Violent brawl between PML-N groups ‘under investigation’: UK Metropolitan Police

Pakistan Muslim League (UK) leader Zubair Gull accused the Overseas Punjab Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti for “sponsoring attack” on his brother Ejaz Gull at the Heathrow airport by “gangsters”

By
Wadood Mushtaq
Violent brawl between PML-N groups ‘under investigation’: UK Metropolitan Police

LONDON: Metropolitan Police has started investigation on a violent brawl that occurred between two groups of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) when CM Punjab arrived at the Heathrow Terminal 2 from Lahore via Istanbul last Monday.

Metropolitan Police confirmed to The News/Geo that an investigation has commenced on the fight within the premises of Heathrow airport involving PML (N) UK’s senior activist, Punjab’s Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis Afzaal Bhatti and federal Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis.  

Pakistan Muslim League (UK) leader Zubair Gull accused the Overseas Punjab Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti for “sponsoring attack” on his brother Ejaz Gull at the Heathrow airport by “gangsters”.

Zubair Gull, who is the federal commissioner for overseas Pakistanis, has alleged that Afzaal Bhatti “brought with him gangsters to show off and to attack PML (N) workers to undermine my position in front of the chief minister of Punjab”.

In a statement to this reporter, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that “at around 22:00hrs on Sunday, 4 December, officers dealt with a disturbance in the passenger arrivals area at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport”.

The police said that “there was no arrest” and “one man was interview by police under caution”.

The police confirmed on Sunday that its investigation is continuing and it was making enquiries.

Speaking to this reporter, Raja Turab confirmed that he was interviewed “under caution” by the police but he said he was not arrested at any stage and he would cooperate with the police.

Soon after the brawl that saw a group of PML (N) activists exchanging punches with Raja Turab and a colleague of his in open view.  The fight continued even after the chief minister Punjab had come out of the gates. A visibly shocked chief minister refused to speak to media when he saw his party activists involved in the fight.

Zubair Gull was seen at the airport accusing Afzaal Bhatti of being involved in the attack but Afzaal Bhatti denied any knowledge.  

PML (N) workers led by Zubair Gull were waiting to receive the chief minister Punjab when Raja Turab, who is not a PML (N) member, reached on the scene and the big fight started in view of cameras.

Emergency services were involved and Scotland Yard officers reached there within minutes and questioned three PML (N) workers including Ejaz Gull who alleged that Raja Turab pushed him and punched him and he acted in self-defence. 

Ejaz Gull said that Raja Turab and Afzaal Bhatti arrived together at the airport and the whole aim was to create disturbance to “give a bad image to PML (N) UK leadership”.

Footage of the fight was played on all Pakistani news channels. 

Zubair Gull says that he had informed the chief minister Punjab about the on-going tussle during the time when prime minister Nawaz Sharif was admitted in a London hospital and according to his claim the chief minister had then asked Pakistan High Commission officials to ensure that “unwanted” people are not allowed near him at any cost. He says he told the chief minister that the Overseas Punjab Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti is involved in “making conspiracies against him” and notice should be taken.

Raja Turab was recently pictured with Punjab Chief Minister at his office holding a meeting. Raja Turab said it was his right to meet Shahbaz Sharif. He said: “It’s true I met the Punjab chief minister but I am not a member of the PML (N) but I am a well-wisher of the party and its leadership is working sincerely.”

This reporter tried to get version of Afzaal Bhatti over three days but he didn’t respond. Txt messages requesting response were sent on his UK and Pakistan numbers – including on Whatsapp which he read – but didn’t respond in three days.  

A Pakistan High Commission spokesman said no concern was raised at the official level therefore nothing could be confirmed or denied.