw attention of the international community towards Kashmir issue,” Mehmood said, adding that this struggle would continue till the independence of Kashmir
- PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari attended the Million March to pledge solidarity with the people of Kashmir and to reaffirm his unconditional support for their struggle for self-determination. Bilawal was received by a jubilant crowd who welcomed him on stage. However, some miscreants of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf attempted to sabotage the event by creating unrest for cheap publicity. Despite efforts by the London Police to secure and usher the PPP chairman off the stage because of saboteurs’ violent behaviour, Bilawal stood resolute and responded, “These agents who are trying to damage the cause of Kashmir and intimidate me into leaving should know that I will not leave before completing my speech. This is not about me or you, this is about the people of Kashmir”
- Bilawal vowed that he will not play partisan politics or diplomatic games with the futures and the lives of the people of Kashmir. The march demanded a peaceful solution to the longstanding Kashmir issue. It started from the Trafalgar Square and concluded at 10 Downing Street to protest against the human rights violations by Indian troops in the occupied Kashmir. A petition was submitted asking the British government to impress upon India to resolve the Kashmir dispute. In a statement, Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Gilani declared the Million March a much-needed step and stated that it is to give the world a message that terrorism has no direct or indirect link to the Kashmir liberation movement and the people of Kashmir were struggling for their genuine right.
- India had objected to Britain allowing the march during the recent visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, but London had reiterated its commitment to freedom of speech as well as its reassurance that it was for India and Pakistan to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue. In a significant intervention, India’s Deputy High Commissioner Varinder Paul had recently sounded a cautionary note on Indo-UK relations before a London audience comprising Business Secretary Vince Cable.
- However, it seems politicking was not welcome at the rally as some participants objected to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s presence at the stage. PTI chief Imran Khan’s nephew, Hassan Niazi, also seemed to be involved in the controversy. Niazi was briefly detained by the UK police after the incident, according to a tweet from his official account.
— Hassan Niazi (@HniaziISF) October 26, 2014
- Following the incident, Bilawal’s sister Aseefa Bhutto Zardari tweeted that her brother is safe and alleged that Indian agents tried to stop him from speaking but they did not succeed.
Indian agents tried 2stop my brother from speaking but Alhamdulillah they did NOT succeed. He completed his speech& Alhamdulillah he is safe — Aseefa B Zardari (@AseefaBZ) October 26, 2014
- According to details, some people started throwing stuff at the PPP chairman, including bottles, tomatoes and eggs when he came on stage to address the participants of the ‘Million March’, forcing him to leave. According to a statement from Bilawal House in Karachi, “some unidentified people tried to disrupt the party chief’s speech at the Kashmir rally but he faced the unruly mob with bravery and completed his address to the participants”.
- Commenting on the incident, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz lashed out at the PTI in a tweet, saying that several people belonging to a certain family were involved in hooliganism against rival parties. She also confirmed that Hasan Niazi was involved in the incident in London. (Source)
- Bilawal had recently created quite a stir in the Indian media when he lashed out at the Indian occupation of Kashmir, saying Kashmir is and would always be Pakistan’s part.
“Lavangey lavangey poora Kashmir lavangey. Humara nara sab se bhari , Rai shumari Rai shumari ” chanted @BBhuttoZardari !!!
— Aseefa B Zardari (@AseefaBZ) October 26, 2014