New Delhi, Aug 17: Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s close friend Zulfi Bukhari and three British Pakistani Labour MPs were present at the violent protests at the High Commission of India in London on Thursday in which several PIOs were injured.
Zulfi Bukhari, the special assistant to Khan on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development, Zulfi Bukhari, had travelled to London from Pakistan especially to speak at the protest.
British Pakistani Labour MPs Shabana Mahmood, Khalid Mahmood and Muhammad Yasin were also present along with Labour MP Liam Byrne, former MP George Galloway, and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir-born Nazir Ahmed, who is facing trial on charges of child sex offence.
The demonstration blocked roads for five hours and left the mission’s building damaged and several PIOs injured.
Pro-Khalistan Sikhs also joined the protests which demanded the restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
About 400 people marched from India's UN mission to a cordoned-off area opposite the UN on Thursday, which was India's Independence Day. They shouted slogans for Khalistan and Kashmir, holding flags of Kashmir-occupied "Azad" Kashmir and yellow Khalistani and blue "referendum" banners.
Most of the participants were Sikhs, with a few Pakistanis and Kashmiris.
A diplomat from Pakistan's UN Mission was seen moving in their midst taking pictures of the demonstration.
The organisers billed it as a protest by "Kashmiris and Pro-Khalistan Sikhs" with the support of "local Sikh Temples".
Gurpatwant Pannun of Sikhs for Justice, who was the main organiser, said that they shared a common cause with Kashmiris. He said that his organisation was organising a "referendum" on Khalistan next year.
Pannun that they had presented to a UN Human Rights official, whom he would not identify, a memorandum addressed to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesperson asking for deployment of UN peace-keepers in Kashmir and holding a plebiscite there, as well as recognising his group's Khalistan "referendum".
Only the Security Council, and not the Secretary-General, can deploy peacekeepers.
Kuldip Singh Dhillon, the President of the Sikh Cultural Society of New York, which runs the biggest gurdwara in the city, said that his organisation supported the demand for returning to the status quo in Kashmir and asserted that they had a common cause with Kashmiris.
News24 Bureau with IANS inputs
Photo: Google Image